Where and how to find the best developers in 2020?
Many talented programmers prefer to work remotely or to freelance. According to research performed by the World Bank in 2020, highly-skilled professionals and freelance programmers do not tend to be tied to a particular location. Developers are becoming very mobile, prefer to telecommute and have more flexible full-time or part-time working hours (instead of the standard 9-to-5 in the office). So, there’s a growing pool of highly skilled developers available outside of the country where your company is located.
To find this talent, you need to check the best sites and job boards for remote work. There are a number of good sites where you can post a job ad. Below is the list of platforms for hiring developers remotely it’s a list is a great starting point if you plan to hire remotely.
What are the other ways to find programmers?
Developer meetups & conferences. This is an ideal solution if you’re interested in hiring an engineer near you for app development. A quick Internet search should help you find local meetups and conferences to do some talent scouting.
Moreover, you can leverage virtual communities and forums, like Reddit and Facebook, where people willingly join the community and share their knowledge. There are more niche IT community portals as well. This will help you get in touch with the developer your project requires or at least someone who can suggest software engineers for you.
You don’t need impersonal networks, either. Ask your friends, business partners, associates, and employees – they may well know a few highly talented freelance programmers.
Alternatively, you may reach out to professionals with a track record of successful recruitment who get the job done for you. This option is especially advisable when you’re looking for a larger number of engineers to form a team. An IT recruitment agency may also be beneficial if you have no technical background.
How can you leverage a tech recruiter? You simply have to establish your requirements and wait until a recruitment agency introduces candidates who meet all of them. At DevsData, we always comprehensively test prospective engineers to deliver only high-performing individuals with very relevant skills to clients’ needs, ensuring a high-level of satisfaction. We will build a custom team for your tech startup.
Look, recruitment is a time and money-consuming process. Nevertheless, you may find it sometimes necessary to extend your tech team to drive business growth. At DevsData, we’ve successfully recruited hundreds of engineers and now advise our clients to ask themselves a few vital questions before contacting a professional recruitment agency. Answering these questions could yield major savings. Here we go.
Experienced engineers might command twice the compensation of a mid or entry-level engineer. Is it worth it?
You should take a close look at your project and assess what type of programming skills you require from an IT professional (a.k.a freelance programmer) that you’re looking to hire. You would expect a different set of skills for mobile app development than for web development. Individual coding languages are valued differently on the market, and thus, according to the data, a Golang developer, for instance, can earn up to 30% more compared to Python, Ruby or C# programmer.
That, combined with the popularity of certain languages, speed, and comfort of development, and the number of people on the market well-versed in specific technologies, are all important factors influencing the hiring budget, and more importantly – the cost of potential future maintenance.
Indeed, there are projects that definitely require an in-depth business understanding and comprehensive technical expertise from engineers. In such a case, we advise you to reach out to engineers from Asia and Eastern Europe. Salary surveys conducted across different countries prove that an experienced senior programmer in the US may expect three times more in salary than their European counterparts!
DevsData is in possession of a vast network of contractors, including ex-tech leads and ex-employees of corporations like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and unicorn startups, both in the EU and Asia.
Ask yourself: Why do I need an IT specialist? Some projects require a programmer to be well acquainted with the company’s operations. Take software maintenance – sometimes it’s essential that a developer knows a product or a program like the back of their hand to ensure a professional level of client service.
On the other hand, sometimes it’s worth hiring independent freelance programmers for your project. They may bring a fresh perspective and design out-of-the-box solutions that will substantially boost the efficiency of your program.
So.. what should you do?
Both options are fine, but they are different in a fundamental way. Hiring an in-house software engineer is a long-term investment in the company. The person will learn over the years and grow with your business. Hiring external consultants, on the other hand, will result in a much faster delivery of your product, arguably also with a better quality, and you can set higher expectations, yet the monthly cost is higher. And contracting consultants is usually viewed as a temporary solution – they deliver what’s needed, and go away to work on different projects for other clients. That’s why, if you hire a contractor, it might be worth negotiating a potential maintenance package after the project is completed, or have them train your internal team.
Undoubtedly, experience matters.
An engineer with 10+ years of long-term experience will definitely create effective software for your project, whether you need a mobile app or a big data solution.
On the other hand, your project might not necessarily be complicated enough to warrant a senior-level developer. Take a close look at the technology you use and the complexity of your problem and consider hiring a mid or even a junior programmer, to save some cash!
