How to hire a software developer? Every company, business, and startup wanting to survive in this ever-changing technological world and environment will want to employ a web presence. One vital part of the team to make this actuality possible is a software developer. This article tackles all things one needs to know about software developers, from the qualifications to hiring the best ones.
What is a Software Developer?
Every company and startup needs a software developer; what they do ranges from developing, identifying, installing, designing, and testing every software system for the company or startup.
They create software programs to make a company’s work and actions more efficient or firewalls to protect every internal business. In the cases of startups, they can also create and produce systems that can be sold to other firms or companies in the market.
They also have an extensive role in updating and maintaining the overall software system, from securing it to troubleshooting new programs and databases.
If you are utilizing software that compiles all your daily tasks and keeps track of your progress while you work from home, chances are a team of software developers made that interface for you and every one of your colleagues.
How to Hire a Software Developer: Skills and Qualifications
The role of a software developer in any business, firm, or startup will require an education. The most helpful background is a degree in computer science and other related fields to software engineering.
Education is vital since there are particular elements to the job that any individual cannot just learn independently. Although one can learn the basics of software developments on their own, some concepts can be too complex, and some tools for software development can be too expensive.
At the same time, a degree won’t hold a candle to the extensive experience and specified skills of a candidate.
Here are specified skills and qualifications one needs to become a software developer. Knowing these can help a hiring manager or a recruiting to determine which candidate is the best fit for the job.
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Required Skills and Qualifications
- An essential experience to look for in a candidate is experienced with different software. Such knowledge would include a minimum of 5 years of background in software engineering and up to 7 years of background in both academic and professional use of Java, C++, and Python.
- A candidate for software development should have a strong understanding of the instantaneous development of cycles in the web environment.
- They should also have advanced experience in test automation capabilities and scripting.
- Another requirement is verified ability in design processes, plus experience in developing, testing, analytics, and troubleshooting.
Preferred Skills and Qualifications
- A potential candidate should have a functional knowledge about relational databases and other Object Relational Mapping or ORM and Structured Query Language or SQL technologies.
- They should also be proficient in CSS3, HTML5, and other content management systems.
- Although not a requirement, candidates can have a leg up when they have running experience designing applications and other networking platforms.
- A candidate should also have experience developing web applications with multiple frameworks like GWT, Spring MVC, and Wicket.
Even though comprehensive knowledge in computer programming is vital for the role, there are also what you would call soft skills. Such transferrable skills will determine how well a software developer will work alongside everyone in their department. Here are some of those soft skills to complement their technical capabilities and knowledge.
- Problem-solving skills
Software develops and creates software to solve a user or a company’s problem. A remarkable trait a candidate for a software developer to have is the ability to identify the issue and then come up with a solution or an approach to remedy the problem. Programming, one of their primary skills, requires quick problem-solving and troubleshooting, especially when looking patiently for potential bugs in the system.
- Analytical and Strategic
Problem-solving regarding coding and software would require a software developer to solve what is essentially a mystery. One would need to look at the bigger picture by taking small steps to solve the problem. The skill required to meet this task is being both analytical and strategic.
Programming involves a lot of creating different types of software programs and looking for a shortcut to meet both ends of the point. If that sounds like the candidate you are considering, maybe they are the right fit for the position.
We often assume that software developers are secluded in their desks doing the work for creating one program, but that is farther from the truth. Developing a program for security and many other HR tools is often done in collaboration with different developers and programmers in the department. For effective teamwork, the potential candidates should be great at communicating with a strong sense of empathy and an aptitude for collaboration.
Software developers have tedious works ahead of them, and more often than not, errors and other trials will be met, and they need to be motivated to try till they succeed. The perfect candidate for software developers is determined to finish everything they started.
- Attention to Detail
The last soft skill a software developer should have is their ability to be meticulous about noticing every minute detail to identify every minor and major issue in their codes or any other program carried by the business, organization, or corporation.
Role of a Software Developer
Now that we have established the qualifications needed for a software developer to carry out the job effectively, what would those skills be used for? What are they expected to carry out in the office?
- As the company deals with growth in time, existing network and other platform capabilities may not handle the increase, and that is where software developers come in. They have the insight and the expertise on all data products that would continue to grow the company or business’ software, whether reporting solutions to computing.
- Software developers are expected to create software and applications for the company or the business they work for. They are also in control of making sure that various networking solutions are working, unit tested, code analyzed, and regularly updated for syncing and integration.
- Software developers also offer creativity in all aspects of software development, from designing, visualizing, and developing to account for the company or business’ dramatic growth both in usage and visibility.
- Software developers are also the frontline in determining what went wrong and are also expected to provide solutions to the flaw. They are also likely to improve the service using monitoring and immediate remediation to counter the deficiency or weakness in the software system.
- Planning for and executing the entire SDLC or software development life cycle is also one of their prime responsibilities. All of these will be done according to the company or business’ expectations and measures.
Useful Tips When Hiring for a Software Developer
Whether you are an established company, a thriving business, or a humble startup, one of the things that would be vital in the workings of your office, especially now since working from home is still the norm, is an excellent software developer.
They will take the enormous task of ensuring that everything is working correctly and that every business is made through the interweb is protected from hackers and other threats. One could argue that finding a capable and honorable one would make or break the business workings in the office.
