November 3, 2009
That Stack Overflow thing we launched a year ago? It's been going pretty well so far.
Of course, everyone knows you could code Stack Overflow in a long weekend. It's trivial. Assembling a worldwide community of smart, engaged software developers? That's a whole different ball of wax. Stack Overflow is a site by programmers, for programmers; it's only as good as the programmers who choose to participate.
Stack Overflow isn't about me. Or anybody else on the Stack Overflow team for that matter.
Stack Overflow is you.
This is the scary part, the great leap of faith that Stack Overflow is predicated on: trusting your fellow programmers. The programmers who choose to participate in Stack Overflow are the "secret sauce" that makes it work. You are the reason I continue to believe in developer community as the greatest source of learning and growth. You are the reason I continue to get so many positive emails and testimonials about Stack Overflow. I can't take credit for that. But you can.
I learned the collective power of my fellow programmers long ago writing on Coding Horror. The community is far, far smarter than I will ever be. All I can ask â€“ all any of us can ask â€“ is to help each other along the path.
I am continually humbled by the skill and expertise of the programmers who volunteer time to Stack Overflow. These programmers graciously donate tiny slivers of their day to help us -- and themselves -- become better programmers. These 5 and 10 minute slices of effort, across hundreds of thousands of questions and answers, become a permanently archived (and creative commons wiki licensed) bread crumb content trail for future programmers to follow, edit, and contribute to themselves over time.
I'm thrilled to see Stack Overflow working so well for both askers and answerers; the "pay it forward" model of programmers helping their peers is exactly what we were shooting for. We'll never change the world, but it sure is nice to be able to improve our small corner of it just a little bit. Remember: bad code that isn't written, is bad code that another poor programmer won't have to debug. If we don't reach out to
slaphelp new programmers and teach them the lessons we learned the hard way, who will? I'm only exaggerating a little when I say that the future of our entire profession depends on it.
If you're actively participating on Stack Overflow, we now have another way to convert those slices of effort into something that actively furthers your professional goals â€“ Stack Overflow Careers.
What is careers.stackoverflow.com? It's a few things:
- a completely free, public CV hosting service for programmers, to share the cool stuff you've coded and created with the world.
- a way to explicitly link your Stack Overflow profile with your CV, to provide concrete examples of your communication skills and individual expertise to anyone who is interested.
- a better way to connect great programmers with the best programming jobs, for those who opt into the small annual listing fee.
In short, Stack Overflow Careers amplifies your awesome.
I won't lie to you. This is also a business. That's why there are nominal opt-in listing fees for those programmers interested in seeking employment, and substantial fees for hiring managers who want to tap into the smart developers who grok Stack Overflow.
update: I apologize if I wasn't clear. It is 100% free, forever, to create a public CV, put whatever HTML content you want in it, and link it to your Stack Overflow profile. Like so:
These are of course freely indexable and searchable on the web.
Beyond the free public component, there is a private (and completely optional) subscription component. For those programmers actively seeking employment, a small annual subscription fee allows inclusion in a private employer search UI. This is also explained in the faq and about.
That said, we're also trying to do something a bit different here. Something better than the endless, mind-numbing acronym sea of monster.com, dice.com, et al. Joel and I believe current hiring practices for programmers are incredibly broken. We think we can do better.
We love our work, and so should you. Our goal isn't to put warm bodies in front of interviewers. Our goal is to create love connections. Instead of avid programmers pursuing disinterested and distracted companies, it's the other way around -- savvy companies who understand the competitive advantages of having the best programmers will pursue you. We connect smart, engaged hiring managers who "get it" with top programmers who love to code.
If you love to code, too, I encourage you to create your own Stack Overflow CV. Keep it private, or make it public via the URL of your choice -- it's completely free either way. If you think you might be actively looking for a job in the next 3 years, take advantage of our outrageously low promotional pricing of $29 for a 3 year filing. That way, at any point in those 3 years, you can flip a switch and become visible to hiring managers. Or not. It's totally up to you.
(also, if you're hiring, and your company appreciates top software engineers -- and you think you can convince our tough audience of that -- email us)
Posted by Jeff Atwood
So Jeff, if I get this straight you want to charge me 29 USD if I want to post my resume on a new free service called Beta Careers?
Tell me Jeff, are you just joking around or do you really believe the community you helped foster is made up of complete idiots where you can just use the same decades old marketing weasel tactics and it not getting noticed?
I would tell you "good luck", but there's no need. You already hit jackpot. You created a large community and now are trying to get your money for it. I just wished in the meantime you hadn't spent a few years talking to us about sharecroppers, corporate evil and shoddy business tactics. Because what it means is that you created a community on false pretenses. You fooled us.
Kind of disappointed with this post, I feel like I'm being "sold" something here rather than reading about your thoughts.
I don't think there is anything wrong with Dice (apart from the poor styling), so why should I pay for something with WAY less employers that look there?
Keep up the great posts (not this one)...
Shock! Horror! Jeff is starting a for-profit website, and advertising it on his blog! How dare he use his time and effort to make money? Nobody else has ever done such a thing!
Welcome to capitalism. Vote with your wallet, and stop whinging.
You could get more people to post their resumes if they could hide their resumes from their current employers :p.
For those who are unclear, I'll update the post:
- Creating a public CV is and will always be 100% free. For an example, see Konrad's, who posted his earlier, at http://careers.stackoverflow.com/klmr .
- Opting in to the private hiring manager search, *if you want to*, involves a small annual fee. This service is currently $29 for 3 years, and will always be free for students for 1 year.
So there is a free, public component and a private annual subscription component. The private subscription is only relevant to those actively seeking work, so why wouldn't it be optional?
