June 11, 2008
AuthenticJobs.com has been going since 2005, and continually has a steady stream of new job listings for all types of web developers. AuthenticJobs is not a PHP-specific board, but I’ve found a good number of the postings there involve PHP in one form or another.
Downsides - I don’t recall ever seeing a post there that listed a pay range. I may have missed some, but my experience has been the posts are a bit more laid back, but also don’t include the topic of money. I also haven’ seen a ’search’ function on the site.
Upsides - there are two values that you can use to narrow the listings. There are two checkboxes indicating “design” or “development” types of jobs. Checking or unchecking either one will dynamically add or remove the appropriate listings. There’s also a set of tabs at the top for “All”, “Fulltime” and “Freelance”, which let you further narrow down the listings you see. Need to see just freelance development gigs? It’s pretty easy to do so.
Posting a job is not free - $250 for a 30 day listing for fulltime listings. Freelance listings will only run you $75 for the same 30 days. Same price whether the gig is “design” or “development” though. Your listing will be syndicated among many top design sites - the network is not very heavy on traditional “programming” sites. Given the audience that your listing will be exposed to, the pricing is certainly in line with many other sites. Having the price break for ‘freelance’ listings is a nice touch as well.
June 10, 2008
DevBistro.com is one of the oldest “independant” job boards out there. While not specifically focused on PHP, there are typically a large number of PHP positions listed. For instance, searching for “php” today, I see 80 listings just for the last month.
As with most job listing sites, the information sometimes can be hit or miss. It *seems* that more listings on DevBistro.com have actual pay range figures, but that may just be an impression. Many still come up with “DOE”, “Negotiable”, and so on, but there were a surprising number that had real dollar figures associated with them. This is something that many listings I’ve seen on other services lack. This may just be a temporary blip, and new postings will go back to not including pay info.
Another nice feature (like phpjobs.com) is that there’s a way to search only for jobs which allow telecommuting. With oil and gas at their highest prices ever, this seems like it’s only going to be a growing market for PHP and web developers. Having a job board cater to that is definitely a useful option.
Also like phpjobs.com, posting a listing to DevBistro.com is free. Unlike phpjobs.com, listings do not appear to by syndicated across a network. DevBistro is a pretty big name on its own however, and likely doesn’t need to spread the listings across other sites. When looking for php/web/tech jobs, devbistro often comes near the top of search results in Google, which is probably all the visibility they need.
June 9, 2008
This is the first in a short series of “reviews” I’ll be doing of job boards which are aimed at, or broadly support, PHP developers. The first one out is phpjobs.com.
PHPJobs.com never seems to have a huge selection of job listings, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’ve contacted a few of the jobs listed on phpjobs.com, and they all seemed legitimate. Some job boards will get overrun by recruiters pitching the same job under different names, or sometimes seemingly just collecting resumes from people when they don’t really have the job they’re offering. I didn’t find any of that going on with the few people I contacted who listed positions with phpjobs.com
Posting a job is free, and phpjobs.com is based on JobThread.com. Posting a job with phpjobs.com will apparently get that job listing in to the jobthread network, which should get it seen on many other major sites (slashdot, for example).
One other feature I liked which not every board has is a distinction about “telecommute” positions. Often searching for “php telecommute” on the larger boards (monster, etc.) will bring up posts where the word ‘telecommute’ is followed by ‘no’. Letting a poster indicate if telecommuting is allowed is definitely useful. What might help even more is indicators for “some telecommute” and “100% telecommute”.
It’s definitely a good thing to check out phpjobs.com if you’re looking for a PHP job. Because of its small size, checking only takes a couple moments, and you just might find the job you’re looking for.
June 8, 2008
In preparation for the PHP Job Hunter’s Handbook launch, I’ve put together a jobs board over at http://webdevjobs.com. This has been up for a few weeks now, and is starting to get more job posts every week.
The job postings themselves are free. I may charge for some premium service in the future, such as having an audio job posting inserted in to the webdevradio.com podcast, but regular job postings will remain free.
Here are some ways you can help promote the WebDevJobs project:
June 7, 2008
This was a question I wrestled with when starting the book. I personally have been doing PHP since 1996, so I’m not a ‘newbie’ either with PHP, or in the job market. I’ve found that the further you go on in your career, the more specialized a job hunt can end up being. Besides geographic considerations, there are more financial and time constraints, as well as longer term career goals to consider when job hunting. Because of that, I decided to focus this first edition primarily at people in an early or mid-stage of their professional life.
New to the job market
People just entering the job market fresh out of school, or just getting in to PHP development from some other career from another discipline are both types of people who would get the most value from this book. That’s not to say there’s nothing valuable for more senior developers, for example, but it’s much harder for me personally to judge how much value there would be.
I was speaking with enygma from phpdeveloper.org about the book the other day, and he asked if people *hiring* PHP developers would benefit from the book. It was an interesting question, because my initial thought on this question a year ago was a flat “no”. The text of book didn’t talk to those people, and I wasn’t even considering those types of readers. On thinking about it some more, it did seem that there were some types of hiring managers who would benefit from the book after all.
