Klaus Breyer Tech Leadership, Product Delivery & Startup Strategy.

Global Developer Sourcing: Reasons and Process

Due to an acute shortage of skilled workers in Berlin, I am currently conducting job interviews with Javascript developers from around the world. I can think of few reasons why one should only search in their own city, and even fewer reasons to have all personnel sitting in your own office.

Trigger Currently, I work with developers in Berlin and outside of Berlin and outside of Germany. But even with the developer in Berlin, I communicate most of the time via Slack.

Requirements are becoming increasingly specific and companies no longer have time for endless onboarding. At the same time, however, it is becoming increasingly irrelevant where someone comes from.

What is more important to me is that someone has already worked with a required framework (in my case e.g.. React and Redux) in production, rather than that he comes from Berlin. That’s why I actually only post job advertisements in English and without a geographical restriction for the job.

Humility Talking to developers from all over the world is something I can only recommend to anyone looking for employees. Even if none of them end up getting hired, a certain humility remains:

The experience that a developer, regardless of his foreign surname and his small town in Spain, Pakistan, Nigeria or Belarus, uses exactly the same tools and the same frameworks, and watches the same YouTube videos from conferences, clearly illustrates the size of one’s own ego and the limits of one’s own filter bubble.

It is really nice to see how the Internet provides equal opportunities. Everyone around the world can use the latest hot stuff from America - but theoretically also build the next hot thing themselves!

Work & Travel But I am not really about altruism or deliberately promoting development. Actually, I just want good developers. And statistically, there are more of them in the rest of the world than in Berlin.

Germans abroad can also be interesting, as at least the language barrier is eliminated. Some people make a cult out of Work & Travel even a cult. Gerald Schömbs even sees a chance for a good non-profit model in it. There are actually only a few reasons why you should not constantly travel around the world - especially if you are supplied with well-paid assignments from your home country / from Germany.

Remote Team and Job Search in Practice Of course, this only works if the team is designed for it. Such a decision to keep the team remote must be made very early and consistently followed through. I don’t consider splitting up an existing team to be desirable in any case.

You must also be aware that a lot of candidates apply for such an open application. That’s why I have very clear guidelines. Here is a small excerpt from one of my job advertisements:

How to proceed If the stack and the circumstances work for you, you can apply directly by sending your application to [email protected]. Application Checklist:

  • Brief résumé: Who are you? What have you worked on so far? Using which technology?
  • Tell us about your project experience with React and Redux!
  • Have you ever contributed to Open Source Projects?
  • Your conditions: What’s your idea of an ideal salary?
  • Your approximate availability and how many days per week you’d like to work and from where you want to work.
  • And most importantly: When can you start?

Meeting in person: If your preferences and formal skills fit the profile, we’ll meet in person. Preferably face to face, if you live in Berlin. Otherwise we can first conduct a Skype interview and invite you to come to Berlin afterwards.

Test project: You will receive a programming test form us. Most likeley this will be a refactoring of an existing project to test your skills and get an impression of your working style.

Onboarding: Once we’ve agreed upon your conditions and everything else suits both sides, you’ll receive 1-2 weeks of boot camp training on-site here in Berlin (we’ll bear the costs). Afterwards you’ll be able to work from wherever you like. We communicate using Slack and Trello. If you live in Berlin, you’re free to work in the office, as well.

By the way, I respond to every mail, even if I only ask for the checklist again.

Conclusion: The developer must be good and the personal level must match. This is the case in Germany and it is no different anywhere else in the world.