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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Inside the War For Top Developer Talent 238

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the where's-my-pony dept.
snydeq writes "With eight qualified candidates for every 10 openings, today's talented developers have their pick of perks, career paths, and more, InfoWorld reports in its inside look at some of the startups and development firms fueling the hottest market for coding talent the tech industry has ever seen. 'Every candidate we look at these days has an offer from at least one of the following companies: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Square, Pinterest, or Palantir,' says Box's Sam Schillace. 'If you want to play at a high level and recruit the best engineers, every single piece matters. You need to have a good story, compensate fairly, engage directly, and have a good culture they want to come work with. You need to make some kind of human connection. You have to do all of it, and you have to do all of it pretty well. Because everyone else is doing it pretty well.'"
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Inside the War For Top Developer Talent

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  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @04:17AM (#45581769) Journal

    The number one problem is many top brains burned too brightly and sometimes they burn out too fast

    I've been in the industry since the 1970's, have had worked with geniuses that could out-produce a contingent of code monkeys for any given task, and I've seen too many cases of burn-outs amongst those top brains

    • by gl4ss (559668) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @04:29AM (#45581793) Homepage Journal

      well one problem might be too that they're pretty much defining top talent as someone who has - or says - he has an offer from google,fb & or some other high name company...

      it's not like the offers are public anyways so anyone can claim anything they want in an interview to gain upper hand.

      • The way Google evaluates talent is pretty bad, and it's not an interesting company to work at unless all you're interested in is a stable income with lots of perks.

        They heavily suffer from NIH syndrome and are convinced that the technology they created (and they created software for pretty much anything) is the best in the world, even when it's painfully outdated. To get hired, you have to use the Google way of doing things to solve problrms. It's a monoculture.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @05:42AM (#45582001)

          it's not an interesting company to work at unless all you're interested in is a stable income with lots of perks.

          Yeah, I hate that. The last thing I want in this world is perks. Or income. Or stability.

          • by RoboJ1M (992925)

            Awful.

            *brushes up CV*

            More and more the evidence points to pack up, ship out and let rich corps fight over me.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @06:52AM (#45582163)

          Google does not suffer from the NIH syndrome at all. Everything their own people developed like labs, autonomous car, lively, knol, orkut, dodgeball, buzz, wave and basically everything else failed pretty miserably. Their succesful products have been bought from other companies: android, earth, maps, gmail, youtube etc.

          I think Google would be the first to admit they don't have the best people themselves and need outsiders for innovation. So far for the NIH syndrome.

          You are right about the completely broken hiring process. Their hiring process is probably pretty much the reason why everything they develop fails and why they need to buy other companies for innovation. The big question is: why do they stick with it?

          • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @08:47AM (#45582501) Journal

            IIRC Gmail was developed in-house as a "20% time" project.

            • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:49AM (#45582869)
              And the ad system. And pardon if I'm too blunt but doesn't the "miserable failure" that is their autonomous car actually drive safer than your average redneck behind the steering wheel these days? It's certainly a better driver than I am. Also, many less well known but still important things like the book scanning project evidently work. A lot of research went into digitization. And that's what got us Tesseract 3, if I'm not mistaken. Also, Chrome.
              • by tlhIngan (30335)

                And the ad system.

                Technically, they invented AdSense to combat the intrusiveness of then-contemporary ads.

                Of course, they realized doing ads better wasn't cutting it, and then proceeded to own all the other ad companies they felt were "doing it wrong" when they were conjuring up AdSense.

                With Google owning pretty much the entirety of online advertising, and a huge majority of mobile advertising, Google IS one of the biggest peddlers of those popups, popunders, deceptive and other ads.

                (Though, to Google's cre

          • by Nerdfest (867930)

            I seem to remember reading about them changing their hiring practices recently.

          • by russotto (537200)

            Google does not suffer from the NIH syndrome at all. Everything their own people developed like labs, autonomous car, lively, knol, orkut, dodgeball, buzz, wave and basically everything else failed pretty miserably. Their succesful products have been bought from other companies: android, earth, maps, gmail, youtube etc.

