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It’s all about culture

Culture is not a Crime by Dawn EndicoDear Reader,

The problem of hiring PHP developers is actually deeper than just finding developers and collecting resumes. You are hunting for a scarce and prized person. To succeed you need to be able to attract them, and then convince them that they want to use their skills to further your company’s goals. To do this, you need to show them that they will be happy at your company. This comes down to culture.

Culture is not having a foosball table in the break room, or a kegerator on tap 24/7. Those are trappings. Trappings – silly benefits made up to help get developers in the door and then keep them at work as long as you possibly can – worked well in the late 90’s. After the first bubble burst, developers began to see them for what they really were.

  • Free lunches
  • Dry Cleaning Service
  • On-site gym
  • Social hours
  • Movie nights

All of these and more have been employed by companies with the single goal of keeping their developers on premises and working for the maximum number of hours. This is not culture. Culture is recognizing that work is only a part of someone’s life. That work-life balance is important. Culture is knowing that while a project may be important to the company, it should never be more important to a developer than the other parts of his life; family, God, community, etc.

The bedrock of a good developer culture is respect. Respect for the fact that you have developers to build things on which the company is based. Respect for the fact that without developers, the company most likely would not exist. Culture is not putting developers on a pedestal and offering them trinkets as tribute. Culture is understanding that developers aren’t cogs in a machine that can be replaced on a whim. If you build a culture of respect, you will find it much easier to hire developers. If you get this right, the rest is easy. Like a house’s foundation though, if you don’t get this part right, the rest doesn’t matter. In the long run, your developer culture is only as good as the foundation it is built on.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

Photo Credit: “Culture is not a crime” by Dawn Endico.
Used under CC:By

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