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How to find a good software developer

The future belongs to technology. The third decade of the 21st century proves this point all the more convincingly. Twenty years ago, technology and software were developed in large organizations. Today, however, nearly all businesses understand they need technological solutions to stay relevant. Experts predict the application development software market to reach nearly $1,040 billion in 2027 and this means that the software developer role will in high demand.

David Moise, CEO of Decide Consulting, an executive search and recruiting firm for IT and software roles, said, «Companies that have thrived during Covid-19 are the ones that invested in digital transformations. The ones that increase their investment in digital transformation first will be the first to recover.»

Such high demand creates great opportunities for software engineers. That’s why many professionals change their careers and become developers. Looking for software developer and finding the right one is tough in this seller’s market.

This article will focus on what skills make a great developer and how to find a software engineer.

What soft skills to look for

A developer is a person with whom many people work shoulder to shoulder on many challenging projects. It is important to identify the soft skills that will make a developer’s work fruitful and smooth. Here are the top three.

Communication and interpersonal skills

Everybody on the team needs to have the same information about the project and its state. And effective communication guarantees that. Ideally, the professionals joining your team can explain themselves and listen effectively. In turn, interpersonal skills matter for experience exchange and teamwork. They include patience, openness to ideas, willingness to help, and tolerance for mistakes.

Creativity and solving problems

Developing software is not easy work. An engineer needs to correctly identify business challenges and come up with effective solutions. Developers need to possess the skills for solving problems. Also, creativity is necessary to think outside of the box to meet business needs in an unconventional yet effective way.

Time-management

Deadlines may be harsh when developing software. However, it is crucial to meet them. That is why a software developer needs to adequately assess the amount of work and properly allocate efforts to complete it on time. Also, it is important to understand when deadlines are not realistic and promptly communicate this to stakeholders.

What hard skills to look for

Soft skills are crucial for a software developer. Still, they are not the only thing you should focus on. You also need to consider a developer’s tools, knowledge, and techniques.

Coding & programming

Whether it is a startup developer or a professional in an international enterprise company, developers must master coding languages. The most valued ones are Java, Python, C#, Mean, and Ruby. Developers have numerous options where to train their coding skills, from an online school to a university. It is a good idea to ask during an interview where they learned a programming language.

Object-oriented design

Object-oriented design (OOD) is an approach to software development that involves planning the interaction of different objects to address certain challenges. To make hunting for developers less tedious, include a question about OOD in the pre-screening questionnaire. Then, AI recruitment software will automatically process the answers to find a top software developer with the desired expertise.

Fixing bugs

Developers write scripts for machines, but are not machines themselves. Being human, developers will sometimes make mistakes. A software error is also known as a bug. For a successful developer, it is important not only to write the code; they also need to know how to test it. And if an error occurs, a developer needs to know how to identify it and fix it.

What is a development stack and why it matters?

The development stack is a collection of libraries, languages, and tools that a team needs for developing software. Developers differentiate the following stacks: frontend, backend, and database.

  • Frontend is everything a user interacts with. Its development stack includes all the means needed for a smooth user experience. Some of them are HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.
  • Backend is everything that happens behind the scenes to ensure that the user can perform all the operations effortlessly. This type of development stack includes Ruby, Python, and C++.
  • Database is all data structures needed to gather, store, and analyze information properly. One of the database systems used for this purpose is PostgreSQL.

Find out which development stack the engineer will need. During the recruitment process, identify what the candidate is comfortable working with. To learn even more about the developer’s capabilities, invite the applicant to complete a test assignment. Thus, hiring managers can properly assess their skills. Test tasks are an important source of applicant information that prevents making a poor hiring decision.

Nolan Wright, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Pinpoint commented on the importance of assessing the performance based on data: «Gut feel alone is no way to measure performance, not even your own. Without hard data, our perception of who’s a top performer can be influenced by how good someone is at ‘managing upward.’ The right data cuts through the noise, showing who’s contributing, whether it’s the quiet person in the corner or, in fact, the noisy self-promoter.»

How to read a developer resume

A CV is your main source of information about the developer’s professional level. We’ve already identified what soft and hard skills to look for when screening applications. But that’s not all you need to focus on when reading resumes. Here are some options to optimize your recruitment process expenses by focusing only on worthy candidates.

First, check what drives their enthusiasm. Look at the products and solutions the candidates worked on. See if there is a pattern. Have they worked with open source projects? Or maybe they mostly developed games. All this information will show you what the candidate is passionate about. Thus, you will understand if they are a great match for your team. If some data is missing on the resume, don’t shy away from asking the candidate about their work motivation.

Also, focus on how they present the information. A resume is a sure way to see how logical and consistent a candidate is. Pay close attention to how an applicant chooses to present themselves. Prioritize those whose CVs and cover letters provide relevant information concisely and logically. And if an applicant’s resume looks chaotic, chances are there will be issues with their code.

The importance of the experience

There is a sea of software developers. All of them come with unique backgrounds. Your task as a recruiter is to identify those candidates with relevant experiences.

For example, if an applicant is trying to get a job as a web developer, but has worked only as a software tester, you wouldn’t consider them for the position. A mismatch between the current tasks and the developer’s background may create workplace problems.

Also, you’ll need to search for experiences according to the seniority of the position. If you look for a junior developer, then a year of developing software will do. However, if you need a team leader, you will need people management experience, too.

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