Thoughts On Recruiting Developers

recruiting_developers_radar_chartHere in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the supply and demand of talent are both incredibly high, turning your crew of 2 nerds into 20 isn’t easy.

That being said, it’s not impossible.  I love this challenge.  And I want to share an approach that’s worked for me.

After years spent helping to build teams, I’ve noticed some clear patterns start to emerge from the questions that get asked during coffee shop conversations.  Every developer is a snowflake, but there certainly are some common things that come up again and again.

Specifically, I find that there are the eight things that smart developers are trying to evaluate.  My advice – before you sit down, first perform a brutal self-assessment about how your organization and your opportunity measure up on the following:

1. Company
2. Physical Space
3. Position
4. Product
5. People
6. Platform
7. Process
8. Pay

For each item, I’ll highlight the salient questions developers are rolling through during your pitch.  Make sure you have clear, concise answers for all of them.

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Reunion

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Alex, Steve, Marco

Fantastic time last night at Santana Row in San Jose with old high school friends Alex and Marco.  Haven’t seen these guys in a long time.

In a crowded outdoor setting, it’s easy to feel like an idiot for pulling out the big DSLR + flash.  But there are still some moments in your life when you should leave the iPhone in your pocket and use the real deal instead.

Stop Consuming, Start Creating

As the Facebook IPO approaches, I am reminded that it’s very easy to get caught up reading stories about other people’s wealth.  Millions here, millions there.

Seems you can’t open a web browser right now without getting absorbed in a tale about the insane amount of cash This Guy or That Girl is going to pull in on May 18.

I’m a voracious consumer of information, so this is as difficult for me as anyone.  But I also remind myself of the simple secret that every successful person I know has figured out:

This world rewards creators, not consumers.

Great people don’t talk about doing the work with status updates on Facebook.

Great people don’t read about doing the work on Hacker News.

They shut up and do the work.  

I humbly offer this blog post as a small reminder of what’s really important.

Look around for the closest pen and paper.

Write down what you want to get done today.

Then close the browser and get started.

Don’t worry – the web will still be here when you’re ready to come back to it.

But you’ll be a lot closer to your own personal happiness because you made that choice.

See you on the other side.

Markus Schulz + Jochen Miller + The Fans = Rotunda

At the ASOT 500 celebration in Buenos Aires last night, trance/progressive superstar Markus Schulz played a brand new track called Rotunda. “Rotunda” is a collaboration between Markus and fellow trance producer Jochen Miller.

With those two guys hooking up, you pretty much knew it was going to be a banger. Sure enough, it is. Markus + Jochen have delivered, big time. The crowd of 10,000 in Buenos Aires ate it up. And I’m eating it up, too. Classic 2011 trance anthem. Huge lead synth, fun little stabs and plucks here and there, and — naturally — a great build and climax.

The juicy part here, though, is the social media angle of this. Thanks to Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, electronic dance music fans were able to watch the creation happen in realtime and help shape what it eventually became.

Fellow artists need to watch and learn. This is how it’s done.

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