Developing Tools, Systems and Teams for Success in 2013
Next Advisory Board meeting: January 22, 2013
It was a great turn-out for December’s software development summit “Developing the Right Team, Tools and Systems to Succeed”. It concluded a year of programming for our software development community and welcomed a new focus on finding, developing and engaging tech talent for your business. As companies are expecting to grow in 2013, how will they find and develop the right talent to support this growth? Scott Kirsner kicked off the event with this discussion with Jeremy Hitchcock, CEO at Manchester-based DYN Inc., and Niraj Shah, CEO at Boston-based Wayfair. Their locations may differ but their challenges are the same. They both identified the hardest rolls to fill as mobile developers, senior software developers and UI developers. If you’re looking, they would be happy to hear from you! J
Our break-out sessions had two tracks – one developer focused, the second workforce development focused. It was amazing that four leading dev shops in Boston shared their tech stacks. They chose their tools and frameworks based on developer productivity - if it works for the development team and increases productivity, that’s what they will work with. The tech stacks presentations can be found here from HubSpot, RunKeeper, Vistaprint and uTest. There was a consensus with the group to try and move to more and more frequent releases (HubSpot currently releases 100 times/day). More on this at an upcoming MassTLC meeting!
Managing APIs and the company strategy behind them continues to be a hot topic for developers. It was good to hear from panelists from Akamai, BrainShark, Constant Contact and SmartBear on their best practices and strategies. A great blog post from this session from programmableweb is here. Click here for a video recording of the discussion on API ROI.
The workforce development tracks focused on best recruiting strategies and how to build talent from within. Art Papas from Bullhorn lead the discussion on recruiting. The opinions varied from the larger organization, VMWare, to the growing Visible Measures. They agreed that it takes tremendous coordination between recruiters and hiring managers and that between 10-20 technical hires is doable per year depending on roles, compensation and the number of recruiters on the job.
Lastly, Kai Gray, VP of Operations at Carbonite and co-chair of MassTLC’s new workforce development community, discussed the hiring and development of junior talent with Gene Shkolnik from Kayak, Jeremy Weiskotten from Terrible Labs and Chris Brookins from Acquia. Gene commented that it is unrealistic to find enough great senior people in this market. Kayak focuses on hiring junior talent with great aptitude and then assigns a mentor to develop and groom them. Keeping employees, both junior and senior talent, involved in strategy and contributing to the direction of the company vs. just building product can be a key to success.
We have a software development advisory board meeting scheduled for January 22nd at 12:30 at VMWare in Cambridge. We will review our plans and strategy for 2013. The meeting is open to all member companies. Details and registration are here.
Our next workforce development program "Employee Development: Identifying and Creating Leaders and Engaged Employees is being held on February 27th. Details and registration will be available soon.
Thanks to all that attended, to Microsoft NERD Center for hosting the event and to our event sponsors DYN, Rally Software, SmartBear Software, Snowbound Software and VMWare for contributing to a great event for the community.
Director of Communities