And while experience can be important, we wouldn’t overlook engineers with slightly shorter resumes. A smart, talented engineer with 5 or 6 years of relevant experience that is dynamic and up to date with recent standard could bring much more value to your long-term project than someone with 15 years of experience who’s unmotivated, or with the experience not relevant to needs.
Of course, programming is all about technology, right?
Hiring remote freelance programmers has multiple benefits, such as:
Now let us move on to discussing the top 11 characteristics a reliable programmer should have. In order to find programmers, make sure to always check your potential engineer regarding the following traits, not only in the interview process. If he has them all (or almost all) then he is definitely a candidate worth hiring.
One quality you should look for in your initial interviews is how well they handle complex problems. While math sounds like a pretty simple step for most people, it is crucial for programmers to possess high-level problem-solving skills. This kind of skill is especially evident with people who know how to crunch their numbers.
There are a lot of different options to train analytical skills. One of them is solving programming Katas. These are challenges in which users have to write specific algorithms in order to solve certain challenges. Every single problem can be solved in a lot of different ways and by comparing those solutions in terms of performance, memory efficiency, and overall correctness, it’s possible to distinguish a beginner from an experienced programmer (at least we find it to be a good indicator).
The goal of the interview process should not be to test a programmer’s knowledge of algorithms or data structures – indeed more often than not that information is easily forgotten after graduation as it is not essential to day to day engineering work. What should be checked instead is how do they handle hard problems, how do they think, how quickly can they come up with a solution, if they do mistakes along the way, do they spot them and correct quickly, or are the mistakes left in the final solution?
In a nutshell, we are a big believer in the notion that a good engineer is not a walking encyclopedia Instead, they’re a very sharp and dynamic person able to build a good solution, quickly, even (or perhaps, especially) for complex problems.
Programmers do not work alone. They are often a part of a team, collaborating to produce the products you need for your business. Rapid development environments would especially need constant communication within the team. It’s a common practice for these teams to use Agile Development Frameworks such as Scrum Framework. To sum it up, Scrum involves daily meetings and collaboration within the team.
A programmer who lacks the ability to communicate clearly will hit a roadblock in these meetings. Even if they’re really smart and have years of experience, they might miscommunicate or misunderstand the priorities set in a project resulting in suboptimal budget utilization.
So, what can you do?
Before the product is set to go live, teams have a meeting with the product owners. In these meetings, they are expected to present everything clearly and precisely with consideration for non-tech people. That is exactly why the best coders are also known to be amazing communicators.
In our view, these two traits – quick problem-solving skills and great communication/presentation skills – are distinguishing factors that separate average software engineers (even those with years of experience) from top-tier software engineers. And for projects of bigger scale or importance, the latter is able to work directly with the board room, project stakeholders or corporate directors.
Similar to other fields skills, experience and expertise speak for itself. Programming requires technical expertise that’s not simply acquired through reading alone. While training someone is an option, it’s best to hire someone who already knows their way around the field to keep a good development pace. It’s even better, if the person has relevant experience to what you plan to build. If they have already built something very similar, that’s a strong positive indicator that they’ll bee able to deliver your solution faster, and with a higher quality.
Why does this matter? A good program writes “clean code.” When software is being written by a team of programmers, they often work together on the same files and code. It’s crucial to keep the code well described, and follow the latest (and ever-changing) best practices to make maintenance of the code base easy.
Another trait of an experienced programmer is a diverse portfolio. It not only demonstrates their experience it also shows what kinds of business environments they’re is familiar with.
The tech industry is especially expeditious when it comes to progression. You will need someone who can keep up and keep themselves competitive in this field of rapid change. Ready to get started?
Ask your prospect about the latest article, or a tech book they’ve read. Simply put, hire someone who has the initiative to learn new things. It’s often closely correlated with genuine passion for technology. Someone truly interested in the subject will do the reading even during their spare time, or will contribute to open source projects, naturally gaining skills and staying current.
In contrast to some other fields, programming is changing rapidly. Every year there are new frameworks and new solutions for businesses. The programmer who stays up to date with them will be able to choose the fastest and most efficient technology for a given task, and avoid mistakes.
Ready to get started?
Your ideal programmer should be adept at identifying, and fixing, bugs.
This is especially crucial for larger projects. An average engineer might try to fix first, and ask questions later. An experienced programmer will analyze the system, its associated project modules, and the connections between before applying any changes to the code base.
Why does this matter? Because it results in a well-thought-out, clean solution that works after the first attempt versus a dozen untested changes that likely introduce yet another bug to the system.
