Why Your Company Can't Find Perl Programmers

by chromatic

Kirrily Robert dissects a meaningless job posting for a Perl programmer.

This reminds me of a story Jim Shore told me about Fit. Developers in a company wanted to use the software, but their lawyers had grave concerns about the license. Eventually, the developers appealed to Ward Cunningham, who said that they were using it in the way he intended and he had absolutely no intention of bringing suit or other legal action against anyone who used his software appropriately. Even so, the lawyers saw that as an unacceptable risk.

The punchline is Ward's final question. "You have to ask, do you work for your lawyers or do they work for you?"

Perhaps it's time to ask that of HR departments.


Kirily Robert
2007-08-04 18:07:46
Hear, hear! And thanks for the linkage.
Matt Doar
2007-08-06 09:55:00
Yup. But HR is different from Recruiting. My experience is that HR's first job is to protect the company against its own employees. If they can help the employees, then that's good too. Recruiting is a separate task that HR sometimes takes on, but is usually better left to those who do it as their full-time jobs. I don't understand why job descriptions aren't circulated around internal engineering groups more often.
2007-08-11 22:03:17
HEnre Ford's company Ford Motors was the first company to emply a human resources department. Their job was to keep the worker productive using tactics of intimidation and domestic espionage. HR would show up at worker's homes checking up on them to ensure they hadn't been breaking company policy in their private lives. Remember this is the original purpose for HR. HR is a public relations front formed to bridge the gap between stake holders within the company and the labor force beneath them. If this wasn't the case then there wouldn't be any reason for Unions to come into existence.
2007-08-11 22:04:30
They can't find programmers because they're more interested in someone that can fit into their organizations and not rock the boat instead of someone that can actually program.

Often they are just not realistic is what they want. Another possibility is that they don't want to find local folks so they can have an excuse to farm it out to other countries at a giant discount. Management forgets that it exists in a symbiotic relationship with the surrounding community just as the community forgets that they depend on the company. If people don't figure this out and work together eventually they both die (sooner or later).