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Cal Evans:
What Developers Want Recruiters to Know
October 15, 2014 @ 11:56:25

Cal Evans asked a question on Twitter the other day of his followers for advice, from developers, to share with recruiters and how they can do their job better when it comes to recruiting talent.

I post this not to belittle or ridicule recruiters. I think that good recruiters are a valuable part of the tech ecosystem. I post this to hopefully help more recruiter become good recruiters.

He's listed all of the responses he's gotten in the post (via Storify) as individual tweets. There's a few recurring themes happening and lots of good advice including:

  • "treat developers as human beings"
  • "We're smart people, we can see an email isn't personal. Treat us like the individuals we are."
  • "Read the profile before sending out CV, I am not a Ruby developer."
  • "Googlebing someone before emailing them. Know who they are."
  • "don't try to sound like you know what you're talking about if you don't. You just lose respect."
  • "build a relationship with me, not a one night stand"
  • " Have the decency to at least get back to devs if the end client hasn't chosen them"

If you are or know of a recruiter, please share this post with them. The unfortunate fact is that there's a lot of recruiters out there that don't realize that this is how to talk to developers (and sadly, some don't event care).

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Link: http://blog.calevans.com/2014/10/14/what-developers-want-recruiters-to-know/

SitePoint Web Blog:
How to be a Good Developer
October 13, 2014 @ 11:54:17

On the SitePoint Web Blog there's a recent post by George Fekete with a few suggestions about how to be a good developer, regardless of the language or technology you're using.

As a PHP developer, or any kind of developer as a matter of fact, you need to constantly improve yourself in this ever-changing industry; you need to learn and use new knowledge every day. What successful developers have in common, is that they care about programming a lot, they are professionals treating good programming practices as a form of art. In this article, you'll learn about how to be a better developer by following the "etiquette" of programming and you'll learn how to use this information to perhaps teach others to better themselves.

He starts with some tips about "being professional" overall that include things like being responsible and having a strong work ethic. Then he moves into writing good code. This isn't about actual code examples, more about good practices and tools. He also shares some tips about how to keep things (and yourself) on track and tips on how to "be a master" when it comes to social interactions and the work you're doing.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/good-developer/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Being a Full Stack Developer
September 23, 2014 @ 10:53:55

In this new post to the SitePoint PHP blog George Fekete shares some thoughts about what it means to be a "full stack developer" and what kinds of technology and skills are involved.

The barrier of entering the web development industry as a web developer is still low, but it's getting increasingly complex. The dynamic nature of the whole industry makes requirements shift often to the most popular and "next best thing" tools and programming languages. Gone are the days when only one programming language or a very specific process was required from a developer. Nowadays programmers must know a range of technologies across multiple platforms in order to do good work.

He starts with his own definition of what the term "full stack developer" means and how it's different from what it meant even just a few years ago (like back in 2000). He breaks up the skills and technology into a few different categories:

  • System administration
  • Web development tools
  • Back-end tech
  • Front-end tech
  • Design (including UX/UI)

Each item on the list includes a bit of context around the topic and a few items that could fit inside it. He ends the post wondering if it's better to be a full stack developer or not. Is being a generalist better than being a pro in a particular technology?

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/full-stack-developer/

Sound of Symfony:
Episode 3 - Developer Experience
August 20, 2014 @ 12:05:07

The Sound of Symfony podcast has posted their latest episode today: Episode #3, "Developer experience. Join hosts Magnus Nordlander and Tobias Nyholm as they talk about the Symfony project's recent emphasis on the developer experience.

In this much belated episode we talk about developer experience and getting new coders into your open source project. The episode features not one, but two interviews. First up we have a short talk with Ryan Weaver about the DX initiative and the DX hack day, and afterwards we talk to Cathy Theys from Drupal about Drupal's mentoring efforts and how you can make your project more welcoming to new developers.

The episode includes the two interviews and mentions of several topics including the name of the next release of PHP and the announcement of the Symfony Live London 2014 speakers. You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player or you can download the audio file for offline listening. If you enjoy the episode, consider subscribing to their feed to get the latest episodes delivered as they're released.

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Link: http://www.soundofsymfony.com/episode/episode-3/

Cal Evans:
The secret to writing a job post to attract PHP developers
August 18, 2014 @ 12:17:42

Cal Evans has posted another in his series looking at the right things to do when writing job posts and trying to attract developers for your company. In his previous posts he's talked about building a good team and getting the jobs page right. In his latest post he talks about a secret to writing the post itself: keeping it simple.

Is your company trying to hire a developer? Are you a recruiter responsible for helping your client hire a PHP developer? Do you have a job post out on the net? Get this one thing right and you'll find your PHP developer. Yes, that's the entire secret; keep it simple. Make it easy for us to scan, easy for us to understand, easy for us to figure out how to apply.

He includes a few points to follow to help guide you into the "keep it simple" approach including avoiding "semantically null terms" and listing the minimum skills for the job, not everything you could possibly need.

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Link: http://blog.calevans.com/2014/08/15/the-secret-to-writing-a-job-post-to-attract-php-developers/

Jani Hartikainen:
In order to become a better developer, you must first become a teacher
August 18, 2014 @ 10:35:28

In his latest post Jani Hartikainen makes a recommendation for those wanting to become better developers: first become a teacher. He suggests that communication is the second most important skill a developer can have.

