[Israel.pm] The state of the onion in Israel

sawyer x xsawyerx at gmail.com
Mon Nov 15 09:29:34 PST 2010

On Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 5:13 PM, Antony Gelberg <antony.gelberg at gmail.com>wrote:

> But is the situation really "better" with e.g. Django / Python or Cake /
> PHP?  I know there are lots *more* developers, certainly with PHP, and
> probably Python (although I'd like some statistics), but IME a much
> larger percentage of them don't understand good software design
> principles (point 2 in my list below).  So there are more people but I
> don't see that the software will come out any better quality.
Hey Antony.

I'm sorry to hear about your predicament.

We are also hiring Perlers where I work and we haven't had too much luck
with that. Of course, we're not aggressive (for example, I haven't posted an
email to the list about it) and we haven't had a lot of applicants,
definitely not nearly as much PHP people.

I personally suggest considering hiring from abroad. I believe working from
home is possible and productive for those with the proper self-control. It
doesn't always work, but I would consider it.

Regarding your inquiry on the status of quality of programmers in other
languages: I can attest that we've interviewed quite a lot of PHP
programmers (we're talking three digits here). Less than 10% has moved up a
stage and less than 3% ended up been hired. This does not include those that
have been let go in their probation period, which is roughly three months.

To compare, we've hired close to 50% - who also successfully passed their
probation period - of the Perl programmers we've interviewed.

So all in all, this might give you some balance between "We can find all the
programmers we need" and "We can find competent programmers".

Unfortunately many Perl programmers are truly closet-programmers, and they
refuse (or are afraid?) to leave the comfort of their home/cubicle/basement
to actually go out there, attend Perl Mongers meetings, find more
programmers, hear talks on new subjects, meet potential employers/coworkers
and improve their Perl skill set. This is indeed a problem of which you
suffer less in other languages or specific realms (such as Web) - at least
in Israel. For a good measure, compare the current number of users on this
list who are in the country, in the area of Rehovot (or can get there in an
hour or less) and the number of people who actually attended the last
Rehovot.pm meeting.

However, as we reach the end of this incredibly long email (for which I
apologize), it's important to note the shape of Perl in Israel is improving,
slowly but steadily. This might not help you find a good programmer now or
in a week from now, but it's good to know the language isn't going away.

What we need is to get all these fine people here to get up, step up to the
plate, come to events, bring their coworkers to these events (Dotan++) and
dare I say... promote Perl!

That's the end of my email/rant/deathbed confession.

Have a great day,
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