What to look for when hiring a developer
September 21, 2023
min read

What to look for when hiring a developer

Eli McGarvie
Eli McGarvie

Are you in the process of hiring a developer? Finding the perfect candidate can be challenging but crucial if you’re looking to expand your IT team with the best of the best. 

You need someone with a good combination of technical and soft skills. But what exactly are these skills, and how will you know if your candidates possess them? In this article, we will explore what you should be looking for when hiring a developer, providing you with tips and insights to make the right choice.

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The importance of hiring the perfect developer

When it comes to hiring a developer, finding the perfect fit is crucial because they must possess the essential technical skills, critical thinking abilities, and adaptability needed to excel in such a fast-paced industry. Having the right skills will make them an invaluable asset to your company.

Hiring a great developer is essential for the success of a project. They bring their expertise and problem-solving abilities to the table, ensuring the project is completed efficiently and effectively. With the right developer, you can expect timely delivery, high-quality code, and seamless collaboration with the team.

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Skills to look out for when hiring a developer

When looking for a software developer, it's important to consider their experience and soft skills, among other important factors. Look for developers who have a proven track record of delivering projects and handling clients. Also, consider those who have hands-on experience with relevant technologies. These are all important traits that can greatly impact their long-term success in the role.

1. Experience

To measure software developers' experience, you should consider the number of projects they have successfully delivered and the range of clients they have collaborated with. This will provide you with an understanding of their experience in various types of projects and industries.

A developer who has worked on various projects with different clients is more likely to possess a wider range of skills and a more in-depth comprehension of various technologies. Additionally, their experience working with different clients can indicate their ability to adapt to different requirements and effectively communicate with stakeholders.

When hiring a developer, it is important to prioritise candidates with relevant experience that aligns with your organisation's needs to ensure they can contribute to your team effectively.

2. Soft Skills

Being a great developer goes beyond technical skills. In fact, a developer's soft skills can make a huge difference in their success. These skills are what set good developers apart from truly exceptional ones.

Great communication

Effective communication is crucial for a software developer. It allows them to collaborate with teams and convey solutions in a simple and understandable manner. When looking for a software developer, it is important to assess their communication skills. This ensures seamless collaboration and effective problem-solving. Strong communication skills enable developers to understand customer requirements, convey their ideas effectively, and work well in a team setting. Look for developers who can clearly convey their thoughts and actively listen to others.

Outstanding time management

One crucial skill to consider when looking for a software developer is outstanding time management. You want someone who can efficiently complete tasks within allocated timeframes and effectively communicate any delays or issues.

With IT projects needing to be completed within a certain timeframe, a developer who can calculate task completion timeframes and keep you informed will ensure the project stays on track.

Fantastic problem-solving skills

To find the right candidate, you need someone who excels in problem-solving. They should have fantastic problem-solving skills, swiftly analysing complex issues and providing effective solutions. Look for software developers who have a knack for efficient analysis and critical thinking. They should be able to utilise existing tools and resources to adapt their problem-solving techniques.

Excellent problem-solving skills are essential for handling the challenges that software developers often face.

The ability to learn and adapt

In the fast-paced world of programming, staying updated with new skills and technologies is essential. Look for candidates who actively seek knowledge, participate in boot camps and conferences, and demonstrate a dedication to professional development.

Their ability to learn and adapt will ensure they can thrive in an ever-evolving industry.

3. Technical skills

When hiring a software developer, it's essential to evaluate their technical skills. These skills are crucial for developing efficient and reliable software applications. By assessing a candidate's proficiency in these areas, you can ensure they have the technical expertise to contribute effectively to your development projects. Here are some of the technical skills to look out for when hiring a software developer:

Software frameworks

You should look for someone who has experience working with various software frameworks and can leverage them to streamline the development process.

A software framework is a pre-established application that developers can use to create programs more efficiently. 

By hiring a developer with experience in software frameworks, you can ensure that they have the necessary skills to utilise the available structures and features effectively. This can lead to faster development, improved code quality, and more efficient software solutions.

