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Finding new talent for the FileMaker community

By April 23, 2014FileMaker

The topic has come up recently about how to get new young developers involved in the FileMaker development community. Since I have a strategy that has worked well for me I thought I’d share it and see if anyone could benefit.

The insight for my strategy came to me as I was working in a nonprofit I help with in the area, called Young Life. They work with college students, getting them involved in the lives of high school students, helping them be a positive influence in their lives and developing a sense of purpose in both groups.

As part of the work I am exposed to a a large number of college students at the time they are exploring their career choice and I realized I had an opportunity. In my work I meet with a number of them as part of the program program and I started asking them if any of them had friends from young life in the computer science field. The great feature of this smaller sample set is that the candidates are already pre-screened for qualities I find valuable in an associate, empathy, strong moral character and an ability to communicate.

Out of this realization has been born a program, each year I select a candidate and mentor them through their sophomore, junior and senior school years. They intern with us over the summer (I run them through a standard training program to gain industry familiarity) and learn how the community and the consulting business works. Their senior year I meet with them weekly and talk through their career opportunities and if all goes well, we offer them a job upon graduation. They get a great job, we get a great employee and the development community picks up a new advocate and participant.

We are into our 2nd round and will be beginning our third and it is working great from my perspective. One new employee a year may not be the pace that is needed for all firms, and my investment is high, weekly meetings with candidates before hiring them. However the meetings are an investment in the overall quality of the life of a great college student and is part of my regular mentoring investment so it isn’t a burden.

If you have an investment in a nonprofit that works with younger folks, and you can leverage those relationships to help not only guide but train college kids in opportunities, it is a chance to provide a great career choice they may not have on their radar.

I hope my experiences can help someone else learn a new strategy and improve their talent attraction options.

Author Court Bowman

Court Bowman has been working with in the IT field his whole life, working as a network engineer, database developer in Oracle and Progress and as a IT director for several firms. He has been working with FileMaker Pro since version 2 and has been a reoccurring speaker at the FileMaker developer conference. Apart from his expertise in FileMaker Pro he has experience in system architecture and design, data modeling and database architecture. He also has years of experience as a process and workflow consultant and has helped with the design and deployment of hundreds of systems in FileMaker and on the web.

More posts by Court Bowman

Join the discussion One Comment

  • pixi says:

    Court, that is a similar approach on what we are doing over here with the “FileMaker Mentoring”-project: http://www.filemaker-mentoring.com
    Getting a dedicated 1:1 relationship with a hand-picked single person will cost you much in the beginning but definitely pays of in the long run.

    I already had a Mentee even before the website was ready (i mean – really – ready ;o) and we have quite an encouraging relationship. This person certainly will become someone I’d share my business with.

    The only thing I am seriously wondering is how to make more developers stop complaining about too much work and starting doing those kind of Mentorships.

    So, thanks for bringing your view to our attention!

    Egbert (pixi)

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