With that in mind, what should a recruiting or a hiring manager do or look out for when looking for the one? Here are some tips and pointers in hiring the best possible software developer for an office.
Look for Someone Smarter Than Everyone in the Room
Just as important in hiring a diversity of personnel is hiring for a diversity of thoughts. Hiring someone more intelligent than you will ensure longevity and added business for your company or even a startup. This will guarantee that they can do the job at hand and extend support and necessary creativity to their leaders.
Hiring more brilliant and innovative software developers would attract A-level talents as well. Not only are you giving them the challenge and the playing field to excel and step forward with their ideas, but it is also a symbiosis relationship since you are earning business by having them on board too. As your company or startup grows, you won’t have any problem finding and attracting other top talents.
Experience Matters More Than the Resume
The first thing a hiring director or a recruiter will know about their potential candidate for a software developer is what is written on their resume. Although some resumes are more impressive than the next, it’s essential to not focus too much on what is written on them.
Some candidates with exceptional resumes boasting Ivy league educations or topnotch internships can fail both in their coding project and the interview.
This is not to say that screening resumes shouldn’t be done. Focusing less on education or other written accolades and more on the actual portfolio and their soft skills could also be a valuable determinant to the perfect software developer hire. The practical test or project and the interview are two processes that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Although Sometimes, Lack of Experience Should Not be a Deterrence
If the job of a software developer is for big businesses and corporations, one would need a potential software developer with extensive experience since the job is repetitive and large-scale.
On the other hand, if the job is for startups looking for fresh and new software developers, one could argue that the more experienced they are, the more they will tend to be opinionated and generally more stubborn. This is because experienced software developers already have a general way of writing codes to optimize a process or a method.
Be Lenient About Programming Tools and Languages
Trends in software development and coding changes like trends in food and fashion are: over time and practically overnight.
Although one would think of themselves as an expert, there are too many programming tools, frameworks, and languages that could be merged and, in the process of trial and error, make or break a particular software problem. Every day there are new growths and the latest ‘it’ thing to consider in this software development industry.
Although eloquence in specific tools and software is a plus, it is more important to focus the interview on how a particular software developer approaches a coding or algorithm problem.
The experts in their crafts are people open to looking for a different approach to solve a problem. Even though they are not familiar with the concept, problem solvers will find a way to deal with a problem.
Test Them Using Intracompany Problems
Assessing a software developer’s skill would require assessment made in either a test or a take at the home project (to lessen the nervousness).
Although an easy means to an end, a coding test merely copy-pasted on the internet to assess their coding skills and knowledge in work would not suffice. Instead, what you should administer is a real-life software problem already encountered by the business, company, or startup.
In doing so, the business, company, or startup will be able to assess the software developers’ skills and also, at the same time, give them a taste of what working for the office would be like. It will also help evaluate whether or not the candidate is fit for the particular type of work done in the specific post.
Prioritize Communication Skills
More often than not, working for software development would require collaboration, and for it to be effective, the potential software developer should foster and have excellent communication skills. They should be able to work effectively in a team and communicate their ideas and talents to meet the desired end.
Contrary to popular beliefs, communication for software engineers is also integral just as for any other profession.
Question Them About Project They are Passionate About
Passion, enthusiasm, and someone who simply loves coding and everything regarding software development will be a great addition to a company, business, or startup looking for an upstanding software developer.
Asking them on the interview what project they are passionate about will give you an idea regarding their motivations and reasons for applying for the job. You want a candidate who loves what they do, not just a means to end but also sees coding as an end in itself.
Test Them in Their Knowledge with Codes
An excellent code writer doesn’t just write a code for the computer to understand it — a computer can understand virtually everything; what a superb coder can do is write codes that also humans can understand.
You want to employ a software developer or engineer that writes not merely adequate codes but well-written ones capable of serving their purpose and of surviving for a long time and are also, at the same time, easy to change when need be.
It is vital to see this aspect met initially because messy coders would not just restrict business and affect collaborative work but could also slow the whole company or business operations. If you are a startup, this is bad news as it could even potentially ruin the business.
Interview with a Software Developer
A recruiter or hiring manager is the expert in reading and hiring a potential candidate for a position. Still, no one could read a software developer better suited for the role than a fellow software developer. Not just that, but having at least one added person in the room to interview a candidate can lessen biases.
Pulling the trigger on a potential new hire would need a critical second opinion, especially if we are talking about a specialty job like a software developer or a software engineer.
Set Clear Expectations from the Beginning
Setting clear expectations as early as the job posting in the hiring process is essential in finalizing a hire.
These expectations would include all the know-how for the candidates, including the role for the position of software developer, the compensation and the benefits, interview processes, and many others. It would also include what you expect back from the potential software developer.
These expectations need to be out in the open and transparent from the beginning. With these expectations met upfront, fewer disappointments from the employer and the potential hire are anticipated.
With the advent of working from home, which could still be the likely work structure as the pandemic continues to rage on, expectations like being able to work from home 24/7 should also be a part of the considerations.
No two situations are identical, and thus each hiring process decides who best fits the software developer position in a company, business, or startup. Customize each of these tips for each candidate to give them the best possible candidate experience but also to determine the best fit for the given position. Good luck hiring!