The Programmers.se FAQ states that "Freelancing and business concerns" are on topic for this exchange.

As a developer involved in recruiting, I consider recruiting to be an critical 'business concern' for any programmer, manager, team leader, or individual programmer.

I ask because I found this closed question to be very relevant to my own situation (that is, I too have found it almost impossible to find really qualified devs).

I'd like to know how other teams, especially those of small outfits handle this problem.

There certainly ought to be somewhere where recruiting questions can be asked.

[appeal to authority] Joel thought it was important enough to write a book on the subject! [/appeal to authority]

3 Answers 3


This question was closed for the wrong reason: sorry about that. It was flagged as too localized and should've been closed as such. I've corrected that mistake.

The reason it's closed too localized is that the content of the question and the answers suggest this is a problem specific to the question asker: he's doing something wrong that other people in his situation would never do, and that's why it's not working.

To that end, it's the business concern equivalent of "You forgot a semicolon." It's a problem, but it's not really going to help anyone in the future. We're trying to hit the blue part of this diagram:

Diagram of Programmers.SE scope

You say that it's relevant to your situation: can you generalize the question to ask something that's relevant to all programmers and not just the question asker's specific situation? If the question's generalized, it should be fine.

  • Could you explain what he is doing wrong that is only relevant to him? I can't see what he's doing wrong. Sure he's specific about his circumstances, but the question itself (I have a good job offer; what more can I do to find capable developers?) seems in the blue part.
    – Jaap
    Commented Sep 27, 2011 at 14:54
  • Yes, and since others have echoed the same question, it doesn't seem localized to him. Commented Sep 27, 2011 at 15:51
  • 1
    @Jaap It's a list of specific things he's done that haven't worked. Unless you have also done specifically what he's tried, it's not applicable to you. It's fine to reinterpret a question so it's more useful to everyone else, but the question needs to be revised to actually be that general question. As I said, if you can revise the question to be more generally applicable, it should be fine.
    – user8
    Commented Sep 27, 2011 at 20:01
  • @Mark: I still disagree that it is specific, but will suggest an edit: "Recruiting is really hard, despite my efforts to hit the big parts of developer happiness. Retention has been no problem, but recruiting is darn near impossible. Is everyone experiencing this kind of mismatch between supply and demand? why do I get so few good candidates?"
    – Jaap
    Commented Sep 27, 2011 at 22:35
  • @Jaap You can edit the question to revise it. Click on the edit link below the question body.
    – user8
    Commented Sep 27, 2011 at 22:40
  • @Mark: I would do that if I thought there was anything wrong with the question as it is. I do not believe there is.
    – Jaap
    Commented Sep 27, 2011 at 22:43
  • I have a strong feeling that had the question not included so much detail the questioner would have been critizised for not giving enough detail. For sure someone would have said 'what about the Joel test?!? Commented Sep 29, 2011 at 4:11

Well, consider the question, which contains no less than five distinct questions. I am literally quoting from the text of the question here:

  1. Is there just a dearth of c# talent in Chicago?
  2. Am I uniquely fouling up my recruitment process?
  3. Am I going to have to just hire interns and grow my own devs?
  4. Advice is appreciated.
  5. Commiseration will be accepted.

That's problematic from the get-go.

If the question focused on #3, I think it would be a much stronger case and potentially helpful to future readers. But as it is, the answers are all over the place, and can be added infinitely since it's just listing your opinion of this particular highly specific case.

  • 1
    It seems to be you missed the question: "Is everyone experiencing this kind of mismatch between supply and demand"; and the implied real question: "why am I experiencing this mismatch, and how do I fix that?". For the ones you mention #1 is rhetorical, #2 and #3 are possible answers he offers, and #4 and #5 are not questions at all.
    – Jaap
    Commented Sep 27, 2011 at 14:59
  • 2
    I do not think these are actual questions so much as possible reasons/solutions that the OP has considered. He does not appear to be looking for an itemized responce of 1 no 2 yes 3 no. etc. and really there are 3 questions and 2 comments in an itemized list there are not 5 questions. There is One overall question and that is what does the OP need to change to attract better candidates. That may be off topic in itself or possibly to localized but I can see others benifiting from answers to his question Commented Sep 27, 2011 at 17:46

The specifics of the question are local to the OP I will grant, but providing specific parameters makes it easier to generate useful answers.

  • The location that is specific is really about 1k square miles and over 6 million people.

  • The specific problem of not getting good candidates for a popular development platform is not unique.

  • He has elimiated the 3 concerns for choosing a new job.

While his problem is specific the causes and solutions will be applicable across a wide audience. Here we are asked to help identify either why the OP will be unable to find a reliable supply of new talent or what he can do to access an existing supply. Those answers will cross a wide audience.

  • 1
    Can you suggest an edit to the question that actually reflects a generalized situation that's applicable to more than just the OP? That'd get the question re-opened.
    – user8
    Commented Sep 27, 2011 at 20:01

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