teaching machines

Letter of Reference

December 24, 2016 by . Filed under public, writing.

Dear ██████,

I am writing on behalf of ██████, a former student of mine who is ready to strike out on his own after graduating this May. He has applied at your company for a Software Engineer III position and has asked me to provide a letter of reference. I wish to recommend him without equivocation.

██████ and I first met when he took an algorithms course with me his second year. I quickly discovered that he knew skip lists extremely well. I recall an assignment in which most students were submitting quadratic-time solutions, while his submission had much lower performance. I asked him how he achieved this. “It’s my condition,” he explained. In a web development class, he was unanimously crowned by his classmates as the “DOM Ox” for the way he plowed through the web services homework with HTML scraping. In software engineering, he adhered doggedly to the principles of agile software development, standing up his team at their daily meetings.

Looking back at some of his old exams, I do not think I’ve seen answers more clear than his. And he was usually one of the first to finish!

The summer after his junior year, ██████ interned at a reputable consulting company in our area. His project manager told me in the end-of-program evaluation that ██████ contributed significantly to some POS software, and that he brought a level of performance that she does not usually expect from interns. “He’s a rare breed. I can’t seem to work him too hard. He stops at nothing,” writes the supervisor. “It’s the least he could do.”

In closing, I cannot say enough good things about ██████. You would be extremely lucky to have him work for you.




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