‘Twas the night before Christmas and somewhere online
A recruiter was puzzling over which webpage to mine
With visions of revenues and managers content
This recruiter was no ordinary Clark Kent

Dark horn-rimmed glasses covered his eyes
He was better than any of the CIA’s spies
His fingers were dancing on his silent keyboard
Looking for instances of names he could hoard

His Boolean strings would always impress
As he “courted” attendees with ext:xls
But this one was special for it peered behind walls
And directories flowed like Niagara Falls

Soon with a glimmer, his eyes they did see
Purple squirrels were everywhere and they were all “free”
So he whistled and smiled and started to click
He foraged through spreadsheets, waiting for St. Nick

Now Robert, now Gerald, now Vicki and Joan
You’re mine to engage, my client’s to own!
Dash away, dash away from your current employer!
They sure won’t be happy and they’ll hire a lawyer

The Recruiter sipped at his Starbucks Green Tea
Peered at his bounty, and jiggled with glee
Software Developers in all flavors and levels
“Which one?” he wondered would be called by this Devil?

There’s Python and Java and Ruby galore
.NET and C# from stateside and offshore
PHP mavens, C++ too
So many to choose from, so many to woo

Links are all over, from code repos to blogs
Burning bright like a sunset, a sourcing Yule Log!
Clicking up and then down, the mouse is on fire
He furrows his brow that has started to perspire

On Github! On Snipt! On gerrit! On Snippr!
There’s code to read for this evil name flipper
Come Ohloh! Come SourceForge! Come grepcode! Come Krugle!
It’s time now to deep dive with Bing or with Google.

Of course these developers had names that were hidden
And normal URL play was expressly forbidden
He cracked all his knuckles and rubbed his two palms
Typed into his keyboard, namechk.com

Most developers think that recruiters are stupid
Yet their Forum posts’ code name is used on OkCupid
While many headhunters still post and still pray
This one is an hour from heading your way

With code snippets and web mapping the next step is easy
It’s time for an email that isn’t “sales sleazy”
The Subject line message is designed to amuse
It’s all about Marketing with a soupçon of schmooze

He first tells her how he knows how she feels
That Recruiting is filled with slippery eels
With people who’ll lie about their skills and connections
And use “love” as a means to gain their affections

He then offers the process by which she was found
Including strategies and Booleans (this always astounds)
How her Forum posts shined light on her community actions
How her Tweets and her blog posts garnered reactions

“I hope you don’t mind but your Forum posts rock”
“On multithreading techniques that go beyond ‘lock’ “
“I’ve researched your Tweets and the way you help others”
“It’s like all other coders are your sisters and brothers”

Nowhere in this missive did he mention a role
As typical of most other recruiting trolls
He asked if she thought of her career in three years
And if she had any professional fears

“I know this looks like advanced cyber stalking”
“But all that I want is for us to start talking”
“I understand if my words weird you out”
“So feel free to delete it if you have any doubt”

Checking it twice for grammar and spelling
He knew that his message was very compelling
For all his years spent in the technology sector
He knew programmers had finely tuned bullshit detectors

The hourly chime of an old coo-coo clock
Combined with a poignant concerto from Bach
Meant it was time for these emails to go
Looking out of his window, it started to snow

He smiled as they went, one by one, on their way
He knew that his targets would soon have their day
They’d wonder then chuckle at the email received
Full of facts and concerns, they weren’t being deceived

As he shut down his Mac, he wondered some more
Why so many people think recruiters are whores
It just isn’t hard to do what is right
There’s no need for headhunters to cause such a fright

He thought to himself, each person’s unique
It doesn’t matter if they’re in sales or a geek
Each has their own pathway to their career
It’s our job to know this and diminish their fear

He smiled once again for he knew very soon
He’d hear from this woman and her email would swoon
“This is the best email I ever received from a recruiter”
“It doesn’t sound like one from a self-serving suitor”

One day very soon he’ll pick up the phone
And speak with a coder whom last week was unknown
They’ll talk about pathways, careers unrequited
And working for companies with cultures so blighted

Maybe they’ll find that they’re ready to move
Maybe he has opportunities of which they’ll approve
Or maybe not – but that’s okay too
For a recruiting relationship is about to ensue

As he left his home office and turned out the light
He thought, ‘Merry Christmas to recruiters who know what is right’

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