Disenfranchised? Apply Within

Posted by Aron Filbert | August 05, 2010

We’re hiring. This post is about the new position, sorta. I felt like I could write the same bulls**t that I’ve seen 1000 times from other companies, many of whom I applied to… but as I contemplated writing this post, I thought about the clichéd and all too forgettable titles I could try ripping off. Titles like “Lyconic is Growing” or “We’re Expanding” or “Job Opportunity.” But those turned my stomach. I had the sudden desire to drop writing and just check out twitter and facebook. I knew if I wasn’t interested in writing about our new job post, then I could hardly expect anybody to get excited reading about it.

So I thought I might make this a little more interesting and talk about a word that I’ve long associated with career programmers and IT workers in general:

“Disenfranchised”

Tapping my elite Google skills revealed the following definition:

dis·en·fran·chise
–verb (used with object), -chised, -chis·ing.
to disfranchise.

Gee, thanks.
A quick flick of the scroll wheel and I found what I already knew but wanted to confirm

to deprive (a person) of a right of citizenship, as of the right to vote
to deprive of a franchise, privilege, or right

It’s a great word! If you’ve ever suffered the brunt trauma of bad decisions, poorly communicated expectations, unrealistic deadlines, and irrational adherence to outdated or irrelevant specifications, if you’ve ever been hired for your expertise but then silenced when a project could most benefit from your voice, if you’ve ever been meticulously babysat and micromanaged to the point of insanity (all the while being kept from accomplishing your task), you can keenly identify with this word.

We as programmers are brought in to be the experts. We’re hired to engineer, to build, to create. When we’re not allowed to do that as best we can, due to poor decisions made up the ladder by those who don’t understand development or developers, it’s easy to feel disenfranchised. As much as projects need structure, management, and direction (because they absolutely do), the corporate world is too often filled with policies that are written as a direct reaction to the symptoms of poor hiring, uninformed decision makers, and other bad policies.

We don’t have a dress code, and you can work remotely. We just ask that if you do come into the office… please don’t show up in just your underwear.

For instance, if a project needs more project managers and focus meetings, perhaps that’s because the developers aren’t self-motivated or disciplined enough to get the job done without constant supervision. Or maybe their voices and concerns have been swept to the side in an effort to show a client the façade of progress. Or, even worse, maybe client expectations haven’t been handled in a sustainable fashion from the outset of a complex project.

So yeah yeah, get to the job posting right? Bear with me…

We want to hire the dissatisfied, dejected, disillusioned and discontent. The disenfranchised. Why? Because a competent professional feels that way for a reason! The people who are satisfied with the status quo in a corporate environment aren’t the type of people who would thrive in our organization. They may not question, they may not feel it necessary (or in some cases appropriate) to interject their opinion, and they may wait for their project managers to take the initiative, only then making the effort that’s expected of them.

No, we want autonomous, self-motivated, and creative individuals who are passionate about their craft. We want to provide the most ideal environment in which they can express their expertise while feeling like they’re contributing to something worthwhile. We’ve found that ego and tenure have no place in the parlance of successful web development. We feel that if titles hold no stigma, than there’s nothing to prevent the free flow of ideas, brain-storming, and collaboration that result in great products and a satisfying work experience.

Alright, fine! Here’s the boring stuff:

We are a bootstrap startup company. We don’t have copious amounts of VC funding. As a result, we foresee the need for up to 20 hours per week involvement for at least the next three months. At that time we may transition the position to a full-time basis depending on budget and other development considerations.

Part-time Backend Developer

The day-to-day in this position may cover the following at some point or all at once:

  • Object-oriented and functional programming
  • Unix-based development and production environments
  • Build & deployment scripting
  • MySQL database profiling
  • Data migration
  • Message-bus architecture
  • Data serialization formats
  • RESTful web services
  • Rack-based middleware
  • Security & authentication
  • Background task scheduling
  • NoSQL databases
  • RoR (if you don’t know what that acronym means, you’re probably not a good fit)
  • Git

 

We have an office and provide our developers with the absolute best tools that we possibly can. No certified mechanic would ever be hired and handed a crescent wrench and screwdriver while being expected to perform their job to satisfaction. We view the tools of the programming trade in the same light, and take it very seriously.

We don’t have any ridiculous rules or restrictions on what tools you use either. We’re not going to tell you that you can’t use Ubuntu, or Mac OS, or Windows. Pick your poison. We don’t have rigid set hours unless immediate collaboration is required between programmers. We don’t have a dress code, and you can work remotely. We just ask that if you do come into the office… please don’t show up in just your underwear.

So you’re probably asking “what do I do?”

Right. If you’re interested in learning more about this position, send ANY examples of your work that you may have available (extra brownie points for creativity) along with your resume to jobs@lyconic.com (or DM us on twitter or fb). Send us a link to your StackOverflow CV if you have one. Just having one isn’t a requirement and won’t necessarily increase your chances of being hired. We may glance at your resume as we think that resumes are a poor way of evaluating programmers as potential candidates. We’d much rather see examples of your work and maybe hang out with you for a little bit (or have hung out with you in the past without the pretext of hiring you, as that will go a LONG way) before we make a decision…

Finally, as of the writing of this, I didn’t have a clue what the title of this post was going to be. Here are some more of the titles that crossed my mind but didn’t make the cut:

Job it UP, Jobilicious, Job of the Hut (I may use this one later for sheer awesomeness… but what does that imply about our company name?)

References & inspiration:

Umm, duh
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/disenfranchised

RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc

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