Oliver Nassar

I can be reached at onassar@gmail.com.

For my open source work, check out github.com/onassar


Dear Recruiters

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My gut reaction to getting one of these emails, is to reply back condescendingly and aggressively. Partly because I feel it reflects poorly on you, partly because I feel as though it's meant to reflect poorly on me.

Rather, I'm going to give some advice from someone who's been around the block on the dev-scene, working with recruiters and without.

Developers: We're a curious bunch. We've developed a skill and craft through many hours alone. We sit in front of the computer, often with no other voice than the music coming through our headphones.

It can feel isolating, and lonely, and frustrating, but we do not, in broad terms, because we love it. We love to the ability to create something. We can have nothing more than an idea, and become enthralled at the prospect of taking this idea, and putting it online, at the potential finger-tips of billions of people.

Does that happen? Most of the time, no. Most of the time, we develop something for fun, or for ourselves, or for some faceless corporation, but the possibility is always there. Lingering in the back of our minds.

Why this tangent on the intention and drive of a web developer? Because I get emails like yours all the time. That siren-song of money "Career-changing opportunities" Bonuses, and stock options, and to get in "at the ground floor"

But the problem with this sell is that it discounts all that time we spent alone, honing our craft. Choosing it, over the social-expectations of our age and youth.

We don't want boat-loads of cash. We don't want a bonus. Or stock. Or to be part of "Canadian-tech-history".

We want be engaged in what we do. We want to work with other people who are passionate about what they're doing. We want that contagion to infect us.

Does the company you're pitching have that? Maybe.

But how could I know that when the pitch is of money, of notoriety. Of trying to sell the concept to be part of a legacy.

I don't want to be part of a legacy. I want to enjoy the limited time I have. For me, this will include web development, somewhere, with someone. For others, it might not.

But when you send off those emails, think about what would sway you. Boat-loads of cash working at a job that bores you or has you looking at your watch to see if it's 5pm yet?

I doubt it. You want the thrill of whatever gets you excited. As a recruiter, it might be the chase of finding someone, to in-return make that $. For us, it's doing good work, with good people, and yes, making a descent salary.

The interesting thing, is it's a sellers market. I don't need a recruiter. I don't need to be sent emails.

And because of that, your pitch of money isn't attractive. Pitch me on something beyond that: work that makes me feel alive.