Tech talent: is there a shortage, or just short sightedness?

The business has a knack for finding and cultivating talent of a certain kind.

Dimas Guardado, at Model View Culture:

It’s telling that we continue to look for answers to the manufactured “talent shortage” in children, rather than in communities of adults around us. There is much that has yet to be discussed about how we as practitioners can identify and reach more of our colleagues that current professional events do not reach. Conferences and meetups, blogs and books, academic theory and the folk knowledge of professional networks often tend to reach people already tapped into those networks. For this reason, it is important to encourage these networks and events to continue to expand their reach with more accessible pricing structures, more inclusive social practices, and more protective behavior policies.

Notable Replies

  1. I've definitely noticed some weirdness. I'm now in my early 40s, and I'm interviewing again for the first time in over 12 years...boy has it changed. And I'm still shocked at the disconnect between the "learn to code" crowd (like the guy who gave the homeless person JS lessons) and the "Google interview" crowd, asking for Big-O notation coding quizzes in artificial, timed environments.

    I've done triple indirection pointers, but you always run into that person in the interview who frowns because you don't know the latest C++11 quirk off the top of your head, or you missed the not-Fibonacci-because-that's-Googleable brain teaser optimization that takes you to O(logN), or you don't answer the recursion question in the 5 minutes provided on a whiteboard just minutes after talking about handy advanced IDEs and quickly iterating on code tests.

    It all feels like tech redlining to me.

  2. Something that could be actually useful for bringing more minorities into engineering in the context of USA:

  3. The tech industry is like a lot of industries. They have largely stopped doing on the job training and upgrading employee skills through courses and seminars and then they wonder why they can't find the talent they are looking for. Nobody is born knowing how to code and nobody is born with 3 to 5 years work experience. People used to be trained on the job now they just tell a person to go to University on their own time and expense which doesn’t work because by the time the person graduates their skill set could be outdated and schools cannot teach you everything you need to know. There needs to be on the job training and patience by the employer until the employee gets up to speed but employers are impatient and too cheap to do it. Instead they would rather poach talent from their competitors or bring in cheap foreign labor. This only works for so long then you have shortage of talent because nobody has been grooming the next generation coming up for the roles they will assume someday when their elders retire or die.

  4. That and usually the demand of skill set is completely different to skill set taught. I still see alot of demand made by corporations for better education of their workforce differs from what they actually want in their hiring process. For example, they make demands to the government on tech education, but what they really want are trained middle managers, not computer science graduates.

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