Archive for the ‘Hiring Developers’ category

Software Engineer Salaries Exposed

October 19th, 2014

Hiring software engineers? Get ready to pay big salaries as demand continues to soar.

Gigaom, a leading blog dedicated to emerging technologies recently released data that sheds light on the most popular technology skill sets. They aggregated data from Payscale surveys on the top seven job descriptions associated with a software coding languages. The languages included iOS, Android, Node.js, Java, Python, .Net and JavaScript. Not surprisingly, the highest paid developers are those that build apps for Apple’s iOS with a principal software engineer earning on average $128,250 per year.

Mean software engineer salaries by title and skill

In addition to exploring trends in salaries for different programming languages, Gigaom also examined data comparing software engineer salaries across major cities in the US. It’s no surprise that the Bay Area ranked #1 in salaries. The nearest competitor to Bay Area was Seattle which still trails the Bay by nearly 15% comparatively. The most surprising find in the survey likely opened some old wounds for the tech community in New York City where software engineer salaries are nearly 25% less than in the Bay Area. Sorry Gotham. Or, should I say congratulations?

Average software engineer salaries by city

For folks that are interest in exploring more on software engineer salaries, visit  On this site, they’ve created a dataset made possible with salary survey data from Payscale. A selection of skills were compared for mean, average and top salaries.

The Ins and Outs of Hiring a Developer

November 15th, 2013

how to hire a coderIn business, hiring a software or app developer can be a critical decision. Whether you’re hiring for just one project or for ongoing work, developers / coders / programmers are key to bringing digital visions into reality.  For example, when entrepreneur Mike Lemovitz wanted to create a holiday app, he turned to the freelancer hub site to search for a developer to do the job.

The Perks and Pitfalls of Freelance Developers

TheNextWeb covered the process in detail in their recent article. Lemovitz’s idea was simple: to create an app that would allow parents to have their children to send a message to Santa and also keep track of the good deeds they were doing. He made the app’s graphics himself in Photoshop and proceeded to post his job description on Elance.

Within minutes, Lemovitz received proposals from developers around the world. Bids ranged from just a few hundred to a few thousand dollars from developers with a variety of experience levels. He responded to a Chinese developer with a great portfolio and lots of positive feedback on Elance, and they were chatting on Skype within two hours of his posting. They eventually settled upon a price of $800 for the project paid in $200 installments at specific “milestones.” Lemovitz had hired his developer.

A New App is Born — Eventually

Within just two days the developer had the first version of the app ready to test. Lemovitz was thrilled — but this is about when the hiccups started. Some slight misunderstandings about procedures and money ensued, possibly due to a bit of a language barrier. The developer seemed to want to be paid before each milestone was reached, and at the end briefly held the project’s code “hostage” in exchange for a 5-star feedback rating. The project ended well and Lemovitz had his app two weeks later, but he also learned a lot about the potential pitfalls of hiring and working with developers.

Some considerations that can help you with the developer selection process include:

1. Portfolio

In app and sofware development, experience and proven success is key. Browse the developer’s portfolio and see what they’ve produced so far. Is their style and vibe a “fit” for your project(s)?

2. Recommendations

Ask for recommendations and feedback about the developer. Talk to past clients (if possible) and ask if they were satisfied with both the development process and the final result.

3. Find a Fit

If your developer will be working in-house, make sure they will be a “fit” for the culture of your company. For example, a developer who has mainly worked with small startups may not fare well at an established financial institution.

4. Start Small

Even if you’re hoping to hire for an ongoing relationship, start them out with a basic, non-critical project to get a sense of what they will be like to work with. Look for work ethic, creativity, communication, efficiency, and how they handle the unexpected.

5. Payment and Additional Work

Be clear about payment terms up front and get it in writing. Your contract should cover every base, including how bug fixes, graphics alterations and any other changes will be handled in terms of both time frame and payment.

Should All New Hires Know How to Code?

June 10th, 2013

hiring developersHR professionals need to constantly evaluate the standards by which they judge potential recruits for their firms, especially when it comes to all things digital. For hiring managers and recruiters working in the areas of digital media, marketing and the tech space, an emerging question is whether all new hires should know how to code, or at least be a little bit savvy with computer programming.

It does make sense that hiring managers should know how to look for this ability, even if they are hiring a person for an open position in a very different field, because nowadays, everything does boil back down to the basics of coding.

Unfortunately, programming knowledge and skills are decidedly lacking amongst college graduates in the United States, and bosses in tech firms are becoming less likely to hire those who don’t understand computer programming, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article by Kirk McDonald, president of PubMatic, a Manhattan ad tech company. McDonald points out that high school students in the U.S. are being educated in a school system with eight times as many football teams as schools that offer advanced placement classes in computer science.

At the university level, McDonald notes, 40,000 students are expected to graduate with a B.A. in computer science, while experts predict that companies will establish 120,000 jobs requiring this type of training, which means that there will only be enough graduates to fill one-third of computer science-related positions.

McDonald doesn’t mean to imply that all students need to become hard-core programmers. He suggests that at the very least, students should learn the basics of programming so that they can understand the principles of computer coding in the course of their non-computing jobs.

For example, a recent hire is meeting with a client who wants to know how long it will take to complete a digital project. Without a fundamental grasp of the work that programmers and engineers do, the hire will not be able to give the client a good answer and will have to settle for guessing, which isn’t good for anyone.

