How to Hire the Best Software Developers
Every day, I’m asked how to hire the best software developers more and more. Surprisingly, these inquiries come from business leaders at startups, middle-market companies, international corporations, and everything in between. That clearly indicates that developing custom software solutions for any organization is as important now as it has always been.
If you fall into any of these categories, you’ve probably already realized how difficult it is to find a developer who is a good fit for your project. Not only is our society short on specialized IT talent, but the people who can do the job right are spread too thin around the world, making it especially difficult for businesses to form an all-star team of software engineers.
As if that weren’t enough, businesses lacking some level of expertise in software development have a more difficult time than the rest because most don’t even know what they’re looking for. Learning about technology stacks, agile methodologies, DevOps, and industry best practices takes much longer than you might think.
Hiring the best software developers comes with a slew of advantages that you should not overlook. It could cost you time, money, and opportunities if you don’t. This article will discuss some of the most important aspects of the software development industry, as well as what you can do to hire the best software developers for your company, whether you need a single engineer or an entire team of experts.
Why Should You Hire Top Developers?
You want the best developers on your team for the same reason you want the best cooks in your restaurant or the best musicians in your orchestra: talented people are the ones who can tell the difference between average and excellence. Higher-quality products always result in better, faster, and more cost-effective outcomes in a field as complex and fast-paced as custom technology development.
That means that every company pushing for digital acceleration, regardless of location, will compete with you to hire the best talent. Development teams have become notoriously famous for working in remote locations without sacrificing efficiency or compromising the product, thanks to the sheer number of collaboration services and tools readily available today.
This twisted low-supply market is far from over. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 21% increase in demand for software developers by 2028, compared to a 5% increase for all other jobs. There aren’t enough qualified candidates to fill these positions, especially if you rely solely on local talent pools.
Furthermore, the companies that can hire the best software developers will reap all of the benefits of well-crafted software, giving them an advantage over their competitors and building momentum for pivoting in the ever-changing tech scene. You’re reading this because you want to be one of them. So let us begin by revealing some information.
What Should You Look For When Hiring a Developer?
Whether you’re considering working with a freelancer, hiring a new team member, adding temporary talent to your tech department, or even outsourcing the entire software development process to a third party, keep these key points in mind as you assess how they fit into your project.
Find someone smarter than you.
If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re probably in the wrong room. When it comes to hiring the best developers on the market, that is a statement you must live by. However, intelligence can be defined in a variety of ways. You should check with your HR or recruiting team about this. What matters here is finding someone with the skills you require for your specific software venture.
And what is the distinguishing feature of intelligence in software development? Problem-solving, not creativity or technical knowledge. While the previous characteristics are undeniably important for the job, problem-solving abilities are what propels good software forward. New issues will inevitably arise during development. You want someone who can turn a problem around and find a solution that most people (including you) would overlook.
Look for adaptability and experience with a variety of software environments.
To begin, no one, absolutely no one, can be a true expert in more than a few aspects of software development. There are too many programming languages, frameworks, and tools to choose from, each with its rabbit holes and creative possibilities. Furthermore, new advancements in the industry occur daily, altering how developers work and approach problems.
The best software developers always approach their work with an open mind. Even if they don’t know something, our problem-solving ability will provide the flexibility needed to make things happen. You’re looking for the result of many years of practice: a talented engineer familiar with a wide range of software environments.
Strong communication and collaboration abilities are desirable.
I’ll throw in another popular saying: “If you want to go fast, go alone.” “If you want to go far, go together.” We’ve all heard stories about overzealous developers who spent thousands of hours creating a fantastic product that made a lot of money.
This is sometimes the work of a single person. Most of the time, it takes a few more to reach the goal. However, once it becomes a running product, that individual will require a strong and diverse team to support it.
It’s highly unlikely that you’d want to put all your faith in one person to run everything in a business. There is no reason to go with a lone wolf when agile methodologies are considered. A great developer will understand how to collaborate with others and apply their talent where it will have the greatest impact. You want to find someone who can not only fulfil their role but also contribute to the work of others.
Look for someone creative.
Technical and theoretical knowledge is critical for developing high-quality software. However, if that were all that was required, finding great developers for your team would be much easier. After all, most of this information is easily obtained through a quick Google search and light browsing.
The ability to be creative is what drives software development innovation. You want to find someone quick on their feet who doesn’t mind shouting their ideas into the wind. If that person comes from a different background than you and the others on the team, that’s even better. A broader perspective is always beneficial when developing software.
Look for clean coders.
Despite the fact that I have repeatedly stated how complex the software development industry is, the best software developers are those who can make it appear simple. When hiring great programmers, it is common practice to test for coding skills, but few business leaders consider how clean the code is.
Hiring people who can code cleanly will improve your products, allow for more flexibility during sprints, and allow your team to do maintenance and install future updates without too much difficulty. On the other hand, a person who writes sloppy code is difficult to work with and may slow down your operations.
Consider talent over experience.
Suppose you’re fortunate enough to come across a software developer who demonstrates talent and can demonstrate both technical and soft skills. In that case, my best advice is to emphasize their resume’s experience less. As I previously stated, talent is the most scarce resource in the industry, and you will want to keep it.