> What we object to is what I think is a perception that we're being deceived
There's no deception. You can take your SO effort and turn it into a public CV, linked to your SO account, totally and completely free. That's the intent -- for programmers to be able to leverage the time they've spent on SO.
A few more examples:
None of these people needed to pay us a dime to post their CVs.
As for why we charge for the private employer search component, that's explained in the faq:
> When hiring managers search through CVs, they want to know that they’re looking at active, serious job applicants. If it were free to post a CV, a lot of applicants that weren’t looking for jobs, or who knew that they had no reasonable chance of getting a job, would post them, making it harder for the employers to find serious applicants.
> That’s why we charge a nominal amount to post. It is, however, absolutely guaranteed, and if you’re unhappy or don’t get the result you want, just let us know, and you’ll get your money back on the spot.
And if you don't agree with this, there is no reason to use it. It is in no way required.
I think it's a credit to Jeff that we're bothering to complain.
If [insert evil company here] were to enact some policy I didn't care for, I wouldn't bother to complain. They were evil to begin with, and I wouldn't be giving them money anyway.
But we thought Jeff was, well maybe not our friend, but at lease our fellow traveller. And we suspect he would like to continue to be. So, it makes sense
Shameless self-promotion: http://careers.stackoverflow.com/klmr
Not complete by any means, just wanted to play with it a little. In my opionion, the free-form text fields invite to babble. Not something which has any place on a CV.
So the "engineers who like to solve difficult problems" phone number is: 01.876.8000. Or have I just totally, and very publicly embarrassed myself? :-)
Funny thing is, that doesn't look like a valid phone number. So what's the deal?
Come on, Jeff, you're not charging because hiring managers want to know people are looking, you are charging because you can SELL the notion that the ones who paid are "prequalified" as being in the market and thus you can charge the buyer WAY more. Don't insult our intelligence any more.
There is a MUCH stronger argument that people who are desperate will pay money - so you will get lower quality applicants. This is similar to the Twist thing Jason Calicanis ranted about - startups paying to pitch to angels. Granted, the cost here is kind of low, but the logic is incredibly flawed.
Since when did someone NOT actively looking ever stop good prospects and good companies from finding a match. Most time the best hires are people who aren't looking. Also, the BEST applicants aren't going to need your service - they have plenty of offers - so even though you can blow smoke up the asses of the hiring managers who are naive enough to believe what you are selling them - they won't EVER get their hands on the best people if you charge any kind of fee.
Even with all the flaws of craigslist, monster, dice, etc, I prefer them (and my network of friends) over the a bait and switch feel of "stack overflow beta super-duper low price of only $29.99 and if you act now you get 4 turnip twaddlers for free" nonsense.
You're alienating a host of people here. I hope the fees you collect from the buy side are worth it. But, please, spare us the song and dance about why you are charging users. There are better ways to work around the (non) issue of hiring managers thinking that they are better off with "pre-qualified" job searchers.
Really, how much time could it take to send an email to someone and ask if they are looking for a job or if they are willing to discuss an offer? Most of that can be automated. Unless there is something in the business model of how SO sells resumes that is totally brain-dead this should be a non-issue. If these companies were that good and that enlightened (like Jeff is trying to claim) then they'd have something to sell us and even if we weren't actively looking then perhaps we'd be interested.
That brings up another point - many places are more interested in people who have jobs. For some reason those who are not employed or are looking are actually LESS desirable to companies than those who are happily employed. So this nonsense I hear from Jeff is just that - nonsense.
Keep ignoring the general unhappiness, Jeff. I suspect that you will do fine with charging companies lots of money to look at resumes. It is my hope that no one (except the desperate) will pay your $29.99 or $99.99 and that line that you feed to the hiring managers will begin to be shown for what it is.
I am reminded of the sleazy folks who patrol malls and other places and convince parents and kids that their little darlings have a shot at a modeling career but, first all they have to do is pay (some amount) for head shots or other stuff and then the future is theirs.
No thanks. I'll be fine with the way hiring worked for me for the last 16 years.
Kind of annoyed I have a great job so I can't (shouldn't) use it :/
Also agreeing with Mike, as in, I'm placed and have no use for it - at the moment. I can foresee howls of derision, scorn and "sell out" coming your way Jeff, but I hope not. I too am tired of dealing with employment ages who just throw acronym soup at you without realising how it all hangs together... Good luck with it!
There's nothing wrong with making money off a popular web site that you helped set up, even if it was off the backs of a willing community. However, surely when it's at the expense of your own reputation it's too high a price to pay. I think you are beginning to sell out on your own ideals.
Yes, we all have to make a living. Yes, we all need to pay the bills but you have something in this blog that money can't buy - admiration, trust and respect. This is slowly being whittled away.
Stop for a moment focusing on the making money bit. Even if you made millions of dollars off this new venture you might end up losing yourself and us along the way.
There are tons of people who have made a lot more money than you and Joel could ever dream of making and I couldn't give a hoot what any of them have to say. But I make a point of interrupting my busy day to listen to you.
You are worth much more to the world than another toss wad millionaire.
Don't forget what is really important? Don't sell yourself out.
There are already thousands of other smart people walking this planet who have made this compromise.
So what licence is all this CV info under?
@tim @disappointed do you have any concrete suggestions for how Jeff and the StackOverflow team can make a fair income while not "Selling out"? There's nothing wrong with making money and I don't understand exactly what your beef is.
Here's one possible suggestion. I wonder if people feel this is less/more evil.
1. Make CV completely free. Get rid of any fees for job posters.
2. Remove search engine indexing of the CVs.
3. Have employers pay to use the private search tool.
This seems to address the major complaints. Job seekers never pay a dime. Employers pay to search. The only downside is your CV is not publicly indexed by the major search engines. That seems fine to me as I can always send the link to my CV if I'm actively seeking a job.