Even people who work in sales, marketing or other relatively non-technical departments should familiarize themselves with basic computer language skills.

As a recruiter, you are advised to determine whether your job candidates know at least something about the logic and grammar of computer languages, so they will be able to see their work flow in context.


What Career Should You Choose?

May 30th, 2013


What Career Should I Choose

What Career Should I Choose

Looking to change careers? Want to predict your growth and earning potential? If so, check out this interactive chart from Rasmussen College that will help your analyze your options. It organizes occupations into four quadrants based on salary, anticipated growth, and number of jobs available

The data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of April 2013). You can research each occupation by clicking on the dot.

Give it a whirl at Rasmussen College’s What Career Is Right for Me? page.

The Hiring Sciences Hunch

You may want to consider avoiding the following career paths.

  • Air Traffic Controller, Postal Service Employee, Millwrights, Railroad Operators

And, if you are undecided or looking to reinvent yourself consider the following professions.

  • Software Developer. Veterinarian, Biochemist, Physical Therapist, Financial Planner

I wonder where corporate recruiter fits into the mix. What do you think? Is recruiting a viable profession?

Do Software Developers Need Talent Agents?

April 30th, 2013

hiring star developersIn locations such as Silicon Valley where the best developers and programmers are often treated like rock stars, recruiters are starting to find that they sometimes have to deal with their agents instead of negotiating directly with them as potential employees. That’s right: Programmers now have agents like movie stars and directors, according to a new report by ABC News.

The report notes that competition for programmers has increased so much, they have their own talent agency. Altay Guvench, a programmer and musician came up with the idea to launch a talent agency called 10x Management after observing how music managers helped their musician clients find work. The term “10 X programmer” refers to a programmer who is ten times as productive than ordinary programmers, and only programmers and developers of this caliber are represented by the agency.

It makes sense that programmers now have agents helping them further their careers, given that a star coder can have such a major impact on a startup or an established project, much in the same way that a top notch director or actor can jump start a production and almost guarantee enormous sales at the box office.

Although the world of high tech doesn’t function in exactly the same way as show business, an agency model can be useful for helping growing companies quickly land the programming talent they need for their projects.

HR professionals may find it unusual to negotiate with an agent rather than directly with a prospective employee, but for some, the agency is making a difference in helping them get up to speed with the talent they need to ensure the success of their project.

The emergence of an agency such as 10 x Management only serves to underscore that the world of hiring high tech employees is evolving. While relying on talent agents to deliver excellent programmers may seem like the next best thing, the standard recruiting process still has plenty to offer.

However, companies need to keep up with finding new talent in a number of different fronts. This includes making sure that their recruitment process takes advantage of all forms of social media, for example, in an effort to reach out to the most elusive of the talented software professionals. This means turning to sites such as Twitter and using blogs to get out the word instead of simply relying on LinkedIn and Facebook. Recruiters also should verify that their online recruitment applications and careers sites should be quick to access and easy to fill out, to avoid turning off prospective candidates.

While it might take some getting used to, the advent of talent agents for programmers and developers may mean that recruiters need to present their companies in the most positive light to attract the rock star talent they need to thrive. Job  postings and careers sites must accurately convey a brand, and potential candidates need to be treated with courtesy and respect through all phases of the recruitment process.

New Tools For Hiring Talented Developers

April 23rd, 2013

tips for hiring developersNo matter where they are in the world, hiring managers have a tough job finding good developers. In Silicon Valley the task is particularly difficult, given the fast-paced, competitive environment.

One of the biggest challenges is just finding top notch developers at the right price who aren’t already inundated with employment offers, and then setting up meetings to determine if they would work well in your team. After this, you have to verify that the developer can actually do a good job at the task at hand: coding. Recruiting developers like this can be an arduous task that can last several weeks for a hiring manager.  And more often than not, just when it seems like you’ve found a great developer, you run into a snag and have to start the process all over.

This is where a new code editor called Codassium can make the hiring process much easier, as was recently reported on in TechCrunch. Codassium combines live video chatting with collaborative code editing.

Some developers are already accustomed to fielding requests to code on demand during the recruitment process. An interviewer might ask an applicant to code something to provide some new functionality to an existing project, for example, to see how well he or she understands the fine points. You might ask a developer how to improve something or to simply fix some broken code right in the office, evaluating performance under the fire of an intense interview.

The logistics of checking out a developer’s abilities can be a bit daunting. One way to go about it is to fly the developer right into your office.  Many savvy recruiters go the route of  using a video chat application alongside a collaborative editor, but this can be a messy process. Codassium simplifies the process by merging chat and collaborative editing in a single Web browser window.

Codassium has a fairly straightforward layout and is designed to be easy for people like hiring managers to use. You simply click a button to begin a chat and then enable your Web browser to access the feed from your webcam.

You then give the URL to the developer so you can make a connection. You can have multiple people participate in the video chat, which is useful when you want to get the opinion of one of your more talented programmers. Codassium enables syntax highlighting for the most-used languages, including C++, Objective-C, JavaScript and Python.

While new hiring processes like Codassium can make your job easier, not every hiring manager has the abilities to look along as people code while determining how “good” they are. This is why having an all around solid and effective hiring and recruiting process is a requisite to finding and attracting the best talent that is out there.  Watching a developer code on the fly can be very useful to determine whether they are talented , however there are many other factors that go into deciding on whether they are truly a good hire.