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Detailed Instructions You Need to Know to Find a Developer

To find a developer shouldn't be as difficult as it is. To help you with the search and selection process, we spent time researching the best developer finding solutions.
By Anna Doan | EnvZone Staff
on September 11, 2019 | 8 min read
Image credit: fundera

In today’s tech-driven business world, having a great developer on your team can really give you an edge. Start by reaching out to developers you know and people in your network who have experience finding a developers. Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, craft a detailed job description and find the best place to advertise your job opening. Take time to create an interview process that will help you find the best developer for your needs.

How to find a developer

Part 1: Getting Hiring Advice

1. Reach out to friends who are developers

If you know a successful developer, they can be a great resource for helping you figure out what to look for in a potential hire. Contact some developers in your network, and ask if they can provide any insight or advice about what to look for in a good developer.

2. Talk to colleagues who have hired good developers

If you know someone in your field who recently hired a developer, have a chat with them about their hiring process. Ask them a few key questions, such as:

  • “What are the most important qualities you look for in a developer?”
  • “What are some common pitfalls to look out for when hiring a developer?”
  • “Where and how did you find your best developer(s)?”
  • “What sorts of questions do you ask when interviewing a developer?”

3. Ask someone tech savvy to help you evaluate potential hires

If you aren’t a coder yourself, you will probably need some help spotting the ideal candidate. If you know any developers, ask them to be a part of your interview process. They can help you come up with key technical questions and evaluate your potential hire’s performance on test projects.

Part 2: Advertising Your Position

1. Write a compelling job description

Your job description should be specific and straightforward. Let potential candidates know exactly what kinds of skills and experience you are looking for, and what sort of work would be involved in the job. Include information such as:

  • Your company’s mission and area of specialization.
  • Minimum education requirements for the job (e.g., BS in Computer Science or a related field).
  • Any professional certifications or training you are looking for.
  • What kinds of programming languages your candidate should know.
  • How many years of work experience they should have.
  • What types of work you expect them to do (e.g. writing new code, troubleshooting software, overseeing other developers).

2. Ask people in your network to recommend candidates

One of the best ways to find good developers is by tapping into your professional network. Talk to friends and colleagues in your field, and let them know you are looking to hire someone. Give them specific details about the job, and ask them to recommend anyone they think would be a good fit.

3. Post to appropriate job sites

In addition to utilizing general job sites like Indeed, LinkedIn, or Monster, make sure your job is posted on industry-specific job boards. Popular sites for posting developer jobs include Stack Overflow Jobs, Dice, Crunchboard, and Github.

  • Most industry-specific job boards charge a fee for posting a job ad. These fees are variable, and will depend in part on factors such as how long you want the ad to stay posted and how prominently you would like it to be featured in search results.
  • Some general job boards, such as Indeed and Glassdoor, will allow you to post ads for free, with the option of premium upgrades for a fee.

4. Work with a recruiter if you need extra help attracting candidates

If you’re not getting a lot of responses to your job posting, consider signing up with a reputable recruiter. Look for a recruiting company that specializes in software development talent. They can not only help put you in touch with the talent you’re looking for, but may also be able to offer advice on how to pitch your position and conduct an effective interview.

5. Attend a hackathon

Hackathons are a popular type of event for software developers. They provide an outlet for programmers to show off their skills, network, and meet potential employers. Hackathons can take the form of physical gatherings or virtual meetups that take place entirely online. They generally involve programming contests, and may be centered around solving a particular problem or giving developers from underrepresented groups a chance to shine.

Do an internet search for upcoming hackathons or try a website like hackevents.co to find hackathons near you.

6. Try an industry-targeted job fair

Although they are becoming less popular among the current generation of developers, traditional job fairs are still an option. Do an internet search for upcoming software developer career fairs in your area or use a website like targetedjobfairs.com to find and register for hiring events.

  • Many career fairs offer promotional packages to employers to help them attract and connect with candidates.
  • Before going into a career fair, decide whether you are planning to accept resumes or pre-screen potential candidates for interviews. If you do make any promising connections, make sure to follow up with them.

