Dear Perspective New Relic Employee / SEC Investigator / Interested Party,

Please read the following account of my “interview” process.

If nothing else, it’s worth a laugh because even though I have seen some truly reprehensible behavior from third-party agencies and the cult of big consulting, this is the first time I have seen anything so ridiculous directly from a hiring company. Especially a Sili-Valley sweetheart.

After an intro call with the recruiter, I was sent a “technical” screen. Fine – if by technical New Relic means to check my ability to copy and paste into a command line. But then, to continue following the copy/paste directives, one needs to put down a credit card! Oopsie! Or is it? Can I really ring up enough business in this way with supposedly a free account to make it worth New Relic’s while? I know their product is expensive but faking a job opening to get people to sign up for whatever few bucks New Relic can steal from them this way? I don’t see it. Could it be something more nefarious? Get thousands of job applicants to sign up and thus swell what will look like a much larger installed customer-base?

For the moment, I am going to choose to assume that my seeing the worst in every situation is in full effect. The simplest explanation for New Relic’s behavior is that it’s neither nefarious nor malicious but more likely the result of cluelessness from self-confessed, non-technical recruiters.  Still – it falls under bad behavior and bad behavior folks, always, ALWAYS has bad consequences. I am redacting names in hopes that the people involved are victims too. Still...I’d watch New Relic’s stock price for a while. Be ready to sell short.

 

*UPDATE: after the duress-driven sign-up, I proceeded to receive 4 follow-ups in 2 days. They didn’t even have a way for me to unsubscribe. So…to the ABUSE desk it went with CC to their mailing provider and upstream host. Worked like a charm.

 

We pick up after my initial call with the recruiter:

 

From: [redacted]
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 12:35
Subject: Good chatting- next steps

Good chatting with you. As I stated in our conversation, we will be scheduling a interview for a 45 phone call with [redacted], [redacted] for the Technical Sales, Chicago Role. 

Please send over your avail for later this week and early next week. My coordinator [redacted] will be in touch to get the meeting on the calendar. 

Things to prep for the interview:

Please see attached for the technical assessment we spoke about, I request this gets back to us in 48 hours, this will help immensely in your conversations with the hiring team. 

Read this:

APM Gartner Report 2017: https://www.gartner.com/doc/reprints?id=1-3M8KIVD&ct=161118&st=sb

Watch these things: 

New Relic Product Demos: https://www.youtube.com/user/NewRelicInc

Let's debrief after the call with [redacted].

 

 

New Relic Technical Test

Ultimately, take the data generated through this exercise and present back to this audience as if you were

presenting to an technically-proficient executive. Tell a story of why this matters! Include screenshots or

additional media as needed to best augment your story.

Background

This test is intended to show you a little about how New Relic works with one common application

stack that our customers use.

Heroku is a PaaS (Platform as a Service) that is popular amongst DevOps types for being easy to

push out and scale up modern apps on. From Wikipedia:

Heroku is a cloud Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) supporting several programming languages.

Heroku was acquired by Salesforce.com in 2010. Heroku, one of the first cloud platforms, has

been in development since June 2007, when it supported only the Ruby programming language,

but has since added support for Java, Node.js, Scala, Clojure, Python, PHP and Go. The base

operating system is Debian or, in the newest stack, the Debian-based Ubuntu

Heroku and New Relic

There are several ways to use New Relic with Heroku:

 

       Enable it through the Heroku UI to see basic app metrics alongside other Heroku-specific

       management information

       See background at https://elements.heroku.com/addons/newrelic and setup details

       at New Relic APM Heroku add-on

       Push a New Relic-monitored app to Heroku and use New Relic the usual way

 

Getting New Relic running in a Heroku app

Follow the step-by-step process below.

 

       Sign up for a New Relic account. There is a free trial available.

       Sign up for a Heroku account. There is a free tier.

       Follow the getting started tutorial (other language tutorials exist), specifically:

       Install the tools (you will need Node.js and git as well):

       (On a Mac) brew install heroku-toolbelt (NOTE this differs from

·         the tutorial which asks you to download and install a package ... homebrew is

·         better)

       (On Windows) Download and install the executable heroku-toolbelt

       In a terminal or command prompt:

       heroku login

       git clone https://github.com/heroku/node-js-gettingstarted.

·         git

       cd node-js-getting-started

       heroku create

       git push heroku master

       heroku ps:scale web=1

       heroku open

       heroku logs --tail (and then CTRL-C once you've seen this work)

       heroku ps (confirm the process is running)

       heroku ps:scale web=0

       refresh in browser: confirm nothing running

       heroku ps:scale web=1

       Go to the Heroku Dashboard and click on your app

       Note there are no add-ons at the bottom of the page

       Add New Relic to the Heroku app:

       heroku addons:create newrelic:wayne

       heroku config:set NEW_RELIC_APP_NAME='My Awesome Heroku Node

·         App'

       heroku config:set NEW_RELIC_NO_CONFIG_FILE='true'

       heroku config (you should see New Relic app name, license key, and log setting)

       npm install newrelic --save

       Edit the index.js and add require('newrelic'); as the first line

       git add . && git commit -m "Add New Relic"

       git push heroku master && heroku logs --tail

       Refresh your app in the browser window a couple of times to generate some load

       Reload the dashboard and note the New Relic APM :: Newrelic item under Add-ons

·         (You may not see this if you didn't verify your credit card details)

       Click on New Relic APM :: Newrelic.

