Building Engineering Teams

February 26, 2014

Ready for some sobering truth? Only about 17,000 undergraduate degrees are awarded each year in computer sciences. While that might seem like a lot, just the top-10 technology companies alone (Apple, Google, Oracle and the like) have 5,000 open engineering positions right now. Whether you're based in Palo Alto, Cambridge or Pittsburgh, hiring engineers is really hard work. And effectively scaling your engineering team is as much about organizational structure as it is about recruiting. Here are some fun reads (and one epic video) that may save you time and money when growing your engineering team.

How Much Are You Spending on Recruiting Engineers?

More than you think. It's not just head-hunter or job board placement fees. You and your team are likely spending a lot of time sourcing, interviewing and trying to attract engineering talent to your company. Sequoia Capital partner, Bryan Schreier, published this simple framework that will help you estimate how many hours you'll be spending on recruiting based on how many engineers you want to hire. Moreover, it will help you understand how many recruiters you'll need if you want to do this work better and faster.

How Facebook Recruit Engineers

Always. Be. Recruiting. That's what former Facebook Engineering Director, Yishon Wong (now the CEO of Reddit), claims helped them grow from 30 to over 200 engineers in their early days. And he's not talking about recruiters. He's talking about his own team. This is a must-read if you intend to grow your engineering team and attract the very best to your company.

Are Hackathons the New Career Fair for Engineers?

This is a great TechCrunch piece that looks at the evolution of university computer science departments and how they might be failing to produce the sort of software engineers that today's startup and tech companies need. And the emergence of hackathons signals a student-led shift away from the traditional career fair approach to finding a job. If campus recruiting is part of your overall talent strategy, you need to read this article.

Hat tip to Matt McDonough for sharing this one.

Scaling Engineering Teams

Building an engineering team of 40 is a big enough accomplishment. However, companies always seem to slow down, rather than speed up, past this magic number. Twitter's SVP of Engineering, Chris Fry, shares his views on the importance of constructing stable teams when you reach scale of more than 40 engineers.

You Want This Guy at Your Startup

Really not much I can say that adds to the awesome-ness here.