How to hire experienced software developers

How to hire experienced software developers

Introduction

Still in search for the perfect developer for your team? Finding the right developer for your software project can seem like a difficult task, and often companies rely on other methods of hiring software developers. There are developers all over the world, some offer the best services at the most awesome prices, some offer sloppy jobs at low rates and some do excellent work, but the pricing may be too high. There is a lot of effort that goes into hiring the right team of software developers. And there are some interesting methodologies and approaches that would help you get them on board. 

The Challenges

There are some challenges faced while hiring the developers. All rockstar developers have some hallmark qualities, but the challenges are centred around evaluating them. Interested in knowing what they are? Check out below:

The developer claims to be an innovative and creative thinker – But how can you evaluate that? 

You need the developer to be a team player – How will you be able to evaluate that?

Developer with moral values – Is there any parameter to measure their moral values?

Having emotional intelligence is important – But can that be measured in an interview?

These are some of the soft skills that the developer must have. And evaluating them on the basis of these soft skills will not reveal any particular knowledge about them. How they work in particular circumstances is what’s important. While their technical acumen is commendable, they must really be able to think creatively and work in close collaboration with the rest of the team. 

There are other soft skills like leadership skills and communication skills that the developer must have. These can be easily tested when you ‘test’ the developer to work in a team and analyse his skills in leadership and communication, provided you already have a working team in your company. 

Taking the systematic approach to hiring the right candidates

Did you know? Hiring experienced developers is a science and an art as well. And there are some approaches and methodologies that you can adopt to evaluate the skills and abilities the engineers claim to have. It is important to know what those methodologies are because that would definitely help save time and you will easily get an elite team for your work. 

The process begins even before the interviews

Often, the interview with the candidate is not the first step to hiring a probable candidate. The process actually begins long before that. Especially when it comes to hiring the talented and experienced developers. And that’s where the network comes in – make use of your personal network. Your contacts will definitely be able to suggest a few quality developers, especially if they have worked with them in the past. Personal referrals actually dominate most hiring processes, and are the most productive resource for making new hires successful. 

1. Scouting the technical blogs

Experienced developers often maintain their own technical blogs. It would definitely showcase their particular skills and expertise. If you are looking to analyse their soft skills like technical acumen, problem solving skills, their approach to new trends and techniques then these blogs would definitely help you catch the cream of the audience. 

2. Visit sites like Github, Stack Overflow

There are so many developer communities that you can have easy access to. Sites like Github, Stack Overflow, Hackernoon, HackerNews, CodeProject, Hashnode are just a few of them. Experienced developers will have contributed their knowledge to these websites. You can check their code samples and analyse their skills before making actual contact with them.

These websites actually help you understand their skill level, so you don’t have to waste time testing that. All you need to find is whether they have the skills to work on your project. 

3. Technical Conferences

Experienced developers will have a lot to contribute and share at these technical conferences. If such a conference is happening at a place where you can easily access, you can visit the conference to see the developer’s contribution. 

It would be a good idea to analyse their knowledge and their communication skills, and you can even contact them once the presentation is over, and see if they are interested in working with you. By speaking with these candidates, you will know that they are not just another ‘resume’ in your list of candidates and they already have a mature level of technical expertise that would be beneficial to your project. 

Hiring experienced developers for startups

When you have a startup, finding the right developer team can be a challenge. For one, you may not have the resources to give them the salary they demand. But the advantage of recruiting experienced developers for your team would be a plus point because you will make no mistakes while getting your product ready for the market. With an average team, there will be a few tried and tested ideas before the actual release. 

The hiring style for your startup is pretty much the same points that we mentioned above; the only thing would be to get the developer to come work for a company that’s just starting out. You can retain them on a contract basis and once the company expands, you can have even more experienced developers on the team. 

Evaluating the technical acumen of the developers

Testing the capacity and proficiency of the developer goes far beyond their knowledge of specific programming languages. Their technical proficiency is definitely an effective determination, but they must also be able to prove their fundamental technical strength and understanding, problem solving skills and of course, creativity. Knowing two or three programming languages is not an additional skill anymore, since those are essential skills; it is the other skills that carry value and weightage. 

There is one proven method to do this – present them with a programming challenge, irrespective of the language. Let them code a solution depending on what language they are comfortable in. Their solution must be able to correct any conditions or errors that exist. It would help you evaluate the candidate’s potential in these areas: Problem-solving skills, Computer science skills, Identifying underlying problems, etc. 

You can also ask them the kind of open source projects that they have authored. If they have a few projects to show for it, then you can discuss the projects with them – by reviewing their code, their design decisions, patterns they used, coding styles and so on. 

Conclusion

While interviewing experienced developers, be sure to look for opportunities that would give your candidate some constructive feedback about their work. How do they take it? Check if they become defensive about the problems they faced, the bugs they fixed and so on. Is the developer all tight-lipped, or are they letting their hair and comfortable with you? This would tell you a lot about their personality. When you have the time, put in a bit of effort to find the right candidates, and that would definitely help you get highly qualified developers for your team.

Interesting Links:

Why hire a software engineer?

Tips for Hiring Software Developers at a Startup

Pictures: Canva


The author: Sascha Thattil works at Software-Developer-India.com 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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