Where are the good web developers looking for jobs?
March 4, 2006 11:04 AM   Subscribe

Where do (good) web developers look for work in the UK? We have two London vacancies, and we just can't seem to find any decent candidates.

This post is sort of twofold:

1) We're a smallish (30-40 person) London-based design and marketing agency with a very active digital side. We're trying to recruit two new staff; a junior/mid-weight front end developer (XHMTL, CSS, Photoshop, etc), and a junior/mid-weight back end developer (PHP, JavaScript, MySQL, etc). We're tired of a chaff that recruitment agencies, who really don't have a clue about anything technical, and are just interested in taking a slice of the wage, are sending us. Our Gumtree ad got a few decent candidates, but none of them really spoke or wrote English very well, and since our starters are going to have to communicate with account handlers, clients, and the rest of the team, that's kid of a requirement. The ones that could speak English couldn't code without WYSIWYG editors and access to W3Schools. Some of them couldn't code at all.

So where are the talented, standards compliant, cross-browser aware, semantic web coders looking for work? Where should we post an ad?


2) If you fit either of those roles, email me your CV (address is in my profile), because I'd love to give a job to a fellow MeFite.
posted by armoured-ant to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Maybe you should just try offering more money? That usually seems to attract people.
posted by delmoi at 11:26 AM on March 4, 2006

Well i do XHTML, CSS and Photoshop with, as well as photography, Flash and video. I've been doing compliant, accessible web work for the last 4 years....for myself mainly. Im in the market for a job, but im stuck waaay down in the south east of kent where there are virtually no employers. I've very limited experience and not much of a portfolio because of that (..because of where i am). I have a few months of university left (Digital Media course), before i head out into the big wide world of full time joblessness.

Most of us down this way search online for local jobs and then give up and go and work in a supermarket, which i refuse to do.

Sorry for the ramble.............we look online mainly (from my experience).
posted by lemonfridge at 11:29 AM on March 4, 2006

Where do (good) web developers look for work in the UK?

We don't. We sit at home and cry over the rediculous demands (on experience, especially) recruiters put in their ads.
posted by cillit bang at 11:30 AM on March 4, 2006

The junior front end developer sounds right up my street. I'm certainly not the most competent coder, but I've not used a WYSIWIG editor since I was about 15, I also really love doing graphicky stuff.

However I'm still at Uni, and I'm not sure that web design is really for me, certainly not in the long-term anyway.

I agree with tdelmoi, though. I think a lot of people do web design on the side, and most likely specialise in something else that'll probably earn them more. I'm looking at getting into sound or video work, for example.
posted by iamcrispy at 11:41 AM on March 4, 2006

Response by poster: The salary that's being offered is pretty solid for a junior, even in London. It was my job until about a year ago, but there's so much work coming in, we (literally) need more hands, so I can vouch for it. If you're generally interested in the role, email me to find out what it is.

As for "we look online". That's great, and maybe just a tiny bit obvious. Are there any popular job sites or communities that are actually used by prospectives?
posted by armoured-ant at 11:54 AM on March 4, 2006

"So where are the talented, standards compliant, cross-browser aware, semantic web coders looking for work?"

1) They don't. They either already have good jobs, or you won't hire them because they don't already have good jobs (as cillit bang said, and others demonstrated).

2) California, which probably doesn't help you at all, but it's true.
posted by scottreynen at 12:21 PM on March 4, 2006

You might consider asking Steve Champeon if you can post a help-wanted notice to his webdesign-l list. Plenty of talented, standards compliant, cross-browser aware, semantic web coders on there, though I don't know if any live in London.
posted by scottreynen at 12:26 PM on March 4, 2006

Are you willing to sponsor a Yank?

MySQL, Postgres, MSSQL
PHP, ASP, JSP, ActionScript
Java, Tapestry, Hibernate
XHTML, CSS, (+Ajax-ified work with above backends)
Photoshop up the wazoo (p/t photog)

Speak English with an American accent, sadly, but am willing to take the Queen's tongue if it's as wet and luscious as everyone says.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:57 PM on March 4, 2006

"rediculous" - Cillit bang.

What were you saying about candidates not being able to write English...
posted by A189Nut at 1:10 PM on March 4, 2006

Best answer: http://www.noagenciesplease.com
posted by ajbattrick at 1:55 PM on March 4, 2006

So that's why I'm unemployable.
posted by cillit bang at 3:11 PM on March 4, 2006

I would pack up my bags, and leave the US in a heartbeat for your junior position. But I don't think, "Look in the US" is the answer you're looking for.
posted by lychee at 3:24 PM on March 4, 2006

Where do (good) web developers look for work in the UK?

We don't. We sit at home and cry over the ridiculous demands (on experience, especially) recruiters put in their ads.
That statement is so true, but then again, for all the recruiters that put ridiculous demands in their ads I'm not sure I really want to be part of their team.

What you're looking for sounds ideal for myself. In fact I can see myself settling in quite nicely as front end developer. "Standards compliant, cross-browser aware, semantic" drools...

Unfortunately I live in Derbyshire at the moment. :(
posted by Sevenupcan at 7:07 PM on March 4, 2006

Best answer: I think you should join the Web Standards Group mailing list and ask the question there.

It won't necessarily get you your coders directly but it might help and at least you'd be among standards advocates when you asked.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 10:02 PM on March 4, 2006

Yeah, it really takes money in London, one of the world's most overpriced and congested hellholes (not necessarily a gripe at London, but a good reason many skilled people don't want to work there). Junior positions should, though, be easier to fill as living in a £200 per week rented room in a hovel in North London is usually quite fun for the first couple of years ;-)

All of the best XHTML, CSS, and Photoshop people I know in the UK live well outside London and/or are so successful that they work for themselves earning real money and get to work from home.

Companies in the UK have often asked me where they can find recruits to fill similar positions and, man, it's hard. A lot of people like to list XHTML or CSS on their CVs, and then proceed to throw XHTML doctypes on their HTML 3.2 inspired creations. People who really know this stuff are rare.. and are already making money off their own backs.

My suggestion would be to freelance as much as possible and get well known UK people like Jon Hicks, Dave Silvester, and Denis Radonkovic working on your projects.
posted by wackybrit at 5:56 AM on March 5, 2006

Best answer: Craigslist your posting. Then blurb it on Accessify. Indeed post on Webdesign-L (also maybe the CSS list). Then have U.K. standardistas (especially the Britpack™) link to it on their B-rolls. Then make sure the posting is at least delicioused.

Also, yes, pay more money. Even if it’s at the high end of the going rate at present, that probably isn’t enough to live on.
posted by joeclark at 6:55 AM on March 5, 2006 [1 favorite]

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