It's a truly desperate individual that can't afford $9.67 a year. That's about two beers at London prices. Or three decent golf balls. If, in the next three years, my $29 gets me one good job possibility then I'll consider it money well-spent. I can't begin to count the number of wasted trips I've made and pointless hours spent in interviews for inappropriate roles over the years. The chance that a potential employer is serious enough to identify SO as a potential source of quality candidates (and that they might consider me to be one such) is more than worth a trivial sum.
And if nothing happens? I've lost three golf balls, which is about par for the course.
I look forward to seeing what happens. I expect I may have the same problem I have with agents - my remuneration is strongly influenced (positively, I'm pleased to say) by business domain knowledge, something few IT recruiters understand and can price. Similarly with recruiters from the business side, probably worse if anything. It's a wonder I ever got this job, really.
I'm endlessly amused by the "I have a great job and don't want to move" crowd. Good for you, guys, but how about I offer you a job doing more of what you really love to do but with a 50% increase in pay? Would you say no? How much s**t would you shovel for 100,000 a year? 500,000? A million? More? I'd shovel plenty.
Most of the people I know who assert that money isn't too important are living high on Maslow's Pyramid of Needs. That's easily addressed - get a few kids (at least two, one kid is for wusses) and live somewhere expensive!
I am really excited about this new service. In my opinion there is a high likelihood that you will be looking for a new employer within 3 years if you are not currently happy. Monster.com, Dice.com, et al are VERY broken indeed. Programmers that are dedicated to the software craft deserves a chance to be happy at work and hopefully careers.stackoverflow.com will help achieve this. Thanks Jeff & company for making our work lives better!
Amplifying your awesome what?
Jeff, you really sound like some kind of marketing weasel. Please, stop it.
It looks like a pretty cool setup, but I do have to say that $29 for 3 years is not "outrageously" cheap when every other careers site I can think of allows job seekers to post resumes 100% free of charge.
If you want any chance of hitting critical mass with this thing, $29 is far, far, far too expensive (hint: the correct answer is "free"). There's no way you're going to be successful if you're:
1) Trying to break into a market that is already well established
2) Charging people significantly (well, infinitely) more than the established players
I agree with Ruben. Jeff, all your anti-marketing-weasel posturing is pretty badly undermined when you post manipulative drivel like this. "I'm humbled"? "I'm thrilled"? "I won't lie to you, this is a business"? These are all right out of the hard-selling car salesman's playbook. Either practise what you preach, or give it a rest on the anti-marketing rants.
I don't know -- charging people to be looked at for a job (which is essentially the business model) is kind of sad stuff. I would be much more supportive of a model which charged employers and not potential employees. That being said, it is not like you are the only one doing this, and it is obviously a better business model to charge the applicants. (But I won't be doing it.)
The last picture in your post is exactly what my current employer's has hung next to the door.
For me personally it mainly creates the idea that the recruiter in question doesn't know what he should be looking for.
All those who's job mainly involves solving math problems, say I.
On the other hand the phone number was on their website too, so I guess it could be interpreted as encouragement to find the fastest correct solution :P
And here I thought you were talking about job offerings with you, Jeff. Where I was going to state that I'd be ready for a job interview with you as I know some of your interview trickery that you've posted you ask people ;)
Also apparently there is another "Russ". I shall henceforth be known as "Teh Russ"...
As far as people saying they are comfortable at their jobs, it may also have more to do with knowing that they live in an area that doesn't have a ton of competition, coupled with already being settled down in a house (and possibly kids).
I know some people aren't afraid to play the nomad game, but I've always been very comfortable growing up in my home state and don't plan on moving very far away. I'm sure this is the case for many others.
Solving difficult problems involves plugging in two numbers into an algebraic expression? Any advanced calculator can do that and any moron can afford one for about 50 bucks (or even less).
Congrats Jeff on a new revenue stream (the job site). You could also sell programmable calculators on that site to help morons look smart haha
Beta careers? I want an alpha career!
I hardly ever use Stack Overflow (un dépassement de pile en français). I guess I'm the smartest guy in the room. I also have better things to do than to be your digital sharecropper. Nobody is doing "developer community" in the right way to promote career networking. I get better offers from goofing off on reddit or on the message boards of open source web applications.
Feels like a sell out. I understand you've created a service and you want to advertise it. I just never thought you'd compromise the wonderfully varied and insightful topics (up til now, that is) of this blog to do it. I'm disappointed. Take a look at your posts of the last six months and see what I'm talking about - either web-centric topics or topics directly or indirectly relating to SO. This is your blog and you can do whatever you want with it. I just don't enjoy reading it nearly as much as I did 2 or 3 years ago.
Is it just me or is Stackoverflow the best candidate for an open source project ever? If you want to trust your fellow programmers and let them show how great they are let them help you code it (and give them rep for it).
I can see you guys absolutely deserve to make some cash so opening up everything wouldn't make sense (to you). But if you could write up a spec for a new feature and turn that into a SO question with a hefty bounty that allows these users to really show how helpful they can be.
And in an effort to push you guys more toward open sourcing the whole thing - do you make money from your code or from the community you've created?
Could you make it free for students seeking employment? Something like a giant flag --STUDENT-- so non-students wouldn't use it because it would look that they are cheap bastards?
> Keep ignoring the general unhappiness, Jeff.
I am shocked, SHOCKED I SAY, that someone who runs the domain stackoverthrow.com would be disappointed with our latest offering. :)
My first reaction was that "free would be better" for all the obvious reasons, but I realize that putting a tiny hurdle up would probably improve the quality of the pool (at the expense of quantity), both in the sense of programmer skill, and the accuracy of information in profiles.
