Could Using Bleeding Edge Tech be the Best Way to Attract Talent?

It seems that the ruby language was the tool of choice if you wanted to work on the new and shiny. It may be that Ruby isn't the new shiny thing though. Like many people it has been top of my list of languages to learn for a while. The London startup scene is still heavily bought into Ruby even now. The last time I checked the 'services wanted' at Google Campus, there are a lot of calls for Ruby development. On a separate note, it is really interesting that there were no calls for 'technical co founders'; these days all you need is an app and that can be outsourced ;-)

Taking to a number of startup founders lately they have advocated using shiny new tech as a crucial part of their hiring strategy. VisualDna a previous employer also made a lot of using technology like Cassandra. But these systems too are starting to come of age. The problem with wanting to use the newest thing is that it doesn't stay new for long.

The logic seems to go that by concentrating on newer technology you are more likely to find self starter employees who makes learning new skills part of his regular work. This strategy makes a lot of sense. There are a few potential issues:

  • Pre-qualify your recruits on a smaller market of real zealot.

  • You have to try and figure out who is 'learning' and who is 'earning'.

  • Admiration is the furthest from understanding: it can be very hard to know when a recruit is simply following others ideas or practice.

If you want to work with startups today it seems like the main languages are Ruby for web, Java for android and Objective C for iphone. The exception is the data science scene where the challenges of handling the ever increasing challenges of automating large data set processing in real time is still resulting in some language innovation.

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