The Connected Engineer

April 3, 2013


One of the hats I wear at SEP is Recruiting Director – I’m responsible for the engineering talent we bring in. I was recently asked how recruiting has changed over time, things we’re looking for now that we didn’t before.

The core criteria (must have’s, if you will) haven’t changed for us: Smart, Fit, and Get Things Done. Two of these are blatantly stolen borrowed from Joel Spoelsky’s writing on interviewing. The third (Fit) is something that’s always been important to us. These are principle-level characteristics that should never change.

The ‘nice to haves’, however, steadily evolve. One that has emerged over the last five to ten years is the value of connectedness. Connectedness isn’t some touchy feely new age BS – it’s simply how well connected to the software community someone is. Do they go to local meetups? Do they participate on Stack Overflow or other tech forums? Do they contribute to open source projects? Do they have active github repos? Do they tweet, follow, plus, like, subscribe, and generally stalk the development community?

Why do we care, you say?

  • They know things. There’s a staggering number of useful open source projects, frameworks, techniques, etc. out there. It’s too expensive to recreate the wheel.
  • They know people. The single best avenue of recruiting is personal referrals.
  • They’ve proven they give a crap. You must keep learning to stay viable in this business. They’ve proven it’s important enough to them to spend their personal time on it.

If you’re questioning your own connectedness while reading this … well, it’s never been easier to fix it. Most of the avenues mentioned above are free and easy to find. What are you waiting for?