Over on the west coast, companies like Google and Facebook are duking it out for top tech talent. There’s all sorts of craziness going on including 10% across the board raises and big bonuses. Back here in Boston, there’s a similar battle for talent brewing. Except, here in Boston, we’re kind of polite and a tad overly sane (there’s not enough craziness). So, nobody really comes right out and says that there’s a battle for tech talent going on in Boston. So, I’m going to go ahead and say it.
There’s a battle for brilliant developers going on in Boston!
There, I said it. I feel much better now. All anyone seems to talk about around here is startup funding and whether or not Boston VCs invest aggressively enough in consumer Internet companies. But, I’m going to argue that for awesome startups, raising funding is actually easier these days than recruiting great developers. I personally know a dozen startups in the Boston area that are all looking for great developers (I’m an angel investor in half of them).
So, who wins in the battle for tech talent? Why, it’s the talent! Why? Because as in most situations where demand greatly exceeds supply, it’s a seller’s market. (That’s an MBA way of saying, “you’re going to do really well….”) So, instead of startups interviewing developers, in reality, it’s more that developers are interviewing startups. Life is good for you, esteemed awesome developers!
We’re working on making HubSpot a magnet for technology talent in the Boston area, like Facebook is on the west coast. We’ve got tough software problems to solve, millions of users, lots of capital, cool office space, and some of the smartest developers around.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Well, my favorite things in life are books, sushi and.... My favorite things in life don't cost any money. It's really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time. As it is, I pay a price by not having much of a personal life. I don't have the time to pursue love affairs or to tour small towns in Italy and sit in cafes and eat tomato-and-mozzarella salad. Occasionally, I spend a little money to save myself a hassle, which means time. And that's the extent of it. I bought an apartment in New York, but it's because I love that city. I'm trying to educate myself, being from a small town in California, not having grown up with the sophistication and culture of a large city. I consider it part of my education. You know, there are many people at Apple who can buy everything that they could ever possibly want and still have most of their money unspent. I hate talking about this as a problem; people are going to read this and think, Yeah, well, give me your problem. They're going to think I'm an arrogant little asshole.
Computers are actually pretty simple. We're sitting here on a bench in this cafe [for this part of the Interview]. Let's assume that you understood only the most rudimentary of directions and you asked how to find the rest room. I would have to describe it to you in very specific and precise instructions. I might say, "Scoot sideways two meters off the bench. Stand erect. Lift left foot. Bend left knee until it is horizontal. Extend left foot and shift weight 300 centimeters forward ." and on and on. If you could interpret all those instructions 100 times faster than any other person in this cafe, you would appear to be a magician: You could run over and grab a milk shake and bring it back and set it on the table and snap your fingers, and I'd think you made the milk shake appear, because it was so fast relative to my perception. That's exactly what a computer does. It takes these very, very simple-minded instructions--"Go fetch a number, add it to this number, put the result there, perceive if it's greater than this other number"--but executes them at a rate of, let's say, 1,000,000 per second. At 1,000,000 per second, the results appear to be magic.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I've gone from Dan North's post, to Gil Zilberfeld's to Michael Feather's to Jason Gorman's. It would appear that we, in the software craftsmanship movement have not been clear. I hope this blog clears a few things up.
Why is there a software craftsmanship movement? What motivated it? What drives it now? One thing; and one thing only.
We are tired of writing crap.
That's it. The fat lady sang. Good nite Gracy. Over and out.
We're tired of writing crap. We are tired of embarrassing ourselves and our employers by delivering lousy software. We have had enough of telling our customers to reboot at midnight. We don't want bug lists that are a thousand pages long. We don't want code that grows more tangled and corrupt with every passing day. We're tired of doing a bad job. We want to start doing a good job.
Monday, January 10, 2011
If there’s one motto I can hope to live by, it’s those simple two words. Just under 2 years ago, I quit my comfy security consulting job to “do my own thing.” Since then, I’ve started two companies and even though every day brings a new challenge, I couldn’t be happier.
Running a startup (or any company) is no easy task. You are, more so than ever before, married to your work. If you fail, your company fails. And you can’t sprint fast enough to keep up with all the demands. And your personal life will suffer. Relationships will be strained, nights out with friends will be missed. If you’re not working on your startup, you’re thinking about your startup.
It. Is. You.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Start a group. Write a book. Make an open source project. This stuff all counts as career work, even though it may not be immediately connected to your current job. What it does is show to future employers that you actually care about this stuff, and are not just there to pick up your paycheck. These kind of activities are one of the fundamental ways to tell good employees apart from mediocre ones.