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What do developers look for when they scan a job ad?

Dear Reader,

In my book “Culture of Respect” I have a section on writing job ads that will attract developers. I am in the process of revising that chapter, so I thought I would ask the people who actually read the job ads what they look for. The results weren’t that surprising to me. Having read a lot of job ads though, I am guessing that the results will be surprising to some managers out there.

I’ll let you read the results for yourself.

Until next time,
I <3 |<


Creating a Brown Bag Lunch Program

Dear Reader,

brown_bag_coverLast month – Feburary 2016 – I launched my new book “Creating a Brown Bag Lunch Program”. In a little over a month, it has gained close to 400 readers.

The What and Why

The premise of the book is simple, I walk managers of developers teams through all the steps necessary to create an environment of continuous learning for their teams.

Creating a Brown Bag Lunch program is not difficult, but managers are busy. This book lays out everything you need to know in a simple step-by-step process. From how to select topics to the details like room and food, I lay it all out for you in this book.

For $10, and about 30 minutes of your time, you can learn everything you need to know to start a program that is going to help build your team, grow your team, and bring your team together.

Get the book for free

Here’s the kicker, I don’t really want your $10. I’ll trade you my book for your email address. You can either use the link above and buy it from Amazon, or you can click the button below and get it for free, the choice is up to you. It is the EXACT SAME BOOK in both cases.

Whether you pay with cash or pay with your email address, get this book today and start your team down the road of continuous learning.

Until Next time,
I <3 |<

Can you afford this meeting?

Dear Reader,

In 1995 I joined the Christian Broadcasting Network as a developer. During orientation they handed us a small form about the size of a postcard. The instructions went something like this.

  1. Write your salary on the line provided.
  2. Divide by 2080 and write this number on the line provided. 2080 is the number of work hours in a work year. This will give you your effective hourly rate.
  3. Divide your hourly rate by $5. $5 is the average monthly donation by a partner to CBN.
  4. The resulting number is the number of partners that have donated to allow you to work each hour. Remember this number each time you call a meeting. Multiply this number by the number of meetings attendees and you can get an idea of what the meeting is costing our partners. Make sure it is worth it.

This lesson has never left me. To this day, if I am in a meeting and a “discussion” begins – discussion being a euphemism for argument – I sit back and start calculating what this discussion is costing the company per minute. When you realize that your bikeshedding the color of a button on the website is costing the company $20/minute, you start to put things in perspective.

Not all meetings are necessary. For the ones that are, keep it focused, keep it short and sweet.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

Help Build a Culture of Respect

Book Cover: Culture of RespectDear Reader,

I am in the final steps of producing my next book, “Culture of Respect: How to Find, Hire, and Retain Developers”.  It is based in large part on my own experience, as well as advice I have received from other managers and talks I’ve had with both developers and managers.


Be a part of my latest book

The final piece I want for this book is advice from developer managers, team leaders, directors of IT. I want your best tips for other managers to help them build a better team or department.  So I’m asking you. Are you a manager? Director? Team Lead? Do you want to be part of my latest book? Drop me an email.


How you can help

If you would like to submit to be considered here is what I am looking for from you.

  • Send an email to cal at calevans dot com. In the subject line put “Culture of Respect”
  • In the email put your best advice for managing developers, building a team, finding developers, hiring developers or building your team’s culture.  No more than 3 paragraphs, please.
  • Give it a title, a good title

If I select your submission, I will drop you an email letting you know and asking you for a high-quality head shot to go on the book.

I am hoping to get 10 good submissions for the book. If I get more than 10, I will write those I don’t use in the book and ask if I can use them as guests blog posts on this blog.


The Fine Print

  1. My judgement is final on what goes into the book. You do not have to agree to let me use it as a guest blog post if it doesn’t make the book, but you can’t argue with me about whether it makes it into the book.
  2. This is not a paying gig. If you want to share, to help others build teams and manage developers then I want your submission. You will get attribution for your contribution. I’ll list your name, twitter, and blog should you want it. You will have to confirm that what you submit is your own and you will have to agree to allow me to publish it in my book.
  3. You will get a free copy of the eBook and a coupon to give to someone else for a free copy. I am not currently planning a dead-tree edition of this book but if I do, those selected will get a free signed copy for your collection, and a second free copy to give away to someone.


The Call to Action

So, help me, and  help others. Submit your best tips to share with other developer managers, team leads, and IT managers. Let’s see if we can change things for the better.

Until next time,

I <3 |<

Can I Afford This Job?

Money by Andrew MagillDear Reader,

Here is a quote job post I saw recently.

They are offering competitive salaries, benefits (vacation, medical, dental, vision), a 401k plan, as well as a fun collaborative working environment (catered food truck lunches, theme park outings, big charity events and more).

Sounds interesting right? If I am a Junior developer making squat or near squat, I am interested. However, if I am a Mid-range developer, Senior developer, or a System Architect – or if I am a developer with a family that depends on my salary and I have a minimum salary requirement – I’m conflicted.

Do I bother to apply? Are there other signals I can use to deduce whether this will be a waste of my time or not? What is “competitive salaries”? Who are they competing with? If they are competing with fast food restaurants, that’s going to be a different number than if they are competing with investment banking companies.

As a hiring manager you haven’t done your job. You have told me how great the job is, but you’ve not answered the question “Can I afford to take this job?”.

As my friend Sean Coats pointed out in the comments of “The secret to writing a job post to attract PHP developers”, salary is important when deciding whether to apply for a job.

Help developers pre-qualify themselves for your positions. Save yourself the time and aggravation of interviewing someone only to find that they can’t afford to take the job. Help developers answer the question “Can I afford this job?”. Put a salary range on your job post.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

Photo Credit: Money by Andrew Magill
Used under CC license