I am not the biggest fan of putting out negative posts. Dev.to seems to have a lot of good people at different levels trying to put their ideas out. So this is post is more about giving my experience. Perhaps if enough of us keep making points of this, things can change?
As a contractor in .net, Microsoft BI, and Oracle, I encounter my fair share of insane agent moments. It is never clear whether it is just the agent, the hirer, both, but something lingers stating that the entire process is a little odd.
Admittedly, my CV does have quite a wide range of skills. It may seem unbelievable somebody can do server side C#, .Net Core websites, Business Intelligence, and Oracle. That my skills must get stretched meaning I am a jack of all trades - and maybe this is true, but all developers can learn.
Most good developers throw themselves at the task at hand. Sometimes, projects are so time critical the person coming in has to execute specifically on skills. This is rarely the case and the more exposure developers have to different skills the better.
Thanks for this.
Certain, my CV has other skills on it, but I live and breathe databases and business intelligence - there should be enough in my CV. I am building out a massive property platform spanning BI/Data Modelling/.net/.net core. One contract example - at COMPANY_X, I lead the architecture and development team implementing full risk metrics on Oracle with SSAS (Microsoft) cubes with processing - that in itself is a big deal.
POTENTIALNEWCLIENT_Y gave you too tight remit, only submit (x) cvs, rate at y only - junior developer at £XXX, so I know it isn't your fault. You can't even sell me and are locked down. Putting developers in at only £Y difference calling one junior and one senior is a recipe for disaster too.
So, I am not pursuing this opportunity, please keep in touch if something else comes up, and thanks again.
Recently, I saw a contract which seemed to want the skills I have. Not saying it is unique, but I felt I had a good shout on this one. I was asked to do a test. Not a fan of online tests because they are unrealistic. Often, the syntax of coding languages or small nuances can throw you, even though it is quite straightforward.
It turns out, I got everything right but chose to drop 1 point on a 4 point question. I know using Linq take while is not efficient as hand coding it, but does it matter when the role doesn't want low latency development?
The agent never got back to me. My suspicion was the client wanted somebody immediately and I could only start in two weeks. This specific industry takes three weeks to onboard a contractor. I have known it take eight weeks.
Great agents understand their client, their client's business, and the pain points. They match a pool of talent with something the client needs. Sometimes the client just wants bums on seats, and they know how to find that right person too. Great agents tell their clients what they can get for their money, that by dropping to X, they get X.
- Read the last few jobs on a CV only.
- Can't even remember basic points. I was asked by this agent, whether I had a limited company - "Yes, on every page of the CV, in the footer, is my limited company name."
- Can't be bothered to edit a CV to make it match what the clients want.
- Are too scared to simply call the client to tell them they have something great (not saying I am great).
- Have no understanding about the technology. I couldn't believe I was being asked by this agent, whether I felt comfortable around T-SQL?
It would be easy to say, keep a CV for different kinds of roles. This is a cliche, but often, clients who are open-minded love it when they get a mix of skills. My opinion is, having hired teams and been hired, it is best to try and cover target core areas of skills.
This won't work always.
One negative from continually changing CVs is you can forget what is on what CV. This can lead to inconsistencies too.
My belief is, the real client wants value added. They may never find the best person. Personally, I am quite worried the technology contracting industry has been going down a bad path for many years.
I think there are industries where a number of layers of staff exist who don't need to care about the real health of the company. If the company did go bust, they would simply take redundancy and hopefully find another role. There isn't any real drive to do something extraordinary.
Agile scrum is not the answer, in my experience, but I would be profiling candidates at much different rates to get a feel for the market. This could involve simply going through linkedin.
Are roles so perfunctory that we simply put out an ad, review a few CVs, give them to the client and somebody gets hired? Is that why we went into technology? Frankly, how it has come to this, I don't know. We know what happens - old companies die through not innovating and the best new companies succeed.