I am increasingly being asked for advice on how to identify and attract the best programming talent by CEOs from a variety of business sizes and types, ranging from startups to SMBs, MNCs, and multinationals. This indicates an ever-growing need for tailored software solutions for businesses.
Finding the right software developer for a project can be a challenge, especially for those from underrepresented demographics. The IT specialist shortage is global and has made it difficult for companies to source experienced talent for their software development teams.
Organisations that are unfamiliar with software development face greater challenges, as they may not be aware of the technology stacks, agile approaches, DevOps and industry practices that are required. It can take a considerable amount of time to become knowledgeable in these areas.
Recruiting talented programmers into your organisation can bring a wealth of advantages that should not be overlooked. Failing to do so can lead to wasted resources, time and potential opportunities. This article explores the foundations of the software development industry, and offers advice on how to identify and recruit the best developers for your organisation, whether you require one engineer or an entire team.
Why Should You Invest in Top-Notch Software Designers and Developers?
It is essential to strive to hire the best engineers possible, just as you would the best chefs or musicians. Talented individuals are what elevate a product from ordinary to outstanding. Investing in higher quality results in a faster, more cost-efficient outcome, especially in a complicated and rapidly evolving industry such as bespoke technology development.
It is apparent that to achieve digital acceleration, firms must compete with a global pool of talent, regardless of geographical location. Recent developments in collaboration platforms and technologies have enabled effective and efficient distributed development teams, allowing work to be undertaken from various physical locations.
The recent market trends point to a reduced supply of software developers, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a 21% growth in demand for the profession by 2028, far exceeding the average growth rate of 5% for all occupations. This could create a shortage of suitable candidates to fill these roles, particularly if you are looking only in your local area.
Businesses that are able to attract and retain the most skilled software engineers will be able to benefit from high-quality software, giving them a competitive advantage and the potential to make further changes in the rapidly evolving tech industry. If you are reading this, you may be interested in pursuing this route. Therefore, let us begin exploring the possibilities.
Tips for Hiring a Programmer
It is important to consider the essential aspects of your project when making decisions regarding freelance work, hiring new team members, adding temporary expertise to your tech department, or outsourcing the full software development process to a third party.
Find someone more knowledgeable than you.
It is often said that the most effective way to achieve success is to surround oneself with people who are more knowledgeable than oneself. If you wish to work with the best software engineers in the industry, this is a maxim you should strive to follow. However, it is important to note that intelligence can be expressed in many different ways, and it is therefore wise to consult with the relevant Human Resources or Recruitment departments for further information. When it comes to software projects, what matters is finding someone who possesses the unique form of intelligence needed for the task at hand.
Intelligence in the context of computer programming refers to the capability to solve complex problems, rather than to be creative or have expertise. While creativity and expertise are key factors in successful software, the ability to solve difficult problems is what truly sets it apart. As development progresses, new issues will arise and it is essential to have a programmer who can think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions.
Look for adaptability and experience working in a variety of software settings.
It is clear that no single individual can master all aspects of software development. There is an abundance of programming languages, frameworks and tools, each of which provides a range of possibilities for creativity and research. Additionally, the ever-changing business landscape means that developers must continually adapt to new approaches to tackle problems.
The most successful programmers typically possess an open-minded attitude towards their work. The ability to adapt to unforeseen circumstances is supported by the problem-solving abilities previously mentioned, even when the individual lacks the appropriate domain knowledge. It is essential to have an engineer who has experienced working in a range of software settings, developing their expertise throughout their professional journey.
Look for candidates with excellent interpersonal and teamwork abilities
It is often said that if you want to move quickly, it is best to do so alone. However, it is also true that working together can often achieve much more than working alone. Many stories exist of the extremely dedicated individuals who have invested countless hours into developing a groundbreaking product which has gone on to be highly successful.
It is not unusual for one person to be accountable for the completion of a project. However, typically a larger team is needed in order to reach the desired outcome. Once the product is in operation, its creator will require a strong and diverse team to support it.
