I think the biggest enemy of an IT company is the human resources department.
This may sound initially like sour grapes, but you’ll have to trust me that it isn’t. I recently accepted a good paying job with lots of benefits in a major software company. However during my search for a steady job, I had trouble getting to the interview stage for even intermediate C++ programmer positions at well over a dozen companies.
Why this is a shock has to do with my credentials as a C++ expert. I cowrote the C++ Cookbook for O’Reilly, I was a columnist for the C++ Users Journal, and I have a decade of professional software development experience. People who have read my column know that I am a pretty good C++ coder.
So why did I have such trouble finding work? Well three reasons.
- Recruiters don’t know anything about programming and are ignorant of virtually everything related to software development. Many hadn’t even heard of Boost, O’Reilly, or the C++ Users Journal. They didn’t understand the significance of my credentials.
- Recruiters view my freelance experience as a negative point, even though they say they want “self-motivated independent problem solvers”. Apparently I am too independent!
- I only computed two years of a university degree in computer science.
So instead interviews are going to people who has have been suckling the corporate teat since they graduated from university only a couple of years ago. There is a lot these people don’t know about the business and practice of writing software.
If you are running an IT company, I would suggest that you take a long hard look at your applicant screening process. Perhaps you should consider getting your lead developers involved in the initial screening of applicants. You might have missed an opportunity to hire someone like myself, and instead find yourself having to choose from a bunch of inexperienced college grads, demanding far too much money for what they can actually do for your company.