Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Ask HN: Where is it OK on the Net to say “I'm a developer looking for work?”
218 points by hoodoof on June 16, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 69 comments

Whether you're looking for freelance or full-time, there's a site that combines the two monthly HN threads in a convenient format: http://hnhiring.me/

In general I find the whole handwaving "I'm looking for work" approach not very effective. You really need to actively contact companies/potential clients.

With that said, here's a list of resources I resort to when looking for a next thing:





Another for full-time on-site for NYC or SF is https://underdog.io

For people looking for a new job it is basically a common app to apply to over 140 startups in NYC/SF.

Edit: Disclosure: I work for underdog.io

Where's the one for Boston lol

Hired.com is a similar type of common app / digital recruitment firm that just recently launched in Boston.

Boston is coming very soon (I am an engineer at underdog.io).

angel.co has lots of Boston jobs and will show you ones in your LinkedIn network.

Can confirm. I just hired an ops engineer from the underdog.io list.

Seconding underdog.io. They helped me find my last job.

Would also like to mention https://www.vettery.com as another option in the full-time, on-site category. There's also https://www.whitetruffle.com too.

Great list of resources, thanks for sharing!

Disclosure: I'm part of the Vettery team.

This is an excellent post - thanks for taking the time to share your resources!!

http://careers.stackoverflow.com/ and linkedin come to mind.

Related: if you had a personal website/blog, would it be a good idea to put "I'm looking for a gig now" on it?

As a "buyer" I think it's an excellent idea.

There's a prominent developer in a community I follow who recently found his company to fold, and posted that he was looking on his blog. At the time, I was pitching for a project; I set aside a place for him and had I won the project, would have contacted him asking if he wanted the job.

In another case, someone's failure became a blog post, which I shared with management of my then employer, who authorized me to get in touch and offer the person a no-questions-asked job (she didn't take it).

If you're freelance/consulting. You could also say; available for booking/project work from September. (Wordsmith away!)

I think it's a pretty good idea, thanks for the suggestion. I just added it to the 'about' section on my blog: http://madebynathan.com/

Would it be a good idea to put "I'm looking for a gig now" if you are a permanent employee? What if your boss sees it?

I wouldn't advise this, seems like a terrible idea that could put you on side-projects/unimportant stuff in your current work or that could even get you fired, depending on your country.

I don't think any boss that notices the "I don't like my work/I am looking to leave" would be happy

Yes my thoughts too. Unless you are a contractor who is not getting renewed or the boss already knows you are leaving for some unchangeable reason (change of location for example).

Now if there were something similar for EU. Getting work visa in US is not exactly simple and easy.

there's a monthly thread here 'who wants to be hired'. idk if that's ideal for your situation.


It's a pity that isn't a permanent link at the top of HN, with posts expiring after 1 week.

any idea what the success rate on that thread is?

My anecdotal evidence: tried it when I was looking for my first contracting gig in Jan 2014. Got one serious lead (short-term contract for native iOS app development with immediate start required and a very tight deadline).

Initial discussion by email went well. Moved onto a telephone conversation, which also went well. Although the deadline was tight, the project appeared to be well-managed and they seemed to know what they were doing. Unfortunately, the person on the phone appeared to be absolutely horrified upon hearing my daily rate (which was the standard daily rate for iOS development in London at the time – I wasn’t trying to take the piss). I followed up by email highlighting my experience and track record in the specific field they were targeting as well as the value I would bring to the project but never heard anything back.

I got an excellent offer from a person in my own network a few days later so I didn’t give the HN thread another try.

Incidentally, I’m now looking for my next gig. Anyone looking for a talented Lead .NET developer / Architect in London (UK), with both startup and Fortune 100 experience, feel free to contact me: http://mehdi.me

I guess the supply/demand thing is going to differ between cities and places in the world.

Where I live (Australia), plumbers and electricians often have a higher rate than quite senior developers ($200 call out rate with minimum hour charge and then $200 or so each hour on top etc), yet companies look aghast when you ask a similar rate, despite it being quite an intensive game to wrap your head around.

Then they hire someone that thinks node.js is a sensible idea, and end up paying double to have things fixed up when that ends in disaster, so perhaps it works itself out in the end.

I'm curious, do you bill yourself as a .NET dev for iOS via Xamerian? Or are you also highly skilled in Obj-C?

No - I've never worked with Xamarin (although I'll be looking at it in the coming days / weeks for a personal project - it looks quite sweet now). But I've got loads of experience with both .NET and Objective-C / Cocoa.

Most of my experience has been on the .NET platform and primarily on the backend / distributed systems side of things.

However, between 2010 and 2013, I was co-founder and CTO of a tech startup where our main product was a fairly sophisticated native iOS app. Being a bootstrapped startup, I had to do all the tech work myself. So I got a lot of experience with Objective-C / Cocoa that way. On the back of that, I got a contract to develop a native iPad app for the BBC, providing me with some additional experience building an app for an external client.

