Love Thy Developers
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.
Foursquare hosted its second hackathon over the weekend at General Assembly, a surprisingly gender-balanced affair at General Assembly fueled by Pepsi products and beer from Sixpoint Craft Ales. Developers in Paris demonstrated more than 20 new foursquare apps; hackers in Japan demo’ed eight or nine. The New York hackathon produced about 25 apps, hacks and mashups.
Let’s just say there are a lot of new ways to play foursquare. Hackathon savant and newly-anointed Twilio evangelist Jon Gottfried and his team created Loo Review, a game for photographing and rating the city’s public toilets. Betabeat also liked CRawsome, a hack from Yipit’s Vinny Vacanti and Steve Pulec that texts venue managers when regulars and “social influencers” check in.
Perhaps 200 attendees were strewn across the floor, couches, and extra tables that had been set up in the main room, but only 50 were checked into General Assembly when Betabeat arrived in the afternoon for demos–probably because hackers had been checking in all day (about eight had stayed overnight to work on their projects). Just ten percent were present at the first foursquare hackathon in February, according to a show of hands.