Where can you find a developer

Career & Salary

In the age of skilled labor shortages, companies are desperately looking for qualified software developers. Olivier Dobberkau, Managing Director of the internet agency dkd and President of the Typo3 Association, explains how companies can best win over these specialists and what to look out for when searching.

How do you rate the job market for software developers?

Olivier Dobberkau: These are the golden times for developers because interesting technologies and projects are springing up all over the place. Companies are therefore looking for qualified employees in the field of software development who will drive this development forward with fun and commitment. Today, however, there is no longer a demand for pure individualists, but for team players who work together with others in project teams and advance them further.

Finding new employees is not an easy undertaking, because good people are rare. It is therefore important to offer this species - once it is in the company - a suitable environment. In addition to a lot of freedom to develop your own ideas and wishes, this also includes a modern and adequate work environment and the right tools. In addition, an appropriate working atmosphere - with little overtime and superiors who lead in an exemplary manner - plays a very decisive role. In addition, developers want to be surrounded by other good developers so that they can learn together and try out new things.

How does the classic search for developers work?

Olivier Dobberkau: Classic methods of recruiting developers are now out. Job advertisements in trade magazines and online portals still promise a lot, but do not keep them. Social media offers a good opportunity to establish business contacts, but platforms such as XING and LinkedIn are not so important to software developers. Headhunters also fail when looking for developers. There is even talk of a real headhunter allergy, so that the use of recruiters is only worthwhile in a few cases.

Is open source a kind of candidate pool? In your opinion, how can companies draw attention to themselves in an open source project?

Olivier Dobberkau: Open source projects are the ideal place to get in touch with developers. And not just since Apple discovered open source for itself. For companies, this means a completely new way of adding value. In addition, active participation in such projects opens up new dimensions in the area of ​​employee recruitment. Because there people meet apart from CVs, job interviews and salary negotiations. The trust that comes from working together in an open source project is usually a good basis for future collaboration. Furthermore, sponsoring open source community events is a good opportunity to present yourself as a company. The company representatives should be active and formulate their goals clearly. Because only if they appear with the right message are they also interesting for developers.

  1. Tips for finding developers
    Oliver Dobberkau, managing director of the internet agency dkd and president of the Typo3 Association, advises the following points to be considered when looking for software developers.
  2. Partnership appearance
    Present yourself as a partner and act like that.
  3. Applicant's suitability
    Explain to the applicant why you think they are suitable.
  4. Show perspectives
    Explain the work environment and show the candidate his or her perspective. Preferably specifically and with reference to the wishes of the potential employee.
  5. Realistic representation
    Be realistic. Don't compare yourself to Google right away, even if you are a big player in your field.
  6. give feedback
    Agree with the developer a certain time in which he can work on his projects. Get regular information on how you can support him.
  7. arouse curiosity
    Arouse curiosity and the urge to research in your ideal candidates. Present a current project problem and ask for a brief thought on a possible solution.
  8. Avoid code assessment tests
    Avoid code assessment tests with experienced developers. These only help with graduates with no experience, if at all.
  9. Name errors and bugs
    Explain to the candidate how your company learns from mistakes and ask them to name their biggest bug, which they noticed in production.

Are there other ways to find new software developers?

Olivier Dobberkau: If you are looking for developers, you should look where they can be found, namely in the code. Code hosting and collaboration platforms like Github and Bitbucket are places where developers can be found every day. With information and overviews of activities in a software repository, you can quickly get a good impression of the developers involved and take further contact steps. Many see their profile page as the first indication of whether they are available and under what conditions they expect to be approached. As a rule, they enter whether they are working as a freelancer or, for example, looking for a new job.

Is that the ideal way to be successful in your search?

Olivier Dobberkau: There is certainly no silver bullet. But companies that get involved in open source projects through their own developers are perceived by other developers - and usually very positively. Some of our employees chose us explicitly because of our open source culture. In general, it can be said that developers get involved in open source projects when they see potential and can contribute their own ideas - and without being paid for it.