“Hiring good programmers is hard.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard this phrase during the past 30+ years I’ve been in this business. And, from my experience and research, I agree. A few customers have also told me that good Synergy programmers are harder to find than others, but over the years I’ve found that it doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for developers experienced in Synergy DBL, C#, Java, VB.NET, or any other language… hiring good programmers is just hard. The exception, of course, is the gaming industry, where a plethora of young talented programmers are excited to spend countless hours writing games for almost no money. Sort of reminds me of the early programmers who wrote business application solutions back in the day!
So, how do you find a good Synergy developer? Well, for starters, don’t limit your pool to developers experienced in Synergy. Find a great programmer and make him/her a master in the language you use. Any good programmer can learn Synergy, or C#, or Java, etc. But not every programmer who knows Synergy or C# or Java is or will become a great programmer. Seek out developers who have current modern day developer skills such as OO, .NET, etc. If they don’t already know Synergy, they’ll pick it up quickly and will appreciate that it is a modern OO language that runs on virtually all platforms, including mobile, and is fully integrated with Visual Studio. Then, send your new developers to a Synergex class, have PSG come on-site to get them up to speed, and (of course) send them to the annual Synergy DevPartner conference.
Tip: Consider domain knowledge specific to your industry. You are much better off hiring a good developer who is knowledgeable in your particular vertical market and teaching him/her DBL than vice versa.
Also, open the door to hiring developers with programming experience (vs. just having a computer science degree). When you look back at the early years of our industry there were very few universities offering programming degrees—most of the original developers of what are now world class enterprise applications had no formal education on programming. These developers had raw talent and enthusiasm to solve problems and create solutions. (Some of you reading this blog are likely those original developers!) This too is how Synergex started. In fact, many of our top talent never received formal education in programming. That said, I’m not recommending that you seek developers without formal degrees but I am encouraging you to focus on smart, eager developers whom you can train and educate to be part of your next generation of leaders. Here at Synergex we’ve developed and use a variety of third-party tests that can help vet sharp young talent—this talent has made a big impact on our development team. We would be happy to share the tools we use.
So you’ve advertised for a talented, trainable, language-agnostic developer, interviewed your candidates to confirm a good fit with your culture, vetted out analytical aptitude, and are convinced that your candidate will be a great addition to your team… What if the candidate turns the tables on you and asks, “Why would I want to program in Synergy DBL?” What do you say?
I recommend that you have this question answered in their minds long before they have the opportunity to ask it. Make sure your candidates all understand the value of Synergy DBL and the exciting opportunities they will have to work with these modern development tools. Let them know that skills they will gain using Synergy DBL will provide a lifetime of employment opportunities any place in the world they want to live and work.
Congratulations on hiring your next great programmer!
I agree with Bill in his assessment. It’s not about a programmers DBL knowledge at all. In fact, Turnkey Computer Systems has not hired anyone in the last 20 years that had DBL experience. We seek out and find people that are good programmers via testing, have good references, track record, and experience. Level of education is also considered if the person is just out of college. Have we had some failures? Sure, but generally speaking if the person is motivated and good at solving problems in code then they typically will make the cut!