Programming languages

Developers with expertise in different programming languages can craft intricate code that brings software applications to life. It’s important to consider their proficiency in various programming languages. This ensures they can handle diverse projects and meet the specific needs of your organisation.

JavaScript is a widely-used programming language. With its capabilities, developers can design websites that are engaging and responsive to user input. HTML and CSS are essential for structuring and styling web content.

Python, known for its simplicity, is versatile and can be used for a wide range of development tasks. C++ is commonly used for optimising hardware capabilities. Java, on the other hand, is suitable for cross-platform application development.

By assessing a developer's knowledge and experience in different programming languages, you can find the right candidate who can effectively contribute to your software development projects.

Database knowledge

It’s crucial that candidates have a strong grasp of database knowledge. This includes understanding how to effectively manage and secure data for your organisation. Databases are essential electronic systems that enable the organisation and structuring of information, particularly company records.

Data structures and algorithms

Data structures and algorithms are like the foundation and blueprint of a building, providing the structure and organisation necessary for efficient and optimised information storage and processing in software development. It is crucial to have a developer who has a good understanding of data structures and algorithms to build reliable and adaptable applications capable of processing vast volumes of data and executing intricate operations with efficiency.

Testing procedures

To ensure the quality and functionality of your software applications, a developer should have a good understanding of testing procedures such as unit testing, integration testing and system testing. Understanding these testing procedures is vital as it allows a developer to receive critical suggestions for improvements and ensures the software is of the highest quality.

Debugging knowledge

No matter how good of a developer they are, there will always be bugs, which is why having comprehensive debugging knowledge is important. It effectively addresses and eliminates errors in their code, ultimately ensuring the functionality and quality of the software. By understanding debugging techniques and tools, they can efficiently troubleshoot and fix bugs, improving the software’s overall performance and reliability. 

4. Tips on how to hire a software developer

When hiring a software developer, there are several key points to consider:

Understand the requirements needed

Firstly, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the type of developer needed for the company's specific development framework. This means identifying whether a backend developer, a full-stack developer, or a frontend developer is required.

Each type of developer possesses different skill sets and expertise in specific areas of development. By determining the specific needs of the company, you can ensure that you hire the perfect candidate who has the necessary skills and experience to meet those requirements.


Choose a suitable job listing platform

When listing a job, look for platforms that are specifically dedicated to finding IT professionals. These platforms often have a larger pool of candidates with the specific skills and experience you are looking for. They also provide resources and support that are tailored to the needs of software developers.

RELATED: Developers for Hire: 10 Best Job Sites for Businesses 

Look at their portfolio

By assessing a potential candidate's portfolio, you can gain insights into their skills and expertise. This will ensure that their work aligns with your project requirements. When examining the portfolio, focus on the developer's role in past projects and pay attention to the quality and complexity of the projects themselves. This will help you measure the developer's proficiency in their craft. Additionally, look for any innovative solutions they may have implemented.

A thorough evaluation of the developer's portfolio will provide you with a clear understanding of their capabilities. This will help you determine if they are the right fit for your team.

Test their coding skill

Assessing a candidate's coding skills can be done by presenting them with a real-life coding challenge or scenario. This allows you to observe their problem-solving approach and determine if they have the technical proficiency required for the role.

Utilising online code testing platforms like Codility or Coderpad can help you present custom coding challenges to potential candidates. By doing this, you can gain valuable insights into how the candidates tackle and resolve problems, their proficiency in writing concise and effective code, and their familiarity with programming languages and frameworks. It will also highlight their logical thinking, attention to detail, and ability to work under pressure. 

Do you still need help hiring software developers?

If you're struggling to find the right software developers for your team, WeAreDevelopers can provide the expertise and resources to make your hiring process more successful.

As one of the world's leading software developer communities, we have the knowledge and connections to bridge the gap between companies and potential candidates. Our goal is to help you boost your results in tech recruiting, employer branding, product marketing, and brand awareness.


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