It is not wise to rely solely on one individual to handle all elements of a business setting, as this carries a considerable risk of making an incorrect decision. Utilising agile methods is a more effective approach, as it allows for a greater level of collaboration and allows the programmer to use their abilities in an area of maximum benefit. When recruiting, it is important to look for an individual who is able to not only complete the job required of them, but also strengthen the efficiency of the team as a whole.
Find someone with imagination.
In order to create dependable software, an understanding of both theory and practice is essential. It would be much simpler to assemble a successful development team if that were all that was necessary. Indeed, with just a few mouse clicks and some light research, this kind of knowledge can be readily acquired.
Creativity is essential for driving innovation in the software industry. It is beneficial to look for individuals who can think quickly and can communicate their ideas effectively. Moreover, it is beneficial to have a team member with different background and experience, as this can offer a different perspective to the software development process. This can help to ensure the most effective solutions are achieved.
Find programmers that can write code without any messes.
Despite my warnings regarding the complexities of working in the software industry, the most successful software developers are those that manage to make their work appear effortless. Whilst many organisations now utilise coding assessments to identify potential candidates, few senior managers give due consideration to the quality of the code presented.
It is essential that coders hired to improve the quality of your products have good coding hygiene. This will ensure that your team can effectively adapt and implement improvements during sprints and in the future. In contrast, working with someone who produces untidy code can be a source of frustration and can impede your operations.
You should prioritize talent above experience.
It is important to consider the technical and soft capabilities of a talented software engineer, rather than simply relying on experience shown on a résumé. Retaining highly-skilled employees is of paramount importance in a competitive market.
It is important to consider the role that an individual may play. It may be beneficial to hire a developer that has specific expertise in the area that assistance is needed. The introduction of a new point of view could be invaluable when attempting to extend the capabilities of the existing team and generate new concepts.
Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Software Engineer
Hiring managers should be aware of potential pitfalls which could reduce the effectiveness of their new software engineers. In order to ensure that the company receives the greatest benefit from its new hires, it is advisable to avoid making the following mistakes.
Ineffective methods for introducing new employees
Throwing a new software developer into the middle of a sprint without having taken the time to adequately prepare them beforehand is unlikely to yield a successful outcome. It is the responsibility of the project manager or scrum master to ensure that all necessary information is communicated during or prior to the end of the recruitment process.
Investing in new developers by providing them with suitable assistance can improve both productivity and morale. When they join a new team, it is important to review the project objectives, the work that has been carried out, and any difficulties the team has encountered. It is also essential to discuss workflows, the company’s culture and individual roles. Finally, do not forget to submit all the required project documents.
Expectations are unclear.
It is unwise to rely on speculation and imprecision when making decisions. Failing to set clear expectations when recruiting software engineers can have a detrimental effect on the team’s performance. To prevent disagreements on what needs to be done and which tasks should take priority, it is best to ensure that expectations are clear from the outset.
It is essential to be fully aware of the exact requirements of the job. Communication between team members is essential in order to achieve the desired outcomes. When recruiting a new employee, it is important to consider how they can complement the skills of the current team. Therefore, it is advisable to consult the existing team to identify what they expect to gain from the new recruit and how they feel they could contribute most.
False advertising of positions
It is uncommon for businesses to specify what they require from a developer prior to hiring them, only for the individual to end up working on something completely different. This is not only unethical, but it will also lead to a high staff turnover rate. The affected employee is unlikely to provide positive recommendations about the company to potential recruits.
It is important to be honest with a potential candidate who does not meet the requirements of the role you are looking to fill. It is uncommon for a programmer to be willing to significantly change their skillset for a job, however, if your project is attractive enough, they may consider it. It is preferable to be truthful than to attempt to deceive.
It shouldn’t be about the money all the time.
It is likely that there will be a wide range of wage expectations among developers you encounter, dependent on factors such as location and the specific duties they will be undertaking in your organisation. You may question whether the individual who is asking for five times the salary will really be capable of performing a better job. Additionally, you should consider if a candidate who requests a lower salary than you had anticipated is still sufficiently qualified.
