You are not alone. Everyone needs to grow their development team quickly. Software is eating the world and talented software developers are key. The bad news is they are really hard to find.
The good news is that you have options.
I have three words for you: define a true fit, training, and community growth (OK, so it was more than three words, but you get my point).
The competition for talent is a real thing. A David vs Goliath battle that rages from Bay Area to the East Coast, through Europe, and just about everywhere else in the world. Those who win this war are most likely to win the market.
You Need to Grow Your Software Team
Your product has found its market fit and it is now growing like crazy. Your CEO is being pushed by investors to deliver more, faster. As CTO/VPE you are stuck in the middle. How to meet these demands without killing your team and at a reasonable cost.
Spoiler alert: it’s never an easy calculation.
Not Enough Developers Around
Every company in your area is looking for the same talent you need. Just take a look at any online job board or your favorite Linkedin group. The supply of qualified people in technology is not growing fast enough to meet demand.
Worse, yet, there might be a big enough community of, say, PHP developers in your area, but your software is based on Java.
Find a True Fit
To attract experienced, ambitious developers, in particular, it must be clear what your company is about. For example, your company’s values must be clearly spelled out.
The people you want to attract are looking to make a difference in the world (i.e., you’d want to pass on the ones who are only interested in a paycheck).
Make it clear to them how joining your team will have an impact. You can definitely win against the Googles and Facebooks of the world if your company stands for more than just making money.
You don’t need a big budget to do this, but you need the courage to put it out there.
Let Your Engineers Grow
You can either find them, ready to go, or you can “make” them.
By “making” them, I mean investing in training new graduates and people with limited experience. This is not as costly as you may think or take as long as you fear.
Another option is to help experienced developers migrate to a different stack. For example, moving from plain old Java to Android is a fairly straightforward transition. Moving from an OOP stack to a functional one, say from PHP to Scala, is more dramatic, but still doable.
Just consider what you are spending on sourcing candidates, headhunting commissions. and the time it takes to interview them, check references, and onboard them. All of that adds up in time and dollars. Compared to that, training is a reasonable option.
Support the Dev Community
Make an effort to help the development community grow. I know it’s difficult when you are under pressure, but think beyond your current needs. What would the ideal future look like? What can I do to move the world in that direction?
Contribute to anything that can get more people interested in the world of development. STEM programs. Women in tech. Kids who program. Encourage your team to contribute their time. It will help them grow as well as the community around them.
Or … (infomercial)
You can contact me :)
We’ve been dealing with this situation for almost 10 years now and we’ve been very successful in attracting people who speak up, self-direct, and show initiative.
You can reach me at [email protected].
Can Nearsoft Help?
it really depends. We work with software development companies, exclusively.
If that fits you and you are looking for a long term partner, we might be able to help.