How good is your developer?

Recently a recruiter emailed me for a job. The job description seemed fine enough, but the experience and salary suggested that this would have been a fair job for me in around 2008.

It's quite common for recruiters to cast a wide net, but what's not common is when the email is sent to 99 people with all email addresses visible. A complete breech of the data protection act, but it gives some insight into what developers are dealing with when they get a job emailed to them via some recruiters.

Analysing the competition

I decided to briefly look into these 98 other people to see what a developer such as myself is up against. 75 were using an email address ending with a common email provider such as gmail or hotmail. 23 were using their own domain name – it's these that I looked into.

Of the 23:

  • 4 sites didn't load
  • 2 were default server hosting pages
  • 1 was parked
  • 3 were holding pages, one of which was using awful generated code, one just had an SVG and no textual content
  • 2 were using WordPress templates which were poor in terms of coding and optimisation as is often the case with CMS templates
  • 1 was an Apache folder list
  • 1 was a Joomla tutorial page
  • 1 was a Shopify page using a template similar to the WordPress ones
  • 1 was a Talk Talk business page
  • 1 was visually awful with terrible coding – it appeared to be a beginner's playground
  • 1 was using HTML 4 and Dreamweaver generated functions
  • 1 was using a 10+ year old coding style which was poor for validity and accessibility, but ironically quite good for page weight and performance

This leaves 4 custom sites with which I feel I'm competing. Out of 99, I'd place myself in those top 5. This either means that developers are typically not very good, or I've been placed in a mailing list with developers that are in an earlier point in their career – something which seems most likely given the job description and salary offering.

Two of those sites had invalid HTML, poor accessibility, got a low Google Lighthouse score, used the wrong social media branding, and scored CC / DC in GTmetrix – not a great result.

One had valid HTML but no accessibility, and a DB GTmetrix score.

The final site had a single broken tag causing the HTML to be invalid, but was otherwise a good effort. Accessibility was fair but not perfect, the Lighthouse score was fair but not perfect, and GTmetrix gave it an AB score – pretty good. The site was coded to use the bootstrap framework which ballooned the site's code, but the site was very simplistic and this seemed to be unwarranted.

Analysing my own site in the same way, I have valid HTML, excellent accessibility, an AA GTmetrix score, and a near perfect Lighthouse score – only failing on the web app section, because it's a website and not a web app.

Using only these tools as a guide, my site appears to give the top results. This is what I always strive to achieve in my work, and analysing other people's code is a great insight into betterment – I'm often sad when I can't find code that's better than my own because it means there was no learning experience.

I am available from July 2017 for anyone that wants the same great results.