It is important to determine the financial return that you are expecting from recruiting a developer. It is important to note that developers have a variety of requirements and preferences. Opening up to a global market can significantly increase your options. It is essential to remember that salary is not the primary factor in attracting and retaining the best programmers. The work environment, team organisation, the quality of work and how meaningful the job is to them all play key roles in this.
Figure Out What Kind of Programmer You Need to Hire
Once we have discussed the above, we can move on to the details of the recruitment process. Programmers may carry out a wide range of duties and the success of your project can depend on your ability to evaluate their capabilities accurately.
Pay attention to this section if you are not already familiar with software development and the associated processes in the industry. Software development requires a vast amount of technical knowledge, and it is beneficial to have a basic understanding of the fundamentals.
- Programming in the background: Software applications depend on the logic developed by “backend developers”. These tools and techniques include database administration, caches and processing pipelines. It is not very common for developers to use languages such as Python, C++, SQL, PHP, Ruby and ASP.NET when working on the backend of a project.
- The final type of developer is the full-stack developer, who has extensive experience in web and desktop programming. They have a solid understanding of a range of development projects, and are proficient in multiple programming languages. They are highly skilled in a variety of disciplines.
- A Web Developer is an individual who specializes in creating websites and other web-based applications. They possess an extensive range of knowledge and experience related to both front- and back-end development, though often they focus on one specific aspect. Common web development languages include Java, Go, Ruby, C and Swift.
- User Experience Designers and Front-End Developers are integral to the software creation process. They both have the responsibility of ensuring the software is visually appealing and user-friendly.
- Data scientists are experts in analytics and statistics, and their development work focuses on software solutions that assist organisations with data collection, analysis, and the generation of actionable insights. These solutions can provide businesses with growth-promoting prediction models. Common programming languages employed in data science include Python, Scala, R, SQL and Julia.
- DevOps Engineers, also known as Development Operations Engineers, are IT professionals responsible for facilitating communication between the development team and other departments of the organisation. Working in conjunction with the development team, they utilise agile techniques to design, develop and maintain software and distributed systems.
- Software objectives are rigorously assessed by Quality Assurance and Testing Engineers to ensure the product meets its intended purpose. The program is subjected to rigorous tests in order to uncover any weaknesses or areas for improvement. Quality Assurance and Testing are essential for the successful development of software.
- As Software Engineers, our role is to ensure the availability, security and effective performance of software products through regular maintenance and troubleshooting. We also play a key role in tracking the progress and operations of large-scale projects in real-time.
A Different Way of Looking at It
Recruiting the right software engineers is a complex process that requires careful consideration. To ensure the scalability of your project, it is essential to continue to employ the right people, which can be a difficult task.
It has become commonplace for businesses to utilise the services of external programming professionals. By collaborating with an experienced IT company, businesses can avoid the complexity of recruitment, management and retention of personnel.
A leading software outsourcing firm can provide the specialist personnel you require, regardless of the specialist area needed. Their recruitment processes are rigorous, ensuring only the most highly skilled engineers are hired. For example, Works utilise an AI system, ‘Staffing Hero’, to aid in the recruitment process.
Staffing Hero leverages machine learning to power its algorithm that compares customer needs to our pool of top one percent software engineers. Our platform performs a comprehensive assessment of the requirements, searching through our pool of eligible engineers to assemble the perfect team according to the specified specifications such as seniority and industry-related experience.
Staffing Hero can help to improve the speed and quality of our recruitment process. To ensure we receive the best possible results, we should remember to only use reputable software outsourcing companies that utilise the latest methods and techniques.
If you have any queries about locating or recruiting software developers, or if you would like additional information on the advantages of incorporating IT professionals into your development team, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Commentary on the Canon
Works, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an industry-leading provider of technological solutions. Our firm recruits the top 1% of IT professionals, enabling us to assemble development teams that are tailored to our clients’ needs. Our clients include startups, mid-sized businesses and over 10% of Fortune 500 companies requiring bespoke end-to-end solutions.
Works employs around 1,300 experts across various fields of technology, with a widening global reach. Each project objective is consistent: to create the highest quality software in the most efficient timeframe, through the use of innovative ideas and streamlined processes.