Twitter is How I Obtain Job Opportunities

My first job was obtained via networking with the right people at college.  My 2nd, 3rd, and 4th job was from + my email address in my code.  I pretty much stopped working W2 jobs in 2004, and started doing full time contracting & consulting.  Thenceforth to 2007, all my gigs were from networking such as going to industry events, blogging, and my email address in my code.  From early 2008 to now a new source has emerged: Twitter.

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Job: Python Software Engineer

VIAAS is seeking a Python Software Engineer. The engineer will be a member of a small, dynamic development team. This is a challenging position that requires in-depth knowledge of LAMP technologies, and a seasoned grasp of how to create, communicate about, and design for scalability of Web 2.0 technologies.The engineer needs to be comfortable working in a fluid environment, handling a variety of assignments and technologies. We have a very sharp, passionate, and fast-moving development team that prides itself on technical excellence and innovation. People who are used to staid corporate environments or a heads-down focus on one thing will not be happy here; people who thrive on learning new technologies, defining their jobs, and having a direct contribution to the success of the business will love it here.

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State of the Flash & Flex Developer Market for 2009

This is a post I plan to do yearly, every April.  I originally started it (late last year) because at the time, many were attempting to guess the effects of the economy’s slow decline on the Flash & Flex market.  I was hoping it’d help others who were insecure, those who had only been in Flex a short while feel better, or who were just curious what things really were like out there at the time.  I’m not paid by Adobe to do this; I just love the technology and want others to get involved.  Also, I developed a side business, unpaid, where I route recruiters/employers to my network, and my network to them.  I found it interesting to see what people are hiring for, and I feel it helps me keep tabs on what the market it is doing.  Nowadays, you barely ever hear people questioning whether to use Flex or not; rather, it’s mostly on deciding to use it vs. other technologies.  That said, it’s still interesting to me to see how and what the market is doing. 

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2007 a Different Economy Than 2006, Flex & Flash Still In It

March this year was high in the need for contractors, consultants, and full-time employee’s in the ways of Flex and Flash. It died June and July. It’s back up again in August. My inbox is full with emails I don’t have time to answer from recruiters and company employers. The majority want Flex. Some want Flash. Some think they want one, but may need the other.

The differences compared to the late summer of 2006 are as follows.

First, some of the start ups have money now. Instead of “We’re so awesome, you’ll want to work for equity because you’ll be so cool in 6 months to have even been associated with us” it’s now, “We’re still cool, and now we can pay you a salary, and company benefits if that’s your thing.”

Second, the recruiters are finally giving in to referral bonuses. This apparently was usually in the realm of bigger companies, placing management type positions, etc. That, or you just had to ask to imply it, and thus get it. I’m somewhat selective on who I send out my contractor list to. If I get 5 emails from various recruiters for the exact same job opportunity, typically the “first in, best English” email gets the list. If the recruiter is really cool, and like… actually cares, I’ll even give my spiel on those contractors I know stuff about. I’ve even seen the same particular jobs pop-up for the past 8 months. While this could be for a number of reasons (talent shortage, toxic client, etc.), the bottom line is that the recruiters are using leverage in the form of referral bonuses to draw out more contacts from people since there aren’t many like me who throw around a pre-sorted list with optional commentary.

Third, the work is still unpredictable. I was hoping for some common themes 5 years into this, but apparently not. Who am I kidding, I love it. While it is challenging to summarize the the type of work since some of the recruiters are not in this country, do not accept incoming phone calls, or simply don’t know enough about the position they are placing candidates for, I have a pretty good idea. That said, the work in the Flash realm is pretty predictable:
– Custom/branded video players. People want something that accentuates their entertainment budget they’ve already spent millions on. Having a YouTube or Brightcove branded player detracts from that.
– Widgets

The interesting thing about widgets is that it’s currently about half and half with Flex. Some of the widgets are design driven; those use Flash. The others are multi-purpose, used inside existing websites or on other platforms; those use Flex. Really random.

The Flex stuff is impossible to categorize. While debates still rage about when to use what technology, when, and where, a lot of companies already know, and are hiring talent for those endeavors. For those that don’t, they hire competent Flash Developers, and they then morph into full-time Flex Developers, usually by accident.

Fourth, remote work is offered without having to ask. Y-gen‘s like me who are all about living the Digital Bedouin work style lifestyle, this is a must. It’s pretty easy to end conversations with recruiters over the phone/email:

“Do they support remote work / telecommuting?”

“No, they do not.”

“Not interested. Thanks! Bye.” :: click ::

Now, I’m getting emails, more so from employers directly, offering remote work for projects if it’s needed. Not encouraged, but accepted. Awesome.

Just because the Flex momentum has died down now that 2 has been out awhile, everyone is enamored with Flex 3 beta & AIR, and Flash CS3 has allowed the Flash Developers to start using AS3 the employment scene in this industry is still strong. Talent is still in short supply. Existing programmers are still picking up and running with Flex very easily. Sometimes (not all unfortunately) this results in them needing help on the design front, usually resulting in trying to find Flash Developers or Flex peeps with a Flash / Design background.

If you have a job, it sucks, and you know how to code in Flash or Flex, it’s not too late to jet for greener pastures with opportunity. If you are not on my contractor list, and want to be, lemme know what type of work you like and send me an email. I send this list to employers and recruiters who are looking for Flash / Flex talent.