Stuart Hughes LateRooms1

Attracting talented developers and software engineers is one of the keys to success for any pure play online business, but if you can't back up your quasi-hacker culture you will get found out quickly.

That was one of the views expressed by CTO Stuart Hughes, who was speaking at the Empowering IT Talent event run by Godel Technologies at the top of The Shard.

"People will say they are Agile, or TDD [test-driven development] - but if they aren't Agile people will leave if the dream they were sold at the interview isn't true," Hughes said.

"You can't say 'this is our culture and this is what we do' because it's too easy to find out, and it will get out there.

"You need to hammer home the philosophy, and reiterate it."

Coming up to a year in the job at LateRooms following the departure of Adam Gerrard in May last year, former CIO at The Hut Group Hughes said it's crucial to give everybody an opportunity and to build a team you want to work with.

"We reject a lot of people who have the right skills; but we need a group of people who have a team spirit and work together to get something done," he said.

"We have really small teams of highly-skilled people - of experienced leaders who can coach and young emerging talent.

"And if they think they are getting better everyday and have a chance to grow they stay," Hughes added.

Kevin Goldsmith, Spotify's Director of Engineering and a Tribe Lead in one of their development team, offered an even briefer surmise on what developers want.

"Engineers hate process," Goldsmith said. "They hate anything that isn't coding; they think it's a waste of time.

"Process is like a weed which grows inside a broken culture."