Do you think that in the future you might have CVs for serverfault or in other words, CVs for server admins?
Agree with Mike Woodhouse. If you don't like/want/need the service don't use it.
Couple obvious problems here:
1.) If I really want my employees to know my SO account, I can reference it in my resume.
2.) You're enforcing a bogus metric for hiring decisions - SO badges. I know you're saying that the potential employer will read the posts, but lets be honest, that's not going to happen in a large percentage of cases.
3.) It should be SO Careers Beta, not SO Beta Careers
4.) I'd complain about the price, but I can't tell if you're charging for it or not. Twice you say its free, and twice you follow it up with a sentence saying candidates needs to pay. If that's the case, please be aware that every other site lets candidates post for free. They do this to attract a large user base, which in turn they can leverage in their marketing to companies looking to hire.
The cynicism on a lot of these responses kills me. There is nothing inherently evil, unethical, or even morally questionable about this.
What is being announced is an additional set of features being added to Stack Overflow. The new features (opportunities?) that are being added to the site are completely orthogonal to all pre-existing features that we have come to love and in no way is there a requirement to use the new features to still take advantage of the old features.
Yes, part of the new feature set has a fee associated with it. The decision to use the "fee" based features is in fact also optional and orthogonal to the other public CV feature set part. So, in effect, we are being offered even more than we had before at no charge with an option to do even more at a nominal price.
Its is hard to see how it can get much better than that and still call Stack Overflow a "business".
Relative to all the debate about pricing, what you could charge, if you should charge for this or that, etc. is somewhat academic at this point, especially for all us not running the Stack Overflow Careers business.
The experiment is now being run and I suspect in the next 4 to 8 weeks, there is going to be a very compelling amount of data available to Jeff and Joel to understand whether or not what has been proposed is actually an effective approach or not to collect a good database of searchable resumes or not.
If you see the introductory offer extended beyond the initial offering window (or some varied promotion) that would mean that the the $29 offer price was in effect too high. If the offer is not extended, the price was probably too low, especially if you see the $99/year raised at some point in the not too distance future.
I am very curious to see what happens and personally wager that $29 is a probably a really good place to start. Translation: I already paid my $29 and I am not even looking for a job now. If I was looking for a job, I would be happy to pay $99 to be in a high quality employer search result....and the less people competing for those jobs the better!
I've noticed recently that there's been a real decline in the quality of posts on this blog. Over the years I've always looked forward to the posts here as they've proved insightful and have been great launchboards for discussion.
However, just recently it seems you've started to become the things you hate. The "Treating User Myopia" post was a good recent example of this, and this post is another. These days you sound more like a marketeer than a developer. I except that's probably to be expected as you've now got your own business and such, but it's disappointing all the same. This post is nothing more than a piece of advertising. For someone who once moaned about "blogging about blogging" it's a pity that you're happy to do "adver-blogging"...
If you want to continue down your present route then at least have the decency to rename this blog. Its relevance to coding started to diminish some time ago as it morphed into a site that moans about users and plugs the SO universe.
Guys, give him a break. He has created an excellent service and he has every right to charge for it. This isn't open source software. Good things don't come for free. Deal with it.
I agree that putting up a small hurdle will increase the quality of programmers, and this will also help Jeff differentiate his site from all the other sites where programmers can post their resume for free. It will make his site more attractive to employers when they find out that he charges a small fee to the programmers, so there will be less of the script kiddies out here.
Also, it is free to post your resume but if you want your resume to be searchable by employers, you have to pay a small fee for that, which I think is very reasonable.
Nothing good in the world ever comes free. Deal with it.
this is pretty shameful marketing, Jeff. First, you're blatantly using your blog as an advertisement. Second, you are engaging in deception. Is it free, or is it $29? You call it free several times, but then give it a price tag. That's not what free means.
As for responding to the actual substance of your marketing drivel, I'll be shocked if you find enough rubes willing to pay for an expensive service when there are so many free competitors. It sounds like Joel drank a little too much of his pricing-strategy kool-aid, though.
You all are just crazy for saying you're leaving the blog.
Jeff is doing a great service to hook up the wealth of great programmers at stack overflow with real jobs or open doors for even better things, I don't see anything wrong with this, remember it is a recession and there are tons of people out there that need a job!
$29 bucks for 3 years! Come on, you spend that in one night at the bar with your friends sobbing about how you don't have a job and no-one is hiring. Get over it. Not everything on the internet is free, stop taking the programmers don't get paid crap mentality and applying it to other things.
@Sentax: The reason people talk about leaving the blog is due to the recent quality of the blog. The blatant self advertisement this posting is has just highlighted this point.
Sure, $29 isn't a lot, but Jeff can't seem to clearly state whether it's a free service or something you have to pay for. I've got nothing against him charging (in theory) but it does seem a bit unreasonable for a site that is based on user-generated content wants to charge those users to upload a CV. Sure, charge the employer/recruitment firm, but come on, leave the user alone. SO is nothing without them...
Nice service. However, I don't see any advantages over linkedin.
And linkedin is free.
When did we stop using resumes and start using CVs? Is it related to the whole Freedom Fries thing?
I'm a bit divided over this as well.
You'll trim a lot of fat by charging for the service, but not entirely. Stupid people have money too and usually will spend it rampantly if they think it'll get them more of it.
Then there's the whole "thanks for your contributions. I'm so happy with the way this is working, that I want you to find jobs. Pay $money, and it'll help! Honestly!"
I think he should instead have a shifting system based on your performance on sites like Stackoverflow, etc, where the better your rep, the lower it'll cost you to join, to the point where top talent(or googlefoo) is pretty much already free.
