Developer skills face bidding war

CIOs finding it difficult to find and retain software developers should consider what their work environment offers over and above a weekly pay cheque, according to Eagle Datamation International's (EDI) CEO Richard White.

"There must be a bidding war but sustained employment is not just about price," White said. "It's about culture, job satisfaction, creativity, and not processes. Most developers want to feel they are adding value to the business so you need to treat people as a person and not a resource."

White said some people think the only way to recruit is to push on price but "you don't get good people by offering money".

"We are retaining talent and have a good mix of junior and senior people," White said, adding that EDI hasn't had any problems with a perceived skills shortage.

"There are good Java developers that learn .Net quickly so they are quick to convert," he said. "There is definitely a pull of developers away from other languages to .Net."

The Sydney-based EDI develops applications for logistics freight forwarding.

"The really good developers are creative and can look outside the square," White said. "The cost of the developer is incredibly varied. There may be more money in .Net but I'm not sure."

White also weighted in on the offshoring debate by saying it is all about the commoditization of a resource and is a litany of failures.

"Australia has immensely talented developers brought up to be open and innovative," he said.

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Rodney Gedda

Computerworld
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