How To Find Good Developers

Companies are always in the mortal fear of losing their best developers. And they are equally terrified of hiring the wrong developer as well. What they are looking for is a hardworking developer who can create complex codes and make stunning websites or programs/applications that would attract the cream of their target segment. There are multitudes of developers in the market, some of them are exceptionally brilliant while some of them are downright bad. It is not easy for companies to put their investment at risk by hiring any developer they see. The trick is to separate the star from a galaxy of slackers. Sometimes hiring a good developer would become as complex as writing a code. However, it would be easier if companies get some guidance on how to find good developers. Here are some useful tips for the same:

If recruiters do not have a programming background

Often recruiters who hire developers do not have a programming background themselves, thus poising for the biggest hurdle in hiring. It may even happen that programmers would promise a lot of things during their job interview, but fail to deliver them in reality. There are certain ways in which such a situation can be avoided:

1. Seeking the help of other developers

As a recruiter, you should have knowledge of a fool-proof hiring process so there won’t be any cause for regrets later on. A program developer (perhaps, one placed at a high-end company) would tell you how to approach the first set of interviews, the key questions to be asked and analyze responses.

2. Decide on the questions

The developer acquaintance can help you frame the questions as well. Of course, you can ask preliminary questions (get-to-know-him questions) and then get down to the job-centric questions.

Here are some examples of job-centric questions:

a) How do you solve these issues?

Here you can ask a set of imaginary questions or state problems you’ve encountered in the past. The developer would have to explain how he would get around the problem. His answer would give you enough leverage to assess his knowledge.

b) What skills do you have at managing a team of programmers?

If you are looking for a programmer with leadership skills, his answer would give you an insight on his skills.

c) Suppose I need something you are not familiar with, how would you go about it?

This question would give an idea on the research skills of the job seeker. It would also help you gauge how the person would respond under pressure.

Get an expert developer to conduct the next set of interview

The above questions would pretty much cover the preliminary round. During the second round of interviews, you can call in some developer experts to help you. Though professional certification or license is not mandatory, it is important to get someone who is technically brilliant at coding to vet the candidates.

The most unfortunate part is that it is not easy to find a prospective candidate by looking at his resume alone. A developer may have several years of experience in the field, but you may be surprised at how little knowledge he really has. It may not be the same case with all the developers, but there are quite a few who give experienced developers a bad name.

Here are certain tips that would help companies hire a top-notch developer

1. Choosing a developer from open source projects

There are plenty of open source projects like OpenStack, GitHub or Sourceforge. You can hire developers from there. However, choosing the best developer would probably like looking for the proverbial needle. For that, you may have to try the steps mentioned above. Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a few developers, the next step would be to assess their skills by looking at their portfolio.

2. Conducting a technical interview is important

It is important to test the technical skills of the developer. He may show certificates and previously done projects, but the best bet would be to give him a practical task and see how he performs.

3. Assessing the developer’s work style

Every good developer would have a winning style that he uses to complete his projects. Here is an example, you may interview a developer who says he’s been working on team projects. Ask him about his working style. If he says the work was divided evenly among team members, then he is not a good developer. Because a good developer would delegate tasks to team members who are good at their respective sections. If your developer answers like that, then he is being entrepreneurial.

4. Someone who can work on multiple facets

You must hire an ace developer because he would be willing to develop his skills and knowledge continually. An ace developer would see the big picture and keep himself updated on the latest trends.

5. You are building a team of developers

When you are hiring a developer, you are not hiring a single person, but rather a team. A truly great team would have to make full leverage of the strength of each member. So ensure your developers are great at what they do. It might take time, but hiring slowly is the key. As long as there is redundancy and flexibility in the team, there is no worry.


Good developers are always looking for opportunities that would drive the change and bring in innovation. Ongoing training, flexible work hours and the chance to work on challenging projects make them tick. And of course, an attractive pay package!

Interesting links about the topic:
How to recruit when you don’t code
Finding great developers by Joel Spolsky

Pictures: Verrall/ Tendenci

The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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