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rjray (1649)

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Journal of rjray (1649)

Thursday January 31, 2008
05:18 PM

The Secret of My Success

[ #35544 ] has been very good to me over the years. Two of my last three permanent positions (this one happened to come from a headhunter approaching me via LinkedIn) came from there. In addition, I've gotten three short-term contracts as well. And I've always assumed it was because I was eminently qualified for the positions I aimed for. Now, I know otherwise.

My company is looking for another Perl programmer, one with strong MySQL as well. The CEO asked me to call upon my vast connections in the Perl community (*snerk*) to see if I could bring in a better calibre of candidate than what we had been getting from headhunters (present company excluded, I suppose). So my first impulse was to post the position to j.p.o. Heck, I even convinced the CEO to whip out a credit card and pay for front-page placement.

I've gotten three replies. One was from a recruiter wanting to send us a resume in exchange for a promise of a fee if we hired the person. One was from a person living in India who clearly missed the "on-site" part of the listing. But the one who really amazed was the person who replied "saw your job posting on craigslist" (no, you didn't), didn't provide a resume (even after I asked for it in three separate email messages), asked what the projected total hours were (missing the "full-time" part of the ad) and whether he could telecommute (at least the fellow from India only overlooked this one detail, and had provided a resume). It now looks as though my luck with the jobs site can be boiled down to the simple fact that I can read and follow instructions.

Perhaps this is just a corollary of what I warned the CEO initially: all the Perl programmers I know who are good, already have jobs. They are rarely unemployed for any period longer than they choose to be. And unfortunately for me, none are (currently) looking for work.

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  • Good, cheap, and onsite.

    Perhaps your employer might relax the last requirement.

    And wrt to s/w developers (regardless which language), cheap is often incompatible with Good.

    • Oh, we're only aiming for 2 of 3. The salary here is quite competitive. We don't put a specific number on the posting (just the ambiguous "DOE"), but we're quite happy to actively poach someone if they're what we are looking for.

      I won't argue that insistence on having employees on-site is becoming more and more anacronistic, but that is the current policy. I would personally like to be able to telecommute more than I currently do. But the flip side of this is that I've been in companies where telecommuting



  • This reminds me of my exam-taking advice when teaching physics: answer the question. Inevitably some question would boil down to "What is the final temperature of the system?" and students would answer some other question, or forget the units, or some such.

    One other thing that comes to mind is that your company may just have a bad reputation in the marketplace. I find it unlikely that there are no Perl programmers in your area (unless you live in East Chillblain, North Dakota) willing to shoot you a res

  • You also might try rewording the posting. If you were looking for a job, would you be interested in that one? For what it's worth, yours didn't do it for me. In fact, if the posting was more like your blog post it would've been a lot better, in my opinion. The blog was coming from another Perl programmer, while the job post was like a quick resume (and when I saw "web guru" and "change the way the world consumes, monetizes, and syndicates" I got a bit nauseous).