Sure, linking to your SO, etc profile is one thing, but I could just as easily do that on my CV itself. Add some value we can't get anywhere else!!!
"...outrageously low..."? Only because you say so.
I would not call that nominal. Nominal would be on the order of a few dollars.
If you were that psyched and appreciative of the time we spent on SO you'd drop the price - especially for the people who contribute so much.
There's not much stopping someone else from just linking to SO's users and providing a job search with a lower-priced opt-in for users/job seekers. It wouldn't take much to do.
By the way, is italicizing "substantial" (substantial fees for hiring managers) supposed to make us feel any better about the "nominal" fee we pay? If anything it just creates more resentment at cashing in AND charging us at the same time.
@Sentax and Terminator: I'm not complaining about the fact that someone has a paid service; that's fine. What I'm complaining about is the hypocrisy of Jeff regularly slamming 'marketing weasels' (in fact there was a whole post on this subject very recently) then turning right around and using the exact same techniques when it suits his purposes. Hypocrisy aside, it shows a shocking lack of respect to his audience, as implicit in this post is the assumption that we're too stupid to notice that it attempts to manipulate us in all the ways that were so carefully spelled out for us on this very blog just a couple of weeks ago.
This would have been fine on your stackoverflow blog. An update about stackoverflow in general would have been fine here. But to promote stackoverflow pay features on codinghorror? Are you kidding?
We get enough spam. Thanks.
I think that it's a great idea, minus the $29(introductory offer!?) for 'all' the community programmers.
I'll be totally honest with you, we understand that this is a business, that this is your business(and of course Joel's too). But as everyone's screaming out loud, please stop acting like a marketeer! Simply stating the plans would've sufficed. This blog post makes it appear a little too fruity.
And of course your real business would be from the people seeking the programmers, but then, like always, Joel and you would've plotted out some graph and come to a conclusion: "We can, may be squeeze out some more juice by charging these guys too."
I say totally fair as a business. But you don't want to be falling down in the eyes of people who're actually responsible for the success of your business. I know that sound's fruity too.
And how do you ensure the quality when you're charging some one $29 to get listed.
I'm seriously amazed at the community, coming forward and helping out the fellow programmers. And some of us really go out of the way. But there are no material benefits that I know, apart from the bragging rights, at least as of now, for the people who really make it a point to help. I really appreciate the community as a whole and thank those guys from the bottom of heart who go out of the way to help.
As my stats would reveal, I'm not one of them. I wish I were. I wish I had the time, the selflessness and the smarts. But for the ones who do, I think they should get some benefits in your business.
I would recommend you to work out a threshold of stackoverflow scores who'd be eligible for posting their CV's online, and for FREE. This will make the managers get to the really bright ones. This will make you show your appreciation towards people actually running your business. This will make the others in the community (like me) be more proactive.
And if ever, you were to accept this idea, I should get the honors to post my resume for FREE too. :)...I know, but was worth a shot.
And last but not the least.
Keep up the good work guys... Jeff, Joel and the people behind stackoverflow et al. You are really making a difference. And no matter what, we can't stay mad at you even if you're gonna charge us $29.
And yes 'The community'.
Nothing is preventing anyone from creating a completely FREE alternative. Jeff and Joel don't own exclusive rights to drab gray boxes. Roll your own and link to users' SO profiles.
Hi Jeff. The CV's are another great idea. Keep up the good work.
Love your idea - I am managing a start up that offers something extremely similar in concept, only difference is we focus on college undergraduates. Your description of the "mind-numbing acronym sea of monster.com" is amazingly accurate and not suited for talented individuals searching for career opportunities. You can get lucky on those generic job posting boards, sure, but they are not designed well. A connection platform is the best model I believe and it seems you agree. It'd be great to exchange some ideas if you'd be open to it! Hit me up at jeff at collegejobconnect dot com
"I am shocked, SHOCKED I SAY, that someone who runs the domain stackoverthrow.com would be disappointed with our latest offering. :)"
Nice one Jeff. that's a great movie reference. :}
I really like SO - I have had some points of contention and I don;t always agree with you.
I'd also like to point out to the rest of the crowd that the fee for seekers is rather small and can't be seen as a way for these guys to make money - that is NOT the business model. the purpose of it is to somehow "preqaulify" the candidates so that they can charge high prices for the other side. that is a totally reasonable thing to do - higher quality applicant pools will generate high fees.
My contention is that charging fees, though it may sound good on paper, is actually going to limit the applicant pool from ever having the best applicants and will likely end up lowering the mean "desirability" of the overall searchable applicant pool.
The builders of SO should be able to make money from it. Making improvements in the job matching world is a great idea. I think this piece of that puzzle is broken.
Someone asked if I had any suggestions for improving rather than just complaining or ranting.
well, it is a little difficult without knowing the other (buy) side of the business model. For example - are they paying per search, per search term, per resume, per contact/email? A lot of that is important. Is there really feedback from the other side that says they will only spend X when the applicant search is free, but will spend X+Y when the applicants pay?
The crux is how to maximize overall profit - and I presume SO staff are right in that they want to have some way to make the pool of applicants very desirable. One step is that they are SO users. The next is to figure out how to ensure that hiring companies are not wasting their time on people who are not serious about taking a job offer. One way is to offer very competitive salaries, benefits and great working conditions. That would entice a lot of people who aren't even looking. Another way would be for people to be on the list initially and through some sort of feedback they would be put at the end of the list if they were found not to be "serious". People can have the option of paying, and if they don't want to pay they can throw their hat in the ring so to speak. I would wager that companies will still want to search the database of people who are mildly interested. They might want to spend that extra time fighting for someone or trying to get their attention rather than just taking the people who shelled out the $29/$99.