·         (You may not see this if you didn't verify your credit card details)

       The first time you will be asked to approve some T&C.

       You may also see a splash page / screenshot and a " in the top-left; reload the page to

·         see the APM applications list. This is most likely a bug.

·          

Deploying a New Relic app to Heroku

It is possible (and easy) to add an existing app (e.g. a Node app) to Heroku, and to add New Relic

monitoring to it. The benefit of this is that you can leverage an existing New Relic account (and

collect all your app data in one place). See https://github.com/savs/heroku_node_helloworld for an

example with basic instructions.

Essentially:

 

       Create an app as normal

       Do 'npm install'

       Add New Relic to it as usual:

       npm install -save newrelic

       cp node_modules/newrelic.js .

       Amend the newrelic.js to get license key from the environment

       (license_key: process.env.NEW_RELIC_LICENSE_KEY)

       heroku login

       heroku create

       Save your license key into the heroku environment: heroku config:set

       NEW_RELIC_LICENSE_KEY=YOUR_LICENSE_KEY_HERE

       Test locally: NEW_RELIC_LICENSE_KEY=YOUR_LICENSE_KEY_HERE heroku local

       web

       Go live:

       git add . && git commit -m "Useful message here" && git push

       heroku master

       heroku ps:scale web=1

        

Follow up questions:

Now that you have seen New Relic working with Heroku and a Node.js application, please answer

these questions:

 

       How can you generate some traffic to your application to test it?

       What can you find out about your application in New Relic?

       What worked in the instructions above? What didn’t work? What would you have done differently?

       After installing the APM portion of our platform. What are other types of telemetry related to an

       application that you think an executive, developer, operator, or SRE should ideally have access to?

       What products or components in the New Relic Platform would provide that telemetry?

 

 

Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 17:47
Subject: RE: Good chatting- next steps

 

[redacted] + Team,

As instructed, I have d/led the doc and am going through it.

So far the only official mistake is:

The correct link is: https://github.com/heroku/node-js-getting-started (dash b/w “getting” and “started”

The next one, however, might be slightly more an obstacle:

For it results in:

Unless you have another suggestion, I could proceed by generating a temp credit card number…

Please let me know.

 

 

From: [redacted]
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 23:53
Subject: Re: Good chatting- next steps

 

Yes you are correct Heroku does require a CC # in order to access their systems. I would suggest trying possibly the .NET agent if you have an enviroment that may suit that agent or possibly looking at the browser product. Any question from a technical perspective could be answered if you go to the NR Community page

 


Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 03:11
To: [redacted]
Subject: RE: Good chatting- next steps

Thanks [redacted], in the meanwhile, I am available:

Today before 2PM

Tomorrow after 4PM

Friday anytime except 10AM – 1PM

Next week, I cannot do anything on Wed the 28th but any other day I can juggle at your/[redacted] convenience.

Thanks!

 

From: [redacted]
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 08:20
Subject: Re: Good chatting- next steps

Let's get through the assessment, and we'll get you in front of James shortly after.

Thanks!

 


Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 08:19
To: [redacted]
Subject: RE: Good chatting- next steps

Thanks but still not following where/how you want me to deploy.

 

From: [redacted]
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 08:28
Subject: Re: Good chatting- next steps

I am sorry, can you further clarify your question? Have you looked at New Relics community page? I believe and again I am not a technical person, but I think the assessment is asking you to install the Node.JS agent into an environment for the APM product. 

And we are suggesting Heroku as the enviroment to do so. If you are not comfortable using Heroku, and I know you stated that C# was your language that you are most comfortable with, I suggest that you go with the .NET agent and install that in an enviroment you already have up and running. 

I also suggest looking into our Browser product if neither options above are right for you, you are able to use the browser agent to run a similar exercise for website data.

Hope that helps, any other insight I suggest going to NR community, as well as NR university and Youtube.

Cheers, 

 


Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 08:36
To: [redacted]
Subject: RE: Good chatting- next steps

Thanks [redacted].

Here’s the deal: I am perfectly comfortable copying and pasting a bunch of code into a command line as that is what your “technical” assessment has been up until this point. The part with which I am NOT comfortable is paying for the privilege of doing so as is required by EVERY cloud vendor including Azure and AWS when incorporating pay-to-play components such as New Relic (not node.js). The language of my “comfort” is irrelevant. The infrastructure I spin up, however, is very relevant.

Anyway…

If you want to provide a sandbox, like, oh…every other company I’ve ever dealt with, please feel free and send the account info/links. If not, best of luck.

 

From: [redacted]
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 08:42
Subject: Re: Good chatting- next steps

Sorry this is the assessment that is used for all the folks we have hired for the group. If you are not comfortable moving forward, I completely understand, I also wish you the best of luck.

 

 

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