The Engineer Crunch

February 20th, 2014 / No Comments »

By Kevin Scott

If you’re trying to build a great business whose primary ambition is to change the world through developing innovative technology, not being able to hire talented engineers gets to be an existential problem really quickly. It’s never been particularly easy to find and hire great engineers, even in places with high concentrations of talent like Silicon Valley or New York City. But as software continues to eat the world, and as more and more technology companies graduate from startups to significant enterprises with hundreds of millions or billions of dollars in revenues, the need for engineers has never been greater.

Lots of folks who I admire and respect are writing extremely thoughtful things about how to overcome the short supply of talented software developers. Sam Altman, an entrepreneur and Y Combinator partner, coined the term ‘Engineer Crunch’ in a recent blog post where he gave some especially good advice to startups trying to hire engineers right now. Sam advised entrepreneurs to be generous with equity, to have a mission with which engineers can connect, and when you can’t recruit from your network, to look for technical folks in geographies you might not at first consider. I’ve been lucky enough to work for a series of great companies (Google, AdMob, LinkedIn), each of which practiced what Sam is preaching to fairly good effect…….