What are the most important features of an employer or a job opportunity for you?

Recently I talked to many people about an idea on how to improve the communication between companies using Perl and the open source Perl community. On one hand many managers at companies told me the number one problem they are facing with Perl is that they cannot find good Perl developers. On the other hand many good Perl developers I know complain that there are no good Perl jobs on the market.

What is the reason for this contradiction? Is this because the job opportunities are in different locations than the developers? Is this because there is a gap in the meaning of "good Perl developer" and "good Perl job"?

In order to try to understand the problem I created a small poll trying to figure out what are the expectations of a Perl developer from an employer or a job opportunity.

In addition to this poll I am also preparing a white paper for companies to help them understand how they can find more and better Perl developers. If you are interested in it or you would like your boss to read it, please let me know.

The Results

Reasonable salary17811%
The system being developed should be interesting/challenging/rewarding1318%
Reasonable daily workhours1127%
I am allowed to use modern Perl tools (e.g. Moose)1067%
I am allowed to dedicate time to refactor and modernise one's Perl code1057%
The use of a modern version of perl (5.8 a minimum but better to use 5.10 or 5.12)1026%
Location (I don't want to travel a lot every day)1026%
Respect for Perl as a programming language986%
The company allows and encourages the contribution to open source projects936%
The company makes it easy to install and use CPAN modules for production916%
Location (I don't want to move to other state/country)896%
Benefit Packages674%
Gives me time off to go to a YAPC or Perl Workshop554%
The company allows telecommuting for at least 80-90% of the time533%
I prefer small companies (whatever you mean by small)533%
The applications written have lots of unit tests423%
The company already has employees involved in the Perl community352%
The job ad has Perl in it and not PERL312%
Other answer...191%
I prefer large companies (whatever you mean by large)50%
The company should be a financial supporter of the Perl community30%

The low percentages need an explanation. We allowed every visitor to give 8 answers but the system only counts answers and not voters. The total number of answers was 1,570. That could mean any number of voters between 1,570/8 = 196 up till 1,570 but it is likely to be close to 200-220. So it means the 178 votes on "Reasonable salary" probably represents about 80-90% of the voters.

The poll ran from 8 May 2010 till 15 May. It was promoted via a blog entry about the poll, in the Perl Mongers group on LinkedIN the Twitter account of Gabor Szabo, on the IRC channel of Padre and on some of the Perl Monger mailing lists.

There were a couple of external responses. For example Pavel I. Shaydo responded on his own blog.

There were a couple of interesting posts in the thread on the Israel.pm mailing list.

Partially related links

There are a few blog posts that are related to employment of Perl developers but not to this poll: