|| Hunting geeks
||Oct. 18th, 2006 04:53 pm|
I suspect I've asked this or similar questions previously, but fresh hires are proving elusive here, and I'm sure that many of you either hire developers yourselves or know people who do.|
So, where do you find really high-quality senior developers? Irrespective of the language you use (or even the country you're in!), how do you go about locating the cream of the sector? I'm finding a surprising lack of coders of my level or better; I know a few socially or online but none of them are job hunting (this may reflect a high level of job security).
Where do *you* go to find top-level software engineers? I'm not convinced that many agencies really understand the fields their technical candidates work in, and I'm seeing evidence that higher-level coders just don't bother with jobsites. And I suspect browsing the list of authors in PHP|architect or O'Reilly might prove impractical.
Those of you who work at this level, where do you go for work? And do you go for perm or freelance?
Please pass the question around to anyone who might be able to contribute to the conversation.
Headhunters? There are very few good agencies and, within them, very few good agents; it takes time and luck to find right people, and far, far too long to learn to exclude the timewasters.
Beyond that, ask yourself which company in your field does the best work? Who is most respected on the newsgroups and the websites relevant to the field? Is there a user group (like, say, the Perl Mongers)? It's worth pointing out that the very best developers will sooner or later get the job they always wanted at a salary that makes them want to stay there; you have a very narrow window of opportunity to capture one who is moving or thinking of moving.
As for me being one of the select few who work 'this level'... No. I'm good, but not at the very top of my field. Not, at least, in a company employing the leading MVP in my speciality.
But, FWIW, Goldman Sachs and Mother Merrill have the best tactical developers on their trading floor, with the hedge funds offering outrageous sums to poach whoever they can get. However, these small high-pressure outfits still have retention problems because they aren't always very pleasant places to work...
...So it occurs to me that you should find out which second-tier companies are poaching from the best ones, throwing silly money at a retention problem caused by their managerial and cultural failings, and go looking for people who've been there six months and found that the extra money isn't worth working with w^nkers.
1/ have somewhere they want to work (read peopleware and JoelOnSoftware.com - I've got loads of links to good articles)
2/ Make sure people know that you're doing it right, long term, a dev blog, or just public comments on your own LJ
3/ Get blogged about being such a great place to work.
4/ beat off anyone who isn't A+ grade, with a stick
I work for an IT consultancy company and we're having a LOT of trouble finding suitably qualified candidates!
It doesn't help that the MD of the company has wierd ideas about how to look for potentials (so far we're limited to Monster and hotonline as well as web-based searches) and that's it! We've been trying for about 2 months to get her to agree a trial period on Computer Weekly job board but our efforts have had roughly the same success rate as a chocolate teapot!
I suppose we're lucky in a way as we have offices round Europe so we swap and change engineers around, but we have so many different projects on at one time in so many different sectors it can prove incredibly frustrating!
And, of course, even if we think we've found the perfect candidate, if the client doesn't like them then we're back to the drawing board!!