Saturday, September 30, 2023

10 Simple Rules for Hiring Great Software Developers

A-level software developers are in high demand right now, and it seems that everyone needs code today. The number of vacancies for developers with different skills exceeds the amount of available talent. There are approximately 5 openings for one solid developer out there. If you want to hire top-of-the-line software developers, you need to create and implement a hiring strategy. Your company really needs to stand out and offer more than sky-high salaries. In this post, we have put together 10 tips on how to hire great software developers.

Tip 1. Consider pushing your search outside your region

It’s probably one of the best decisions you can do in a job market like this. Many companies choose to outsource their development to economically viable destinations like Ukraine. With the help of local vendors, they set up virtual teams of Ukraine developers to act as an extension of their core teams. While it’s a challenge to establish effective communication between the teams, it also could be that effective team you would work with for years to come.

Tip 2. Software developers should be hired by professionals with equal skills

It’s believed that only a good programmer can hire a good programmer. These are professionals with specific skills – and not everyone can interview for them. Only professional developers and tech leaders can formulate the right questions and check the problem solving skills of a job seeker. For non-programmers, it is hard to evaluate the skills in a proper way, thus, they should invite skilled and experienced developers as their first step in the screening process.

Tip 3. Ask them to write their own code

Writing code will immediately show the essentials like speed of work, quality of code and its support convenience. A good practice is to ask the candidate to design a solution that would solve a particular problem. This way, you will understand if they can decipher the problem with an end-user in mind. Other tasks can be debugging someone else’s code, evaluating the choice of algorithm, as well as evaluating and explaining what the code does.

Tip 4. Make sure to check a candidate’s interpersonal skills

Coding skills are important, but cultural fit equally matters. Technology leaders and team members emphasise the importance of communication skills for coders. The ability to work as a part of the team is considered to be as important as problem solving. The most important interpersonal skills include being able to listen and hear the rest of the team, getting the message in a clear way, and taking ownership for the project.

Tip 5. Your interview should be well-structured

It’s important to follow a set of clear steps to cover the essentials when interviewing candidates. It will let you cover key skills required for this role such as languages, frameworks, environments, programming patterns, data structures and tools. In addition to coding skills, you also need to check the problem-solving skills. As you can see, the scope is vast and that’s why it makes sense to create an interview plan beforehand.

Tip 6. Check the problem-solving skills

Problem-solving is what developers should naturally excel at, as this is the essence of programming. Arguably, mastering a framework or language is not the hardest part of building a solution. A good indicator of great software developers you are looking for is their ability to solve complex problems. In particular, these skills include splitting complex problems into simpler ones, finding the logic for ordering tasks, abstracting problems to design simple solutions, reusing previous solutions, and so on.

Tip 7. See if a candidate has a solo or team mindset

Some individuals are not team players, and that’s fine. So, ask to find out if a candidate feels more comfortable working independently or on a team. An indicator of a solo mindset could be a candidate’s’ feedback about the previous job experience. If it’s far from being positive or neutral, then probably the candidate is prone to conflicts. The comfort of your team comes first. Ask yourself if you’ll feel comfortable working with this person and if possible, ask your team the same question.

Tip 8. Hire for learning skills

Programming is dynamic, so engineering practices obliterate very soon. We will probably see some current technologies becoming irrelevant in the nearest future. For you it’s important how fast a candidate can pick up new things. Great software developers always follow the recent trends and they know exactly what skills will be in demand soon. Ask what literature they read and generally what they do to be up-to-date. Listen to find out if they can learn quickly based on their outside of work activities.

Tip 9. Having a degree is important

With an influx of programming schools, lots of non-techies join the ranks of IT. However, great software developers usually go through formal training and gain a degree in one of the STEM fields.

Tip 10. Make sure your company is attractive to developers

Software developers’ salaries are sky-high now, which keeps most of the specialists in this profession are passionate and motivated to learn. If you are a kind of company where they would love to work in terms of comfort, career and learning opportunities, they will have no second thoughts about joining your company. Developers are looking for a company that is ready to appreciate and support them.


 A great developer is a combination of outstanding interpersonal and technical skills. Finding such candidates takes time and effort. Above all, you need to make sure you will be able to spot a good hire. If you feel that you lack competence, bring in the experts to conduct the interviews for you. We hope that our tips will come in handy in your hiring endeavors.

Andy Debolt
Andy is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism. When he isn't writing Andy enjoys water sports and spending time on the golf course.


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