Want to know how to find a software developer?
This is an important question that you need the answer to.
According to a Statista report, back in 2018, there were 23.9 million software developers in the world. By 2019, this number reached 26,4 million. By 2024, it is expected to grow to 28.7 million.
Besides making your final software product much better, a good software engineer also makes the development process much easier. Let’s find how to find a good software developer.
Why do expert software developers matter?
Many factors drive the growth of the software development industry. Technology innovations, platforms, tools, frameworks, guidelines, and best practices all contribute to the success of software development.
You don’t produce software in assembly lines, those that try – get poor products. High-end luxury cars or market-leading smartphones can be produced in assembly lines, however, software always has a degree of abstraction. Read “Software is an abstract artifact” to learn more about this.
Skilled human beings are indispensable when your desired end-product has any degree of abstraction, therefore, you need good developers in any software development project.
As the software development industry matures, it is trying to use full-stack developers where their skills matter. The industry is identifying activities for intelligent automation using technologies of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
Code generation, identifying common bugs, etc. are examples of such activities, as I explained in “Machine learning in future software development”. However, the complexity of software development is increasing significantly, therefore, the demand for good coders by startups is growing fast.
Unfortunately, finding a good developer is not that easy. Most people think they can simply write up a job description and put it in a simple job posting on a freelancer site and they will get great freelance developers. However, there is a lot more to finding top software engineers than this.
How to find a good software developer?
What should you consider when looking for a competent back or front-end developer? No matter whether you are undertaking iOS or Android development, you need great developers with a good range of hard and soft skill sets.
Let’s look at the qualities you should look for during the hiring process, and these are as follows:
1. Professional ethics
You don’t need me to tell you why ethics are important. What ethical principles should you expect from your team members? The late management guru Peter F. Drucker once pointed out that you should expect all your people to uphold “The Hippocratic Oath”.
Hippocrates was considered the greatest physician in ancient Greece, and the above-mentioned oath reads as “primum non nocere”. This approximately translates to “above all, do no harm”. Read more about this in “Drucker to leaders: Above All, Do No Harm”.
2. Decision-making capabilities
Effective knowledge workers are executives, even if their designation in the organizational chart doesn’t say so. Drucker makes it clear that if a knowledge worker contributes in a way that materially influences the capabilities of an organization, then they are an executive.
Read “Leadership hall of fame: Who is an executive?” to learn more.
Software developers fit the bill perfectly since their work directly contributes to the capabilities of an organization. To be effective, executives must make decisions.
Drucker explains the importance of decision-making capabilities in his seminal book “The Effective Executive”, and you can read more about his assertions in “12 effective lessons from The Effective Executive”.
High-performing software development organizations go a long way to make the work easier for developers. They provide project management processes, methods, and tools (PM&T), moreover, they facilitate skills and competency development.
However, even such high-performing organizations can’t do the work that a developer must do. Programmers must make decisions in the course of their work, and direct themselves.
Therefore, you must look for decision-making capabilities when you interview your job seekers to ensure you hire only the most capable problem-solving developers.
3. Computer science fundamentals
A comprehensive understanding of the software development process from back to front is a must. Competent programmers must know all the ins and outs of the software development process including creating a minimal viable product or MVP, how software interacts with hardware, etc.
4. The knowledge of programming languages
Successful developers must have in-depth knowledge of one or more programming languages. The skill requirements vary based on their field of programming, e.g.:
- Android developers should know either Kotlin or Java. Kotlin, the popular modern language popular with Android developers has many advantages, e.g., it enables you to code error-free programs. Java is still relevant though since many Android developers still value it highly. Read “Kotlin vs Java: which is the best choice?” for more insights into these two languages.
- iOS developers should know Swift or Objective-C. Swift is a modern language with many powerful features, and Apple champions it for iOS development. Programmers developing apps for Apple’s platforms still value Objective-C though, as it offers many advantages. You can read our guide “How to convert an app from Swift to Objective-C?” since it lays out the strengths of both languages.
- Blockchain programmers developing “Decentralized Apps” (DApp) on a public blockchain network should know Solidity. It’s a popular language for developing smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain network, and Ethereum is one of the most popular public blockchain networks. Read our guide “Blockchain software development using the Ethereum network” for more insights.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Machine Learning (ML) developers should know Python or R, which are very popular languages for AI development.
5. The knowledge of software development lifecycle (SDLC)
Successful developers must know enough about SDLC methodology since this knowledge helps them to contribute effectively to a project. Popular SDLC methodologies are as follows:
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- V-shaped model;
Additionally, competent developers should know about the various SDLC phases like requirements analysis, design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance. Our guide “What is software development life cycle and what you plan for?” explains SDLC models and phases.
6. An adequate understanding of application security risks
Given the disturbing instances of data breaches and identity theft, application security has assumed paramount importance. Developers should know about key application security risks and how to mitigate them.
Often, mitigating application security risks boils down to following coding best practices! When programmers know about the coding guidelines, they will more likely mitigate application security risks proactively.
Take, for example, the Open Web Application Security (OWASP) Risks. This report highlights injection, XML external entities (XXE), and cross-site scripting (XSS) among the top 10 application security risks. Programmers can proactively mitigate each of these by following coding guidelines.
7. The knowledge of software architecture patterns
Developers may or may not provide input to your software architectural decisions, however, they should have in-depth knowledge of software architecture patterns. Such knowledge helps them to code effectively so that the app utilizes the strengths of the architecture pattern you have selected.
Key software development architecture patterns that programmers should know about are the following:
- Layered (n-tier) architecture;
- Event-driven architecture;
- Microkernel architecture;
- Microservices architecture;
- Space-based architecture.
