Silicon Valley News

Friday, April 26, 2013

Silicon Valley's battle for tech talent and immigration reform

Michael Solomon, agent for elite Silicon Valley programmers

"The dirth of talent is the big bottleneck in Silicon Valley and in technology," proclaims Michael Solomon, co-founder of 10X Management, a recently formed recruiting firm that represents Silicon Valley's top programmers.

"We're seeing horrible statistics about the shortage," Solomon said in a Bloomberg interview.

10X Management emerged from a partnership between Altay Guvench, a musician and freelance Web developer, and two long-time music managers, Solomon and his childhood friend, Rishon Blumberg.

Guvench recently told San Francisco television station KGO, "I met these music managers in New York. They used to represent John Mayer. They've been in the business about 20 years. We hit it off and realized that what they do for their musician clients would actually be useful for me as a freelance programmer."

In recent years, half a dozen tech recruiting startups have sprung up. They conduct worldwide searches for the best programmers. Startups and tech companies in Silicon Valley and San Francisco are their chief customers.

One of these startups, InterviewStreet, was the ticket out of Serbia for Alexander Yakunin, a physicist and programmer. Yakunin impressed the hiring personnel at Quora, a Silicon Valley-based question-and-answer website, by being the only person out of over 700 respondents to get a perfect score in a coding competition.

Two top tech recruiters, Shannon Callahan, the chief talent scout at Andreessen Horowitz, and Juliet de Baubigny, a partner at Kleiner Perkins, have become very influential in Silicon Valley because of their ability to attract  premiere software engineers, reports Fast Company.

"Recruiting in Silicon Valley is more competitive and intense and furious than college football recruiting of high school atheletes," declares Keith Rabois, the chief operating officer of Silicon Valley startup Square.

There are not enough engineers in Silicon Valley to go around, reports the New York Times. Because of the pressing need to attract world-class tech talent, Silicon Valley is battling in Washington to make the immigration process easier, according to another in-depth New York Times report.

"We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants," declared Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a recent Washington Post editorial. "And it's a policy unfit for today's world."

Laurene Powell Jobs recently spoke out publicly for the first time since her husband Steve Jobs' death in support of immigration reform.

These efforts may be paying off as a group of eight Senators are negotiating the details of a comprehensive immigration deal to be announced next week.

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