Joel talks about his experiences hiring developers and how difficult it is to get the great ones, his main point is that the great developers are already taken and that most of the resumes you get are from the pretty bad developers
The great software developers, indeed, the best people in every field, are quite simply never on the market.
The average great software developer will apply for, total, maybe, four jobs in their entire career.
I guess I'm on a good path, I'm still on my first job J
I've had many discussions with co-workers about this same topic, while I pretty much agree with everything Joel says on this post, there's some people who think that is not that hard to get good developers
I'm of the idea that from a generation of (so-called) computer scientists you get one or two good developers (the great ones are a lot more rare than that)
Joel then goes on describing how you could get some of those great developers:
Go to the mountain Internships Build your own community*
That pretty much leaves out medium and small companies, there's no way they could afford to do things like that
He closes the article by listing some problems you might face if you use employee referrals
Unfortunately for me I haven't personally met anyone that I consider a great developer, I wish I had because I would've learnt so much more and faster; I have met very few that I consider good developers, but I guess is all up to your own standards, it's about how passionate you are about developing, it's about how good you are
Ayende pictures developing as an art, that describes it fairly well for me, I believe a talent is required, and as such, you are born with it, sure you can learn it, but you won't be anywhere near as good as someone who has the talent
This blog post doesn't make justice to Joel's article, Joel has been on the business for quite a while, he does know a thing or two about developers J, go check his article