Meetup.com is my personal favorite place for finding developers to hire.
Given that we want to find - ideally - outgoing, personable, well-rounded developers, looking for them in circumstances that cross over to meatspace seems like a no-brainer.
And it really is.
Things work better if you’re an active participant in the meetup, and even better if you host or sponsor it. In a pinch, though, you can get by without either.
Here’s what you do:
- Head on over to Meetup.com.
- Plug your search term, preferrably fairly broad into the search box.
- Expand the scope out to 100 miles or so.
Let’s say for instance, I was hiring a Python developer.
Here’s the search results for Indianapolis Python meetups.
Right off the bat, I now have a list of roughly 300 Python developers in the Indy area just from the IndyPy and IndyDjango groups. And I know that list of developers includes, by default, people who care enough about the language to at least be interested in meeting like-minded individuals in their free time from time to time.
Even better, almost all meetups keep a public list of members. Here’s the list for IndyPy. You typically get photos, a brief bio and most importantly, a name.
And once you find a few that look interesting, you can plug that name into Google or your search engine of choice and get a lot more - most of which we’ll talk more about in the research sections.
I mentioned actually attending the meet up a bit earlier, and I’d highly recommend that in general. The more plugged in with a community you are, the more people you will know and the more people will be willing to help you when it does become time to hire.
Being absorbed into a community of developers, even if you aren’t one, can help immensely in being able to pick out the good from the bad.
And yes, you might get some funny looks from time to time. But show up, be curious and interested and you’ll be fine.
Who knows, you might pick up a trick or two.