Part 3: Conducting an Effective Interview

1. Ask insightful questions

To get the most out of your interview, you need to ask questions that allow you to effectively evaluate your candidate. Your questions should not only focus on the candidate’s skills and experience, but also on their problem-solving abilities, professional priorities, and ability to commit to the job. You might ask questions like:

  • “Tell me a little about your management style. How would you lead a team of developers?”
  • “If you were presented with a type of task that you’ve never done before, how would you approach it?”
  • “What steps would you take to make sure that this urgent task gets done on time?” Give them a specific example, preferably based on a scenario you are familiar with (e.g., fixing a particular coding issue or making sure a server upgrade goes smoothly).

2. Incorporate a test project

In order to successfully judge your job candidate’s abilities, it is essential to put their skills to the test. In addition to asking them technical questions in the interview, have them write a little code or a simple program for you. Put a strict timeline on the project.

3. Look for a developer who fits your company's culture

Skills and experience are important, but they are not the only considerations to keep in mind when hiring a developer. Look for someone you feel comfortable working with and whose personality is a good fit for your team.

4. Get the rest of your team involved in the hiring process

If you have other employees who will be working directly with the developer, get their feedback on your favorite candidates. If possible, involve other employees in the interview process. They may see red flags you missed, or have insights based on their own professional experience.

5. Take your time

Don’t rush to find the first developer who comes along with an impressive resume. In order to get the best person for the job, take the time you need to evaluate their skills, consult with other members of your team, and weigh your options before you make a final decision.

The top 10 places to find a developer

Finding the perfect site to find developers shouldn't be as difficult as it is. To help you with the search and selection process, we spent time researching the best developer finding solutions. Here are our top 10 freelance websites to help you find a star engineer:

1. Toptal

Toptal connects startups and businesses with the top talent in software engineering from around the world. The company uniquely boasts that they can give you access to the top 3 percent of freelance developers all over the world. They do this by screening all applicants before they enter their freelancing talent pool.

Toptal’s screening process includes a language & personality test, timed algorithm testing, technical screenings with other Toptal engineers, a test project and an ongoing commitment for these freelance developers to maintain a perfect track record while working with clients.

Detailed Instructions You Need To Know To Find A Developer-fig 1
Courtesy: Toptal

Pros

  • Tough screening process ensures quality candidates and saves you screening cost
  • 100% risk free trial

Cons

More expensive than other options

2. Upwork

Upwork is a large freelance marketplace with over 12 million users. The popular platform connects clients with remote freelancers, from content writers to JavaScript experts with the help of sorting algorithms. Employers often enjoy Upwork's ease of use, but cite variable quality as a major drawback. So, while finding programmers to interview should be fairly easy with Upwork, interviewing dozens of candidates will be an involved process.

Detailed Instructions You Need To Know To Find A Developer-fig 2
Courtesy: Upwork

Pros

  • High amounts of bids can reduce cost of labor
  • Secure and easy online payment system
  • Network of thousands of developers ready to work

Cons

  • High amounts of bids can result in pricing fixation leading to lack of quality
  • Long cycle from job posting to project completion

3. Guru

Guru is similar to Upwork in the sense that you start your freelancer search by describing and posting your job on their site. However, unlike Upwork, Guru adds another layer through the ability to search for a specific freelancer based on specialties, categories, location, feedback, rate and more. This allows top freelancers to stand out from the crowd instead of having to apply for jobs each time.

Guru also provides a collaboration and project workspace called Work Room. In Work Room, you can share project deadlines and milestones or simply communicate with your freelancer within the Guru system. Payments can be made through the Guru Safepay system or by invoice. With SafePay, an employer deposits money into Guru's Safepay account and Guru pays your freelancer only after you approve the work.

