On a handout provided at the “How to Hire Developers in a Competitive Market” workshop a few weeks ago, a long list of descriptors attempted to serve up some insight into the psyche of developers. Among the more typical dev stereotypes like “tenacious” and “innovative” were more specific terms, like “sensitive BS detector” and “anti-establishment.” Oddly missing from the list were “Kegerator obsession” and “distaste for donning footwear.”
But we’ll get to that.
Much like unicorns or rent-controlled apartments, software engineers are a rare, fascinating breed. Many are sensitive to sunlight, only wear hoodies and boast a blood composition of 90 percent Mountain Dew. Unencumbered by emotional irrationality, they operate primarily on logic, using highly complicated algorithmic equations to make even the simplest of decisions, like which sushi place to order from. They are obsessive, strange and brilliant, and they make some of the most beloved products in our modern world.
Shut Up Nerds
Forrst, the professional community for designers and coders launched by Kyle Bragger, announced today that it has officially been acquired by Colourlovers, an Oregon-based design community. Not bad for a company created on a whim.
Over the last few years, the rhetoric in Silicon Alley has started to sound like a Bring It On sequel. The rhetoric is dominated by two themes: boostery New York exceptionalism—in September 2009, the high-profile investor Fred Wilson gave a talk called “NYC’s Startup Scene: What makes it special?”—and the David and Goliath narrative, with Silicon Valley as the reigning champion versus New York as the cool, scrappy young challenger. Read More
Letters from a Hacker
Betabeat first wrote about Tinyproj, a curated newsletter for matching developers to gigs, in September. The site was a project by the inimitable Kyle Bragger, currently in residence at 500 Startups for the completely unrelated Forrst.com, a sort of Tumblr-like community for developers. The buyer was GroupTalent, a Seattle-based “marketplace for high-end software projects.”
What was the price? “Can’t say, suffice to say everyone wins and it’s not mandatory to switch over as a user, e.g. no user data got sold off,” Mr. Bragger told Betabeat.
Betabeat Approves A Thing
This is a guest post from the pseudonymous Edward Case, a Brooklyn-based freelance developer, which was adapted from an email to Betabeat. Mr. “Case” preferred to remain anonymous, as clients pay his bills.
You know ratemyprofessor.com? I want something like that for potential clients. (Note: I just tried ratemyclient.com and it’s something porn-related, so don’t try that if you’re in an office.) I’m not sure it’ll ever exist though; nobody would want to write negative reviews of past clients for fear of endangering their prospects of getting future work.
I would write about how everybody that needs a cookie-cutter CRUD app or piece of brochureware thinks their project is a beautiful snowflake, when the reality of the situation is that the vast majority of projects out there are all very samey. When people approach me with work that’s very cut-and-dry, but they’re realistic about it, I’m liable to listen. When they act like they’re changing the word with the most important web form that’s ever graced the face of the planet, I run.
The bloodthirsty hunt for hackers is getting extreme. Developers get come-ons by email, through Facebook, cold calls; their listservs are invaded, their hackathons are stalked. But here comes Tinyproj, a simple solution to at least part of the problem. Kyle Bragger, creator of developer hub Forrst.com, has set up a mechanism for getting technical talent for short-term projects. It’s called Tinyproj. Think the “gigs” section on Craigslist. “People want short-term work,” he told Betabeat. “I had a hunch this could be interesting and valuable to people.”
NO, YOU AREN’T CRAZY. Twitter asploded with soul-searching tweets as New Yorkers wondered if they’d really felt something. Haha, Warby Parker evacuated; so did Jordan Newman, Google spokesman and a recent transplant from the Googleplex, who felt it on the 15th floor and evacuated himself although people on the fourth floor didn’t notice anything. Gary Vaynerchuck wondered if it was because he had just announced his retirement from making wine videos. There was some alarm when the newsroom saw a tweet that trains were down, which turned out thankfully to be untrue. The earthquak’s total DMG to NYC was more along the lines of this. But we have already an animated .GIF, a mug (thanks Etsy!) and a check-in (thanks Foursquare!) to remember it by.
GUNS AND STEEL. Remember Silk Road, the website with an absurdly-long URL where you can buy drugs and other wonderful things with Bitcoin, and lots of its harmless customers gave quotes to Gawker? There’s a similar underground site that’s a little more ominous, a source tells Betabeat. It’s called Metal Storm–another common name that makes it tough to find by a search–and senators might want to pay more attention to this one, because it sells guns.
Anatomy of a Start-Up
New York’s increasingly-popular start-up Forrst, a Tumblr-esque forum for designers and developers, appears to be the victim of a rather blatant ripoff from the Emerald Isle. A freelance Irish designer, Eamonn Murphy, has a splash page up for Furrst.com, “an exciting new web app for designers who care about content.”
Uh, wait a second. Didn’t someone else do that furrst?
Forrst, the Tumblr-esque blogging platform for developers, started out as a side project for Kyle Bragger that took off on its own, and through a referral system and occasional whip-cracking it’s evolved into a robust community. Founder Kyle Bragger popped into another tight-knit web community–Reddit’s Ask Me Anything forum–to say hi to his fans this afternoon after users expressed interest in picking his brain.
Forrst was “originally a Pinboard/Delicious style utility for code and design. It was stupid simple but had a following model that inadvertently sparked the community growth,” Mr. Bragger writes.
The man behind the fast growing and recently funded coder community, Forrst, has decided to create the web’s version of the island castaway question.
Instead of being stuck on a remote spit of land with just five books, Kyle Bragger has created a simple web app, My Five, that asks users to pick the five people on Twitter they would follow if that was all they could have.