There is also the inconsistency of the people who spend the $29 or $99 who already found jobs who then DON'T take their name off the list voluntarily - they then fall into the same category of the others who didn't pay - i would presume that they are off the market and paying companies DON'T want to see them, but yet they paid and they might want to keep their resumes searchable. How is that inconsistency handled?
I don't know the best way to solve the issue - but I am convinced that this is not the users' problem to pay for/solve - it for SO and the Buy side to solve.
I agree I wouldn't pay to host my profile hosted. You would be better off letting the workers host free profiles to increase the pool of potential employees for employers to find. Employers are more likely to look through your site if you have 10,000 resumes instead of 100.
Also, one disadvantage I see to linking your resume to your profile is that a lot of times you ASK questions as well as answer them. A lot people might that this will make them look stupid in the eyes of the potential employer
It's appropriate as a business to charge what you think is a fair value for a service. The problem here isn't the fact that StackOverflow is charging for a service, but that they are charging for a service that the market by and large has already set at a price - free.
I can go on virtually any job site I can think of and post my resume for free. In most cases, it would be even MORE beneficial to post my resume there, because the pool of people looking at resumes on those sites is larger than StackOverflow (that may change in the future, but it's doubtful unless there's a compelling reason that can overcome the $99/year disincentive for people to post resumes).
It's a business and charging for a service isn't inherently evil. Given what they are charging FOR, however, it's spectacularly dumb.
I am interested to find out if companies would pay more or less for searching ALL of SO resumes or just the ones who pay or ONLY the ones who don't pay.
If it were me, I'd probably ask how much to do two different searches - the paid ones and the unpaid seekers. If I want someone bad enough I will give it a shot. If they say no, then so be it. At least I will find out what is REALLY out there, not just who was willing to pay $29 or $99 for being in a search result.
I'd say that is an interesting business proposition and someone (or group of someones) can probably get this going pretty simply. I'd rather not make it a pissing contest, but I do think it is interesting - and an oversight on SO's part in not doing this research (unless perhaps they did already.)
I should also be more fair to Jeff - I suspect much of this is driven by Joel - who has a lot to say and has very specific experiences in the hiring arena.
I don't really bear any ill will - I am just surprised, as someone else put it in a different blog entry, that SO is basically punting on this because they can't figure out a better way to solve the problem of "pre-qualifying" candidates.
Agree with most people. It's misleading. It says free, but you have to pay 29$ US. hummm. This is a show stopper for me.
I only wish the "I'm going to unsubscribe" crowd would go ahead and leave, so we don't have to hear from them again. I've personally gained much, much more than $29 worth of value from SO. If Jeff wants to charge $29 to host a CV for hiring managers, why is that such a terrible thing?
What's really outrageous about the price is that it's the usual $xx9 scam
Just treat your buyers with the respect they deserve and say $30. Everyone will be happier :)
@Stephen: The issue with the $29 is that SO couldn't exist without the content its users submit, and now it wants to charge the very same users to host their CV. It's a case of biting the hand that feeds it.
Sure, charge the employers for access to the data, but not the user. That's just plain dumb, as most other posters seem to think.
Those who are complaining about the pricing information might do well to read the FAQ (http://careers.stackoverflow.com/faq).
* free for students (1 year)
* $29 for three years (promotional, expires 11/9/2009)
* $99 for one year (post-promotional)
Sounds interesting, Jeff. I'm not sure I have a use for this, but I support it as an endeavor. Good idea charging for the service; I agree that the upfront cost will make the service more attractive to potential employers.
Jeff, did Joel make you right this blog? I knew he'd be a bad and painfully greedy influence!!!!!!
A site where you pay $99 to store your CV, how often do you expect people to change jobs, what part of this is good value for money?
PS. I cringed during Joel's self promotion bits of DevDays. Bloody salesman!
PPS. Please tell us about your latest cool gadgets you've added to your keyring, or how fast and efficient your latest Atom media PC is.
@tim If you need to borrow $29 all you had to do was ask...
What do you get exactly for $29 dollars? In a nut shell you get Jeff and Joel marketing you, simple as that. If Joel and Jeff can convince hiring managers that their service has better developers the illusion becomes real.
The only question to debate here is can they convince hiring managers this.
It appears that sub consciously you do want a different job, you just think you dont know it.
01 546 4760 is the number?
Just wondering if there shouldn't be an area code in there.
I think you're late to the game Jeff. LinkedIn provides much of the materials one needs to be "found" by the right people, and because it is not exclusively a developer community, you are much more likely to be found by an interesting opportunity.
Also, perhaps it's time to open Coding Horror up to syndication? Find guys who are 5-10 years younger than you. Let them write compelling technical stories about the state and art of programming with your blessing. Keep your brand, but keep the spirit as well. This property is suffering from lack of attention. Keep it alive!
It's a mistake to charge job seekers.
Wow, such animosity. Give the guy a break. It takes time and money to build a site like SO. Jeff & co have built a nice competitive advantage and are now trying to monetize it. It makes perfect sense. And the $29 or $99 price keeps out the riffraff who plug the dice.coms of the world and reduce job searching to an acronym matching game.
Here here, Jeff -- I applaud both your good business sense, and your choice to use your blog to promote your new venture. How else are you going to promote it? You've brought us a lot of great material over the years, it's the least your readers can do to listen to your new venture. And you are giving your loyal blog readers a chance at a heavy discount, and I for one will take it.
OOPS, reversed the numbers 1.876.8000
Guess I should turn in my math degree card eh?
It might be an idea to show CVs to companies without any contact information for free... then they have to pony up to find out who exactly this person is.
