08 Dec 2008

How Not to Court a Software Developer

I am currently tied to a ubiquitous 9-5 software job. There are things that I like and some things I would change if given the opportunity. Given everything, I’m happy to have a paycheck and get to learn some new stuff. Good. Great. All that being said, I wouldn’t be sad if a company came out of nowhere and offered a substantial pay raise and/or promised me the ability to fight off aliens with my custom regular expression engine. Translation: I wouldn’t be sad to leave if the right offer came along.


What happens when said “sweep me off my feet” potential company calls my work phone to discuss possible employment opportunities? Such was the case for me this afternoon. I received an instant message from a girl in our tech support department saying that I had a Lawrence Jamison (do I know this guy?) on the line to speak to me. I was surprised at this since I’ve been at this company over 3 months and have not received (nor have needed to receive) any phone calls. I write code. Talk to someone else about the project details. I told the gal to send them to voicemail because I was “in the middle of a project” and “didn’t have time”. A few minutes later the voicemail comes through. Lawrence is apparently no one I know at all. He’s some guy I’ve never met wanting to “talk to me about some things”. He could be a member of the mob for all I know. Apparently he “found me on linked in”. So, I go to linked in and do a search for his name. There’s two results to the search, but one of the results has a shared connection to me, so I’m assuming that’s the guy. The best I can figure, he is a recruiter for a company looking to hire a Java developer. I’ve been investigating and it looks like a fairly viable opportunity, but I am wondering what in the world he was thinking by calling me at work. Isn’t that what linked in is for? Getting in contact with professionals in a professional way?

Maybe I’m just weird, but it seems like an odd way to go about things. Now that I know who this guy is (he didn’t even give me the company name he was with) I’ll call him up to get the scoop. Looks like a job offer, but we’ll see if his professionalism is better the second go around.

Note: names in this post may or may not be fudged.