Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Web Developer and Java Champion. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

The good ol' Job Hunt

My Boston gig ended last week and I'm currently enjoying a week off with the kids at my parents' place in Oregon. While I have a few opportunities, I can't help but think there's got to be a better system for connecting developers to contracts. While I'm open to full-time work, I've found that contracts suite me better because of all the conferences I attend and time I take off.

In Denver, there's quite a few gigs available, but they all seem to have the same two problems: 1) no rate is published and 2) you have to go through a recruiter to get them. Recruiters aren't bad people, and I don't mind dealing with them. However, they do tend to take 20% off the top. Most of the recruiters I've worked with in the past are responsible for one thing - the initial introduction. After that, they tend to disappear and you never see them again. However, you're constantly reminded they're there when you realize they're taking 20% of your wages. With a recruiter involved, the rates in Denver are OK, but lower than expected. Without a recruiter, the rates are pretty good.

The best solution I've found to the getting rid of the recruiter-middle-man problem is this blog and networking. When someone contacts me directly for a contract, it's usually easier to negotiate a rate that makes both parties happy. However, most of these contacts come from out of state, so then there's the travel and working-from-home problems. I think I can solve the work-from-home problem by joining something like the Hive Cooperative. As for traveling, I'd rather work in Denver but I'm willing to travel to select cities: namely Boston, NYC and Portland (Oregon). Why those cities? Because I have friends and/or family that live there.

As I'm out here in Oregon this week, I've realized that working in Portland would likely be the most enjoyable for me to travel to. My parents live close by, it's a kick-ass city and it's especially enjoyable during the summer. However, I'm faced with the same problem: how do I connect with folks looking for good help without going through recruiters? According to, Portland has a lot of interesting gigs, but they're (once again), all listed by recruiting companies. Does anyone know of a service that connects employers directly with consultants? Or, even better, is anyone out there in Denver or Portland that's looking to hire someone with my skills? ;-)

Posted in Java at Jun 11 2007, 10:26:05 AM MDT 12 Comments

A couple of months ago at the Atlanta JUG, someone came in to plug this site:

I haven't tried it myself, so I can't vouch for it, but it might be the kind of thing you're looking for.

Posted by Daniel Gredler on June 11, 2007 at 10:49 AM MDT #

You didn't mention it specifically so I will... LinkedIn. You may already be on there but I figure with your network you could find lots of stuff quickly. There are also internal job listings - internal to LinkedIn. Have you tried or or 37Signals job board? Good luck, - jason

Posted by jason on June 11, 2007 at 11:06 AM MDT #

I'm also interested in finding contracts without the hassle of dealing with a middle man. The best solution I've found is to troll on the contract-only job boards some of which I list on my blog: Best Places to Find a Tech Job

Posted by Shane Witbeck on June 11, 2007 at 12:05 PM MDT #

My linkedin network keeps growing but I haven't got a job offer there yet, although I'm not looking for one :)

Posted by musachy on June 11, 2007 at 01:48 PM MDT #

You're right, Portland is a great place... that's why I moved/live here. :) The Portland JUG ( is a good way to network with people. Contracts/jobs come across the mailing list often. While most are from recruiters occasionally some from hiring managers come through. I'm sure it would be ok to email the list that you are looking for a contract gig in PDX as well.

Posted by Victor Soares on June 11, 2007 at 03:45 PM MDT #

I have had good success with craigslist. Employers are usually smaller companies, but they have always matched exected pay. Smaller companies don't want to pay the finders fee if they don't need to.

Posted by Nicholas on June 11, 2007 at 08:30 PM MDT #

Have you checked out it does list hourly rates..however I've noticed that a lot of postings are body-shops and more often than not, the rate is listed as $0.00/hour. But at least they are trying to put the rate in the postings... I'm in the DC area, and there are quite a lot of jobs here with real rates posted. Not great rates..but at least its a starting point.

Posted by Francis Wong on June 12, 2007 at 07:03 AM MDT #

The Hive is a really cool idea. Thanks for the link.

Posted by Tom on June 12, 2007 at 11:53 AM MDT #

Have you tried

Posted by Mark on June 13, 2007 at 09:56 AM MDT #

I'm the person behind the Recruiterless website mentioned above. I've been running it now for about 4-5 months. It's evolved from my initial approach - we're moving toward a filtered aggregation model where we scrape outside job boards and filter the contents for the direct posts.

I'm moving the site this direction because on my last job search I found that the generic recruiter ads swamped out the few direct postings on all of the major job boards (including craigslist), and although the small boards had more direct posts they weren't localized and contained almost none for my area. It became really time-consuming to search for direct postings, and I found it was much easier to search with an automated scraper/filter tool.

We do attract directly posted ads as well, but given the current state of job boards I see our value more in the filtered aggregation.

Is this approach something you'd find useful for your job searches?

Posted by Laurie on June 16, 2007 at 09:07 AM MDT #

Yo Matt,

Glad to hear you're avoiding recruiters -- as someone who hires a number of engineers that's really good to hear. Working through recruiters is a very frustrating process.

Good luck in the job search. ;)


Posted by Bill Lynch on June 25, 2007 at 02:25 PM MDT #


I really should read these blogs more. Why are recruiters getting the money, the middle part? We should gather a crew of really detailed, observant, smart developers and do this right. I talked to someone today that leads a recruiting consultancy and tech group today and his company wants to create a proximity center in Raleigh. So, I'm getting all foamed up around the gills and thinking, I can do this. Go run a shop opening in Raleigh. I have always liked hiring because I'm looking for folks that can make a decision. Resume's don't always impress me. I think people are where it's at. So, how would a few of us become the "ones" to get the calls and then send only the best to do the work.

I'm seriously thinking that this is needed. I get this recruiter on my cell and he can hardly speak english. He says, "Mr. David, my name is John Smith." Right, he's about as blood-relative to Captain John Smith as I am to Mhatma Ghandi. LOL. I asked him again and he said, "yes, my name is John Smith." I asked where he was born and he said something like "Detroit Ohio". My God, man, this is not right. I'm all nerved up trying to find the right job to do and I'm trying to impress Capt. John Smith to hook me up.

If you or anyone else wants to change all this let me know. I'm open to working on a business partnership referral kind of thing. That actually might work if we could establish some ground somehow. I know some really talented people that I've never even seen face to face. I'm sure you have to. Seriously, think about it.


Posted by David L. Whitehurst on July 09, 2007 at 07:34 PM MDT #

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