In the past couple of weeks I've heard from two startups which use Perl pervasively (and not my new powered-by-Perl projects). It's great to see more companies getting things done and being willing to talk about the technologies they use and why.
One subject came up in both conversations, and if you've been to a YAPC in the past couple of years or followed online discussions:
It's difficult to hire great Perl developers.
That's not news. It was news to me that both companies are solving this problem through a specific strategy of hire-and-mentor, based on the Modern Perl book! ("You should be flattered," a family member said. "They should hire you." I responded that they have my consulting information.)
Have you seen this trend too?
While I've long advocated activities such as pair programming and mentoring to help integrate new developers into the specific code, problem domains, and cultures of organizations, I've never quite thought about producing targeted mentoring material to help recruit great developers and help them scale the learning curve to become great Perl programmers.
The cynical businessman in me wonders if there's a market to produce this training material and help you customize it for your workplace. (Sure, the book is free, but putting it together in a way that makes sense for you has real business value, because it helps your developers get more productive more quickly. You pay for training, right?)
What do you think? How do you recruit and mentor new developers? Is it a huge cost for you that some targeted expert advice could do more cheaply, or is it part of building great teams that work together well, and, as such, the kind of core business activity that you have to do on your own?