Neel Patel is a recruiter at MatrixResources. Prior to MatrixResources, Neel worked at Randstad and The CSI Companines. Neel has a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma. Neel has a great perspective on leadership and talent development. You can reach Neel on LinkedIn.
So a recruiter walks into a coding conference…sounds like a joke, right? Well, that’s what happened when I went to the Lone Star PHP Conference a few weeks ago. I was in line to register when someone asked me where I work. Given how I was in a line where people were close together, I braced myself.
“I’m a Technology Recruiter with MATRIX in Dallas.”
There it is. They probably think I’m here to pass out business cards and collect resumes. One guy in line actually asked me if I was there for that reason, and was a bit weary to talk to a recruiter. A couple of guys were surprised to hear that I was there to just learn more about PHP and find out what they do on a daily basis in order to better understand their roles. MIND BLOWN. That is the reaction I got when they figured out I wasn’t try to weasel my way into figuring out their e-mail address, asking for a resume or asking them if they were looking for a new job.
Between learning about PHP, objects, and arrays in the PHP beginner course, I got to have a few conversations with developers about what made them tick. In the end, it seemed to boil down to applying new technologies to meaningful work. To many, coding is not about the dollar signs attached to a project. Working for a great company with a sound purpose to create great things was the takeaway for me as I learned more about these unique individuals. Of course, at the same time, developers know their value and expect to be compensated for it. I was also surprised to find that a good number of people at the event were from out of town. One of the instructors that helped me in the Beginner’s PHP class came from Sweden! Such a diverse crowd attended the Lone Star PHP conference, and I was really happy to be well received.
Overall, it was a great opportunity to learn about PHP and meet great developers who are consummate professionals dedicated to their craft. Oh, and the free gear they gave away wasn’t too bad either.
In our line of business, it’s important to understand the people that you’re working with. I will probably never be a programmer, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take a walk in their shoes to get a better idea of what they do. At the end of the day, this is what helps me find a candidate their next great opportunity.