I was approached recently with an interesting question.
“Jim,” they said, “I need to find some open source programmers, game developers actually, but I only have time to recruit the very best.”
“Umm… un huh,” I replied.
“How can I find a programmer that is worth recruiting,” he asked and when on to say, “especially when I do not know (expletive) about programming?”
Hmm… I thought that was an interesting question. After a bit of thought, I think I came up with an interesting answer.
I directed them to SourceForge, a repository for downloading free open source software. The programmer they wanted to hire was a game developer. The project was a first-person shooter game.
2. I found a category for “First Person Shooters” under the “Games” category.
3. Clicking that link lead me to a list of (open source) first-person shooter games. Cool! I pay close attention to which of the games was recommended the most and had a high number of downloads. Why? If a LOT of people are giving the game the thumbs up, it must be a well made (and creative) game. Can a bad programmer make a highly popular video game? Maybe, but most likely not as a game made by a bad programmer would be very buggy. Make sense?
The game I decided on was “Unvanquished” which was downloaded 15,364 times and recommended 92%, a high ratio compared to some of the other games I saw here.
4. I go to the download page, but instead of downloading the game, I click on the name of the programmer who developed it. Clicking their name takes me to their SourceForge profile page which lets me see their recent activity on the site. (Although, nothing to see there at this writing.) More importantly, it also offers me a way to contact the Programmer. I simply click “Send me a message” and I am taken to a form where I can, well, send them a message. (Its not rocket science folks!)
You have to be a member of Sourceforge to send a message, but no big deal as its free to join the site. The person I assisted really like this strategy because, well, let me count the ways.
- There was a lot of software available for downloading, which meant that there were a lot of programmers they could be reaching out to.
- They could target their searches to programmers who were proficient in building a certain type of application. (In our case, first-person shooter games.)
- They could pre-qualify their leads based on the wisdom of the crowd. Most likely buggy software would get bad recommendations and not rank so highly, so if they focus on the “good stuff’ they can spend time on the “programmers that worth recruiting,” if I can use their words.
So, what do you think? Do you like this strategy? Please do leave a comment and let me know.
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P.S. If you like this type of thing, you will love my book – Resume Forensics. Just sayin’…