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  • Writer's picturecentedge

The art of finding a needle in the haystack



What can be the ways to find a needle in the haystack? One of the ways can be to deploy multiple people with magnifying glasses based on the area of the haystack and then announce a big prize for the person who can find the needle. In this case the the amount of prize money will be directly proportional to the enthusiasm among the people to find the needle.

There can be another way where one individual can attach a magnet at the end of a wooden stick and try to sweep the floor with with this intelligent device. The needle will automatically come to the magnet. No need to deploy a lot of people and money.


These days, trying to find a good WebRTC developer is like trying to find a needle in the haystack.WebRTC has grown 100x during 2020 especially due to the pandemic situation. Video became the default medium for teaching/learning, banking, insurance, online only events and WebRTC became the default technology. In this situation where more and more enterprises as well as startups are adopting WebRTC on an on going basis, the demand for good developers is rising exponentially. But there are very few WebRTC developers globally who know WebRTC in its totality and have build more than one application from scratch. There are people who know a couple of things by reading from the internet but that is not enough to know things that is needed for building a production grade WebRTC application. As an employer looking for WebRTC developer, one has 2 choices now. First choice is to hire a developer who knows a little bit WebRTC and train him /her house. In this approach, the percentage of developers becoming productive in a short time will be less to very less. The reason is not that the developer is not good or the content is not good but the amount of time the developer takes to be able to contribute actively to the project is highly unpredictable. Some developers take a month or others may take 2 months but still don't get the things properly. This is the first approach of deploying people with magnifying glasses to find a needle. Here there is a 50% probability that one will get the needle. There is still a gap of 50% of not finding the needle.

Unfortunately, there is no second approach of deploying a magnet to find the needle in this case. As there are very few WebRTC magnets available globally, they have simply become unaffordable or unavailable. When we ourselves trying to find good developers, we had go through the same situation.When we floated the application for a WebRTC developer position last month, 40+ candidates applied where as only one candidate was able to complete the coding test given by us as a 1st level selection criteria. Being in WebRTC for 7+ years now, we now realised that it is a serious problem not only for us but also for many others.

In order to solve this, we took down some time a prepare an intensive hands-on 3 -4 weeks workshop for all the new people who are going to join us. The course material is carefully designed in such a way that even the non WebRTC guys will be able actively contribute to projects in a month. We now plan to take full stack developers good in MERN/PERN(Mongo/Postgres, Express,React,Node) without being bothered about their WebRTC knowledge and make them either Frontend WebRTC developer, Backend WebRTC developer, Full stack WebRTC developer or a DevOps WebRTC developer.


Below is a brief of the way we are planning to conduct the workshops in the coming months for the people we hire in our team.


 Week 1: Build a baseline MERN/PERN app from scratch with basic user authentication, api routes, proper folder structure etc. 
 
 Week 2: Build a basic signalling server for a p2p video calling app using WebRTC. Here they will learn how to use the WebRTC APIs like getUserMedia/getDisplayMedia to capture the camera or screen, RTCPeerConnection to connect both peers in order to transfer media and a little bit of RTCDataChannel
 
 Week 3: Enhance the p2p application to a full fledged application with rooms by integrating a SFU like janus or mediasoup(by default we will be using mediasoup).By end of this week, the candidate will know how to build a video conferencing application using a media server.
   
 Week 4: Here they will learn how to deploy the application in a cloud like digitalocean or AWS, so that the application can now be accessed over internet.
 
Week 5(optional): Dedicated to advanced topics like scaling the application, active speaker detection, real time bandwidth monitoring, advanced UI optimisation for large group calls, reading the real time stats of the call etc 

It has been structured based on our 7+ years of experience in dealing with WebRTC related stuffs and how people without much knowledge of WebRTC tend to learn things fast when the course is structured properly.


We are planning to hire 1 or 2 devs in each quarter based on growth, but we still need to put that much effort in training them well as low quality of devs has a direct impact on the quality of the product. In each of our training programs, 8-10 guys can be accommodated comfortably. Therefore, if you also planning take the route we have taken to hire good WebRTC devs, then do let us know.We can plan the training program together as well.

Feel free to adopt the above course structure for your training programs as well. If you need even more details about our in-house training program or the content of it, feel free to drop us a email at hello@centedge.io.


Hope this helps.

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