Successful Amazon Job Fair Bolsters Linden Labs

July 21st, 2009  |  Published in SL Entrepreneur Magazine, SLENTRE.COM Magazine Feature Articles  |  6 Comments

Last week Amazon held their first ever virtual job fair in Second Life. The event lasted all day and served up a constant stream of eligible candidates. Jeff Barr (Jeffronius Batra in SL) is the Senior Web Services Evangelist for and was on hand to answer questions. He was busily measuring the numbers of visitors and other stats during the all day event.

Philip Linden and Jeff Barr from Amazon discuss the success of the Second Life Amazon Job Fair.

(Philip Linden(center) and Jeff Barr (right) from Amazon discuss the success of the Second Life Amazon Job Fair. )

Jeff took some time out to chat with Philip Linden, who stopped by the job fair to ensure everything was running smoothly. Not only were the technological components holding up under the strain of so many visitors, but everyone seemed to be hailing the event as a huge success:

Jeffronius Batra: Hi Philip- Jeff Barr from Amazon – thanks for coming by.

Philip Linden: Hi Jeffronius! Great turnout!

Jeffronius Batra: Things have been hopping here!

Philip Linden: Wow looks like it. Anything I should be thinking about? Like stuff that hasn’t worked well. Or would make it better?

Jeffronius Batra: Concurrency around 45-55 since 6 A.M.

Philip Linden: Wow, that must be so many people that have been here.

Jeffronius Batra: It’s working great for me; I’m using the Snowglobe viewer – it’s rock solid.

Philip Linden: Me too. :) How are you guys doing this? Are folks doing interviews? Are you using voice at all?

Jeffronius Batra: We didn’t try voice because most of the people here registered in order to attend. We wanted to keep it simple.

Philip Linden: Did they register before today?

Jeffronius Batra: I would say that 80% of the attendees here have been in SL less than 1 week. I have to run some stats to prove that though.

Philip Linden: I guess that is great if they are still able to get here and have it work!Is there a bias in terms of what sort of experience folks are showing up with?

Simone Brunozzi: And some of the Amazon employees are new to SL as well :) – but they’re doing great. Jeff did a great job helping them.

Jeffronius Batra: Yes, they’re surviving, getting dressed, getting free stuff from here and so forth. We have a mailbox for resumes (notecards) and that’s working well.

Philip Linden: What sorts of positions are you recruiting for?

Jeffronius Batra: Developers, testers, program managers, finance, admin – the whole range.

Philip Linden: And are you getting resumes for all those roles – or just some?

Jeffronius Batra: A wide variety, from what I can tell.
“A lot” is the official number. I would say that the most interesting challenge for new folks is differentiating between IM and Chat.

Philip Linden: Are you doing interviews here or just collecting resumes?

Jeffronius Batra: We talk in public and then move to IM for details.

Philip Linden: I think the new UI work we are doing will help with that. But we’ll see.

Jeffronius Batra: We do the equivalent of a first round phone screen, often chatting for 5 to 20 minutes per person.

Philip Linden: OK. Got it. Are you taking folks to those little rooms?

Jeffronius Batra: Sometimes.The average visitor stays here for 56 minutes.

Philip Linden: That seems like a perfect amount of time – 1 hour.

Jeffronius Batra: Yes, I am happy with it.

Philip Linden: I’m taking pictures.  It’s so great to share with folks at Linden.

Jeffronius Batra: It’s always fun to break new ground.

Philip Linden: So Jeff, this is the first fair like this you’ve done? And you said that you pre-registered folks?

Jeffronius Batra: We have participated in some fairs run by GAX. They were focused on hiring for Luxembourg and that’s where we got Simone. Our HR folks said “Let’s do our own” and we put it all together.

Philip Linden: Is there a geographical focus here?

Jeffronius Batra: I have some sensors collecting visitor info, routing it to SimpleDB and processing it on EC2.We have had people come by for in-world jobs but we don’t have any of those.

Jeffronius Batra: The new maps work really well in SnowGlobe.

Philip Linden: Yep, they sure do. So you are hiring for locations worldwide? You collected open positions from all different Amazon offices?

Jeffronius Batra: Yes, we have representation from a number of our offices. We’ll have to get Japan online soon – we had folks chatting away in Japanese last night.

Philip Linden: Have you had any challenges with translation?
I would think that would be interesting at a single event like this.

Jeffronius Batra: We tried to make sure that we had staff available to speak different languages.

Philip Linden: Gotcha.

Jeffronius Batra: I think that the text chat helps since people can go slowly if need be.

Philip Linden: What other languages have been actively spoken by people coming here?

Jeffronius Batra: I think that Simone has handled some Italian speakers.

Philip Linden: I’ve only heard English since I’ve been here.

Jeffronius Batra: We can handle French and German if need be. And you can move your hands effectively in SL. I’ve spent the last week living in SL so I’m a little bit punchy…

Philip Linden: I can imagine. What is it doing to you?
I’ve always wanted to spend like a solid week in SL. Every day.

Jeffronius Batra: I always want to alt-camera on real stuff.
We are at 56 people now and SL is running great.

Philip Linden: Yep, I have had times where I grabbed for stuff across the room in RL.

Jeffronius Batra: When’s the next update to SnowGlobe? Any new features planned?

Philip Linden: Well, as for snowglobe, we are pretty much doing daily builds. I’ve been trying to get a universal translator feature in.That’s something I’d like to see next. Automatically pass everything through Google translate or a similar program, so that every new user has trial access to translation.

Jeffronius Batra: I would like to see a way to integrate Amazon SimpleDB to allow scripts to store data more easily. I think that would need server code changes though.

Philip Linden: Yeah! That would be very cool though, Jeff. Glad that we are holding up well with 60 people here!

Jeffronius Batra: Hang on, I am going to check my stats and bump up the limit if everything looks good.

Philip Linden: Yes, this is really really great. So delighted things are working.

Jeffronius Batra: Ok, we’ll try to hit concurrency of 70.Yeah, this is just great. Imagine the travel costs to meet this many people.

Philip Linden: Indeed! Or the net CO2 savings of this event. Hey Jeff, maybe if you could calculate how many people were here, we could compute the Co2 savings?

Jeffronius Batra: We had one scripted avatar belching out spammy ads this morning but other than that the guests have been wonderful. Very patient as we dealt with the crowd.

Jeff Barr writes the AWS blog at and his own personal blog at  SLENTRE.COM contacted Barr, requesting he answer some follow up questions regarding the metrics from the event. At the time of publication, SLENTRE.COM hadn’t received a response. Once received, this additional information will be posted in a follow up article.


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