By this time tomorrow I’ll be unemployed, and I’ve got no job lined up.
As it happens, I’m not in a rush to find another position. I’ve got some funds and some personal projects and travel to keep me busy until I find something that appeals. But of course I’m keeping my eyes open for interesting opportunities, and I subscribe to a number of job feeds.
Here’s one that came down the RSS feed from jobs.perl.org. I also had it emailed directly to me by someone who saw my profile on perl.net.au and thought — despite the evidence — that I might be interested.
I’m not, and here’s why.
First, read the job ad. Go ahead, I’ll wait. (Note: Full text also included at the end of this article.)
Here’s my analysis:
The following actually tell me anything about the job beyond the fact that it’s a Perl/LAMP job in Melbourne:
* South-East *(hmmmm, commute)*
* Advertising, Content & Customer Management Software *(ick)*
* intricacies of our custom-developed software *(uh-oh…)*
Given that we’re dealing with a Perl web job…
* fast-paced Internet company
* range of business sectors
* strong understanding of the Internet
* emerging technologies
* Working with our programming team
* developing & modifying
* online software system
* capable of implementing new web-based applications
* navigate your way around an Open Source hosting environment
What I actually wanted to know
* Description of the business: at minimum, its **industry sector** and an indication of its **size/importance** (“Startup”, “Small company”, “Multinational company”, “Publicly listed company”, etc)
* Who are your **clients**? Don’t just say “a range of business sectors”. Are they fish and chip shops, accountants, porn producers? Again, industry sector and size, if you don’t want to specify precisely.
* Who are your **programming team**? Give me some adjectives. Are they expert, widely-skilled, spread across three countries? A small group in a large company, or is the company mostly made up of programmers?
* Content? You have content on your website(s)? Wow. What kind is it?
* Which **emerging technologies** in particular? No, the World Wide Web no longer counts, I’m afraid.
* What’s your custom-developed software based on? Are you using **CPAN** modules, **frameworks**, or what? Mason, Catalyst, CGI::Application, HTML::Template? DBI? ORMs? Is it even object oriented?
* What development **toolkit** do you use? Version control, bug tracking, test automation, documentation tools?
* What development **processes** do you use? Waterfall, rapid prototyping, agile, none?
* What’s this Open Source **hosting environment**? Are you talking about Linux servers? BSD? Something else? Would I need to have sysadmin skills, or just be familiar with the Unix shell?
* As a senior developer, what **responsibilities** would I have, beyond simply cutting code? Would I be leading a team, making architectural decisions, doing project management?
Regarding the technical skills required:
* How much Perl do you really want? Just that I know the syntax? Specifying years’ experience is far from perfect, but at least it gives me some idea if we’re in the same ballpark.
* Apache what? Running a CGI script under it? Configuring and administering live servers? mod_perl? Writing Apache modules?
* MySQL what? Just database design and everyday use? Performance tweaking? Replication?
* What are you **paying**? I’m sick of this game, and if you ask me what I want, I’ll add a zero just for the hell of it.
* How far would I have to **commute**?
* **Don’t be coy about who you are.**
Some simple Googling reveals that you are 247ads.com.au, located at Level 1, 350 South Rd, Hampton VIC 3188, Australia. A couple of Whois queries tell me that b2csolutions, who posted the job ad, are not an independent recruiting firm but are probably part of the same organisation.
So why won’t you tell me that you want someone to build classified ads software?
Good thing I’ve got a “strong understanding of the Internet”.
I should probably mention that the Perl market in Australia is super tight right now. Heaps of open positions, hard to find anyone to fill them. My current workplace (til tomorrow) — a major national website and household name — has 20 Perl roles opening up over the next few months, and are offering no less than **$8000** kickback to staff who refer someone suitable. I know that the two other big Perl shops in town — both of which have staff active in the local Perl community — are hiring almost constantly.
Quite apart from those three, every single other Australian ad currently does a better job of trying to recruit me than 247ads does:
>”We require a perl programmer for work on a web-based learning management system (LMS) using mod_perl and Oracle. We are a small and friendly software development house specialising in building web applications. We are located literally ten metres from Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne. We try to offer a flexible, casual and salesperson-free environment.”
>”We are a small dynamic team building and supporting the online systems used to manage and track the ongoing education of medical professionals. The college is experiencing significant growth and is therefore ramping up development of its online systems and requires additional developers. You will be required to be on site fairly frequently and therefore residing in or around Brisbane is desirable, however telecommuting will be the norm.”
>”Detailed knowledge of Perl, since almost all of the software in this area is written in that language. By way of illustration, if you have not at least considered contributing software to CPAN, or are not familiar with the changes in Perl 6, then this is unlikely to be the role for you.”
>”The culture is dynamic and it is an exciting time to join with their company set to double in size and expand globally within the next 12 â€“ 18 months. As such there is huge potential for career progression. [...] The role requires you to work within a team that writes code to manipulate or mine data. They host their client data warehouseâ€™s and often extract varied and different data to fit client specifications.”
>”Our client is a $1.2 billion revenue business across Aust/NZ. with an IT staff of 80+. Ideally we are looking for someone who has worked in a Perl OO environment with some Oracle (or similar) backend development experience to join a small development team to assist with their B2B web-portal that generates $800m p.a.”
Appendix: Full job ad text
I’ve included the full text of 247ads’ job ad below, as I know jobs.perl.org removes listings after a while.
>Senior Perl Developer for fast-paced Internet Company
>* Melbourne South East Location
>* Immediate Start
>We provide online advertising & web development services to a range of business sectors.
>We are currently undergoing rapid expansion and require a senior Perl Developer to join our team.
>* Perl (essential)
>The ideal candidate will be passionate about Perl development, enthusiastic about learning & constant improvement and have a strong understanding of the Internet and emerging technologies.
>Working with our programming team, you will be developing & modifying our online software system, including Advertising, Content & Customer Management Software.
>You will need to familiarise yourself with the intricacies of our custom-developed software, along with being capable of implementing new web-based applications.
>You will also need to navigate your way around an Open Source hosting environment.