However, you must consider the role that an individual must play. If you need something done in a specific way, a developer with experience in that field may be better suited to your needs. If you want to expand an existing team and drive innovation, a new perspective can help you think outside the box.
What to Avoid When Hiring a Developer
Employers are prone to making errors that jeopardize the efficiency and potential of new hires for the development team. Avoid the following if you want to make the most of your most recent addition to your company’s talent pool.
Ineffective onboarding procedures
One of the most common ways to get a newly hired software developer off to a bad start is to throw them into an ongoing sprint without explaining anything. While one could argue that this is the project manager’s or scrum master’s responsibility, several points must be addressed during or shortly after the final interview.
Giving proper support to new developers is an investment that will pay dividends in terms of productivity and morale. Introducing a new environment requires orientation on the project’s goals, completed work, and team challenges. Workflows, work culture, and responsibilities should also be discussed. Don’t forget to include all necessary project documentation!
It is a dangerous game to rely on assumptions and imprecisions. When you hire software developers without telling them what you expect, you’re throwing a lot of curveballs at the entire team. You don’t want people who have conflicting ideas about what tasks to tackle and what goals to prioritize.
It’s best to be as specific as possible about the job’s requirements. Proper communication always results in higher-quality work. Remember that your new hire should complement the skills of your current team, so talk to them about what they expect from the new hire and where that person can add the most value.
Misleading job descriptions
While we’re on the subject of expectations, it’s also fairly common for employers to say they want a developer to do something, only to have that person do something completely different once hired. Such deceptive practices are not only unethical, but they also increase turnover on your team. And you can bet that individual will not recommend your company as a good workplace.
If you find a good candidate who doesn’t fit the profile you’re looking for, be honest with them and tell them the truth. Developers rarely want to change their skill set for a job drastically, but if your project is interesting enough, they might do it anyway. Anything is preferable to relying on deceptive practices.
Don’t make it all about money.
You’ll probably encounter a fairly wide range of salary expectations depending on your location and the types of developers you’re looking to hire. In such cases, you might wonder if someone asking for five times the wage will do a five times better job. Or if someone asks for a lower salary than you estimated will be capable of the job.
First and foremost, you must determine the type of return on investment you anticipate from that hire. Developers, like any other employee, have a variety of motivations and needs. When you open up a small market, the possibilities multiply exponentially. In any case, retaining top software development talent will always be more than just a financial consideration. Your company’s work culture, team structure, project quality, and sense of purpose will play a role.
Determine the Kind of Developer You Want to Hire
After we’ve gone over everything mentioned above, we can get into some specifics about the hiring process. Developers have a diverse set of skills and abilities. To effectively evaluate their potential and impact on your project, you’ll need to understand their fundamental differences.
Pay close attention to this section if you’re unfamiliar with software development and how things work in this industry. The areas of expertise in software development are numerous, and you should be familiar with the most fundamental ones.
- Backend development is concerned with the logic that allows the software application to function. Database management, caching systems, and pipelines are examples of this. Backend development programming languages include Python, C++, SQL, PHP, Ruby, and ASP.NET.
- Full-stack development: A full-stack developer combines the previous two areas of expertise. They are fluent in several programming languages and have worked on various development projects. They are what is known as “jack-of-all-trades.”
- Web development: As the name suggests, a web developer creates websites and web applications. Their expertise spans various areas of frontend and backend development, but they typically specialize in one or the other. Some popular web development languages include Java, Go, Ruby, C, and Swift.
- UX/UI designers: Although UX/UI designers are not always classified as developers, they are an important part of the software development process. Their job is to create appealing and user-friendly designs that draw users in and make the software simple.
- Data science developers: A data science developer creates software that assists businesses in collecting, analyzing, and generating actionable insights from data. They are analytics and statistical analysis experts who provide predictive models to drive business growth. Some popular data science development languages include Python, Scala, Ruby, SQL, and Julia.
- DevOps engineering: DevOps, or Development Operations engineers, are IT professionals who supervise and manage the relationships between the development team and the company’s operations. They collaborate with the development team to create, deploy, and maintain software and distributed systems using agile methodologies.
- Quality assurance and testing engineers determine whether or not a software product is meeting its objectives. They continuously stress the software to reveal bugs, flaws, and areas for improvement. Quality assurance and testing are critical components of creating high-quality software.
- Support engineers work on the maintenance and support of software products, ensuring uptime, reliability, and optimal functionality. They are essential in large-scale projects requiring continuous monitoring of activities and performance.
The Other Option
As we’ve seen, anyone looking to hire the best software developers must go through many steps and considerations to find the best fit. However, we’ve barely scratched the surface of how difficult it is to retain talent and how critical it is to continue hiring the right people to ensure the scalability of your project.
That is why hiring software developers have become so popular in recent years. Working with an experienced IT firm allows any organization to gain immediate access to the best software developers on the global market and eliminate the need to worry about sourcing, hiring, and retaining talent.
Regardless of the type of expertise, a top software outsourcing company will undoubtedly have the talent you require on-demand due to highly refined recruitment processes that ensure you receive the most skilled engineers.