New to the interviewing game
If you’re a hiring decision maker in a small shop, and you’ve not dealt much with web developers yet, either freelance or fulltime, this book will give you an idea of the current state of PHP technology and some of the sorts of skills you should expect people to have coming in to the job market. This isn’t to say that you will *need* all of those skills or technologies listed, but it should give you a better idea of what’s going on, and could serve as a bit of a BS detector when talking to PHP candidates. I’ve found that some people try to bluff their way through interviews.
If you’re in a large IT shop already, or have lots of experience with PHP/web developers, it’s harder for people to bluff you, but if not, this book may serve as a good starting point. This blog post has a good discussion on the problems of finding good PHP developers, and bluffing or inflating one’s capabilities still seems to be rampant out there.
June 6, 2008
Hello all! First things first - the PHP Job Hunter’s Handbook was published on June 2 by php|architect! Of course it’d be great if you were to go buy a copy or two - they make great Father’s Day or July 4th presents :) In a few months they’ll even make great Labor day presents!
Where’ve I been?
So what happened to this blog for the past year? Well, the book was close to being completed last summer. I had originally planned to self-publish through Lulu.com. I had some promotional copies printed up. Then I was contacted by php|architect about the possibility of having them publish the book under their nanobook series. It was quite attractive, so I said yes.
However, right at this time I was switching jobs to a position which had me travelling quite a lot. Between being on the road and learning a new position, I didn’t have time to finish the one last section that php|a wanted (and frankly the book needed) - a section on freelancing work. The book had primarily focused on the “traditional” fulltime job, and I hadn’t written anything specifically about freelance or contract work. php|a arranged for another author to finish off that section. However, whoever they were dealing with wasn’t able to contribute as originally planned, so the book went on hold during that time while another author was sought to help.
Around that time I switched positions again, and found myself with more time, so I began to finish the last section. Right then php|a put me in touch with Clark Everetts, a long time developer with PHP experience and freelancing experience. We hit it off and Clark helped finish the last section. Additionally ,Clark was a great resource on other sections of the book, giving some good feedback during the final review process, validating some of the original concepts, challenging some others, and helping out far more than I think he realized.
So by March 2008, we had a ‘completed’ book. However, there were both internal formatting and layout issues that cropped up, and other php|a projects which needed to take priority. The php|tek conference and at least one other book had priority, and quite understandably so. The other book I reference is a book by my brother Mark - the Guide to Programming Magento. If you’re doing Magento work, definitely check it out - it’s not just a rehash of the manual, and will take you farther in to Magento than anything else I’ve seen so far.
So after much delay, rewriting, and last minute formatting, we finally have the PHP Job Hunter’s Handbook (version 1?).
As it stands, there’s 107 pages of content. I was a bit disappointed in this count - php|a had originally wanted closer to 150. Looking at it in comparison to other ‘tech’ books though, this one is somewhat different. For better or worse, there’s no pictures. No screenshots of things you’ve seen, no pages of code you’re not going to type in, etc. With that in mind, the page count seems to be on par wordcount-wise with other tech books that might be 130 pags or so. Had I known the book was going to be pushed back for another 2 months, I think I/we’d have been able to flesh out a bit more content. That may be saved for a ‘version 2′.
Original survey data
Back last year I invited the PHP community to answer some questions in a survey. I’d also indicated that the data would be made available after the publication of the book. This was said when I was planning to self-publish. Given that there’s another publisher now, I’m not at liberty to simply republish large portions of the book. If anyone out there is truly interested in having the raw survey data, contact me and I’ll work with you one on one to get you the data.
I’d love to hear your feedback on the book, if you’ve bought it, or even just the idea of the book, if you haven’t. What sorts of topics would you expect to find in a book like this? Are there other resources you’ve found during your job hunt that helped (or ones that didn’t?).
June 26, 2007
Nick Halsted wrote a blog entry describing a set of Yahoo pre-interview questions used for PHP candidates. I thought it would be useful to post a link here. I am working on getting some input from Yahoo for the upcoming book as well. A contact had showed some initial support, but getting that ironed out is taking longer than I thought.
June 17, 2007
I have been poring through the responses, working them in to the book project, and there’s some really great stuff in there. I got re-energized during the past two weeks, which has given me more oomph to get this book out. I’d wanted to have it available for my OSCON presentation, but I don’t think I’ll make. My biggest problem now is formatting and organization. I’m looking to bring on an editor to help finish things up, which I hope will help get this project wrapped up in the next month.
If you’d like a work-in-progress copy of the book, drop me a line at email@example.com or call 919-455-8488.
June 1, 2007
It’s taking longer than I thought to parse through all the great responses to the survey. There were over 30 detailed responses, and it’s proving to be more time consuming than I estimated to go through each one and make useful sense out of all of these. I haven’t dropped this project, and will try to post an update here in the next week or so with a more complete status. Thanks!
March 20, 2007