Detailed Instructions You Need To Know To Find A Developer-fig 3
Courtesy: Guru

Pros

  • Refund system if not satisfied with work
  • Ability to search for freelancers
  • Secure payment system

Cons

Unless you're a member, Guru's fees can be pricey

4. Freelancer

Much like the websites mentioned above, Freelancer.com allows you to list your project and receive competitive bids from freelancers. They also have a reputation system to simplify the process of finding the right freelancer.

Detailed Instructions You Need To Know To Find A Developer-fig 4
Courtesy: Freelancer

Pros

Huge talent pool of freelancers

Great for project based work

Cons

Pricey with 10% fee plus possible upgrades

With huge pool comes lack of talent in some places

5. Fiverr

Fiverr takes the freelance marketplace and sizes it down into smaller project chunks. Freelancers make profiles introducing who they are and what services they offer with the website even offering an introduction video. Companies can search from their talent pool by typing in a keyword or going straight into defined categories such as "Web & Mobile Design."

Detailed Instructions You Need To Know To Find A Developer-fig 5
Courtesy: Fiverr

Pros

  • Review system to rate freelancers
  • Quick project turnaround
  • Very affordable option

Cons

Appropriate for smaller projects or jobs

6. Staff.com

While some other freelance websites focus or cater to short term projects, Staff.com aspires to be the best for longer term work. Staff.com also sets itself apart by offering its service completely free, kind of. They are building a community in hopes that businesses latch on to its time management and tracking software called Time Doctor.

Detailed Instructions You Need To Know To Find A Developer-fig 6
Courtesy: Staff.com

Pros

  • No deductions on payments to freelancers
  • Currently free

Cons

Not for shorter term project work

7. Elance

Detailed Instructions You Need To Know To Find A Developer-fig 7
Courtesy: Elance

Businesses will post their project, get recommendations on candidates in Elance’s system, hire the preferred freelancer and make payments.

Pros

  • Can transfer account to Upwork when ready
  • Huge talent pool

Cons

Big talent pool can drive down quality for price

8. Craigslist

Craigslist is much more than a marketplace for apartment rentals or used furniture. It actually can be a solid source for freelancing services. You can browse their vast listings by specific cities and view postings for computer services being offered there.

Listings are sorted by date posted and you can search by keyword for specific services you are looking for.

Detailed Instructions You Need To Know To Find A Developer-fig 8
Courtesy: Craigslist

Pros

Good for narrowing in on freelancers in a specific location

Cons

  • No review system in place
  • Not easily searchable
  • No payment guarantee and have to have own contract in place

9. PeoplePerHour

PeoplePerHour provides three ways for companies to get started on their quest for freelance work. The first option is to browse Hourlies™. Hourlies are fixed offers that are ready to begin right away. The second option is to post a job and wait for the proposals to roll in. Finally, the third option allows you to search the directory of freelancers and contact them directly.

Detailed Instructions You Need To Know To Find A Developer-fig 9
Courtesy: PeoplePerHour

Pros

Fixed price offers provide quickest turnaround

Cons

  • Not focused on longer term projects
  • Requires down payment for any work to be started

10. GetACoder

GetACoder is a services marketplace connecting buyers (employers) to providers (freelance professionals). They focus on the fact that many of their freelancers are in a different geographic location bringing down labor costs significantly.

Buyers post jobs for free and wait as freelancer's submit bids. Bids come with an attached portfolio to help buyers decide between freelancers. GetACoder also provides collaboration tools for buyers and providers to use throughout their project.

Detailed Instructions You Need To Know To Find A Developer Fig 10
Courtesy: GetACoder

Pros

Access to many countries will bring down price of job

Cons

  • Focusing on breaking down geographic barriers can lead to language miscommunication
  • No tests for freelancers to pass

Conclusion

Recruiters can use these ideas to rope in the best programmers looking for a challenging and rewarding opportunities.

No matter which source you turn to, remember to find a developer who fits into your work environment in terms of vision and commitment. Don't worry, Envzone here to help you. If you have any problems and questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

This article is also credited to developersforhire and John Rampton

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