Are Developers tricky to deal with?

I have been recruiting Developers for a while now.  My area of recruitment broadly speaking has been digital, however a big chunk of my time has been spent searching for Developers across all technologies.

A recent conversation with a friend of mine got me thinking. The conversation went something like this “Aren’t developers tricky to deal with”. My answer was simple no, not really. As long as you don’t pretend to be smarter than you are – you will be fine.

This conversation got me thinking about my experience. As a whole I have found the Developer community to be extremely easy to deal with and very helpful when it comes to educating me on technologies I have no knowledgebase around.

As I have gained more experience in this area my understanding and knowledge has improved. I kind of get what Ruby on Rails is used for and how it compares to Python. I understand most of the Front End technologies like HTML5 and JavaScript, and also have some concept of the back end net, Java etc. Not that I could write a line of code in any of this!

All this has come from sitting in front of a Developer and asking questions, more importantly asking questions and not pretending to know if I simply have no idea. They have never expected me to be a guru, as they know I’m a recruiter not an engineer.

I once heard an interesting story from a Developer I interviewed some time ago. He told me that the digital agency he worked at was run by a guy that was amazing when it came to marketing and the like, however had no understanding at all about technology, which for my developer was fine. Only problem is he proceeded to pretend he did know, and made life very difficult for the dev team.  This came down to constantly promising clients they could do something which just wasn’t possible. Maybe if he’d let the client chat to my Developer more everything might have worked out better. The agency still exists, however the churn in the tech team continues.

Moral to the story – stick to what you know and don’t pretend to know something you don’t.

Nick Barry is founder of Interactiveinc, a digital recruitment company based in Sydney that specialises in digital recruitment to agencies, client side and start-ups in areas of creative, account services, technical, UX, social media and digital media.