What To Look For When Hiring A Software Developer

What To Look For When Hiring A Software Developer

What To Look For When Hiring A Software Developer

Joanna Blomfield
Joanna Blomfield

For many hiring managers, selecting the best professionals for most jobs is pretty much straightforward. However, when it comes to hiring a good software developer, it takes more than just flipping through stacks of applications.

Unlike some other professional jobs, the demand for software developers is very high. As they operate the main engine room of any organization's software section, they contribute significantly to a company's growth by extension.

To hire the right software developer, one must follow a robust hiring process designed to source the person with the correct skillset and desirable personal characteristics that allow for a harmonious working relationship.

So, what is a Software Developer? A software developer is an individual who creates computer programs used for executing specific tasks, anything from databases to apps. They use mathematical, computer science, and engineering skills to develop computer systems for organizations.

And, why are they so important? The reason they are so important is that software developers bring a company's business to the next level of integration. Similarly, they help improve sales and revenue by developing channels to allow customers to reach an organization's product and services efficiently. And finally, they're at the forefront of future-proofing a company, ensuring the latest techniques and tools are being used to propel the company's tech-forward.

Skills to Look Out For When Hiring a Software Developer

There are essential skills you should look out for when hiring a software developer. Let's look at some of them.

1. Essential Technical Skills

It's worth noting that whilst important academic qualification is not everything; experience is also valid for assessing suitability. Ensure your potential hire uses the correct programming language for your organization (or that you have training available), and bear in mind the industry is quite competitive despite the shortage of software developers, so you can afford to be selective.

Look for a developer with full-stack knowledge. A full-stack programmer knows the end-to-end areas of a software product from the front end to the back end, network, database, and hardware. A top software developer should be able to figure out solutions to problems in any stage of the application development at any time.

2. Interpersonal Skills

There is this false narrative that places most software developers as solitary professionals who prefer working alone. However, many studies have shown that many software developers would function better in a team of professionals, policymakers, and end-users. A great software developer should be a team player with good communication skills and possess the ability to work with stakeholders to create a product that works.

3. Critical Thinking Skills

Software developers constantly encounter problems that need to be solved. The ability to critically analyze issues and solve them swiftly is a crucial skill for this profession. It would help if you looked out for software engineers who have grasped the complex art of confronting problems head-on. A good software developer will likely have the following critical thinking skills:

  • Ability to break down vast, multi-faceted goals into simpler ones
  • Parallel thinking: A software developer should handle multiple complex issues at the same time.
  • Mastering the art of using existing tools; as part of problem-solving skills, a good software developer should provide a solution to a problem by relying on already existing tools.

4. Learning and Adapting Skills

Compared to other professions, software developers learn new skills far more regularly to keep up to date with the latest tools in an ever-evolving industry. They will learn on the job with tools such as StackOverflow and GitHub, and they will learn specific skills via online boot camps, seminars, and conferences. Look out for those who dedicate a significant amount of time to their professional development, as they will likely be more knowledgeable than other candidates.

5. Time Management Skills

A good software developer has a solid work ethic and is reliable; that way, you'll know they can get the job done within the allocated time. Time is of the essence when working in a fast-paced industry like programming.

A developer should calculate the time they intend to spend on a task, communicate this clearly, and keep you informed of delays or issues.

6. Great Communication Skills

A good software developer will be able to communicate with others to produce results. They should convey solutions to problems by documenting them in simple and easy-to-understand language - you shouldn't need to have the technical knowledge to understand.

You should look out for someone ready to collaborate with the existing team to go the extra mile to build a service that works.

You can test this skill during the recruiting process by setting up a scrum meeting and observe how your potential hire interacts with others in the team. You can also note their communication skill by asking them to solve a problem or carry out a task.

Attitude is Everything

A great software developer can have all of these qualities and still have a lousy attitude for work. Look out for a person who is positive-minded and passionate about the job.

There are times when a developer must meet pressing deadlines, and how well they respond to meeting urgent deadlines is critical. A great software developer is committed to the goals and purposes of the company and very passionate about getting things done, even in the most demanding situations.

During the interview, ensure you ask relevant questions about the candidate's attitude to work or how they feel about meeting urgent deadlines.

Final Thoughts...

Finding the right software developer needn't be tricky if you know what abilities and soft skills to look for when hiring. However, the job itself is a complex one and, for this reason, you should develop a robust and detailed recruitment process that ensures you hire the ideal developer who ticks all the right boxes.

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