As previously mentioned, programmers work in teams. The best fit for the job will know their role within a team. Check if your prospect can take criticism well. If not, then he might not be a good fit for the job. As the saying goes, there is no “I” in “team”. Your hire must be able to prioritize the teams’ achievements over their personal gain. And, with the tech landscape changing so fast, nobody can genuinely claim to know it all.
Programming is a grueling yet rewarding job. USA News stated that the median salary of a computer programmer is $84,280 USD, peaking at $109,120USD for the best-paid programmers (or higher in big technology hubs like San Francisco, New York, and Austin) These figures naturally generate a lot of interest in programming careers.
But would you want that kind of person in your team?
More often than not, people who entered the IT business purely for the money are not competent engineers. Ask your candidate when their interest in programming began. A passion for code usually starts at an early age (like, 12), even as early as their teens for some. The same truth applies to other industries as well. People who love what they do are the best at what they do.
Another sign of real passion for programming are side-projects done after work. Some programmers contribute to open-source libraries in order to help others, and to develop their skills. Some are taking part in conferences and meetups about programming or even in hackathons, 24 hour programming competitions.
Problems are bound to arise when the ones developing your business systems are not even interested in what the business is about.
It is as simple as understanding the problem.
If your development team is merely coding away like robots, they will not be able to identify what goals they should be targeting to solve the problem at hand. Programmers that understand the business will not only write code to achieve the goal, but will also suggest ideas to improve the final product, and will be able to decide whether or not to take “engineering shortcuts” when developing a particular module resulting in much better budget utilization.
It’s a good practice for any kind of business or industry to set deadlines and time frames. Your programmer should be able to respect and commit to that deadline. Each team member should be a to work under pressure especially during crucial periods such as software releases, demos or investor meetings.
The original author of “The Perl Programming Languages”, Larry Wall, describes three interesting qualities you will find in a good programmer working full-time. These are impatience, hubris, and laziness. Now from a business perspective, these may top your list of least admirable qualities, but there can be a virtue in laziness.
Chances are that one lazy employee in your office will find a way to do a job in the quickest and most efficient way. As counterintuitive as it may sound for some, laziness leads to creativity.
A good programmer will find a way to automate tedious processes because they’d rather not perform them manually. That creativity fueled by laziness leads to increased effectiveness freeing the engineer to focus on tasks of a much higher value and greater complexity.
“There’s more than one way to do it” is the motto of Perl programming.
Programmers often find more than one way to accomplish something. Being a team player is important and when presented a problem that has no obvious “best” choice, communication and collaboration are critical. How would your applicant handle constructive disagreements?
Among programmers, the project-hosting website GitHub is one of the most popular tools. It’s a platform that stores repositories with code. Looking at the programmer’s GitHub repository can show you what kind of projects they did in the past. It’s also possible to check programmer’s preferred languages.
Companies need versatile tech skills, and more often than not, it’s hard to predict the exact skill set that will be necessary. It’s much easier for a company to assign a trusted person to a particular new software assignment, even if that person does not have experience in this very topic. Is your applicant willing to stretch and learn new things?
During the journey to find programmers, selecting a perfect employee is practically impossible after all, everyone has their flaws. However, if you keep the above tips in mind while selecting a candidate, you can set yourself up for success.
As employers, do not forget that you are not limited to in-house specialists. Employing a remote tech team can generate additional cost savings and improved efficiency. What is more, simple projects do not always require programmers with decades of experience; hiring mid-career developer lets you reducing operating costs without sacrificing quality.
At DevsData, we do not only design software solutions but also specialize in IT recruitment. If you’re looking for tech talent, we’re here to help.
If you are in need of IT programmers, take a look at our recruitment case study, which describes an exemplary, international recruitment process we conducted for one of our clients.
DevsData – a premium technology partner
DevsData is a boutique tech recruitment and software agency. Get your software project done by Google-level engineers or scale up an in-house tech team with developers with experience relevant to your industry.
Free consultation with a software expert
Book a free consultation
“DevsData LLC is truly exceptional – their backend developers are some of the best I’ve ever worked with.”
MENTOR AT YC,
“I interviewed about a dozen different firms. DevsData LLC is truly exceptional – their backend developers are some of the best I’ve ever worked with. I’ve worked with a lot of very well-qualified developers, locally in San Francisco, and remotely, so that is not a compliment I offer lightly. I appreciate their depth of knowledge and their ability to get things done quickly. “
CEO OF ORANGE CHARGER LLC;
MENTOR AT YCOMBINATOR