The definitive guide for hiring software developers

The tech industry uses an array of professions and career paths to get the job done and bring life to companies. Whether it’s the engineers, marketing team, sales people, or the support staff, everyone is needed to build a brand and execute their own plan of action. One role in particular, though, stands out from the rest in terms of job availability and growth.

I’m talking about software developers and they’re currently one of the fastest growing jobs in tech. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the role to grow 26% by 2026, which is considered much faster than average.

With software developers being such a common position to fill in the tech realm, it’s a good idea for recruiters and others involved in hiring to learn how to recruit them quickly and effectively.

The first step is to get a general idea of programming languages so you know what to look for and how to interview the candidate.

Programming languages

Programming languages

A programming language is what software developers use to write code and create the websites and platforms we see and use today. When you create a job ad looking for a software developer, it’s important that you specify what programming languages you expect them to be experienced in. Here’s a list of the most popular to give you an idea:

Understand which languages the software developer will need, and state it in the job ad so you don’t end up with a bad match.

Educational background

Educational background

If the candidate went to a traditional four-year school then they’ll typically have majored in computer science, software engineering, or information systems. But software developers aren’t like other roles where needing a degree may be a steadfast rule. This is a field where candidates are judged more by what they can do and a college degree isn’t always a necessity. Either way, here are the top 10 schools for computer science per usnews.com as well as the top 10 coding boot camps per cio.com.

Top 10 schools for computer science

  1. Carnegie Mellon University
  2. Massachusetts Institue of Technology
  3. Stanford University
  4. The University of California – Berkeley
  5. University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign
  6. Cornell University
  7. University of Washington
  8. Georgia Institute of Technology
  9. Princeton UniversityUniversity of Texas – Austin

Top 10 coding boot camps

Top 10 coding boot camps

  1. Ironhack
  2. AppAcademy
  3. General Assembly
  4. Bloc
  5. Thinkful
  6. Flatiron School
  7. The Tech Academy
  8. Hack Reactor
  9. Tech Talent South
  10. Epicodus

Skills test

Aside from their credentials, you’ll also want to make sure they have a number of skills. This involves testing them to make sure they’re up to par. Here are a number of areas you should be sure to test a software developer candidate for.

  1. Writing clean, quality code

Writing clean, quality code

Before anything else, you need to make sure they actually know how to code. Even with some knowledge of programming languages, being able to accurately test a candidate’s skills is no easy feat and should be left to those that have an understanding of the process and what to look for. If you don’t have someone like that readily available, then use online skill assessments centered around evaluating coding skills to help you.

  1. Programmer portfolio

Most software developers will have a programmer portfolio that will showcase their past projects and give them a chance to showcase what they’re capable of. Keep in mind that portfolios can vary widely. They can include anything from web pages to large complex projects that took a long time to create. When they talk about the pieces in their portfolio, pay very close attention to how they describe them, how they built the pieces, whether they did it by themselves, and how long it took them.

  1. Coding via screen sharing

Coding via screen sharing

Nothing beats being able to watch a candidate code in real time and getting a close view of how they work through the process. At the end of the day, coding is all about working through problems to figure out the best possible solution that makes the whole picture work and seeing how they work is the best way to ensure they’re doing it correctly. While sitting behind a candidate may make them uncomfortable and unable to work at their best level, screen sharing is a way to observe their thought processes of how they code without having to be physically close to them.

  1. Communication skills

An often overlooked aspect of the job is their ability to communicate with other people. If they’ll be working as part of a team, they’ll need to articulate their solution to the problem as well as have to listen and understand complicated instructions from coworkers. Keep a sharp eye on how they speak to other people as well as how they listen to instructions.

Execute on these strategies!

These only work if you do, so make sure to put each and every one of these tips and steps into action so you can attract the best software developers in your area. This role is only growing, so you better get used to filling these positions as quickly and efficiently as you can.