So for some unknown and weird reason I was contacted last week by someone from recruiting on a company that shall remain nameless,
their intent wasn’t to hire me (or maybe it was, but they didn’t say it) but for me to give them advise on how to get in touch with
highly skilled Ruby developers in Europe. They mentioned that I apparently lived there at some point and also misspelled my first name,
which was really annoying.
I was bored today and felt like writing a response with some good advise, not really for their sake, but to try and help a bit
to create a good ecosystem for programmers to work on, what follows is my reply, which I wrote a moment ago. I will just paste it here
in the hope that it might be useful for other Recruiters. And maybe save myself a few emails in the future. :)
I’m sorry I took a long time to answer your email, it was weird receiving it. Allow me to point which parts of it didn’t make much sense before giving you some advice on how to get in touch with good Ruby developers. :)
I haven’t really ever been to Europe, ever, and I only very recently spent about two months in the USA, also, you misspelled my first name, which let me tell you is a pretty horrible selling point. You need to take care of that stuff, specially since most good Ruby developers are pretty spoiled from a really favorable (for us) market right now, and used to be treated as highly valuable people are. Be careful about the small details, most of us have at least mild OCD and tend to notice this stuff. It’s annoying.
On to the advice you need: If you want good developers there are some main things you need to do:
Make yourself present at conferences.
We really pay a lot of attention to them, and highly trained developers attend those conferences either as speakers or attendees, try sponsoring a few for a start, or pay for a drinkup for the conference attendees after the event is done, EuRuKo (the last European conference held in Amsterdam recently) was on every Ruby developer twitter feed, your logo being everywhere and you being nice to people will tell us the two main things we want to know from a company before joining it: you are willing to give back to the open source community and you are fun and relaxed to work with. That’s really important stuff.
Pinpoint developers from open source projects an reach out to them.
Do your research, find out about good open source code in github, who maintains it, who originally wrote it, who contributed, don’t do stupid stuff like trying to get the original creator of Ruby on Rails as a “Ruby developer”, people in the open source world tend to be above average programmers, mainly due to their code being public and peer reviewed by a lot of other developers, we all learn a lot from that experience and grow to be the strong technical people that you need.
People with passion for what they do that will the extra mile on their own free will, because we feel proud of our code and want our products to succeed, being a programmer is much like being a gardener, or an architect, or some other form of art, only (for me at least) better. Because we spawn things with our minds and hard work and to see our brainchilds succeed is one of the greatest sources of joy we find. You want people with that sort of passion.
Spoil your developers (maybe not that much, but at least a little)
For better or worse most good developers today are really spoiled by the companies hiring them, and we’ve grown used to that, because of that it is highly unlikely that me or any developer that is happy leaves his or her job, and it’s very likely that a developer who feels mistreated, be it lack of respect for his work, considering him/herself underpaid or whatever other such thing will leave fairly quickly for greener pastures. The market has need of us and we are used to it. It’s just a fact that companies need to deal with these days.
Allow remote work
This is unfortunately just a no-brainer for you, most developers have their lives and the possibility of working remotely. Having a distributed team introduces some difficulty in team management but also gives you a much larger pool of suitable candidates, specially highly skilled developers, they can work for good companies from home, if they can’t do so for your company they are likely to not be interested.
I think those are the main facts, of course they don’t particularly apply to European developers, but Asian, South American, you name it. Wish you the best of luck with your company. :)