            OK, I'll feed the troll. The autonomous car is neither an initially in-house project nor a failure. Dodgeball was an acquisition. Gmail was not an acquisition. "Labs" wasn't a product at

        • Plus, they brainwash you into thinking that you're a rockstar programmer. But in the end, you're just creating boring office applications, while you could have been on the edge of technology in fields like high energy physics or medicine.

          • you could have been on the edge of technology in fields like high energy physics

            No jobs there.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          On what do you base those claims? Personal experience? There seems to be a lot of innovation coming out of Google, things like Glass, self-driving cars, Now, Android and so forth. Okay, all the developers can't be doing cutting edge stuff, but Google doesn't seem to be suffering from an exodus of bored employees.

          • The only one of those that is innovative is the self-driving cars and maybe glass (wearables aren't new...just less clunky now).

            • Android and, well, the entire mobile market, is innovative as the game boy color. Wow, a bigger screen, and faster too! How did you come up with such innovative ideas?

            • by Raenex (947668)

              The only one of those that is innovative is the self-driving cars and maybe glass (wearables aren't new...just less clunky now).

              Self-driving cars aren't "new" either, just better now. I still give Google credit for investing in cutting edge research, though I have no idea how self-driving cars fits into Google's business expertise.

              • Self-driving cars aren't "new" either, just better now.

                Presumably they're better, but nobody outside of the Google group working on it seems to know how much. I give them credit for working on advanced stuff (Sergey has the world's coolest hobby setup, and I think he made a few bucks too), but what they've published/announced so far is hype and PR, not useful data. 300k miles without an accident means little without knowing the test conditions, especially how often and under what circumstances the autopilot insisted on handing control back to the human.

            • That is subjective. Everything can be described as being "new" unless it is an exact copy of something else, and everything can also be described as being nothing new, it's just like x, but with y if you try hard enough.

              For example, stretching hard enough, autonomous cars aren't new because it's just a car with an airplane's autopilot.
              Or you can say it's new because they haven't been combined in that way before. Combinations usually bring they own set of problems, and require a new set of solutions, prett

          • by loufoque (1400831)

            It's based on my personal experience and that of other software engineers I know.
            You can also find online a variety of blogs from Google employees, including people who explained why they left.

        • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

          They heavily suffer from NIH syndrome and are convinced that the technology they created (and they created software for pretty much anything) is the best in the world, even when it's painfully outdated. To get hired, you have to use the Google way of doing things to solve problrms. It's a monoculture

          Examples or you're full of shit.

        • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:43AM (#45583495) Homepage Journal

          The way Google evaluates talent is pretty bad, and it's not an interesting company to work at unless all you're interested in is a stable income with lots of perks.

          Stable income, lots of perks... yep that's terrible :-)

          Actually, you forgot my favorite feature of working for Google: A complete lack of idiots. Everyone I work with -- right down to the facilities staff, amazingly enough -- is bright, focused, engaged and rational. In three years, working with hundreds of others (Google is highly collaborative), I found a single counterexample, and he's now gone.

          They heavily suffer from NIH syndrome and are convinced that the technology they created (and they created software for pretty much anything) is the best in the world, even when it's painfully outdated.

          NIH syndrome... maybe a little, but less than it might appear. It's absolutely true that pretty much all of the Google infrastructure is home-grown. Partly that's NIH, but I think mostly it's because there's fairly little software out there that can function at Google's scale. And even where there are now publicly-available tools that can do the job, they didn't exist when Google created its stuff, and it doesn't make sense to switch.

          Frankly, Google does have some pretty amazing tools, and I'm no wet-behind-the-ears pup who never saw what was in the world before joining Google, either; I had over 20 years as a professional software engineer when I started working for them. I went in expecting to roll my eyes regularly at all of the homegrown code that they could have just bought -- but frankly I don't see it much.

          I do see a fair number of places that an industrial RDBMS like Oracle or DB/2, could be used and that would be faster for transactional applications than bigtable et al, and more reliable and easier to manage than massively-sharded MySQL (Google uses a lot of massively-sharded MySQL). But I can also see that using a COTS RDBMS would reduce agility and might be hard to integrate into the rest of the infrastructure -- and might run into scalability problems. Google's own stuff runs into scalability limitations, but at least we can fix it.

