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Hiring a Tech Team

Presentation for Women who StartUp

Michel Floyd

on 29 January 2013

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Transcript of Hiring a Tech Team

Questions? Are you in it to change the world?
Because the problem is cool, interesting or fun?

To make buckets of money?
Because you have something to prove? What's the motivation? Pride
To learn
Rewards What do (good) geeks want? Why might a geek want to leave their cushy job for your risky startup? Bored
Small cog in big machine
Lack of control
Obsolete tech, not learning
Poor manager and/or mediocre team
Want to do something more meaningful What about contractors/offshore development? The only motivation for this group is money.
They don't care about your vision.
They don't care about changing the world.
They only care about you enough to get you to keep writing checks.

Can be useful for non-core functions later
Or to deal with varying workloads Michel Floyd, Sc.D.
http://www.linkedin.com/in/michelfloyd Building a Technology Team These tend to attract very different kinds of people! What skills should I be looking for? It completely depends on the kind of problem you are trying to solve.. the subject of a different talk on a different day. A good technologist will have multiple tools
Their job is to pick the one that best fits your problem

Red Flag: when your problem is only interesting because it allows them to learn a new toolset and make themselves more valuable for their next gig Where can I find my team? They might be anywhere in the world
Local is better/faster because you're with them (& 100 other reasons)
Next best is remote but within 2-3 timezones Meetups
Stanford Friends
Cal Who can help? Silicon Valley is full of experienced people who have been there, done that.
Some can help with money.
Some can help with business and connections.
Some can advise you. If you need tech advice it's available! How many developers do I need? More than you think!

"Full-stack" developers are rare but valuable, esp. at the beginning
Many apps divide nicely between "front-end" and "back-end"
Most database/systems developers are terrible at UI
(ex: this presentation!)
Many systems developers are weak at databases & especially modeling
Front-end developers are found in different places (artists)
DevOps needs to be an early hire (making systems run well in production)
Once you have >6 people you are typically working on multiple apps
You need an early leader that others will rally around and who will attract new talent
First few people need to be very hands-on, including YOU
Full transcript