[JOB] Perl Software Developer and Database programmer

Jonathan Peterson JPeterson at bmjgroup.com
Wed Feb 22 11:30:57 GMT 2006

> I have found that it is hard to recruit quality developers (for any 
> language or tech) anyway. I think it's all the worse in the web 
> world. We have really been struggling to find good perl people too.

Ish. I think recruiting is a skill, but I wouldn't say it's that hard to 
find good people. It does depend on technology area, I think.

> You seem to get a lot of people that have done what may be some 
> interesting web work, but it's very small scale and they only have 
> experience of working in very small teams and often have very 
> limited software engineering experience.

I'd agree, but as an employer it's your job to get them to work in the way 
you want. You can't expect people to have conveniently worked in just the 
same sort of environment you happen to operate in. I find it easier to 
train people used to an informal environment, than un-train people from 
very rigid environments.

 I've found it only too 
> common that their perl knowledge is "user level" at best - ask them 
> to explain the difference between my and local and they may just 
> muddle through, start talking about stashes, closures, etc and 
> they're totally lost.

What's a stash? I don't recruit Perl ppl, but I do consider that 
understanding the language rather than simply using it is important. I 
don't have too much trouble finding those people in the Java world.

> And if they get through the technical side, where are the 
> communication and people skills? You spend far less time actually 
> coding than you do dealing with other people and so this is a real 
> key skill for good devs.

Yes, that's harder, but again, I don't find there to be a huge shortage of 
suitable people. There's an inverse correlation between technical skill 
and people skill, often. But I've found this is frequently more apparent 
than real - some very geeky people come of _really_ badly in interviews, 
but in fact do fine in a real office environment. It is a bit trickier to 
call it though.
> My final test is always - do I want to sit next to this person for 
> most of my working day, can I get on with them, have a laugh, etc. 
> (and will they feel the same way about me!).

I agree, there's no point hiring people you disklike.
> I'd be interested in hearing people's thoughts and experiences on 

I find that ads in computer weekly and jobserve still get me people 80% of 
the time. I rarely use recruitment agencies these days. There's a definite 
skill in reading between the lines of CV's, and I always get people to 
fill in a written test of my own devising. The test is as much a test of 
mindset and attitude as it is of programming ability. I rarely interview 
more than 4 people, and never do more than one interview.

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