          Outside of that... for dev tools Google uses pretty much the standard open source suite. For massive-scale process management, there just isn't anything out there to compete with borg, or the rest of Google's cluster management suite. I interviewed with a company that builds somewhat similar software, and so did some research on that space... and there's just nothing remotely like borg. Dremel, Borgmon/Monarch, Critique... same story.

          For version control, Google uses Perforce, a commercial product, and about the only thing out there that could handle a multi-terabyte codebase which receives thousands of commits per day -- how many code repositories measure their performance in commits per second? However, I understand that Google has had to customize it extensively.

          So, on NIH... not so much. Google engineers rarely look outside the company for stuff, but it's because they rarely need to, and if they do need something that none of the available tools can handle, there is rarely anything outside that could work.

          To get hired, you have to use the Google way of doing things to solve problems.

          Not sure what you're talking about there. To get hired you have to solve some pretty standard types of CS problems.

          • by Frankie70 (803801)

            For version control, Google uses Perforce, a commercial product, and about the only thing out there that could handle a multi-terabyte codebase which receives thousands of commits per day -- how many code repositories measure their performance in commits per second? However, I understand that Google has had to customize it extensively.

            Strangely, Microsoft also uses Perforce. They have the source code & it's heavily modified. It's called source depot in Microsoft. I absolutely love Perforce as compared t

      • The people in charge of hiring at the big companies know some of the other recruiters and can actually fact check.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Which is not allowed. IIRC Google, Apple et al have been convicted of fixing the software engineering job market,

    • by AuMatar (183847) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @04:32AM (#45581807)

      Managing burnout is a skill a developer needs to learn as he gets older. I can burn hot for a few days. I did a charity hackathon not too long ago where I coded for 24hrs straight to finish the project in that weekend. But I can't do that every day, or even every weekend. A developer needs to learn when to question or refuse a deadline, and recognize when he needs to take it in a lower gear for a few days. With careful observation burnouts just become small productivity lulls because they're taken care of sooner, and your long term useful life is longer.

      Good management will look out for this too, and see when a dev needs to be given easy tasks for a few days, or needs to find other resources to help them out. Open lines of communication and a good relationship between the dev and the direct manager are almost necessary for this to work.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @04:57AM (#45581879)

        Question a deadline?! You're fired!! Mandatory unemployment will cure your burnout. Is that line of communication open enough for you yet?

        Good relationship between manager and slave? What universe do you think you live in?

        • by gmclapp (2834681)
          If you're handled that way, you need to find a better job. If you're good enough you can get away with a lot before they'll fire you. And, if it turns out taking it slow for a few days after a project makes you more productive in the long run, a good manager will key on that and even require it. Your productivity is his/her success. Every employer I've ever had has given me a very long leash because they know I'm a hard worker and I won't hang myself with it.
        • Things are a lot nicer in Silly Valley jobs. Sounds like you've been working in the real world, which is indeed a hellhole.

          • Things are a lot nicer in Silly Valley jobs. Sounds like you've been working in the real world, which is indeed a hellhole.

            The real world is what you make of it. I work in South Florida which is a crappy place when it comes to tech jobs, but even here one can handle a career intelligently to avoid such situations. In 18 years of work in software, I've only had to deal with a horrible work environment once, and only for 6 months. And stayed there and sucked it up the horror of it because it was the expedient thing to do. By the time my contract was coming to an end, I was already prepared (again, pro-activity), and shortly after

        • I question deadlines all the time it usually goes like this.

          Management: Can you finish it by then?
          Me: Yes, but you will incur a large amount of overtime. {My Dept. gets paid overtime which is uncommon so I sometimes have to remind them.}
          Management: Oh, well let's push it out a couple days.

        • Question a deadline?! You're fired!!

          Speak for yourself. There are jobs like that out there, but the onus is on "you" (the generic "you") to develop a career that avoids such situations. If you manage your career wisely, such jobs, while unavoidable, they become the exception rather than the norm.

          Mandatory unemployment will cure your burnout.