The reason I suggest this is because I can see many companies having an HR department that is in charge of finding applicants. I can also see those HR Managers saying something like this to themselves: "Do I just want to post a job ad on the sites we currently get all of our applicants from and that's it... or do I want to have pay and do the work to have ANOTHER account on ANOTHER job site, for JUST 1 position?"
And on that note, I suspect that HR people aren't really in touch with the "what's what" in the software development world. How would they even know to look for SO? Can you imagine what the world would be like if this became a trend? Trying to find employees on per-industry job boards? And all of the job boards that would compete in single industries?
I'm rooting for it, don't get me wrong, but call me a skeptic for now.
apparently, my captcha failed... but still posted.
@Johnnylambda - they would get plenty of revenue from hiring companies - there is no reason to charge job seekers. They are not doing it for the revenue - tht is chump change compared to the cost for the other side. The issue is that it is too much and the reason they give is a false reason - you aren't going to get BETTER applicants - since the better ones can get jobs by word of mouth - they are going to get desperate people
I don't think anyone objects to Joel and Jeff and their developers making money from something they worked hard to create.
What we object to is what I think is a perception that we're being deceived, even in just this post. "We're a community!" "It's all about you!" "You're the reason Stack Overflow is such a success!"
And then turn around and try to sell us something.
Again, I hate to use such a crude example, but it would be like a talking to a woman in a bar all night, having her laugh at your jokes, tell you how fun you are, etc., and then say she'll go home with you for $XX9 dollars. It kinds makes you doubt the sincerity of the previous comments.
/Agree with cheapskates above who won't pay $30 to put their resume on your site. Come on, that's just dumb. Charge the employers. I would not, under any circumstances, pay to put my resume on the internet!
And that means that you'll be offering a less valuable service to employers - they'll only get to see the resumes of people that are desperate enough to pay $30 to post.
But by all means, good luck - maybe you know better than us, because Stack Overflow is definitely an awesome site.
Well, I don't see the problem.
It's not like SO is turning us into digital sharecroppers or anything like that. I wish I could remember where I first heard that term......
"...And the $29 or $99 price keeps out the riffraff who plug the dice.coms of the world and reduce job searching to an acronym matching game."
One could argue that a StackOverflow reputation that is over/above some value would also keep the "riffraff" out.
The site's content is community driven. Seems that if company X wants to plunk down some coin to have access to the CVs of the community members who want to list theirs, that's reasonable and appropriate.
But charging the community is different, I think. My reputation (or lack thereof) on the site already weeds out the folks who aren't part of the community, or who haven't contributed to its success.
I'm thrilled that Jeff & Company have developed the site infrastructure and I think it is a good one, but the content is the community's content and the community does a darn good job of managing the spammers and other miscreants. Seems reasonable and appropriate NOT to charge the community members.
I believe that SO reputation will weed out the folks that other sites don't.
In the end, it would provide a reciprocity:
Companies pay to access the info.
Developers get new job opportunities.
Jeff & Co. make some $$ from the hiring-company fees to access the data.
Developers think better of the site and stick around and contribute more and get the perk of have a place to post their CV that really matters.
And the world is a happy place for all.
(Cue the Peer Gynt music here)
I think some of the commenters really don't get it at all and just want rant at Jeff:
- The whole idea of a blog is to advertise yourself. Since Jeff's day job involves SO and this new thing, isn't it only natural to post about that?
- If you do not like this blog, no need for threats, just leave. Personally, I disagree with the content often, but still stay because I like a professional discussion.
- Concerning SO: Jeff and his team created it, invested in it and put in all the work. Not you. The majority is just leeching of the answers. Another part of the audience makes the actual contributions, but mostly only in their self interest (reputation), nothing wrong with that. All social sites work like that.
- Web pioneers like Jeff deserve business income from coming up with a good idea, executing it very well and having all the risks. I'm getting really fed up with assholes demanding everything is free whilst running AdBlock plus and contributing nothing. The sites you visit need a way to exist, you know?
- If you do not agree with the price of this new service, mention it by all means with valid reasons or simply do not purchase it. You are entitled to nothing, but also not obliged to nothing.
I was at the Los Angeles Dev Day, and one of the presenters mentioned that he had a couple id's on Stack Overflow - one for answering questions and one for asking. Is there a write-up on how we're supposed to game the system? Or is it simply that whoever is most clever and unscrupulous wins?
But, didn't Joel (see the "High Notes" article) already teach us that if you need to look for a job, you're a loser that can't program anyway?
"- Concerning SO: Jeff and his team created it, invested in it and put in all the work. Not you. The majority is just leeching of the answers. Another part of the audience makes the actual contributions, but mostly only in their self interest (reputation), nothing wrong with that. All social sites work like that."
Sorry, but Jeff himself spilled a good amount of ascii and graphics in this post and some others telling us that SO is about *US,* not them.
He can't have it both ways. If he wants to build a site to make money, that's fine. But spare us the whole, "this is all about YOU and community and flowers and puppy-dogs" BS.
Great service Jeff, as a professional freelance software consultant I immediately signed up. I can't believe how many people here who read an entrepreneur blog and then is horrified that the entrepreneur have a service that actually cost money to use, and use his blog to promote this service. COME ONE, I would like to believe that you are not all unemployed kids living with your mom, but you sure aren't acting any other way.
Keep the good stuff coming Jeff, people who are true professionals will have no objection paying for this service.
> The programmers who choose to participate in Stack Overflow are the "secret sauce" that makes it work.
And like at McDonald's, the secret sauce does not get paid for all the hard work it put into making the business possible. It just gets eaten. :(
$99/year? A kind of too expensive. Is free of charge option ever considered?
I really don't think you needed to advertise in your blog post. Put it on your sidebar or something.
Get back to the REAL content.
I'm just wondering what kind of employer market Jeff is anticipating on the "hiring manager" side. I'd assume this has been discussed internally.
