On Friday, September 21, 2012 at 10:03 AM, Tyler Tringas wrote:
General discussion: Is my perspective accurate? All I hear about are horror stories of startups trying to find good Rails devs, paying near extortion rates for even entry-level engineers and $1m/head acqui-hires, every good Rails developer having to beat away headhunters with a wiffle bat. And yet there seems to be virtually no contract jobs for good engineers who value their independence more your stock options. Is it just a fundamentally unattractive arrangement for a VP of Engineering to hire contractors or am I just not looking hard enough? Very interested in the group's thoughts.
IMO, generally, you're just not looking hard enough. BUT… there is some truth to what you're saying. As a tech founder who is hiring, I would much prefer a full time hire that I can invest in and who will be very invested in the company's success to a contractor who is focusing on our challenges a few times a week. This comes mostly from personal experience -- how often do we solve problems we obsess about in the shower, late at night, early in the morning, or whenever inspiration strikes. I much prefer my team to be obsessing about Yapp, and not another client or their own startup that they are passionate about. There are exceptions to this, to be sure: getting specialized expertise in a specific area that you don't need full-time makes an attractive candidate for a short-term contract. And despite my preference, I have used part-time freelancers exactly because hiring in this market is challenging. Given the choice for a funded start-up, though, I strongly prefer full-time, incentivized developers.