I’m finding myself with a few spare hours a week again, so I’m touting round the agencies for work. Last Friday, I went to see someone in Huddersfield with a view to helping their extranet system. The vacancy title was ‘Web Developer with a bit of Sysadminery’, so I was put forward and pretty much got an interview straight away.

The interview started off OK, and they already had a copy of my CV, so were pretty savvy about my background and where my strengths were. The first half hour passed with ‘can you set up a webmail service’, ‘what security methods might you use to prevent data loss’, etc. Usual stuff for sysadmin foo, but it did feel a bit strange there were no programming questions – after all, the agent had said that PHP and MySQL would be involved.

About 35 minutes in, they said “So, you can build web sites?”
“Yes,” says I. “But I’m not a designer, I’m a developer – I write PHP, and someone else puts a lick of paint on it.”
“Oh! We wanted a designer…”

It turns out they’d already got a programmer who would write the PHP, and a sysadmin who would install stuff. They just wanted to pay someone to shift something x pixels to the left, or fix the way the float worked. That’s it.

This is not the first time I’ve come across this, and I’m sure it won’t be the last – but please for Pete’s sake, I wish the agencies would do their bloody jobs and realise what the role entails. After all, they’re the ones creaming off a share for doing sod all!