I'm assuming that lots of software companies utilize these job seeker websites (the pay ones) to look for candidates but my experience with this is limited. We've utilized them in-house before and the results are a mixed bag, as might be expected.
Wife and I discussed it last night (she's not a dev) and she definitely thought $29/3 years was pretty cheap but the $99/year thereafter seemed high. I think I agree with her.
Today's captcha: "flushes $3,337,340" ;-)
> An employer really could not ask for a better way of determining candidate skill and knowledge.
Indeed, as long as you're willing to cold-call 1,000 people to find the 5 that are actually looking for work. How much is your time worth? How much is your company's time worth?
I understand that the entry fee is a solution to the problem of wanting to "qualify" the candidates some way.
But, as the developers of the site, that is Joel and Jeff's problem, not mine. The entry fee is one possible solution, that essentially outsources that problem to the suckers "community."
Which is a valid choice for them to make, but we don't have to be happy about it, either.
why not expand into other lucrative markets liek photo hosting, contact management or even Jeff-branded cell phone?
Why the heck not? it's open source. You can rule the Universe before summer rolls in here in North America.
The problem I see with using money as a way of "qualifying" people doesn't seem like it would be very effective, especially when StackOverflow is probably in a better position than anyone to provide a way of qualifying people.
Requring a payment to qualify that you REALLY REALLY want to get a job fails for the following reasons:
1) The quality of a developer is completely orthogonal to how much they want a job. I'm tempted to even go as far as to say that there's a negative corrolation between desire to get a job and how good a developer you are - those people who are truly great developers can find a job without paying $99 / year to find one.
2) Simply making your resume searchable by employers online carries enough risk with it that it's probably sufficient to gauge "desire". Anyone who makes their resume public and searchable runs the risk of communicating to their current employer that they're looking, or at the very least open to the possibility of changing jobs. It doesn't tell you who's absolutely desperate for a job, sure, but I don't see why employers should care about desperation so long as the candidates listed are open to new opportunities.
On top of that, the truly baffling thing is that StackOverflow is practically designed to be capable of gauging developer quality and commitment to the community - there's a little number and some shiny gold, silver and bronze things next to someone's name, along with a searchable history of that developer demonstrating their expertise in the technologies they claim to be skilled in. An employer really could not ask for a better way of determining candidate skill and knowledge.
So the "weeding out the bad candidates" spiel just really doesn't pass the smell test for me, Jeff, unless both you and Joel are dim-witted enough to not see that you are uniquely positioned to provide employers with a way of determing which candidates are worth pursuing. And I really don't think you're both that dim-witted.
Just be honest with the community and say you're charging money because there's money to be made in charging candidates for making their resumes searchable. I'm sure a lot of us will disagree that you'll ever make much going down this route, but at least you're being honest.
So Jeff you try somehow to build a notion (for the employers who pay *A WHOLE PILE OF CASH* to have a glimpse on this db) of hosting the most qualified devs on this career site.
What is exactly your USP for the employers as well as for the employees? I don't get it:
- Why will employers believe that people who hang around SO are better qualified than anybody else? Even for the people that answer a lot of question (most do ask a lot more, I guess) why is this any better than some proven references, open source projects, work history, certifications? Do you honestly think a potential employer will sift through all those discussions to find out if someone is qualified or not?
- I get the notion that you want to communicate: here you have the proove that somebody is bright. This works typically if someone has some public and trackable exposure like long term commiter of a oss project, speaches at conferences, published books, etc. You now want to translate this to answering asking/questions? No offense for the quality answers on SO, but I guess this need a bit of refining.
- we as developers should pay 29/99$ for this service. I am not critisising the amount that's fine. I pay more for a Linkedin Premium, but: What do I get from it? When I pay for a service I must have some extras / exclusivity that I do not get with other recruiters headhunters, jobsites. Do you have that? What is your USP here?
- you can link your SO profile/reputation badge right now if you like.
- for online CV's on LinkedIn or Xing I am already connected hundreds of contacts and have a full fledged complete online CV with graspable quality indicators like recommendations, certs etc. and both are free.
- For your response just above: Is any company that has open positions calling 1000 people right now because nowbody is applying? I thought we have recession, apparently not where you live.
Apart from that and as mentioned multiple times: devs usually smell the marketing talk and do not like it, especially this feels very strange since you just recently posted against such talks. Not consistent, doesnt feel right and contraproductive.
I know you must take a lot already, take it easy.
Who cares if you get called a "sellout"? Computer programming is a profession, not a mission to throw a magic ring into a volcano. I'm sitting here in a cubicle doing boring-ass crap for a faceless corporate entity pretty much waiting to die, same as everyone else griping and moaning about you making money.
Good for you, dude, sell every 1 and 0 of what you've made for as much as you can get for each. Your family deserves the opportunities provided by wealth a lot more than we deserve free services provided by you.
You want to talk about betrayal? What ever happened to that world-famous "artist" why_the_lucky_stiff, who never charged a dime for his work but disappeared, leaving thousands of people, many of them children, swinging in the breeze.
I don't particularly want to tie my contributions on stackoverflow, because they make me look bad. I have more questions than answers, a few accepted answers, and a few answers that are perfectly fine but were far too late to get any rep. Considering that there's about one company in my country that's even advertising on the jobs board, and no-one's going to pay to ship me out to America, it's not worth any amount of money.
I'm sure this system is great for the Jon Skeets of this world, but for those of us who are not superstars, but not morons either, there's precious little value.
I would consider it if there were any jobs listed in my area. Unfortunately it seems that there are no jobs on Stackoverflow jobs (or jobs.joelonsoftware.com for that matter) in my state, let alone my metropolitan area.