Advice to Domino pros: Get Java experience

Advice to Domino Pros: Get Java experience

When John Earl, a vice president at information technology services start-up ITech Consulting Group Inc., in Dallas, Texas, launched a recent search for Domino applications developers, his biggest challenge was finding pros with A-to-Z applications development experience. Many of the resumes he reviewed revealed a lot of project-hopping going on in the Domino world. Couple that with the fact that Domino has only been on the market for three years, and you have the proverbial needle in the haystack. To fill the positions, Earl's client ultimately sacrificed some of its original skills requirements in exchange for depth of experience.

Earl, a 20-year veteran of IT recruiting, spoke with SearchDomino.com about the client's wish list and how he filled the job.

The job: Domino application developers (two) on a three-person team responsible for developing and maintaining Domino workflow and Web enabled applications in a large telecommunications company. "The client had to replace two people that left. They seem to be comfortable with three people and aren't planning to expand the team that I know of."

Requirements: Certified Lotus Principal Application Developer (R4.x); experience with HTML, JavaScript and other Web development tools a plus.

Typical local pay range: $40-$55/hour contract rate or $65,000-$75,000 salary plus bonus for a senior developer with three years' Notes/Domino experience and eight to 10 years' IT experience. A signing bonus was not offered for this position.

How you filled the job: "We posted notices on our Web site, http://www.itechconsult.com, on ComputerJobs.com and on Dice.com. We sent up three candidates, and the client hired two of them. It took about a month from first identifying the candidates to getting them started on the job."

The winning candidates' winning attributes: Full-lifecycle Web application development experience.

The bottom line on:

  • Certification: "The customer requested certification on this one, but backed off that. None of the people interviewed or hired had it. I haven't seen certification make a huge difference."
  • Soft skills: "There's such a demand for Domino people now that I have seen candidates who had poor soft skills still being picked up readily."
  • Specific industry or business/functional experience: "I haven't seen a demand for functional or industry expertise. Most of our customers are going for the technical knowledge and abilities."

Observations on the current Domino market: "It's business as usual for Domino professionals -- they're not being hit by the end of the Y2K projects like the Cobol folks. All the Domino folks are very busy."

Advice to Domino developers: "If you haven't already, get some experience with Java and JavaScript. Ecommerce seems to be the hot market."

Leslie Goff is a contributing editor based in New York.

This was first published in December 1999

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