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How do we retain talent in KW?
(03-28-2019, 10:40 PM)tvot Wrote: Another thing from the CivicTech meetup the other night is that someone mentioned that there are often over 2000 software/coding positions open in the region, but people there in hiring positions mention not finding any good candidates in their applicants.

The "2000 open technical positions in Waterloo Region" is a long-referenced number. The oldest I found a few minutes after Googling when seeing again in the linked article from Communitech was a quote from Iain Klugman (of Communitech) in a 2007 issue of Exchange Magazine[1]. I wish they would source that number. I worked there for over four years and never saw an actual source for it. It seems very unlikely to me that the demand for tech people hasn't changed in over a decade and if it has, what does that say about our tech community's actual growth?

[1] http://www.exchangemagazine.com/html/new...s35-48.pdf (pdf, pp40)

With regards to the BlackBerry layoffs, I worked at Communitech during that period and helped with some of the programming offered to the affected BB folk. One of the biggest challenges they had in getting jobs was the tech community's unwillingness to train people who are obvious highly skilled but lack experience in a specific tech stack.

The discussion around such things is better now - more and more job postings explicitly say "we're looking for strong programmers and will train on our stack" but if you have only ever worked in C++ it's still pretty unlikely someone's going to hire you to do React development.

Additionally, there's a lot of concern in small and scaling companies about people who have spent a long time in one place, and especially at a place like BlackBerry. It was perceived as old and boring and slow, and people who worked there for a decade or more were perceived as being stagnant, even if they worked on many different projects in many different places. Also the Enterprise versus Startup perception worked against BB employees.
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