When I landed on the job market in January last year, I was therefore happy to take either an iOS contract or a .NET one.

I ended up taking a .NET contract. And to be completely honest, large-scale software systems / distributed systems is really where my heart lies. So I'm now pitching myself as a .NET developer only as this is the type of role I'm most keen on.

I'd actually be really happy to take on a role that uses another stack as well. But as a contractor, it's not really realistic to expect a client to pay you to learn a new language / stack :)

You've had an interesting career it appears. Out of yet more curiosity, which BBC app?

It's the LearnGaelic app created for BBC Scotland (or, more specifically for LearnGaelic, a partnership between the BBC and local organizations that promote the use of the Scottish Gaelic language): https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/learngaelic-beginners-course...

It's a language-learning app for the Scottish Gaelic language, which includes both a full 30 hour course, including native speaker audio and role-plays, and several mini-games to test yourself.

It's a really beautiful app (thanks to the immensely talented illustrator Julie-Anne Graham who worked with us on this). A lot of time and effort was also spent on the instructional design side of it, making it really easy for complete beginners to acquire a solid basic fluency in Scottish Gaelic. I'd highly recommend it to anyone interested in the language (it's completely free).

The best thing about this app though is the invisible part: it wasn't built as a one-off app with hardcoded content. I won't go into the details but here is for example an Irish Gaelic version of it (with more screenshots): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/learn-irish-gaelic-buntus/id...

(and anyone interested in the Irish language should give it a try :) )

I didn't have to do anything for the Irish version of the app despite the fact that it's got completely different content: different graphics, text, audio, game questions and lesson structure. The content team (instructional designer, illustrator, translator, proof-reader, audio producer) worked on putting together the content for that other app. When the content was ready, all I had to do was hit "Build". Same codebase - two completely different apps.

Thanks for the response. I'll give your app a whirl and know to appreciate how well it was engineered :)

Sure seems like the BBC is always at the forefront of everything they do.

I don't know, but the one thing I will say is that they're often interesting, or at least some of them.

I tried one, and I've seen it since, which is a challenge i.e. they'll present you with a basic page saying "Try JSON", or something of a similar ilk. Then you have to follow the rabbit hole (automating a solution in a scripting language generally) until eventually you're met with a page with actually how to apply to the real job.

I like companies that do that.

The one I saw the other day was a grid of dots (say 300 or so), with some filled in. They gave you one second to count the dots and submit the form, so the trick is parsing the HTML in < 1 second and responding within the session.

Edit: You'll have to switch up the game now hehe.

I've gotten a few replies from startups in the recruiting space.

My biggest client came through one of those posts, and I've had some other work through them as well.

Edit: My bad, thought you were talking about the Freelancer / Seeking Freelancer threads

Since others have reported anecdotal evidence of 100% success, I will state that it has been 0% success based on the anecdotes I have.

I had one response from the most recent thread, but my rate was too high. Hard to stand out from the crowd with 289 comments, though.

It's only one data point, but my latest gig was found through that thread.

Found one job through it so far.

What do you need to do to be able to comment on those threads?

I've had good experience with http://angel.co though you have to be careful since there are recruiting agencies that scour that site as well. In NYC there is also http://interviewjet.com, http://hired.com, and http://underdog.io. These all pretty much have a similar model where you can have be in the highlight with a handful of other engineers sent to a whole lot of companies at the same time.

Hey, I run AngelList's jobs platform. If you could give me details on the recruiters that spammed you, I'd really appreciate it (dave@angel.co). Either way, thanks for the mention.

I've been at my current job for three years. It's a good job. A recruiter cold-called me after seeing me on LinkedIn.

If you have the common worry that your current employer will see "I want a new job!!!!" on your LinkedIn, then say something like "I'm always open to interesting opportunities."

I can't understand why anyone would be on LinkedIn, after their nefarious practices.

The last straw was the one where they requested your email login details, and proceeded to spam your contacts with join requests. What kind of a prick of a company does that?

I guess they factored in the people that'd pay attention to that kind of scumbaggery, and those that wouldn't and figured they'd end up on top. Guess they did too. You're a product, not a customer, when you're on LinkedIn, much the same as Facebook.

The nail in the coffin for me has been recruitment agencies stressing I should be on it - any advice from the vampires like that is a good sign you should be doing the polar opposite.

> The last straw was the one where they requested your email login details

That last straw has been active for probably as long as they existed. I didn't fall for it, but a lot of people who know me did, and I used to get a lot of linkedin spam because of it. Either they've refined their practices, or people have wised up, or we've passed peak LinkedIn.

In any case, I ignore most email from LinkedIn, I don't play the endorsement game in either direction, and anyone who receives spam from LinkedIn related to me are themselves LinkedIn products, so they made the choice.

