Engineer = Rock Star
May 4, 2011 2 Comments
It’s good to be a developer in this job market. Really good. And not just in Silicon Valley, although SV really is the center of the universe for mobile and web technology.
At TrueCar, we’ve been really aggressive with hiring for both our LA and SF offices, including offering relocation packages from anywhere in the U.S., even for junior engineers. We’re selling our story hard. Here’s what we’ve been up against over the past year:
- Google recently gave every employee across-the-board 10% raises – up from already strong compensation.
- Large Silicon Valley companies like Google and Facebook are actually acquiring small startups, in some cases only a few months old, to gain access to the development team.
- Poaching talent from competitors has become a fine art, escalating signing bonuses to extreme amounts for top talent. As incredulous as a $500K retention bonus sounds, the economics of that decision for a company like Google makes perfect sense based on the shareholder value that lead engineer will create. Oh, and 15% of Facebook’s employees have previously worked for Google.
- In Boulder, a consortium of companies are pooling money to fly in engineers from around the country to attend Boulder Startup Week beginning in a few weeks on May 18.
Compounding the challenge is the fact that its probably the best time in tech history to be an entrepreneur and start your own company. There’s efficient access to capital and mentoring through firms like AngelList, YCombinator and TechStars and valuations are soaring, encouraging top technical talent to do their own thing, which is exactly what is happening, effectively removing top engineering talent from the labor pool. How crazy is it that top engineers leave Google, start their own company, get acquired within a year and end up back at Google as an employee?
It’s a downright war for talent right now.