Harry? Hi! It's Anne. Anne Frazer, up in development.
How's it going?
Yes, this is a parody. However, there are truths here
that should not be ignored. If you are now, or expect to become,
involved with recruitment, read this and take heed ... |
Well, Harry, I'm not going to make your life any easier, I guess.
I need four more programmers. Yesterday.
- You wouldn't believe how busy we are down here, Anne,
what with all the people leaving and us having to conduct
exit interviews. And of course we get asked to help recruit
replacements too. But anyway, what can I do for you?
OK, what I'm looking for is easy. We're got a pretty dynamic
environment in the department. New projects, new technologies,
and new application domains, everything's up for grabs. So
I'm looking for really flexible people, people with a broad
background who can pick things up quickly. Our developers work
with the end users, so they need people skills, and they need
to have the smarts to recognise new opportunities as they present
themselves. I need team players, but not a bunch of clones. I want
to experiment with putting a wild card or two in the group and
see how it shakes things up. Can you find these people for me?
- OK, tell me what you're looking for and I'll see what we
can find for you. But I warn you, there's a real skills
shortage out there: it may take a while.
That's hard to say. We use a few. Ideally, I want people who can
pick up languages as needed, and who have a good solid background
in two or three major ones.
- No problems, but I need more details. What language will
these folks be using?
Well, the current project is in C++ ...
- That doesn't help, Anne. I need to put a language down on
the form. What language would these people be using if they
- OK, so I'll put down C++.
I have to choose one?
I suppose so.
- Anne, be reasonable. You can't advertise for people with
current skills in more than one language: you can only
write in one language at a time. Shall I put C++?
Well, we do most of our development on Windows, but there's
some Linux-based server work.
- Now, platform. We need to advertise the platform they'll
Umm.. Well most of our applications run on all of those.
- Linux? We don't want to advertise that. You'll end up with
a bunch of hippies. Windows is good. Which one: 95, 98, NT,
ME, 2000, XP, or Vista?
Well, I'm not sure. We still have all those other operating systems
and Linux to consider.
- But Anne, you have to understand that you're hiring
specialists. To a specialist, there's a world of difference
between Windows NT and Windows 2000. You won't get a specialist
if you just say "Windows". So, what's it to be? How about
Windows Vista? That's new.
OK, OK, put Windows Vista then. Whatever you say.
I guess some of our projects use Oracle, and in the past we've used
MQ Series, and some Visibroker.
- Great! Now tools. You said C++, so I suppose we need people
with Visual C++ experience. What about databases, frameworks,
and so on? Be as specific as possible: that'll help us get you
just the right people.
8.1.5 and 4.5.
- Excellent, this is beginning to look good.
What versions of Oracle and Visibroker?
- OK, I've got what I need. I'll start rattling the bushes and
place an ad or two and see who's out there.
A week later...
Looking for highly motivated developers |
to work in dynamic environment. Must have
4 years C++ and extensive Windows Vista.
Oracle 8.1.5, MQ Series, and Visibroker 4.5
Three weeks later...
Harry? Anne again. I was wondering: we still haven't seen any people
to fill those jobs.
- Anne, we've had two or three in, but they've all failed the
interviews. One claimed to know C++, but couldn't tell us the
procedure for disabling auto-completion in Visual C++. He
didn't get past the first interview. Another guy came in in
jeans. Jeans! To an interview. I know we're a casual environment,
but really. Shame, he looked good on paper too. One girl made it
to the third interview, but we had to fail her when she asked if
we'd give her a half day every two weeks to work on her MBA.
So, still no luck. It's proving to be really hard to find people
with exactly the skills you asked for.
- Like I told you, there's a skills shortage out there.
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