[Israel.pm] Shortage (or Perceived Shortage) of P-Languages Programmers in Israel (and Elsewhere)

Shlomi Fish shlomif at iglu.org.il
Sat Jun 24 02:19:25 PDT 2006

Hi all!

I've been intending to write about that for a few days now, but am now finally 
doing it, by inspiration from what Adam Kennedy (BCCed to this message) says 


Quoting from it:

At dinner afterwards, there was much discussion about the current "drought" of 
Perl coders. Very difficult to find decent Perl people at the moment in 
America, which backs up other evidence I have of the same situation in Europe 
and Australia.

While it's good that wages for Perl programmers (certainly ones flexible about 
where they live) are sky high at the moment, it's a very very bad long term 
position, as companies will move to other languages. That said, even at the 
higher prices a lot of the time I suspect it is tolerated if only because a 
good Perl programmer can be so productive.

Now, in one of the Python meetings (back when we still met in Azrieli center), 
a certain programmer who is working in PHP at the moment (whom also attended 
soome Israel.PM meetings) said that there is a genuine lack of PHP 
programmers (!) in Israel. Right now I started working for a company as a PHP 
programmer, after a long time of looking for any job in any language. A few 
days ago I talked with a fellow programmer and she said that she's been 
looking for a job in Perl or PHP for quite a while until she found the job in 
our workplace, and that she believed there were too many PHP programmers in 
Israel. I told her it was not true.

It is possible that PHP, Perl even more so, Python much more so, and Linux in 
general programmers is just an extreme form of the general lack of 
programmers in the industry in Israel and to some extent elsewhere.

Of course, the question is if this is case, why did my co-worker and I not 
find a suitable job for so long?

Since I graduated from the Technion in March 2004, and started looking for a 
job, I've been to many job interviews. I felt some of them went pretty well. 
Nevertheless, I only got accepted into three jobs, which weren't suitable for 
me, so I in two cases quit relatively shortly after I got hired, and in one 
case did not sign the contract.

Why didn't I get into the other jobs? I don't know the exact reasons for each, 
but there are many facts about me that can make me look bad to employers. In 
some cases, the prospects of hiring me were simply lost in red tape. 

Ironically, some of the workplaces that rejected me are still looking for 
employees, and have been advertising it. 

My main theory at the moment is that workplaces have become much more picky 
ever since the burst of the bubble. They realise that hiring the wrong 
employee may be much more risky than not hiring a good employee, and so they 
tend to reject people even on slight (or possibly in my case grave) 

Joel Spolsky says in "The Guerilla Guide to Interviewing" ( 
http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000073.html ) that:

Never say "Maybe, I can't tell." If you can't tell, that means *No Hire*. 

So I guess many people regardless if they read Joel or not have followed this, 
and as a result, they don't people who left a bad impression from some 

Now so far I'm very happy with my job, the only not-too-grave problems I have 
with it are the fact I'm working with PHP, and that the office is in 
Jerusalem, and I'm living in Tel Aviv. But some of the jobs I've been 
interviewed to, or know exist would seem like better things to work on. What 
I would like to do is either something more hardware-related (Embedded 
software, device drivers, Electronic Design, etc.) or instead large-scale 
complex applications with sophisticated algorithms, like servers, etc. 
(Things that were traditionally written in C and C++ and lately also Java 
and .NET, but I do not preclude them being written in Perl or a different 
dynamic language).

Now the application I'm working on at work is a web application which is quite 
interesting, but I still feel that there are more interesting jobs for me out 

Anyway, if anyone here has any tips for people who are looking for a job to 
ovecome the over-pickiness of employers, it would be nice of them to 
braindump them now. Note that lying to an employer, or concealing facts is 
not an option (and I hope you realise why).


	Shlomi Fish

Shlomi Fish      shlomif at iglu.org.il
Homepage:        http://www.shlomifish.org/

95% of the programmers consider 95% of the code they did not write, in the
bottom 5%.

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