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Position Wanted: How's the economy in your area? How's the XP/Agile market?

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  • Jeff Grigg
    We re finding the local economy in the Saint Louis, Missouri region to be quite tight: The world financial crisis is hitting this area particularly hard.
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 11, 2009
      We're finding the local economy in the Saint Louis, Missouri region to
      be quite tight: The world financial crisis is hitting this area
      particularly hard. InBev's takeover of Anheuser-Busch, headquartered in
      Saint Louis, has been a challenge. And the loss of several other large
      employers in recent years hasn't helped. There are bright spots in the
      local economy, and quite a few highly skilled and knowledgeable people
      looking for work. But it may be some time before things really turn
      around.



      I've heard that all the major Texas cities are doing relatively well in
      this economy. (But I have not been able to confirm that myself.)



      I read about layoffs at well-known Silicone Valley employers, and wonder
      about the current balance between opportunities and available skilled
      workers in the area.



      So how are things looking in your area? What does the marketplace for
      skilled XP, Agile, Lean and Scrum professionals look like?





      I'm on the market, looking for challenging and interesting
      opportunities. How are things going with you?

      Thanks!

      - jeff

      _ _ _ _ _



      Jeff Grigg - Senior software development implementer, trainer, coach and
      leader.

      Current Location: Saint Louis, MO

      email: jeffgrigg@...

      LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/JeffGrigg

      Blog: http://jeffgrigg.wordpress.com/

      Ward's Wiki: http://www.c2.com/cgi/wiki?JeffGrigg



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Pieter Nagel
      ... Was your question limited to any particular continent? Would you consider contributing to the recent brain-drain out of the USA? ;-) -- Pieter Nagel
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 11, 2009
        On Wed, 2009-03-11 at 21:16 +0000, Jeff Grigg wrote:

        > So how are things looking in your area? What does the marketplace for
        > skilled XP, Agile, Lean and Scrum professionals look like?

        Was your question limited to any particular continent?

        Would you consider contributing to the recent brain-drain out of the
        USA? ;-)

        --
        Pieter Nagel
        www.nagel.co.za
      • Jeff Grigg
        ... I did not limit my question to my personal areas of interest, as a wider discussion could benefit more people. And if an offer is particularly
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 11, 2009
          > --- Jeff Grigg wrote:
          >> So how are things looking in your area? What does the
          >> marketplace for skilled XP, Agile, Lean and Scrum
          >> professionals look like?

          --- Pieter Nagel <pieter@...> wrote:
          > Was your question limited to any particular continent?
          > Would you consider contributing to the recent brain-drain
          > out of the USA? ;-)

          I did not limit my question to my personal areas of interest, as a wider discussion could benefit more people. And if an offer is particularly interesting, I would hope to be open minded.
        • Pieter Nagel
          ... Ah. I missed the we in your first post. Well, to answer your original question, I won t say we ve got job opportunities pouring out the ears, but we are
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 11, 2009
            On Wed, 2009-03-11 at 21:53 +0000, Jeff Grigg wrote:

            > I did not limit my question to my personal areas of interest, as a
            > wider discussion could benefit more people.

            Ah. I missed the "we" in your first post.

            Well, to answer your original question, I won't say we've got job
            opportunities pouring out the ears, but we are looking for a strong and
            experienced OO developer with good design instincts and preferably some
            background in TDD, refactoring etc.

            So that's an existence proof that the economy in the Pretoria, South
            Africa area is such that there's at least one opening in XP/Agile job
            market. I'm not sure we could make it worthwhile for US people to come
            over, though.

            As an aside, aren't recruitment agencies a pain?

            They just don't grok anything but "skills matrices", and they just don't
            know what to make of the fact that we use Smalltalk - none of the rows
            on their skills database say "Smalltalk" see.

            So we told them, as a heuristic, to send us anybody who knows at least 3
            OO programming languages. And so they send us CV's for people who know
            the programming languages called MS Word, CSS, and that paragon of
            object-oriented programming languages called SQL.

            --
            Pieter Nagel
            www.nagel.co.za
          • Adam Sroka
            ... That sounds bad. I have worked with some good recruiters and some bad ones. It could be that the size of the market in South Africa limits the number of
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 11, 2009
              On Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 3:18 PM, Pieter Nagel <pieter@...> wrote:
              > On Wed, 2009-03-11 at 21:53 +0000, Jeff Grigg wrote:
              >
              >> I did not limit my question to my personal areas of interest, as a
              >> wider discussion could benefit more people.
              >
              > Ah. I missed the "we" in your first post.
              >
              > Well, to answer your original question, I won't say we've got job
              > opportunities pouring out the ears, but we are looking for a strong and
              > experienced OO developer with good design instincts and preferably some
              > background in TDD, refactoring etc.
              >
              > So that's an existence proof that the economy in the Pretoria, South
              > Africa area is such that there's at least one opening in XP/Agile job
              > market. I'm not sure we could make it worthwhile for US people to come
              > over, though.
              >
              > As an aside, aren't recruitment agencies a pain?
              >
              > They just don't grok anything but "skills matrices", and they just don't
              > know what to make of the fact that we use Smalltalk - none of the rows
              > on their skills database say "Smalltalk" see.
              >
              > So we told them, as a heuristic, to send us anybody who knows at least 3
              > OO programming languages. And so they send us CV's for people who know
              > the programming languages called MS Word, CSS, and that paragon of
              > object-oriented programming languages called SQL.
              >

              That sounds bad. I have worked with some good recruiters and some bad
              ones. It could be that the size of the market in South Africa limits
              the number of good ones there.

              In my experience the best recruiters are the ones who have experience
              managing developers. Recruiting is a second career for a lot of folks.
              Some recruiters are former developers. They might know what a good
              candidate looks like but they have difficulty interfacing with the
              hiring managers. Some recruiters have been in the HR business their
              whole careers. These folks know a lot about hiring and very little
              about the actual work. People with a technical management background
              are the best because they know a lot about hiring but they also know a
              thing or two about what the actual job entails. It's also easier for
              them to spot interlopers. They talk like managers but they know the
              second when a technical candidate is snowing them.

              If you can't find good recruiters, perhaps you could find a former (or
              current) manager who would be willing to do the footwork?
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