Where to find ISV-style C# experience

I had an opportunity recently to chat briefly to Eric Hahn (of Netscape and Lookout fame) about his next interesting project… which btw, will be built in C# just like lookout.  He mentioned that it was hard to find developers with world class ISV-style experience in C#.  While there is a healthy market for enterprise developers in C# and VB the ISV developers are harder to find. 


I assured Eric that you are out there… I know, because I have talked to you at the PDC, I have seen you on the blogs and in the community in general asking really hard, pointed questions.    Do you think I am right?  Any thoughts on where ISV likes Eric might find ISV-style developers with deep C#/CLR experience? 


Oh, and, BTW – here is the plug for Eric’s openings just in case you are interested in them specifically



Founder-Level Opportunity for C# Gurus


Hi.  I’m Eric Hahn, originator of Lookout (100% C#/.Net Outlook search engine, sold in ’04 to Microsoft), former CTO of Netscape and accidentally successful industry veteran.  We’ve started a way cool new company (disclaimer: I’m biased).  Once again we’re betting on C#/.Net (why haven’t more start-ups discovered how cool it is?).


We’re looking for one or two killer C# architects/developers to join the founding team, ideally here in the Bay Area.  This is a chance to put your C#/.Net skills to work on a hugely visible, well-funded, mainstream product.  If you’re even slightly interested, please send your resume to jobs@element30.com.


BTW, definitely check out Brad’s book – it is awesome and has become required reading around here.



Update:  I just noticed that Jack has a good post related to ISVs and managed code… http://blogs.msdn.com/jackg/archive/2006/04/13/576060.aspx

Comments (6)

  1. I own a micro-ISV that developed an ERP-like application for micro and small businesses, called Yuma Business.

    We started with Access 2.0 back in 1994 and later I migrated it to Access 97 with some components in Visual Basic 6. It is so stable that I was able to leave it as a side-project and pursue new goals.

    As of the end of 2001, I started consulting and in 2003 I started developing in .NET full-time, both in VB and C#.

    I had plans to port Yuma Business to C# and Windows Forms since 2003, but Windows Forms 1.x just wasn’t mature enough.

    Now with 2.0 on the streets, I plan on getting some time to take another look at the Windows Forms package and see if it’s ready for prime time.

    As of the rest of the .NET platform, it is almost perfect and just got better with the new release.

    I’m currently doing consulting where I am developing a Web Service in C# that wraps legacy components which were developed in VB6.

    I have to say: Generics, WSE 3.0, MTOM and the new types and members found in the BCL made my live a lot easier.

    The only complain I have until now is the C#’s lack of a good support for optional parameters.

    Method overloading sure is much better, but we have to deal with legacy code.

    As of Brad’s books, I own both SLARs (the second one I helped to review) and FDG which just arrived last week although I was already a FDG practitioner reading it at Visual Studios’ documentation and Brad’s and Cwalina’s blogs.

    By the way, I gave a presentation on FDG at the INETA’s room at Brazil’s TechEd 2005 and will give another presentation on the subject on a user group event to be realized at Microsoft’s Brazilian headquarters 01/28. Please visit http://www.codificando.net/eventos/ferias for more information.

    Keep on with the good work!

    PS.: Any more books on the pipeline?

  2. Please change ‘rest’ to ‘remaining’ in my previous comment. It should be:

    "As of the remaining of the .NET platform, it is almost perfect and just got better with the new release."

  3. Per my experience, the opposite is also true -it’s hard to find a job as an ISV developer.

  4. Matt Davis says:

    Given the number of shrinkwrap products out there that use managed code (growing all the time), there must be a lot of ISV-focused devs out there. That said, I don’t see their resumes cross my desk very often (maybe 1 ISV dev to every 50 "IT-shop" devs). The only reason I can guess: perhaps ISVs do a better job of keeping their devs happy (since they make the bread n’ butter) when compared to a corporate IT shop where IT isn’t necessarily what pays the bills. That’s certainly the case with my employer (an ISV, of coz)- we’ve historically had very low developer turnover.

  5. I don’t think the question is relevant, and it surely isn’t a question worth answering. ISV-style doesn’t inherently mean good. I’ve worked for two ISVs and one of the largest tech enterprises in the country, and the mindset of the applications has nothing to do with how deep the knowledge of C#/CLR. Some of the ISV developers I worked with were the weaker ones in .Net Framework knowledge. I’m not saying that you can’t do some surveys and find some trends about the average developer, but those trends won’t be remotely relevant because you aren’t concerned with the average developer. You want a senior developer.

    I’d recommend looking at user groups and taking personal recommendations from everyone. I’m not sure recruiters are much good when looking for senior-level people either. My last two companies would have never found me with a recruiter or Monster or any other job website. I found them through various channels.

    Maybe marketing is the answer. Just like marketing products so that customers will come, maybe these types of jobs have to be highly advertised in the right channels.

    The only thing that consistently worked for me is personal referral.

    I would not, however, give any special consideration to whether their former company was an ISV or enterprise.