          Even during the dot-com bubble, if you really have (or had) to continuously suck it up like that to bad working conditions to avoid unemployment, in the field of software to boot, you are doing something wrong with your career buddy.

          Is that line of communication open enough for you yet?

          When that happens,

      • by Nerdfest (867930) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @07:22AM (#45582219)

        After coming of a 2+ year project quite burnt, I think even more than the silly hours, it's the environment and management that causes burn-out. I was quite happy to work at 'over 100%' fro long stretches, but was affected when poor management, politics, and bad corporate culture came into play. The other developers seemed to be affected similarly. There is still a limit to haw hard and long you can work of course, but the conditions make a huge difference.

        • Gotta love how these recruiters and employers screen so badly and allow office politics, greed, and silly prejudices to blind them to what's right in front of their noses. This insistence on "top" talent is one of the prejudices.

          Then, as you say, they drive talent away with ridiculously harsh and thoughtless demands, threats, pushing, and bullying.

          They could find talent, if they wanted to. They're good at coming up with excuses why they can't do it. They can't be bothered to train people either, not

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This article is about the San Francisco Area.

      In the tech-crazed San Francisco Bay Area, it exceeds $110,000.

      IN SF, $110,000 is SHIT pay. For me to move to SF from Metro Atlanta and keep my lifestyle, I would need a minimum of $250,000 per year. Don't BS me about the cost of living or you can much cheaper living 90 minutes away.

      And if it's a startup (I don't give a rat's ass about the "track record" of the entrepreneurs - one hit wonders), their doors will be closed within the year.

      Stock options?! Ahahahahaha!

      Of course, I have been around the block a few times and th

      • This article is about the San Francisco Area.

        In the tech-crazed San Francisco Bay Area, it exceeds $110,000.

        IN SF, $110,000 is SHIT pay. For me to move to SF from Metro Atlanta and keep my lifestyle, I would need a minimum of $250,000 per year. Don't BS me about the cost of living or you can much cheaper living 90 minutes away.

        And if it's a startup (I don't give a rat's ass about the "track record" of the entrepreneurs - one hit wonders), their doors will be closed within the year.

        Stock options?! Ahahahahaha!

        Of course, I have been around the block a few times and that's why the SF people prefer young and naive programmers - i.e. Less than 30 years old.

        Bingo. That's the reason I decided not to move to SF. I was interviewing aggressively with several companies, but did the math. I needed to make $250K... and my wife had to make about the same just for the both of us to buy a house that I can buy in South Florida (not a cheap real state market) with just my salary alone.

        Companies like Google and FB provide good perks, and they are great if one is willing to sacrifice a lot of other commodities like home space and such. It is too bad that the real state s

  • I must be drunk (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

    I must be drunk because I could have sworn the title to this story was "Inside the War for Top Developer Taint."

    More Dice influence?

  • Rubbish. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @05:16AM (#45581925)

    1) This sort of data isn't easy to verify - if there's one thing my experience in recruitment has taught me, it's that a lot of people outright lie, exaggerate, or have a completely distorted opinion of the truth. For example, some of my "I've worked for Google" candidates have, on further exploration, been "I've worked for a company which had a contract with Google";

    2) As my physics teacher, who once worked at NASA, put it (metaphorically - he wasn't a toilet cleaner),: "Even NASA needs people to clean their toilets". A big organisation is very likely to have some wonderful talent, but don't expect everyone at that organisation to be amazing. Indeed, for most positions, it's more important to have someone who fits in than it is to have an outstanding performer. You're NOT there to change the world, but to do a little bit of some bigger thing in a yet larger overall plan, and in most cases your creativity will not be exercised nearly to its full potential. The really bright people will thrive in a research position - and you'll find them in academia, in IBM, and even in Microsoft - but not in Pinterest, lol;

    3) To follow on from that, "top talent" doesn't equate to a job offer from a major company. That just means you've succeeded in the interview process, which means you were well prepared for the interview process. It doesn't mean you've achieved anything. In the UK, about 50% of people who get into Oxbridge were educated privately (present company included). Yet the interviews are designed to teach potential, and obviously people who went to private school aren't inherently brighter - they're just better prepared. Never underestimate "cultural" bias in an interviewer.

    tl;dr Someone who claims to have worked at a well-known brand isn't necessarily brilliant, nor even entirely honest. They will absolutely have desirable qualities for a major corporation, but these qualities may not be what you think they are.

