Techies Are Tracking Your Email. Are You on Their List?

Nov 1, 2013

recruiter spam trackerOne reason sourcing tech talent is such a challenge is that, let me put this delicately, too many of the most talented developers and engineers don’t like recruiters.

They really don’t like you. They blog about you in the most unflattering terms; suck is one I’m allowed to use. And they’re watching you. is one place they track the emails you send them. And right now, the leader on the tech graph of infamy is Nicholas Meyler.

David Hansson
David Hansson

His bad luck was to include the wrong person in his mass emailing to Ruby on Rails developers. It just happened that person was David Heinemeier Hansson, who created Ruby on Rails, and the email hit his mailbox on the same day his book extolling the virtues of working outside the office was released.

“Needless to say, Nicholas Meyler from Wingate Dunross sucks at recruiting,” tweeted Hansson to his 95,000 followers. “If you are the SF startup who hired him, the joke is on you.”

What pushed Hansson’s button Tuesday wasn’t just the email, which he insists in very clear and unambiguous language is spam. It was the part of the email that says, “We are not looking for any contractors, telecommuters, or people who wish to work from remote locations.”

Just hours earlier Hansson announced his book REMOTE: Office Not Required went on sale on Amazon.

“So atrocious,” Hansson said, insisting that the job email was spam on exactly the same order as pitches for penile enlargement products.

Besides Hansson’s tweets, and several dozen retweets reaching thousands more, the text of Meyler’s email was posted to GitHub, a code exchange and forum for developers. One of Hansson’s followers even uncovered the client behind the job, DerbyWire, which lead to a handful of tweets mocking the company.

Nicholas Meyler
Nicholas Meyler

Now after that you might imagine Meyler would issue some sort of mea culpa. You would be wrong. When I spoke with him, he was utterly unrepentant. “I don’t think it is spam at all,” he said. “I think a recruiter has the right to contact people.”

The complainers are “absolutely not the people, the ones who complain are the ones we don’t want.” As if that wasn’t enough, he called the controversy, “a ridiculous thing to me to complain about.”

As for the virality of the controversy, “I know it’s a little viral, but I wouldn’t say all that viral.”

For what it’s worth, Meyler is now No. 1 on the recruiterspam site. (Take a look to see if you are there, too.)

The T-Shirt Appraisal

appraisly logoWhat if every performance review ended with managers handing out T-shirts with the employee’s rating on it? Now talk about engagement and getting people to sit up and pay attention to those reviews!

That would have been so cool of the founders of Appraisly. That would have gotten everyone’s attention. And it would have at least made some sense to the pitch I got to write about this new employee performance management software startup. The founders claim to fame is that they previously launched — and “amicably exited” from — “a Twitter based customized T-shirt company.”

I will say his for them, the pitch used that hot new buzzword “datafication” and its cousins “datafying” and “datafied” six times in three paragraphs.

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