I know they are out there....
We are a brand new startup in the Seattle area. As I am building our team, I am struggling to find an A level developer. A "do'er" / producer / coder. I used to know a lot of these guys because I was one of them. Now all my buddies are CTO's, VPs who don't write code (myself included; at least utilizing today's programming frameworks).
As a founder and having a technical background, I understand technology but have been away from writing code for some time. So I need a strong developer familiar with the technology stack / languages / frameworks of today. We have all the requirements and UX nailed down and I am trying to get to an Alpha product.
Not having much luck with Developer meetups and local Startup events. Not sure about what I will be getting from sites like Upwork since we can't properly vet. Have heard horror stories with outsourcing smaller projects to the Ukraine, Pune or elsewhere. Heck I even posted on some relevant slack community channels.
I realize, in Seattle, we are competing with all the well established, well known companies. But there's got to be a few entrepreneurial techies looking for a different / startup path. If you are one, where are you hiding? and Why?
We're at home, playing with our toddlers.
Many talented coders will be active on github sharing open source projects, so find projects that align with your needs from a domain or skillset perspective. Rockstar coders are often active on stackoverflow so you could find a shortlist of folks there.
You are right that meetup groups are not the best place to find good techies, more for wantraprenuers, people fishing for business and the B players that got laid off...As the A players always have at least 3 open offers constantly on the table and will never be on a job board. However if you go to events which are highly technical in nature, you may be surprised, but going to business domain meetups is a non-starter for finding talented techies.
A lot depends on what you mean by "A-level". Someone who is a skilled engineer, architect, coder, operations, business-oriented, and up on current tech is pretty hard to come by because that's a lot of competencies to have. I suspect that there are quite a few out there that are underemployed, which has problems of its own (under-employed people can suffer from learned helplessness, resentment, etc.). I suspect a lot of others are contracting for triple-digit sums.
You might have better luck finding a B-level with the right attitude and helping them grow into the role.
A-level developers are in lucrative positions at top companies.
A+ -level developers are working on launching their own startups, or already have.
I'm not hiding. I don't know where people like you are either, nor can I find others even interested in being entrepreneurial, altogether. Also, life gets in the way. I'm child-less and spending nights and weekends on my own projects...I'd love to meet similarly minded individuals who have interests in sharing time on multiple projects in a quid-pro-quo sense.
Pankaj - I think there are few sections to your questions if i break down your question (a) Will A+ techies join a start up like yours - The answer is maybe. For a high talent to join you the main question is are you well funded ? are they going to make decent enough money to make a living if not best as they may forgo that for a pie of company in future. There may be small sections of people who may be well off and willing to hop on board because they are convinced its a good idea. but thats a very small subset. You may find people to moonlight for you is its in seattle but then people who moonlight good developers have enough opportunities that i found they rarely work only for equity
(b) Developer meet and local startups are all places people are hunting for job or funding. the chances that the person is really good an hunting for a job there is very low since the market is good , all people who can write good code are getting sucked up immediately.
(c) Failure of projects being executed here or outsourced is the same if you donot know to run the projects and have good control over it. I run a services firm and we execute both projects here and remotely. we have had tremendous failure and success in projects executed here or remotely. The reason for success or failure are multiple . Just the notion that you are doing project locally or remotely does not set it up for success or failure.
(d) Notion that having a A+ developer will give you success is also not correct always , some times a B level developer is good and perfect fit for what you are doing than a A+ developer. As an owner of an idea you will always think its very complicated and needs the best resources but the truth may be its not that and good engineer with decent experience can execute it. I have seen companies goign to ground because they hired the best engineering staff but the team cannot work together as they all are best in their domain and they just cannot agree on anything and the management was not strong to lead them to high directions.
I can get your frustration . you can PM me and can give few pointers which may help you.
If you got the spec and the UX nailed down, why not just find an agency to aid in the development? If you have a large project, you may need more than 1 person anyway since freelancers tend to specialize in only 1 or two things (e.g. you may need a programmer and also a graphic design person). Also, there's always risk when you hire someone. Just do your homework and also "you get what you pay for" is a very true statement.
In other words, focus on getting the project done and not finding "the perfect guy who can do everything."
All the sourcing methods you mentioned are super social. All the really talented programmers I know aren't super social. The likelihood that they'll be at a meetup is pretty much zero.
Michael says it well, the A-level players at home playing with their toddlers. :) They are spending their downtime living their lives or working on their own projects and aren't running around to meetups.
Have you tried posting a job on a career job board or talked to a recruiter that specializes in programmers? When smart, talented folks are looking to make a career move they go shop the job market using traditional sources like job boards (CareerBuilder / Dice / etc) and recruiters.