With more and more businesses becoming digital, the demand for developers has only increased over the last few years. And with the recent impacts of Covid-19, more companies need developers who can help develop and build their online businesses. However, hiring the right developer can be confusing and complicated. With the proper process and understanding of your company's needs, finding the right developer for the job can be easy. So, today we’ll discuss how to find and hire the right developer for your business.
6 Steps on how to hire a software developer
An important aspect before hiring a skilled developer is to understand what your job entails. There are many developers with varying skill sets—some are coders, and others are engineers. Finding a good developer will require you to understand the differences between developers to understand their skill sets better. Luckily, there are independent professionals available, so it isn’t too difficult to locate a qualified developer for your project.
1. Identify what tasks you need from a developer
The most crucial step is to figure out what tasks require a developer. These tasks can range from basic design tasks to more complex solutions such as web code or security. Below are some common tasks that require a developer.
- Basic to intricate web design
- Develop and maintaining WordPress websites
- Application creation and maintenance
- Develop applications to analyze large sets of data
- Backend security and system checks
- Setting up and integrating new technology
- Database creation and maintenance
2. Understand what type of developer you need
Understanding the type of developer you need is the second crucial step. Developers are different and their skill sets reflect that. Below are common types of developers and the problems they can help you fix.
A front-end developer specializes in programming visual user interfaces, including aesthetics and layouts of a program or browser. This developer requires a high-level understanding of design principles more than computer science. They spend much of their time tweaking visual presentations of user interfaces and dealing with browser compatibility issues. A front-end developer helps determine how a website looks to the user and resolves common problems like the browser not loading correctly, incorrect font resolution, cache load, and incorrect stack ordering.
A backend developer specializes in the implementation of functional core logic alongside the performance and scalability of software for the end user. This developer utilizes Python, C++, Scala, Ruby, Perl, etc. to create web applications that integrate a wide array of services such as database creation, database storage, caching systems, logging information, and email systems. Ultimately, a back-end developer ensures that a website works correctly. Common issues that a back-end developer will resolve include fixing a site or browser if any aspect of it breaks or stops working.
A full-stack developer is a hybrid of a back-end and front-end developer. This developer is proficient in handling databases, building user-facing websites, and can work with clients through any planning phase of a project. A full-stack developer is the jack-of-all-trades developer—able to fulfill tasks and solve problems on the front-end and back-end of a website or application.
A web developer is a software engineer who specializes in creating websites. This developer has a varying level of skill with front-end and back-end development. A web developer’s primary role is to develop and produce websites. These developers usually have limited HTML and CSS skills, but they’re not as specialized as back-end or front-end developers.
A WordPress developer is a subtype of a web developer that works exclusively in WordPress. WordPress is an online content management system, and WordPress developers utilize the site’s plugins and interface to design and create web applications. These developers are different from traditional web developers who create a website from scratch utilizing WordPress’s themes and scripts to produce content.
A mobile developer writes code for applications that run on consumer mobile devices and tablets. This developer works exclusively with mobile systems and is proficient with framework software such as Java, Swift, and Objective-C. A mobile developer can assist with launching and maintaining a mobile application.
A graphic developer specializes in writing software for rendering, lighting, shadowing, shading, and managing scenes. These developers are critical for integrating technologies in gaming and video production. A graphic developer requires advanced knowledge in math and computer science, along with knowledge of framework systems.
Data Scientist Developers
A data scientist developer writes software programs that help analyze data sets to assist organizations. These programs comb through analytics and statistics to provide comparison and predictive modeling for the future. In essence, a data scientist uses data and statistics to visualize growth, assist with machine learning, or predict trends.
A DevOps engineer is an IT professional that oversees code releases. DevOps is a software development strategy that bridges the gap between developers and IT staff. The purpose is to release small features very quickly and incorporate feedback as soon as it is received. A DevOps engineer has a fundamental understanding of this system and works with other developers to build, integrate, and administer back-end software and distributed systems.
CRM and MarTech Developers
A CRM developer specializes in systems that collect user and consumer data. These developers are tasked with improving customer satisfaction and sales through representatives, account managers, and sales representatives. The purpose of Customer Relations Management is to use data to improve the customer experience. CRM developers are a great resource for small businesses to be able to adapt quickly and learn to implement changes to satisfy their customers.
A security developer specializes in creating systems to test the security of software systems to discover exploits and fix security flaws. This developer generally functions as an ethical hacker of sorts to penetrate systems to identify vulnerabilities. Security developers use scripting languages like Python and Ruby and must be well-versed in C and C++ code. Security developers are crucial to any company with sensitive data in their hands as they protect a company and its customers from harm.
Quality Assurance (QA Engineer)
A QA engineer is an engineer or developer specializing in determining if a product function or not. QA engineers require a basic understanding of computer code such as C, C++, and other scripting languages are equally beneficial. For development purposes, websites and code always contain bugs or flaws. If left unresolved, these flaws can cause more significant problems down the road, so a QA engineer tests the website or software to see what the issues are so that the developers can fix them.
