As technology grows, it’s only natural that we see a rise in the number of companies building their engineering teams. However, not every company is on the same level as the rest. Some companies have leaders new to the game, some are unaware of what they are building, and others are playing with fewer resources.
Think of the term company as an organization, team, or entity focused on local relationships, potentially building something for customers located in the same locality. Also, this applies with more sense to emerging markets with untapped talent. When you think of crowded and saturated tech hubs such as San Francisco, talent acquisition sources are limited compared to the number of potential employers; supply-demand rule.
But what is considered the best for that individual? The shortage of tech talent is inevitable, increasing the need for experimented people every single day. Companies are implementing crazy cash strategies to attract the best of the best, seniors and 10x-ers. All the employers compete against them when the engineers build more and more leverage. We don’t read anything regarding investing in the coming generations and emerging professionals with few ventures. The necessity for talent and the shortage of senior roles will force companies to expand their definition of “senior” to include more junior engineers, and those are the people that can contribute and return the most.
While building software teams for US companies, I have confirmed this with my own eyes. Talent isn’t part of a team to stay forever; that’s the first thing to know. Even though there are strategies such as the Tour of Duty, it would be best to accept that more opportunities are available, information for people to consume and decide, so changing directions is more common than it used to be.
Now, for some other professionals (considering the majority of the upcoming generations), their jobs and current work would be treated as a means to an end. This end is more prominent for them and should excite them. Opportunities should help them build the path towards their primary goal. The steps required to cross that path should be memorable, and taking every one should allow any individual to grow and achieve the next thing in their career.
The investment in local talent is a core function of a team operating in those markets. Where there are no evident opportunities in sight for the talent, a company can be an excellent medium for them to grow and impact the rest of the scene. Returning to the emerging market component: when starting local, you may be constrained by local budgets, but combined with authentic team cultures, challenges, and peers, the equation can produce much more exciting results, mainly applied to people operations and development. Rather than hiring people from abroad, starting local provides velocity, efficiency, and trust. Even implicit values such as loyalty can be developed — something money cannot buy.
Respected professionals I’ve had the opportunity to work with have demonstrated this to me, particularly engineers working for teams operating in local markets and where some of them have been born and raised there. Despite the particularity of their goals and objectives, all I can express is they have made us get the most return on the company’s projects: representative open source contributions, acquisition of the biggest customers, and establishing long-term best practices. After their involvement, I saw how they jumped to international companies or one of the FAANGs (now MAANGs?), and I do not doubt that their work and credentials were a proud badge worth sharing.
I expect engineering teams to undergo a dramatic change that will affect how companies hire talent going forward. As more companies recognize the need for talent and the absence of senior-level employees, they will realize how valuable entry-level employees can be when integrated onto critical teams. This will require leaders to be more open-minded about onboarding these new hires and incorporating them into their existing teams. There will also be a need for a balance between seniors and juniors to bring fresh perspectives into the mix. While this may not always yield immediate results, it will pay off in the long run as sustainable outcomes become more common.
Talent will always pay off.