Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stack Overflow will become a recruiting site

And Dice will be screwed. So will technical recruiters. That's my guess anyway.

I just watched part of a presentation by Joel Spolsky at Google about his startup Stack Overflow is sort of a Yahoo Answers for programming questions. During the presentation, Joel hints that in the future the site could help connect programmers with jobs.

Since Stack Overflow members answer specific programming questions, the site knows exactly what technical skills its members possess. This will make it a far more valuable data resource than Dice's resume database. Instead of companies buying access to an unwieldy database, they can probably pay to connect with programmers who actually demonstrate prowess on the site. Through the job board on his blog, he probably has direct relationships with thousands of employers already.

Moreover, I have a feeling that Joel probably doesn't like the fact that technical recruiters are so important in recruiting engineering talent and charge such high fees. My guess is he'll try to leverage the data created by Stack Overflow to disintermediate Dice and technical recruiters as well. We'll see how it plays out.


Ben Nevile said...

There's a problem with stackoverflow stats as a measure of people's programming knowledge. As more questions are answered, there are fewer topics for new people to weigh in on. In other words, the people who are there first gather up the low-hanging fruit. There's always some evolution in programming and techniques, but the world of eg. Java Enterprise Programming is static enough that you can imagine a future where 99% of the questions are answered adequately, so there will be a limited opportunity for people to contribute and prove their worth.

SiliconMBA said...

That's an interesting point Ben.

Do you think they could supplement the data by offering tests or competitions that allow new members to prove themselves?