perhaps a little too much honesty (was: RE: Job Posting (.04K Reward!) Jr. Linux Admin + Windows Support)

Stuart Jansen sjansen at
Sat Sep 9 12:02:50 MDT 2006

On Fri, 2006-09-08 at 16:07 -0600, Josh Coates wrote:
> we've had a surpringly low turnout of resumes for these positions.  either
> i'm in a whole lot kill files, or we've already hit recruiting saturation on
> the plug list, and friends of those on the plug list..  ;-)

Personally, I think you need to do more to sell your company.

1) Maybe Plug is saturated. I don't remember seeing a matching post to
the sllug-jobs list. If you're interested in a Ruby guy, you should post
to URUG too. I have no idea if you've posted to the local Windows
groups, but if you haven't they do exist and you should search there

2) Many of us are comfortable where we are. A few years ago that wasn't
necessarily true, but the rising tide has lifted many boats. To switch
jobs, I would need to know that

  a) I will spend less that 3 hours per week using a Windows
     box. Yes, I'm that proud and stubborn. I can afford to be.
     I suspect many others can too. If you want Windows people,
     this ain't the place.

  b) I need to know that the management rocks. When it comes to
     technical decisions, management has to either get out of
     the way or be clueful enough to convince me they're right.
     The second is better. I want to know that management will
     protect me from pointless stuff so that I can do what I
     enjoy: using computers to create stuff and solve problems.

  c) I will have friends at work. If you identify and attract
     the community's alpha-geeks, others will follow. If I
     don't already know someone in the company, demonstrate
     that I will fit in with the people there. I don't mean
     talking the talk (your initial post did that well), I mean
     walking the walk. For instance, I know you have at least
     one employee that is active in the local Python community.
     (Or used to be. I don't like Python enough to keep close
     tabs on that particular community.)

  d) The pay has to be good. I doubt this will be a problem for
     you. In the past Utah employers had a reputation for being
     stingy. In the last year, competition for good employees
     has significantly increased. I suspect most people with
     skills have already moved to better paying positions. In
     other words, pay is important but it's not most important.

3) Two of my friends have worked for you. Both left quickly. Neither has
ever bad mouthed you, but their actions speak loudly. When you first
arrived in the area, you earned a lot of respect and good will. Since
then, I think you've lost some of it. I have no idea what you can do
about this.

In general, Linux users are proud and idealistic. In the past, we had to
be to survive. As Linux grows, today we can afford to be. Some people
love to do Windows development. I doubt you'll find many of them here.
Most have invested their lives in Windows and probably haven't had time
to explore Linux. Other people learn Windows because they think it's the
safe choice. I'd call them fickle, but maybe you'd probably call them
pragmatic. Either way they're not passionate. Not the type of person I
want to work with, and probably not the type of person you want to hire.

You'll notice I've concentrated on Linux. If you really want a Ruby guy,
ask URUG for tips. You'll find they're a more friendly lot. Heck,
because of their influence even I'm friendlier on the URUG list.

I haven't been able to go to a geek dinner for a long time now, so I
don't know if you're familiar with DevUtah. That'd be a great place to
discover additional communities you can tap. I notice there's a blog on with pretty interesting info. Sadly, it doesn't look like it
gets much love, but if it did maybe you could use it to tap the various
Utah blogging communities. The question is, how much should you invest
in each community? Posting a $4k announcement is cheap. Identifying the
communities most likely to produce results then building cred is
probably going to provide more return in the long term.

Stuart Jansen              e-mail/jabber: sjansen at
                           google talk:   stuart.jansen at

"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at 
the results." -- Winston Churchill
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