If you’ve been faced with hiring a good software professional in the past ten years you’ll know that it is tough; the smart people who get things done are few and far between.
As a country we are faced with a spiralling demand for tech professionals and a stagnating supply, and in small cities like Nottingham companies have to work even harder.
Talented technologists are scarce and each time you pluck one from the job market, you’re making it that bit harder for other local companies desperately hunting for people with those same skills.
We need to start thinking of our software professionals as a scarce resource. As with any other scarce resources on which you depend, like water or the trees that are cut down so you can print out your emails, to simply consume those talented individuals with no regard for how they will be replaced is downright immoral.
You’re making it harder for other companies to succeed, depriving them of the skills they need; companies that could be your customers or suppliers, companies that could be contributing to the local economy, that could be employing your friends and family. You’re also making it harder for yourself the next time you post that same job advert.
Mindlessly hiring local software professionals with no regard for the sustainability of the local software community is bad for everyone, including you.
How can you hire in a sustainable way?
The answer is to plant a tree for the one you just cut down. Why not two trees? Okay, plant two.
Give back to your local software community: make it easier for local people to become great tech professionals.
Here are some ways your company can help cultivate your local software community
Run a Code Club and give your developers time to go run Code Clubs of their own at local primary schools
Attend, and encourage your team to attend, local tech meetups; there’s Tech Nottingham of course, but also check out DotNetNotts, NottProgs and Second Wednesday - as a bonus your team will learn lots of new skills (for free!) AND you might meet some potential employees (for free!)
Sponsor a local meetup - Tech Nottingham’s sponsorship roster is currently full but you can still register your interest here or get in touch with one of the meetups above - what a great way to show everyone you support your local software community!
Hire people who contribute to their local software community - lots of people give up their time to attend, organise, speak, run Code Clubs and give back in all sorts of ways, what a great indictment of how passionate they are about working in software, and they could be doing it as an employee of your company
Work with local colleges and universities to encourage students to consider a career in software and help those institutions craft courses which arm students with skills that are relevant to the reality of working in our industry
Mentor young people who are interested in getting into software development
As professionals working in the software industry, we must demand that our employers and our future employers are companies that consume from our community in a sustainable way.
Are they contributing, or are they just consuming?
The next Tech Nottingham is this Monday, 4th August and features talks from Matt Relf, Jenni Brown & Jeremy Parsons - full details here - come along and get involved!