What is the most important skill for a developer besides actually writing code? Communication. What do you typically do when you communicate as a developer with someone else? You explain problems, you describe solutions, you talk to non-programmers about what you're doing. You could also say that you're teaching others about what you're doing. [...] Being a good communicator is often completely overlooked.

He looks at why it's important for a developer to have good communication skills and what it means to "communicate well" with fellow developers. He suggests that real teaching can start when developers understand the domain and code they're working with. He also talks about the flip side of things, the importance of listening to other developers and those trying to help. Listening well means understanding the question and being open to different ideas, even if they contradict your own.

As with all aspects of programming, the best way to improve communication and your ability to reason about code on a higher level is practice.
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Link: http://codeutopia.net/blog/2014/08/18/in-order-to-become-a-better-developer-you-must-first-become-a-teacher/

SitePoint Web Blog:
From Developer to Product Manager A 3 Stage Plan
August 13, 2014 @ 11:55:34

As some developers move on in their careers, they start to progress more towards a management role. Sometimes this comes in the form of a "product manager" since most of their knowledge is wrapped around the product(s) they've been working on. However, making the move up from developer to product manager can be a difficult transition. In this new post to the SitePoint Web blog, Ernest Sliter tries to help with his own three-stage advice.

It's certainly not uncommon for developers or other employees serving in technical roles to eventually transition to product management. Some developers may find they enjoy managing the product road map and solving customers' problems rather than writing code and building the product themselves. Other seasoned engineers may be searching for a suitable career transition into a management position. If you're interested in moving to product management in the future, here are three critical steps to make the transition.

For each of his steps he provides a summary of what the choice or action entails and includes a few sub-points that can help:

  • Decide Whether You're Right for Product Management
  • Expand Your Knowledge of Product Management
  • Take Action!
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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/developer-product-manager-3-stage-plan/

Cal Evans:
Step 0 when hiring PHP developers online. Get this right!
August 12, 2014 @ 09:25:31

Cal Evans has a new post to his site with a great suggestion for those looking to hire PHP developers: get your jobs page right and show that you have a good "developer culture" to attract good, solid talent.

When building an online strategy for finding developers to hire, start with your web site. It is amazing that so many companies miss this totally or mess this step up. Make sure you have a top level menu item that is easy to identify as "this is where we post jobs". Call it "Jobs", "Careers", "Work with us" whatever, just make sure it's in the top level of your menu and not something that people have to dig down into your site to get to.

He also suggests that you treat the "Jobs" page as an important part of the site. Vague or incomplete descriptions of the positions turn off developers and will make them move on to something else. Link to the deeper details and don't overwhelm the viewer with it all up front. He gives two examples of companies that he thinks have gotten it right and how it reflects on their investment in developer culture.

So step 0 in the process of finding developers to work on your team is to build a culture of respect. If you get this right, attracting developers - attracting the best developers - will be easy. Get this wrong though, nothing else will matter. Remember, developer talk to each other within their community. They will know if you are not a good place to work.
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Link: http://blog.calevans.com/2014/08/11/step-0-when-hiring-php-developers-online-get-this-right/

Adam Culp:
Developer pool sustainability
August 05, 2014 @ 12:09:33

In his latest post Adam Culp talks about an interesting (and slightly disturbing) trend he's seeing in the technology and developer community in his area: developers are leaving/being picked up faster than they're being replaced.

Over the past couple years I've noticed a rise of good companies no longer outsource offshore to save money, instead they outsource because they can't find developers here. [...] I'm sad to see the dwindling number of developers available to fill a growing number of jobs in South Florida. [...] Couple this with most companies and recruiters simply drain the pool without giving back, and governments sinking more and more of our hard earned taxes into already flooded non-tech related fields. The end result is higher unemployment, folks with a degree who can't find work, and the vicious cycle continues on and on.

As the demand grows for more talented technical people, this gap is only going to widen. New developers aren't coming in fast enough (or learning fast enough) to fill the holes. He talks specifically about what he's seeing there in Florida, but it's a story that's happening in many places around the country...and some places around the world. Developers get "snatched up" by companies and they're no longer allowed or have the time to contribute back and teach the newer developers. He links to an article that discusses the same topic and comes to many of the same conclusions.

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Link: http://www.geekyboy.com/archives/964

Reddit.com:
What constitutes the "PHP community"?
July 18, 2014 @ 12:09:37

There's a good conversation happening over on Reddit today about what constitutes the "PHP community" and how it can be defined. JordanLeDoux wonders if those who just write PHP are included in that group as well.

One conversation was with a dev who hates PHP because (mostly) they work with code that was written by some non-PHP dev who was asked to write it. The other was with /u/krakjoe from the PHP internals team, where I was commenting on a sentiment that sometimes finds its way into the internals mailing list: if you want a real programming language, then go use one. In both cases, I made the assertion that most people who utilize PHP or edit a script aren't actually part of the PHP community. [...] How can someone that is functionally isolated from any other person working in PHP be part of the PHP community?

Responses to the post are, for the most part, encouraging suggesting that

  • There's not a single "PHP community" but many smaller ones
  • sub-communitiies can revolve around technology or a product
  • The different definitions of community
  • The broad range of skills that "PHP developers" are known to have

Check out the full post for more opinions and share your own!

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Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/2ayxkg/what_constitutes_the_php_community/


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