Our guide “Large enterprise Java projects architecture” offers an in-depth understanding of these key architecture patterns.
8. The knowledge of coding scalable apps
You are likely planning to grow your business or organization, therefore, you would want your IT applications to scale well. Developers you hire should know how to code scalable apps.
The techniques to code scalable apps vary based on the type of app, e.g.:
- You would need to focus on aspects like database, architecture pattern, framework, etc. when trying to build a scalable web app. I have earlier explained this in “How to build a scalable web application?”.
- If you are developing a DApp on the Ethereum public blockchain network, then you need to consider using sidechains. This helps you to choose consensus algorithms suitable to your app and prevents congesting the main network, as I have explained in “How to scale an Ethereum Dapp”.
9. The familiarity with application development or hosting platforms
Many businesses work with managed cloud services providers, which eliminates the need for them to manage IT infrastructure. The programmers you hire should have familiarity with such managed cloud services platforms.
There are various kinds of such platforms, and your choice of a platform depends on the kind of app you are planning to launch. E.g.:
- If you are only interested in Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), then you should look for appropriate offerings from managed cloud services giants like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is an example of an IaaS offering.
- When developing a web app, you can use a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). PaaS platforms manage the cloud infrastructure, networking, operating system, middleware, and runtime environment, moreover, you can easily integrate databases and 3rd party APIs when using them. PaaS platforms help you to scale your web app, as you can read in “10 top PaaS providers”. Heroku, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, etc. are popular PaaS platforms.
- Mobile-Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS) platforms can help with mobile app development since they handle the cloud infrastructure, persistent storage, etc. This eliminates the need for you to develop and manage the mobile backend, moreover, MBaaS platforms let you integrate 3rd party APIs with your app. AWS Amplify and Google Firebase are well-known MBaaS platforms, as I have explained in “How to choose the best Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS)?”.
- If you are developing a DApp on a public blockchain, you can use platforms like Ethereum, NEO, and EOS. On the other hand, if you are using an enterprise blockchain framework, then you can use “IBM Blockchain Platform” or “Blockchain on AWS”. Read about more blockchain platforms in “Best blockchain network hosts”.
10. The knowledge of development tools
Application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs) can help you to build your app quickly, therefore, you should look for developers that are familiar with such solutions.
Your choice of API/SDK solutions will vary based on the kind of app you develop, e.g.:
- If you are developing an Augmented Reality (AR) app, then you might need to use tools and frameworks like ARKit, ARCore, Vuforia, Wikitude, EasyAR, or Amazon Sumerian. I have described them in “The ultimate guide to choosing the right enterprise AR solution”, and successful AR developers should know one or more of such solutions.
- If you are developing an AI app, then you could consider platforms like “Microsoft Azure AI Platform”, “Google Cloud AI Platform”, IBM Watson, BigML, etc. You can read our guide “The best Artificial Intelligence software development tools” to learn more about them.
11. Industry knowledge
You might need to hire developers with industry experience when developing applications for certain industries. Take the healthcare industry for example. It has unique complexities as a result of stringent regulations, as I explained in “How to build a healthcare integration platform”.
If your project requires industry knowledge on the part of developers, then it’s likely a complex project. You should consider hiring a field expert development team since such teams are more likely to have industry expertise.
Read our guide “Freelance app development team vs. field expert software development teams” for more insights.
12. The openness to collaborate
Modern software development projects place heavy emphasis on collaboration. E.g., a competent developer doesn’t need to be an expert tester or DevOps engineer, however, they must collaborate with the testing and DevOps teams.
Organizations trying to deliver projects in the Agile way strive to set up an effective “Continuous Integration” (CI) environment. This is a complex task.
Setting up such an environment needs close collaboration between developers, testers, DevOps engineers, and Scrum master, as you can read in “5 common pitfalls of CI/CD—and how to avoid them”. I can hardly overstate the value of collaboration.
Planning to build a strategic application for your organization?
You need to hire competent developers to build a strategic application, and this guide will help you to find a good software developer.
Software engineering recruiters and freelancer sites promise the world but often fail to deliver. This is because developing such an application is much more than just finding great developers given that you might need end-to-end management support.
Consider engaging reputed software development companies for strategic projects, read our guide “How to find the best software development company?” before you start,
Why not take a moment to fill out a DevTeamSpace project specification form to see what our top developers can do for you? Our developers work full-time with our platform, and thus don’t come with all the risks that freelancers do.
Our unique process is designed to quickly solve any staffing requirements you might have when it comes to your in-house team. We can provide the additional remote work personal or expertise gaps at a moment’s notice so that you can concentrate on getting your project completed on time and on budget.
Frequently Asked Questions on how to find a software developer
To find a software developer, first, you need to outline all the required skills you need and make sure your developer has them. Interview the developer to make sure that you are happy with them and that they will fit well into your team. Try to avoid freelancers. Outsource developers who work full-time for the software development platform for the best results.
Software development is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. As such, good front-end and back-end software developers have no trouble finding work.
You can find expert software developers and project managers in the DevTeam.Space community. We have some of the top tech talents in North America and Europe who have passed our vetting process and have been fully trained in our Agile development methodology. We have years of experience in mobile and web development and have created many top software products.
You can find developers everywhere from LinkedIn, Job Boards, Toptal, and Gun.io. Before you consider any of these options you should do your homework regarding the services they offer and whether or not they are right for you. It is generally advisable to avoid freelancers unless their work is guaranteed by the platform you hire them through, as is the case with DevTeam.Space.