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Let them learn Perl on the job

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Recruiting a Perl developer is like finding a needle in a haystack. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to recruit a developer, rather than a Perl developer and let them learn Perl on the job?

At Geekuni, I’ve been working with several companies taking on this challenge and in this talk I’ll share opportunities and pitfalls I’ve observed, and techniques that make the workplace a fertile ground for growing Perl developers.

https://youtu.be/Sy-qb5nXKyc?t=5h44m57s

Published in: Recruiting & HR
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Let them learn Perl on the job

  1. 1. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Let them learn Perl … on the job?
  2. 2. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 about me Andrew Solomon Academia Software development
  3. 3. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 about me Andrew Solomon Academia Online Perl Training Software development
  4. 4. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Structure of the talk ● Why? ● How does it work? ● Risk avoidance
  5. 5. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Question“Is it really that hard finding Perl developers?” - Andrew asks a recruiter
  6. 6. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Python recruitment: “hard” separating wheat from the chaff https://img-aws.ehowcdn.com/750x428p/photos.demandstudios.com/getty/article/139/154/467329955.jpg
  7. 7. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Perl recruitment: finding a needle in a haystack https://media2.s- nbcnews.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Video/141114/tdy_tren_needle_141114.today-vid-canonical- featured-desktop.jpg
  8. 8. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Why? It’s (almost) never taught in academia, because...
  9. 9. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Why? It’s not hip, because...
  10. 10. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/31/perl_most_hated_language/
  11. 11. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Why? ● Larry Wall’s a linguist ● Dot-com ● Yahoo 💔 Perl ● Google 💖 Python because...
  12. 12. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 History of Perl Part 1
  13. 13. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 History of Perl Part 1
  14. 14. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers See how it’s done successfully ● Why? ● How does it work? ● Risk avoidance
  15. 15. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 The research(Stuff I asked clients…)
  16. 16. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 How do you find them? ● How would you describe a good fit for the job? ● What do you put in a job ad to entice them? ● Where do you find them? Overseas? Universities? High School? Kindergarten? (just kidding)
  17. 17. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 How do you onboard them? ● How do they learn Perl on the job? ● Is there any assessment of progress in developing Perl skills? ● How long does it take to get people up to speed? ● Team / departmental / managerial structure to enable it?
  18. 18. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018
  19. 19. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Three challenges ● Catchment area ● Recruitment ● Onboarding
  20. 20. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Catchment area http://www.extremescience.com/amazon-river.htm
  21. 21. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Catchment area Developers with background in any language: C++, Ruby, Java,...
  22. 22. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Catchment area Challenge “Why would I want to learn an obscure language like Perl?”
  23. 23. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Catchment area Grads from any background: ● Mathematics ● Physics ● Bioinformatics ● ...
  24. 24. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Catchment area Challenge “What’s a reference? What do you mean by ‘lexical scoping’?”
  25. 25. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Recruitment
  26. 26. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers What am I looking for? “Look for humble but driven people who like asking questions and working in a team”
  27. 27. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers How does recruitment work for developers?
  28. 28. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers How does recruitment work for developers? Change your mindset Programming is the job The language is just a tool
  29. 29. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers How does recruitment work for developers? Sell the job in the ad, not the language: ● Nice bunch of people ● Interesting problems ● $ £ € ¥...
  30. 30. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers How does recruitment work for developers? How do you find them? ● Referrals ● Meetups ● Hackathons
  31. 31. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers How does recruitment work for grads?
  32. 32. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers How does recruitment work for grads? How do you sell it? Not so hard: ● Offer money ● Interesting job
  33. 33. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers How does recruitment work for grads? How do you find them? ● Uni careers fair ● Job ads
  34. 34. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers How does recruitment work for grads? How to FILTER them? ● Aptitude tests ● Personality tests??
  35. 35. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Onboarding
  36. 36. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers How does onboarding work? Full. Time. Training. For programming. For Perl. For the business. Don’t let tasks compete with training. Separate them!
  37. 37. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers How does onboarding work? Start in 2nd line support to learn about the business and Perl together
  38. 38. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers How does onboarding work? Start in 2nd line support to learn about the business and Perl together (WARNING: 2nd line might not let go!)
  39. 39. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers How does onboarding work? Quote from Xome: ● Crawl in 1 month ● Walk in 3 months ● Run in 9 months
  40. 40. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers ● Why? ● How does it work? ● Risk avoidance
  41. 41. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Risk avoidance They don’t know programming. Risk: They feel incompetent
  42. 42. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Risk avoidance They don’t know programming. Risk: Morale - they feel incompetent Solution ● Provide training ● Find attainable tasks ● (Evidence based) positive feedback
  43. 43. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Risk avoidance They only learn your Perl style Risk: your tech debt becomes their toolkit
  44. 44. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Risk avoidance They only learn your Perl style Risk: your tech debt becomes their toolkit Solution ● Training ● Code reviews ● Mentoring
  45. 45. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Risk avoidance Risk: Tasks win over learning
  46. 46. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Risk avoidance Risk: Tasks win over learning Solution ● Learning time allocated ● Trainee assessment ● Management metrics
  47. 47. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Risk avoidance Risk: TMTOWTDI anxiety
  48. 48. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 Grow your own Perl developers Risk avoidance Risk: TMTOWTDI anxiety Solution ● Gentle code reviews ● Seminars
  49. 49. andrew@geekuni.com TPC 2018 The research...is ongoing drop me a line if you want add to this / stay in the loop!

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