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Thread: 10 Tips for Finding and Hiring a Top Developer

  1. #1

    10 Tips for Finding and Hiring a Top Developer

    Write down all the "must-have's" the person needs to fill the position, and the "like to haves" that the ideal candidate will have. No one will be the perfect candidate, but you can come close. If you're hiring an iOS developer and he or she must have Objective C, story boarding and multi-threading, that must be evaluated during the initial call.
    If it would be "nice" if they knew Java for back end or sockets, but it won't be required on a daily basis, don't toss out candidates because they don't have that experience. That pickiness results in a longer hiring cycle while companies look for engineering unicorns.
    If you're a remote team, it may be a bad culture fit to pick someone who needs hand holding daily. It's also tough to work with some "hacker" personality types if your entire organization is extremely professional. Know your company culture and ask questions about what type of working environment the engineer prefers.
    2. Know the market price.
    Some entrepreneurs think they can grab great talent at a discount price. Engineers are in demand, and the demand is only going up. Freelance engineers will have a range in hourly rate for their skill. You better know the market price or you may underbid and lose them to another opportunity, or overbid because they know you aren't savvy. They may be expensive because they are the best, or maybe because they think you're naive. Have a budget, and know what skill set you'll get for that budget.

  2. #2
    I think this is a a very good overview of hiring developers although there were some good points made in the above post.

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  4. #4
    I don't agree with the deadlines part. Working to tight deadlines is usually a really bad thing for a project, but unfortunately most project managers (usually technically inexperienced project managers) see it the other way round, as a way to get things done.

    The problem then is that stuff gets hacked together under the hood to meet the "deadline", and then instead of fixing the technical debt that has been created, more hacks are then applied to implement the next feature to the next short deadline. Before you know it stuff starts breaking all over the place and more and more deadlines are missed. Confidence starts to go down and people start stressing out and start pointing fingers. I've seen it happen a million times.

  5. #5
    When job adverts mention "tight deadlines", I normally stop considering the role, and I always make it clear that I don't like working towards specific dates when I'm in a job interview. Seems to work well for me...

    There's also some other stuff I don't agree with - you had a big focus on technical skills, but if you have the right developer, many of these skills can be learned on the job. I'm most experienced with PHP, but I've spent more time writing Javascript over the past year or so, and even wrote a fair amount of Ruby shortly after I started. I'd never written a line of Ruby in my life, but found it pretty easy to pick up, as you'd find is the case with most decent developers. Attitude is the biggest thing for me - caring about creating a quality product, continuous self improvement and general positivity are things I care about more. Of course I would give any prospective dev a technical test too and it'd be a very important part of the process, but it's a combination of factors that I'd be looking at.

    Finally, I disagree with the comment about comments in code. If you're doing test driven development, your tests should serve as documentation, so you don't need comments in the code. We have a no code comment policy, and it works very well.

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