Whether you are hiring a team for a new project or looking to expand your current one, finding the right software developer for your business can be a journey. Recent research shows that hiring talent is the second most important problem in software development or online casino development. The reason is twofold.
On the one hand, the demand for software engineers exceeds the current supply of skilled labor. More and more companies are turning to technology to digitally transform, improve customer service, or leverage better business tools. And while the number of software engineers is also growing, estimated to reach 28.7 million in 2024, there is still a shortage of the best talent, making it difficult to find a suitable and affordable candidate for businesses.
Second, talented engineers are difficult to spot and evaluate at the same time. Their technical savvy is not the only criterion to consider when choosing. Soft skills of a programmer are just as important, and ticking a few check boxes on a scorecard doesn’t provide too much valuable insight into a developer’s personality and social skills.
So where do you start? While there is no magic formula for finding the best software developer, there are several steps you can take to improve your chances of finding a top-notch developer for your business.
- Start with “Why”
The quality of your software product largely depends on the skills of the developers who create it. To ensure the best fit between the needs of your business and the software engineer, it is important to define for yourself the nature and complexity of the project, as well as your expectations for the developer you want to hire.
If this is a one-off small project with clear responsibilities and tasks, you will most likely want to partner with a freelancer on a one-off basis. On the other hand, if you intend to develop a more complex custom software product that requires a long-term commitment, then hiring a full-time software engineer may be more appropriate.
Having clarity about the scope, duration, complexity of the project, and technical and human resource requirements can, in turn, bring greater clarity to your resource needs.
- “Let the hunger games begin”
Once you have decided what type of developer you need, you can proceed with the actual search. Considering the purpose of the project, financial resources, and the urgency of hiring, there are several strategies to choose from when looking for engineering candidates.
Referrals. The most effective way to find the best software engineers is through your personal and professional networks. Refer to the connectors on your network for developer recommendations that may match your criteria. Chances are, you’ll find a highly skilled software engineer who also fits a good culture much faster because you’ll get referrals from a similar circle. It is also a low hanging fruit because you are reaching out to a network of which you are already a part.
Internet communities. There are several platforms that are great for finding experienced software engineers.
You can post a list of vacancies and rate candidates as they come, or you can search and in advance contact developers who match your criteria.
On the more specialized front, there are platforms like this that attract the best talent from the software development market, increasing your chances of finding a highly qualified developer for your project.
Other valuable resources are software developer communities such as Quora or the Git Hub, where developers share their know-how or technical skills with fellow engineers. Gaining insight into how a software engineer solves a technical problem, expresses his opinion, or analyzes code quality will help you identify opportunities to find the right candidate for your business through better screening.
Conferences / Bootcamps / Hackathons. You can find software engineers passionate about what they do at these types of events that want to get involved in the community, stay ahead of industry trends, and create great professional relationships. These are developers who are not only interested in improving their technical skills but also looking to improve their interpersonal skills. These meetings allow you to go directly to the candidate you are interested in and start a conversation that will help you understand if a software engineer might be the right fit.
- Do not shy away from careful assessment
The software engineer should be assessed on both his technical acumen and his interpersonal skills.
A high-profile software developer must have experience with various programming languages and software tools, develop versatility, and a willingness to constantly learn and adapt to new technologies, which is very important for software development. However, a technical assessment should cover more than just interviewing a candidate for a specific technology. You want to understand their ability to creatively solve problems and navigate complex concepts by assessing their programming skills. This will go a long way in the long run and ultimately make your software project stand out and add value.
The developer’s attitude is just as important as the skill set. In a software project where teamwork contributes to progress, communication skills, both written and oral, are essential for a smooth process. The chemistry between team members is also an important aspect of creating a culture of collaboration.
Software engineers often work in a dynamic environment, always balancing stakeholder needs, technical details, and best practices under pressure. While technological know-how is critical for any software developer to get their jobs done, it takes much more to succeed. Openness, willingness to improve, enthusiasm, versatility, and self-improvement are just a few of the qualities that distinguish high-profile software developers.
While the process of finding a top-notch software engineer is challenging, having access to a top-notch developer who can help you create a great product is invaluable. Using the strategies above, there is no doubt that you will be a couple of steps closer to the next ideal candidate to get started with your ambitious project.