    • Re:Rubbish. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by serviscope_minor (664417) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @07:17AM (#45582211) Journal

      and even in Microsoft

      "even" microsoft :)

      I'm no MS fan as my post history will surely indicate, but they have one of the top computer science research departments worldwide. It is up there with the best universities.

      But yeah, not pinterest.

      In the UK, about 50% of people who get into Oxbridge were educated privately (present company included). Yet the interviews are designed to teach potential, and obviously people who went to private school aren't inherently brighter - they're just better prepared. Never underestimate "cultural" bias in an interviewer.

      I'm not in that system any more. But I know quite a lot about it and it's always sad when some wanker of a politician rags on at Oxbridge for not getting enough state educated people.

      The interviewers do interview for talent. They try really, really, really hard. Most of them are very egalitarian and know that talent can come from anywhere. One of the best things is when you have a bright student and get the chance to being out his or her potential.

      But it's really, really hard because people from the worse schools are years behind. Not just in knowledge but worse in study skills: they don't yet even know how to self start and learn well yet. The courses start hard and fast, way way more intense than secondary education and people missing the crucial skills risk falling so far behind that it's almost impossible to catch up. Nevertheless the do get admitted and it's often a big burden and may add a substantial extra amonut of teaching load to that yeargroup. That means there isn't usually really any budget so the tutors just kind of do extra on the side for no pay.

      And the politicians still complain, which is a real kick in the teeth. Fortunately they all believe politicians are idiots and the rantings of a fool aren't enough to stop them doing the right thing.

    • At least for the first point, there's a level of digging you still need to do beyond the point you bring up. As an example of why you need to dig further, I have a friend who has worked as a contractor at one of the leading pharmaceutical companies for around 10 years. He's at the pharma company 5 days a week, and at the consulting firm once every 2 or 3 weeks for a few hours. He can tell you more about the pharma company's business practices than he can about the consulting firm. He has more friends in the
  • Rockstar (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @05:34AM (#45581975)

    I'm looking for a rockstar developer!!!

    You need to have 5 years experience (of a 4 years old) technology.

    And you need to be very cheap.

  • by quietwalker (969769) <pdughi@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @05:53AM (#45582015)

    I remember prepping for interviews where there were 30 applicants for every opening, and each of us competed for low pay, a random grab-bag of on-site 'non financial incentives', with zero focus on the work environment or corporate culture, and where your only chance to stick out was to make a strong human connection.

    Now it's shifted the other direction, but devs - don't be lax. If you're any good, you've already been approached by at least 3-4 recruiters a week via phone & email. Do not blow these people off. In a few years, they could be your best friends. Write a short letter that includes that sentiment: Sorry, not now, but please keep me in mind when a position pops up, because my situation may change It doesn't hurt to ask them if you can forward it on to friends or ex-coworkers who may find it interesting either; it increases their interest in you, and most companies provide referral bonuses even to folks outside their company structure - I usually cash in 2 or so of these a year. I like to ask them too, what their focus is - for example, some look more for admin and general IT, some for java or C# devs, some for embedded devs, and so on so I can send them good candidates.

    Once you have a list of non-robotic/non-spam real actual recruiters in your area, when someone you know does indicate they're looking for a job, play matchmaker. Send them to the folks on your list. Tell the recruiters to expect to hear from so-and-so. Grow the professional relationship.

    It's not just about the occasional free lunch. Once, when I was part of a large contract for a company, there was an emergency meeting as our contract had been cancelled out of the blue, and some 200+ of us were effectively laid off. We all shuffled into a big meeting hall to hear about COBRA insurance and such, and after the first 15 minutes, one of the recruiters comes over to me and says, "Oh, you don't have to worry about this stuff; they still need 2-3 folks, and you're one of them. Technically you'll be unemployed for a week and a half, but we got you a pay raise and more vacation time. No need to interview, we're just shifting you over. Congrats!"

