[A picture of private offices at Fog Creek Software] Alert! This ancient trifle retrieved from the Joel on Software archive is well-past its expiration date. Proceed with care.

Joel on Software

Get a job

by Joel Spolsky
Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Joel on Software Job Board has been working well since we launched it almost three years ago. It logs about 220,000 unique visitors every 21 days, including many passive job seekers who have RSS subscriptions.

But a few employers place ads and just don’t find anyone. I’m pretty sure we’re the only job listing service in the world with an unconditional money back guarantee, so these people call us and we give them their money back. It’s not a lot, usually just two or three a month, but I’d still prefer to have a wider audience for these job listings as long as it didn’t diminish the quality of resumes.

In the meantime, Stack Overflow has been attracting a huge community of smart developers—we’re running over 3.7 million unique visitors a month.

So today we’re launching a new Stack Overflow job board and a Server Fault job board, which will both be linked up with the Joel on Software job board. Any ad placed on one appears on all three sites. This will be a great way to recruit great programmers and a great place to get great jobs.

It’s not much of a secret, but Stack Overflow is already a great place to find good programmers, because you can see how good people really are by reading the answers that they post. I’ve noticed a lot of people putting their Stack Overflow reputations on their resumes, and we’re starting to hear stories of people who got jobs through the site. Jeff and I are committed to building features to make this easier in the next “six to eight” weeks. For example, I’ve always hated traditional resumes, which just don’t give the right kind of information about a candidate. If you wanted to hire an iPhone developer, would you rather know that person’s Stack Overflow stats in the iPhone tag and read their answers to technical questions? Or would you rather know where they went to college?

If we pull this off, getting jobs in the tech industry will be a lot saner.

In the meantime, if you are hiring, do yourself a favor and try placing an ad on Stack Overflow. (FAQ) If you’re looking for a job, check out the listings.


Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

Want to know more?

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About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, easy web-based collaboration software, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracking and software development tool, and Kiln, a distributed source control system that will blow your socks off. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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