Little Boy Hiding

How to Find the Best Software Developers

My wife posed the question, “How would you find you?”  In other words, if I wanted to hire software developers like me, where would I start?

Word of Mouth

The best way to find first-rate developers is through friends and acquaintances.  It short-circuits the ceremony around resumes, applicant tracking systems, and awkward blind interviews.

Job Posting

If you didn’t know me or anyone in my network, you’d create a job posting – an advertisement briefly describing your company and the ideal candidate.  Most job postings aren’t very good at getting me to submit a resume.

Job postings I will ignore

I tend to skip over listings that have:

  • Lots of words.  Please be succinct.  I get bored easily.
  • Buzzwords.  Team player, multi-tasker, self-starter.  What do these even mean?
  • Skill requirements.  Must know C#, JavaScript, SQL, React, etc.  This strikes me as shortsighted.  Will you forevermore be using these skills to build products?  Isn’t it likely you will be using different tools and languages a year from now?
  • Educational requirements.  Must have a Degree in XYZMust be certified in ABC.  So, you value test taking abilities and coloring within the lines?  Not for me.
  • Experience requirementsMust have 10+ years of experience.  Instead of an arbitrary number of years, tell me what types of experiences I should have.

My ideal job posting

Here at Moe’s Magnifications, our goal is to make the small appear larger!  We build software that helps the poorly sighted see clearer.

We realize that innovation is the lifeblood of any business, so we’ve built an R&D department that is a haven of creativity.  At M&Ms, you’ll get the tools you need and the freedom to master your craft.

We look for team members with the following characteristics:

  • Ingenuity.  Are you MacGyver?  Do you creatively solve problems using limited resources?
  • Curiosity.  Do you enjoy learning?  Not formal education, but the day-in and day-out hunt for new knowledge.
  • Communication.  Can you effectively express yourself in writing?
  • Think Different.  Do you have a unique perspective that you own and can defend?
  • A sense of humor.  Can you laugh about work, yourself, the world?

Interested?  Send us an email telling us a little about you.  Be sure to include examples of problems you enjoy solving and a story about when you were innovative.  We’ll send you a trial project.  If there’s a mutual vibe, we’ll make you an offer.

A good example

I like the code wrangler listing at Automattic.  It’s funny, direct, easy to consume.  I know exactly what they do and who they’re looking for. I don’t feel like I have to contort myself into some weird shape to get through the front door.


2 thoughts on “How to Find the Best Software Developers”

  1. When I applied at TASC, it was because the job posting listed that they needed someone that spoke fluent wookiee. I dont speak wookiee, lol, but it sparked interest.

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