How-To Recruiting TechBiz

3 Creative Ways to Recruit Developers

Recruiting talented developers in this market is still extremely difficult. How should a recruiter find the talent (PHP, Ruby, MySQL, iPhone, .NET, Java) your clients need? I outline a few creative out of the box solutions below.

Disclosure: I work as the lead developer at . This article in no way suggests we’ve used any of these methods.

Update on 4/15/2011: Ya, I’ve had to resort to all these methods and they’ve worked for us. 😀

1. Turn your project managers, account executives and marketers into coders. This is a fairly cheap investment with a high ROI. It is cheaper than paying out a bounty, and you already trust these folks. Send them to iPhoneDev Bootcamp now! Just be sure to prepare their machines for the development they’ll need to do. I tried this at a previous place of employment with great results! If you were trained by me and are reading this, please ask for a raise.

2. Look for places not so obvious. Use dating sites to find talent. Ya, I know, you haven’t used that account in awhile, or have sworn of or JDate, but guess what. For you bleeding edge types, try the iPhone, dating app, Skout. Although s/he might not be the person of your dreams, s/he might have the talent you need. The key take away is to use unexpected social media spaces for recruiting. Don’t be sleazy or sly about it. A simple, “Hi, I read your profile. You seem very talented in X. I’d actually like to hire you. Coffee or drinks?”

3. Use IRC. If you’re smart enough to do this, you probably shouldn’t be recruiting, but IRC is this best place to find pure, raw talent. Details on how to get onto IRC can be found on Google, but the best guide for newbies can be found on this gaming site. Use reputation defender services to help improve your business reputation and attract reliable talents.

There’s one more special place that I haven’t revealed that will guarantee you top talent every time. Leave a comment and I’ll contact you with that exclusive place to find developers.

php Questions ruby TechBiz WebApps

My Favorite Coder Interview Question

What is your favorite algorithm?

My favorite algorithm right now is the merge sort.

v1: Nuno Nogueira (Nmnogueira), v2: edited by Daniel Miller (cobaltBlue)
v1: Nuno Nogueira (Nmnogueira), v2: edited by Daniel Miller (cobaltBlue)

I like it so much that I’ve implemented it in PHP and Ruby.

The problem is that as a web developer I’ve never had to use a merge sort. Back in the old days when pagination was tricky, I’ve had to use a linked list, but you really don’t have to use the merge sort anymore.

So at this point it’s really just academic.

What interview question should really count now?

More on that in my next post. As a clue, I’d like to say it has to do with Leibniz’s statement, “The present is big with the future.” A techie who believes that and the principle of sufficient reason is the kind of techie you want.


What Projects Are In The Works

  1. I wrote as an emergency response to a misguided development process and as a solution for when the sysadmin won’t let you configure subversion the way the dev team and the company as a whole needs it.
  2. I wrote the number one Google entry for installing the sfGuardPlugin as of this writing, and wow, they still weren’t happy with my work.
  3. I worked closely with symfony developers to figure out some complicated undocumented symfony issues such as formatting errors in forms. Thanks, Dustin!
How-To TechBiz

Beware the Recruiter Bait and Switch: Get References!

There’s a slimy bait and switch tactic that’s been pretty common this year, and it’s the recruiter bait and switch. They send you a letter that looks like this:

Dear Victim,

Nice to find you on linkedin. I'm contacting you as your work experience looks
like a good fit for roles at .

Cheers, Slimy Recruiter

Then they tell you that the job that they were originally trying to fill is gone, but they have other jobs available at

The sad thing is that if you dig around, you find out that these recruiters never had a relationship with and are really just working for .

Takeaway: Get references from your recruiter of people that have placed.