    Sure, without my technical skill, I wouldn't have been considered, but out of the some 100 or so with that same skillset in the group of 200, they picked me because they knew me personally. I had brought them 3 new hires, and about 5-6 potentials that didn't get hired. When we had lunch meetings, we spoke about the employment environment, and what it looked like from our perspectives so they could better market jobs. When they had candidates, I made myself available to answer working environment questions, things like that.

    Basically, I had value to them more than just the contract, and they knew it. So my name was at the top of the list when it came time to hand out the more rewarding jobs or christmas bonuses.

    So the tl;dr: Software devs would do well to nurture your relationship with recruiters, because it could pay off in the long run.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @07:27AM (#45582229)

      WTF is this? Some kinda of recruiter fellatio?

      Like a recruiter cares if you sent them a nice email years ago? If you go through a recruiter you can expect that to be 10-30% of your salary going to them. No one picked you, they sold you. You are a commodity to a recruiter, you dumbass.

      Why does shit like this get modded up?

      That story doesnt even make sense. Contract workers with COBRA and vacation time and in-house recruiters?

      $100k that this poster is a recruiter or has a significant other who is one. Or they're just trolling to start the day.

      • I got recruiter placed once. Yes, they got 30% of my salary as a referral fee. I also got 30+% of my annual salary as a relocation benefit, in exchange for a 2 year commitment. And my annual salary was a match for my previous annual salary plus better benefits.

        The real kicker - the company wouldn't have paid me any higher salary if I had come to them direct somehow... not that that was a terribly likely scenario with how their HR structure worked.

        In the event that two equivalent candidates present, one v

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by quietwalker (969769)

        Wow, so much vitrol, so much lack of understanding.

        It's okay to be ignorant. Lots of devs are, even ones that have been in the industry for a good long while.

        Letsee ....

        1) Contracting companies make money off you
        Yes, but that's just sour grapes - if you accepted the contract at the rates and benefits given, then, you accepted it.

        2) They're charging x% more than you're making! You should be making that much
        You sound like someone who's never done independent contra

    • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)

      approached by at least 3-4 recruiters a week via phone & email. Do not blow these people off. In a few years, they could be your best friends

      You should always blow these people off. They're parasites and "in a few years" most of them will have failed and will be failing at something else, like selling real estate or SEO marketing or astroturfing for a PR firm.

      Your professional contacts will provide the overwhelming majority of job leads. If you're competent and don't burn bridges you'll never run out of

      • They get paid for placing people. So, yes, they want to find you a job. And, yes, there's a lot of turnover. And, yes, past colleagues are a great place to get jobs. That said, it doesn't hurt to maintain cordial relations with a few recruiters who seem competent and aren't obviously douchey/annoying. They're just one tool in the job-finding toolkit.
  • ...offering employment contracts which don't bind employees in intellectual slavery. Some employers - especially tech employers - lay claim to every thought, word and deed of value that the employee creates during his term of employment - even if done in his own time and on his own dime.

  • Funny how attracting the top talent only requires you to compensate *fairly*, not "well" or "very well", just fairly.

    Does this mean that the strategy for hiring "average" talent involves compensating unfairly?

    • Does this mean that the strategy for hiring "average" talent involves compensating unfairly?

      In my life experience, yes.

      Lots of unfair compensation going on out there - it might not be the "average", but I wouldn't be surprised if it covers the median.

    • No, attracting average talent also requires compensating "fairly". However, "fairly" will mean something different for someone of average talent. "Fairly" is more or less "the minimum compensation needed to fill a position with the caliber of candidate you're looking to hire". If an employer is offering a level of compensation that's "less than fair" then he will, by definition, not be able to fill a position with the caliber of employee he'd like to hire.
  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @08:40AM (#45582463)

    With eight qualified candidates for every 10 openings

    To me that means that the companies are being far too selective and / or not using screening methods that reflect positive employment outcomes.

    .
    As google's selection process [redorbit.com] has shown, rejecting qualified candidates just because they do not do well on some obscure testing hurdles is not the way to find qualified candidates.