I've figured out how to exist peacefully with them, and other than this thread it doesn't take any time out of my day. :)

Most sensible companies ignore LinkedIn now from what I've gathered/listened to, although it has been a while.

Still quite a strong, what I would call, "shill" force out there though.

Something like half of the recruiter emails I've been getting lately have been to the email address I have posted on github. One of them actually appeared to have scraped my commit history which was mildly creepy.

Was it a scrape for technical evaluation, or to find other committers?

It seems that if two people communicate on the internet, a third person will be interested in it.

I have no idea what they were doing to get the email addresses, I just know that I got an email that had all (three) of the email addresses I'd ever used in github commits in the 'To' line.

As far as recruiter emails go, it was not very good. Just a generic "we are hiring developers".

This is all small in comparison to the enormous benefits it has as a career-building tool. I have gotten numerous interviews and 2 full time jobs in no small part because of LinkedIn.

If there was a viable alternative I'd jump on it, but for now it seems to serve its purpose very effectively.

Totally agree here. LinkedIn is both annoying and singular - there isn't another universally-used online professional profile out there that can fully replace LinkedIn. Even if you only use it for an online profile and PDF resume-generator, it's useful.

> Any advice from the vampires like that is a good sign you should be doing the polar opposite.

Not always. They are not all out for your blood.

you don't know how glad I feel reading this, i's exactly how I feel about linkedin, and I can't explain how a lot of people people like it, even my coworkers (Analytics team, pretty technical).

I get aggressive recruiter calls anytime I update my profile - even if it's to say that I just got a new job. LinkedIn must actively surface people that have updated their profile recently. At the very least, I'd recommend that the OP update his current tasks/responsibilities on the LinkedIn resume.

Innocuos updates. A nice signal. :)

For those looking at Data Science and Analytics I created an app that looks at the DataTau Who's Hirning.


I wouldn't bother "advertising" unless you're looking at freelancing, it might come across as desperate.

There are some places where recruiters will constantly look for candidates: LinkedIn, XING (not sure if it's worthwhile outside Germany), Github, maybe SO (not sure), possibly FB. Having a polished appearance there will yield plenty of contacts even without indication that you're currently looking for work (assuming hard skills that are in demand somewhere).

More long-term, brand building, augment your resume style:


disclaimer, I'm the founder ofc.

https://www.bountysource.com/ is an interesting option.

I've been seeing a trend on twitter, where people are doing just this. Might be worth just tweeting a few of the 'popular' people in your community asking if they know of any jobs. You never know they may just give you and RT that grabs someones attention.

Good luck.

I think twitter only works if you are "well known" in a specific community (presented at conferences, > 1k followers, etc...). That's been one of the least effective tactics for me.

Yes people with lots of twitter friends have an easier time finding jobs. Still doesn't help those of us who aren't that narcissistic.

In case anyone is interested in a full time role at Booking.com , based in Amsterdam, My company is currently looking for a variety of roles. I would be happy to talk to you. See email in my profile.

Addition to others http://remoteok.io/ is good for remote jobs.

Check out Hired.com. One of its nice features is that it'll hide the fact that you've set up a profile from your current employer.

Did you try toptal.com? Toptal offers heaps of projects, and every single client is vetted by developers that work for Toptal before the job is posted. Basically, they guarantee continuous quality work for remote developers. Changed my life!

http://yuriybabenko.com/blog/my-experience-joining-toptal I don't think is a good place for a developer, only wasting of time and money.

Thanks for the link. Matches my experience quite closely:

1) They refused to set the rate I asked for. It was "too much for someone from Eastern Europe", so they set it to half that.

2) Despite going along with that, I never managed to get any contract through them - probably because they don't focus on C# that much. Even when I find something interesting and apply, I usually don't hear back for at least a couple of weeks.

It is extremely possible that I'm just not a good fit for the jobs, or that I am indeed asking for too much, but so far my experience with the site has been... underwhelming.

Hei there, I am just reading up and I think it's extremely unfortunate. Luckily, I have witnessed different experiences. I especially appreciate that they are running an internal Slack where community members are supporting each other and several Toptal employees are usually available for feedback on job applications one has currently running. Regarding rates, I cannot complain, eastern European here as well :)

You're welcome at gun.io any time. :)


If you are looking for a steady stream of high quality freelance gigs and do not want to worry about billing, hunting for clients and other headaches you encounter as a freelancer, then you should definitely check out http://toptal.com

The best part of it is that it has a sprawling community of freelancers all over the globe who are happy to help whenever you need it and if by any chance you happen to end up having holidays somewhere, there is a huge chance that there are some Toptalers right around the corner happy to take you out for drinks and give you some insider tips on the location.

Full disclaimer: I work with Toptal at the moment and am pretty happy to be there :)

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact