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Looking for advice on where to find software engineers

On 01/27/2011 01:01 PM, Mark Woodward wrote:
> On 01/27/2011 12:00 PM, discuss-request-mNDKBlG2WHs at wrote:
> As a software engineer who is currently looking for a good gig, I wish 
> there were "a" place. There isn't. At my last position, I was 
> interviewing people looking for good engineers, and some were good, but 
> management didn't like them, and the ones management wanted were dolts. 
> So we kept looking.

Management being able to identify talent is definitely part of the
problem, but Managers may have other criteria that you as a geek are not
considering.  It's not always Managers being clue-bereft.

> In my view, I think the role and job of "software engineer," is in the 
> process of extreme change. Some people like the changes and others do 
> not. Extreme programing, pair programming, and agile, to name a few, 
> alter the way in which software is developed around a more social model. 
> Old timers like me, and hard core hackers, not always, but frequently 
> find these approaches stressful and distracting. My experience with 
> "extreme programming" and "team rooms" left a bad taste in my mouth. 

I think the companies that are "going Agile" are still well in the
minority.  As we've mentioned before, though, there are a lot of
companies doing it very badly, which is much worse than not at all.

> People burn out quickly. Personalities become more important than 
> ability. Really bright people may not fit in the social atmosphere. You 
> end up spending a lot more "close" time with people whom may not be your 
> first choice for social interaction. A bad see can affect the whole team 
> quickly.

This is more true than it used to be, Agile or not.  Software Engineers,
who often had the ability (once they've proved themselves) to say "Tell
me what you want and then leave me alone", or even "I know what you want
so leave me alone", are now being integrated into more of the SDLC, and
having to interface with non-geeks much more.  For me this is a most
excellent trend, but I recognize for many it sucks.

> After the programming environment issue, is the oh too specific search 
> criteria. 

The opposite is also true.  Trust me good Software Engineers will NOT
respond to ads that don't give basic information.  If you want
responses, you have to include that information.  Take the OP's email,
for instance.  All we know is "some company" is looking for developers
who work with "linux".  There's no mention of what languages the
developer needs to work in, geographical area, full-time or contract,
level of developer you're looking for...

> Its hard to find good people who do good work and fit into your 
> organization. I don't think it matters much where you look. I think it 
> matters more that you look for people who have proven to be flexible and 
> capable, especially those who can adapt and apply themselves in new 
> ways. Those are the people you want if you want to do something interesting.

I wish more companies did that.

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