3) Where to find a developer
Today, there are a large number of resources available to find the right developer for you. This ranges from job hiring sites to in-demand talent platforms such as Upwork to old-fashioned word of mouth/recommendation. Whether you want to hire a developer for short- or long-term projects, there are plenty of resources, both offline and online, that can aid you in your search.
In-demand talent platforms
Talent platforms are self-service applications that allow job seekers and employers to find each other. Sites like Upwork allow independent talent and companies to quickly locate one another for both short- and long-term projects. The advantage of talent platforms is that it improves national and local searches for talent, streamlining this process.
Job hiring sites
Job hiring sites are websites that function as a job posting board. An employer posts a job on the website, and independent talent reviews the job and submits their application. The advantage of a hiring site is accessibility and ease of use for both the employer and talent looking for work.
Word of mouth
Outside of technology, word of mouth is still quite impactful. Sometimes just spreading the word about a job or position can yield excellent results from personal recommendations and references. Recommendations and referrals are still an essential part of any business and maintaining these relationships help foster goodwill in any industry.
4) Interview your developer
When looking for a developer, it’s best to understand your immediate needs. As an employer, you want to follow a developer’s skill set and their ability to communicate. An ideal developer should be transparent in their work and have the skill set for your current job with the flexibility for other work.
- Skill set: Understanding a developer’s skill set, is crucial. By asking questions about their field, you can better understand their abilities and limitations. And if they have limits on their skills, perhaps you can assist or train them. This should be your primary concern—whether they can do the job required or not.
- Communication: Clear communication is a must in an industry. Asking questions that gauge a professional’s ability to communicate is vital for your company’s growth.
- Transparency: Asking questions that help understand an independent professional’s transparency and their ability to communicate is a great start. All workers need to be transparent to create a healthy work environment.
- Ask for references: As stated previously, recommendations and references drive any industry. Speaking to an independent talent’s references allows you to better understand that person from different perspectives. A company may speak highly of their ability or point out problematic behavior. When interviewing talent, references are a great asset to see if they’re the right fit for you.
- Ask for previous jobs: Previous job experience is another great tool to draw from. Understanding an independent’s previous job experience allows you to make an informed decision of their capabilities. Any talent can talk about their accomplishments and abilities, but job titles and references provide hard evidence of their actual abilities and skills.
Examples Interview Questions to ask before hiring:
- What kind of developments are you currently working on?
- Describe any problems on your last project and how your developer skills solved it.
- Have you worked on projects that are similar to this?
- Web development can be technical; how do you communicate with non-technical co-workers on your projects?
- Tell me about a time you’ve had negative feedback and how you handled it.
- What do you believe are the greatest challenges to working on the front-/back-end?
- Can you find the error in this code?
- How technical is my project and what timeline do you believe would be accurate?
5) Choosing your developer
After your interview, you should have a better picture of your potential hire. Before hiring this individual, you should consider carefully how they fit into your company. To do this, you need to balance their skill set and expertise against your budget, and the time constraints of the job they are expected to complete.
- Skill set: Does their expertise fit your job or company? There’s a wide range of developers available and it’s important to understand your immediate needs. While it may seem attractive to hire an overqualified developer, it’s best to hire the skill set and expertise you require.
- Interview: The interview should provide insight into the independent professional’s abilities. How well did they do in their interview? Do you see yourself working with this individual moving forward? These are the questions that the interview should provide a clearer answer to.
- Budget: How well does this individual fit into your budget? Before hiring any individual, see if they’ll work within your budget moving forward.
- Time to complete: As stated previously, understanding limitations is important. Many projects have strict time constraints and additional help is required to complete a project on time. Your independent talent needs to be able to assist with this in a timely manner.
6) Onboarding your developer
Now that your developer has been hired, you need to train them in their daily tasks and introduce them to the team members they’ll be working with. This process is commonly referred to as “onboarding” and it helps new hires integrate into their environment at a comfortable pace.
Intro to the business and the company culture
Every company operates in a unique way, so introducing a new hire to the company and culture is crucial for making them feel included and comfortable. The team is one of the most important aspects of a company. Introducing an independent professional to the team is critical for making them feel comfortable. A healthy team creates a positive work environment for all individuals and can help to achieve difficult goals as well.
Part of the onboarding process is understanding the processes of the company. Every company operates differently and so an independent professional must become accustomed to your processes and overall flow.
Goals serve an important function in keeping independent talent motivated. Understanding their goals can be beneficial for you and your team so you can better understand their motivations and sometimes even assist with them. This only strengthens your relationship between your talent and your company.
Timelines are a great way to track progress and provide a visual end goal. As stated previously, transparency is critical for success and having timelines allow all team members to be transparent about their work. Timelines also create realistic expectations about what work needs to be completed and what work has already been achieved.
Developers are a valuable asset to any company but hiring the right one can be difficult. You must understand your needs as a company and understand which developer is the right fit for you. Explore Upwork’s remote talent platform for instant access to the top developers from a truly global talent pool.