What Employers are Looking For

Employers looking for high-quality software developers are plentiful. At the January meeting of the Atlanta PHP user group Ari Waller shared some useful notes on what employers are looking for in 2013 (universally, not just in Atlanta).

Genuine software engineers

This is extremely important to companies looking to hire talent. Ability to engineer software and build solutions that solve problems in a maintainable and scalable way are in high demand.

  • Problem-solving ability
  • Clean code
  • Design patterns

Broader skill sets

While core specialties such as PHP are still as important as ever, employers these days are looking for candidates with more diversity than they have in the past.

  • Higher demand for Javascript and Python
  • NoSQL – has surpassed old-school relational database technologies such as Oracle
  • Mobile development experience – less allowance for lack of actual experience in mobile development
  • DevOps is a huge field
  • Functional programming

Where do you want to go today?

Ari shared the “TLC3” formula for evaluating both potential employers, and potential employees. There is no right or wrong answer, but these are important questions to ask:

  • Technology – what tools/technologies are or will be used?
  • Leadership – don’t like, or don’t trust current leadership? Do you want to lead, or would you rather follow?
  • Compensation – is this firm, or are you willing to make trade-offs in exchange for other types of benefits (such as telecommute)?
  • Career Path – what is your dream job? Will this help you get there?
  • Culture – what goals, management styles, and ideals appeal to you? Is this a good fit?
Written on January 3, 2013