New Recruiter Response

I have a new strategy for recruiters. First, a curt one-liner “not interested”. If they press (usually with an “I’ll ping you in 3 months” or something), then they get the longer explanation.

I just search and replace “XYZCorp” with whatever company they’re calling from, and maybe change a line or two based on their response.

Your optimism is delightful. It pains me to step on it, but I wouldn’t feel right doing otherwise.

In 3 months, I’ll have the same answer. The future is never absolutely certain, but this is as certain as any prediction I can make. It’s a Safe Bet.

I am working on Node.js and npm. This is the technology that has already displaced Python and Ruby as the hot new high-level language platform of choice; within 5 or 10 years it’ll join the likes of .NET, Perl, PHP, Java as the go-to platform for enterprise development (ie, “serious business”) and new college grads. But there is so much more work to be done!

XYZCorp has a lot of very interesting technical challenges, I’m sure. But this is the one that I’m most passionate about, and Joyent is the place that has it. npm started out as my personal side project. Node was a dream of mine that is coming true. I’ve invested a lot of time and a lot of love in this technology and in this community.

Going to work there in 3 months, or in 3 years, would be a huge step down in terms of the effectiveness of my effort and the results that I’ll have on the technology world in general. It would be a bit like someone asking you if you’ll be done with your son or daughter in 3 months, and interested in trying out another kid.

When and if I leave Joyent, it will be to do some other work focused on npm and Node.js, probably as part of my own company. The only way that XYZCorp could ever recruit me is if they recruited me to do that.

If I come across any developers that rival or exceed my skills, I’ll almost certainly try to recruit them myself, or get them to work somewhere else on Node so that they can add to this community. As long as I’m not a XYZCorp employee, and “working at XYZCorp” doesn’t imply “working on Node”, it really does not serve my interests to send talent to XYZCorp. There is no referral bonus that XYZCorp could provide me which would change that.

Altruistically, I want what’s best for the Node community, because I feel connected to it. Selfishly, I want to be one of the names that is remembered as part of a major revolution in software development. If you can show that these two goals are better served at XYZCorp than at Joyent, then let’s talk.