Monday, November 8, 2010

Updating the Python Job Board

Have you ever looked at the Python.org Job Board? It lists in chronological order postings sent by recruiters and employers looking for developers with skills and interests in Python.

The Job Board has been around since at least 1997 (I checked using the WayBack Machine just to see what it looked like) and not too much has changed since then. New postings are sent by email and a volunteer cuts and pastes them into the head of a text file, fixes the formatting and checks it into Subversion. Instead of the original HTML template, now an ReStructuredText template is used which causes all sorts of problems because few people know what ReST is or have any idea how to format their posting. Eventually, the posting (if accepted) turns up on the web page and later in the RSS feed and on Twitter.

Here are some stats: Currently, there are approximately 40 jobs posted per month. The web page is in the top 10 entry pages for the site month after month gathering around 80k hits per month. The RSS feed gets around twice that and some third party sites re-brand the content and redistribute it which we have no stats for. The Twitter page has around 230+ followers.

Everything on the page is static and the Python infrastructure team has been against dynamic content for good reason but in a time when Google's appengine allows the the easy construction of a dynamic website with additional server capacity on demand, maybe it is time to update the Jobs Board. Two things to change are the process by which jobs are added and the lack of useful search or visualization ("where are the jobs?", "where are the job-seekers?").

The largest part of the work is converting the incoming posting into valid ReST and checking the page after pasting the new posting in. That's it. Emails are answered with a templated response (for both additions and removals) and checking into Subversion takes seconds.

There is good progress being made on a web front-end that will allow employers to directly submit postings and see how they look in their final HTML form. These will be held pending approval. The use of the browser will allow postings to be added and updated from anywhere instead of only from a machine that has the development environment currently required. There is also some intent to support submission by email but that has details yet to be worked out.

All this will be ready for some friendly testing soon (mid-November) and hopefully will reduce the response time and the amount of work needed to add postings as well as adding feedback to employers about how their ad is performing.

If you have comments or suggestions or would like to help, please let me know!

1 comment:

Kapil Garg said...

Hi, I am happy to announce the beta version of http://FindPythonJobs.com which is a niche job board *dedicated to
Python Jobs*.You can post *Python jobs for free*.

All jobs are posted to Twitter, Facebook, Google plus, and in our email
newsletter - all for free!

Hoping for positive response from community.