Dear Software Developers,

I need help! I work for the Center for Naval Analysis in the DC area and we are seeking developers with C#, XSL, XML, SQL backgrounds. Regretfully, we have been failing miserably :'( in finding quality people because we are not doing something right.

Hence, I am doing a bit of research on what does the current Developer look for when seeking a job.

I was hoping that you, being the expert in your field, could give me some insight into what job boards you look at, do you network mostly, if so what network groups you use, do you go to the university alumni boards, do you go to career fairs, if so which are your top choices, do you go through agencies, what do you do to look for a job? Are there new tools? Any information would be of great insight.

Thank you for your time:) ,
Jhanina Santiago
HR - Employment Specialist

As a software engineer with over a dozen years of design, implementation, and deployment under my belt, I look for the freedom to decide. I want my voice and experience to be counted during the entire development process down to deployment and I don't want some pencil neck (PN) with an MBA and two semesters of Java programming telling me how software should be developed. Management needs to do what they're good at and let the engineers engineer.

From my vantage point, this is by far the largest issue today; what will the development environment be like? Far more important than salary, developers want to know about their development environment. Will they be at the mercy of a PN manager for outrageous, poorly planned, unreachable, ever-changing requirements and design specifications or can the development team understand and work with management and vice-versa to generate high quality applications?

You will attract the best people with the best environment.

Just curious, but when you say you have 'failed miserably', do you mean those you have found were of lacking quality or have you been unable to attract candidates at all?

I will somewhat echo what kmillen stated about environment being a very large factor in retaining a quality development staff. It can be difficult to get an accurate gauge of the work environment when evaluating a potential position. If your current employees like their positions, ask them what they like about the environment and stress that in your candidate search. If the current employees hate it, perhaps you should find out why and make some adjustments before you find yourself filling those positions as well :)

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