Software developers are super important for thriving in business these days. Whether you are trying to develop a mobile app, build your website or a software, everyone needs developers.

For non-techies, it is extremely hard to judge the skills of a programmer. According to the Manpower Group, IT workers are the 2nd hardest group to recruit.

So how do you find the right person? No doubt it’s difficult if you programming languages are all gibberish for you.

There’s absolutely no way to verify the claims and you will have no idea about what you are looking for. However, we have prepared a handy guide to evaluate the skills of developers.


Crucial Technical Skills For A Software Developer

The must have technical skills for any software developer are:

  1. Proficiency in programming language: A good developer must know a programming language in depth. Instead of learning everything under the sun, a good developer should know a couple of languages perfectly to feel confident enough for coding in that language.
  2. Clean and understandable code: A developer should be able to write clean code without too much commenting and useless lines. The art of writing clean code is an art. It is a critical aspect because code needs revisions and maintenance and if the code is not written well, it will have to be re-written. And that is a waste of resources.
  3. Data structures and Algorithms: Algorithms and data structures are crucial for solving difficult problems elegantly. They are daunting for any developers. It is not only challenging to learn but majority of the developers are bad at it. And that’s why a good developer must possess thorough knowledge in these areas to excel.
  4. Database knowledge: Developers need to write codes that can interact with database. They must possess some level of familiarity with basic queries, retrieval and storage of data.
  1. Framework: In addition to learning programming language, developers should also learn the framework and the development stack to build an entire application from the scratch.
  1. Testing and debugging: Developers need to figure out why the code doesn’t work as expected and need to be able to debug code effectively. Moreover, as the testers and developers work closely together, developers should also possess familiarity with basic testing terms and test their codes before it is deployed.

Now that we have covered the must have skills developers should possess, let’s move on to the next bit.


Assessing the Skills Of Developers

Here’s a quick guide on going about assessing the skills of developers and how you can recruit excellent programmers.


1. Coding Challenge

Codefest or Hackathons are coding events can bring programmers together to build or improve a software program. The basic idea is to collaborate with like-minded people to come up with creative ideas.

These kind of coding events are a great opportunity to meet talented people who can be a fit for your company. It’s a great way to test candidates and see how they perform in a challenging situation.

There are very slim chances that great developers will fall into your lap by some miracle. However, you will have better luck finding developers in codefests, conferences, blogs, and sites like GitHub.

Many programmers contribute to open-source projects on GitHub. It is the perfect place to find talented developers. Some also maintain their own blogs and it gives recruiters an opportunity to learn and assess the skills of potential candidates.


2. Talk to your Techie Friends

Even if you don’t have any understanding of the technical stuff, you can always find people who do. Try speaking to your developer friends, ask about the hiring process, problem solving skills you can assess the developers on or questions to ask in an interview.

You can ask some questions like these:

  •   Tell me about the recent coding projects you have been working on.
  •   What programming languages are you comfortable with?
  •   What other time commitments do you have?


3. Explore Freelance Websites

There are a lot of sites to find great programmers online even if you don’t have any coding experience yourself. Many websites like UpWork,or Freelancer screen the candidates and suggest hand-picked candidates for your needs.

These sites are a safe bet if you have a clear vision of your project, the ideal candidates and the timeline.


4. Test the Candidates

If you want to have an excellent team, you need people who can work in tandem with others and get you the results. Software is the collaboration of a group of people and it is important to find a team that can work well together.

So not only should you test your candidates on their programming skill but also on their soft skills.


Candidate Testing Rule 1:

Test the candidates on online websites like TopCoder, CodeChef, HackerRank, Coderbyte etc. These websites allows companies to screen and assess candidates by making them solve challenges and viewing the results.

These websites are perfect tools for non-techies who can use it as a pre-screening round. You can focus on the skills of people rather than resumes and save a lot of time!


Candidate Testing Rule 2:

Don’t rush the hiring process


Candidate Testing Rule 3:

You can also send your development team to speak at conferences, meetups, and events to find the right candidates who can be a great fit for your organization.

Slack is a messaging and collaboration tool. The Slack communities are categorized by skill sets or areas of interests. Some are open, private and some are invite-only.  In that case you will need to fill in your details and wait for the moderator to accept your request.

It is an easy find to find talented people, view their work and communicate informally. You can also create your own Slack channel, announce new job posts, allow employees to refer candidates.

Another great place to find the right candidate is on Quora. It’s a Q&A website on a diverse range of topics and a great place to find candidates.

So if you are looking for particular skillset, you can start off the search and look for content that suits the bill. You can see the material they have contributed to Quora, check their blogs and do your research before contacting them.

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