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Re: [newtech-1] why NYC startups can't hire

From: Jonathan V.
Sent on: Friday, December 17, 2010, 12:54 AM
On Dec 16, 2010, at 10:45 AM, Peter Bell wrote:

> I also like people who contribute to open source code. If a developer doesn't at least *have* a github account these days that's pretty much an automatic fail.

I don't judge by a github account, BUT I do judge by open source code.  Not everything or everyone uses github -- some use SVN, others CVS.  I won't judge by 'flavor'.

But if someone is not actively contributing to open source code -- automatic fail in my eyes.  I don't look at is as a "Open Source" vs "Closed Source" philosophy -- i look at it as a portfolio that a serious developer invests in.  If you're serious about showing you can do a good job in Python, PHP, Ruby, Java, etc -- I expect you to have public code out there, or a blog that backs you up with howtos, etc.   If you don't , I'm not wasting my time interviewing you.

now what i wrote before::

In terms of compensation-

	Having an 'agency' contract you developers in NYC is[masked] /hr.  It makes sense to do that when you don't have the time to assemble a team from start.
	It's an employee market right now.  8+ years experience can be from[masked]k base, with a bonus on top.  Hourly you'll expect[masked]hr.
	Yes you can find people who are 40-80/hr -- but they almost always lack the experience and skills to bring a project to fruition on time , budget & expectations -- that's why they're still entry level.  If you have a solid CTO or some Sr devs -- then sure, hire the junior people and develop their skills.  Otherwise, what the fuck are you thinking?  Stop trying to cut corners on your own product.
	For a "CTO" to come in, its all over.  Rates are different as well , esp with equity packages.  My compensation from Startups is vastly different than what Corporations pay me.  

		My compensation as CTO/VP Engineering/D.Produc­t for startups , on average, is 50-80% equity based.
		My compensation as acting CTO of an IAC property is 100% cash based.

		Also, my compensation consulting to interactive agencies is higher than my compensation consulting directly to a client.  If my direct rate on a project to a client would be 200hr , and I know an agency is billing me out at 350/hr, then they're splitting the differece with me.

In terms of team makeup-

	I repeat this often, I will repeat again:
		If you are starting a tech company do not have an in-house CTO who has compensation tied to equity, you should give up.  They should be making a scale salary/compensation and have a few points of equity -- or no salary and a lot of equity.  This doesn't ahve to be fulltime, but should be at least 20hrs a week.

			- You want them to make decisions that are in the interests of the company moving forward with profitability, not in generating contracts and more work.  This is unfortunately typical.
			- If you can't sell-in a tech person on a vision of your company, that's a huge mark of failure.  Every tech person knows that, and every business person knows it too.
			- You need someone who can give quick advice and audits:
				- is X a good idea?
				- are there alternatives?
				- is this development plan smart ?
				- are these contractors fucking me over?
				- do i need a reality check ?
				- what about a feature that does Y ?
				Stuff like  that comes up every other hour in a startup environment
			- You also need someone who can make solid business-driven architectural decisions.

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