  • by NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @08:42AM (#45582475)
    Funny, that's not my experience up here in the north east. What I basically find is there's 3 or 4 jobs that every recruiter tries to drop on me. (Which makes for very short conversations.) I think I've been asked about 1 company from at least 5 interviewers.(I interviewed there and didn't like it btw.)
    • Funny, that's not my experience up here in the north east.

      Ditto, and I'm also in the Northeast (Long Island). The one bright spot I'm familiar with is NYC (Manhattan really, and maybe a few parts of Brooklyn). My brother was out of work for a long time and found a pretty good job there (mostly high level security work - funny how people who move billions of dollars around are touchy about that). The commute sucks, but it beats unemployment.

      • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:04AM (#45583017)

        Oops, forgot my main point. One of the most annoying and counterproductive things about Silicon Valley is its provincialism. They seem to be unaware of any part of the US outside of the Bay Area. Ironically, this is the exact opposite of the SV image of being cosmopolitan (or even "globalized", whatever the hell that means). It's also at odds with the way people talk about having broken down communication barriers. Do they think the only places the Internet is connected are the Bay Area and India? There are lots of smaller tech hubs in the US (e.g. Pittsburgh) where you can get top people much easier and cheaper than in SV. Why do these geniuses seem to ignore that?

        I know some of the big companies, like Google, have facilities all over, but how much do they actually use them for "core development"? In the case of Google I honestly don't know, and any solid information would be appreciated.

  • There are top developers everywhere, not just in SF or Seattle or NY. But not everyone wants to work at giant companies, some would rather work for a small team that does great work but doesn't burn itself out. Some people like living in smaller towns. Some people want a life outside of a job as well. Some would prefer working in a startup where they can make a huge difference and do something amazing. I think a lot of those companies aren't any better at evaluating talent than anyone else and often succeed
    • Amazing as it sounds, it's not the technology that wins, it's marketing. For example, ear phones on a music player is nothing new. But put a go-go dancer on a some street dancing/walking to music that only she hears, and one has the iPod.

      From the 1900's, in New York there were steak houses everywhere. A successful marketing person said, "Don't sell the steak, sell the sizzle."
  • by Murdoch5 (1563847) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @08:59AM (#45582555)
    I actually think the best talent comes from the programmers who don't advertise themselves. The coders coming out of university / college generally can't program very well at all, well you do find a diamond in the rough it's not common. I'd rather interview a programmer who doesn't have a flashy resume and doesn't try to show off his coding ability because it's often the case that these kind of programmers are the best to have around.
    • by Frankie70 (803801)

      I'd rather interview a programmer who doesn't have a flashy resume and doesn't try to show off his coding ability because it's often the case that these kind of programmers are the best to have around.

      This sort of sounds like the method George Costanza uses to select a student to give an academic scholarship to in an episode of Seinfeld.

      GEORGE: Ladies and gentlemen, this (Opens the door, Steven is standing there) is Steven Koren. His G.P.A. is a solid 2.0! Right in that meaty part of the curve - not showin

      • by Murdoch5 (1563847)
        That is a hilarious episode! However it does bring up a good point, grades and marks are toilet paper in general. I've seen programmers who are on the honour roll, who have great theoretical code, follow all "best" practices and at the end of the day suck at programming. I've had to throw out code at the end of the day because it wasn't unusable. I had one guy to come to me with no post secondary schooling and simply asked for a job, I asked him to sit down for a day and write code! At the end of the d
  • Edison vs. Tesla; I seem to recall that it sucked to be Tesla.

    How would the 3 Laws of Robotics created by the Taliban work?
  • Jokes aside as how 50% of the world things software testers are monkeys bashing on a keyboard and another 40% think we're just game testers with no degrees. Where's the cry for talented software testers? It's reached the point that developers are far easier to get than a good software tester. The number of bugs that are openly visible in software is ridiculous as people tell companies to push rapidly & push often and let their customers find the bugs :(.
    • by plopez (54068)

      Finding bugs is bad for "top talented" programmers salaries. So it's best not to have people who can reallly find bugs including designing tests for deep bugs or process bugs.

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