As president of tech recruiting company Leading Edge Solutions, Olga Cherches goes to a lot of recruiting events.
“This one was very different,” she said. Good different, her expression told us.
After spending a few hours talking to local job hopefuls, Cherches was taking a moment to reflect on NET/WORK Baltimore. The second-annual event attracted more than 200 people and 27 local companies to the Emerging Technology Centers Haven Street campus.
While plenty of résumés and branded keychains were exchanged — as they should be — instead of fighting to stand out, there was an undercurrent of acceptance that seemed to encourage everyone to be themselves.
In other words, it fit the Baltimore tech community nicely.
There were plenty of developers in the house. But we also talked to a handful of marketing and design professionals (who didn’t want to be named) looking to potentially link up with startups. One such seeker told us he liked the energy around the tech community, and noted that it was very present in the room. People were even shouting each other out on Twitter:
— uǝɹnp ʇʇɐɯ (@mduren) February 20, 2015
— Bryan Connor (@bryanconnor) February 20, 2015
Of course, companies brought the goods, too.
SmartLogic, which is looking for a designer, came armed with cupcakes. A few tables down, the Digital Harbor Foundation brought some examples of students’ 3D-printing skills. Though they aren’t pictured below, Mind Over Machines also had an impressive swag selection.
The companies also brought their unorthodox practices.
At a workshop, MindGrub CEO Todd Marks talked about his tech-driven hiring practices — and he didn’t mean Big Data software:
— Technical.ly Baltimore (@TechnicallyBMR) February 19, 2015
In addition to hiring, the event also helped get ETC companies together.
We caught up with The Given. CEO Paul Kang told us the company is developing a new social-learning tool for classrooms, adding another player to watch in Baltimore’s already-impressive edtech roster.
A few tables over, cofounder Matt Longley and other members of current AccelerateBaltimore cohort company Visable were signing people up to pilot their job recruiting tool. It connects college students and employers based on skills.
Overall, there are a lot of metrics we could use to measure the event. But we’ll go with the Yair Flicker model of total pizza eaten. Final tally: They ate all the pizza.