The services offered by developers form an essential part of startup consultancy. Time and budgetary constraints are two known variables that play a huge role in whether a startup fails or succeeds. For that reason, developers who partner with businesses that are in their early stages need to be experienced as failure is never an option.
Needless to say, the type of developer that you elect to collaborate with will impact directly the success of your website and project in general. For that reason, it is imperative that you hire a developer which has both the skills and experience needed to guarantee your success. In other words, in addition to experience, the startup developer must have the correct strategic, technical, and communication skills.
Who Needs to Hire Top Startup Consulting Services?
If you have a startup and are looking at any type of digital product development or expansion efforts, a tech startup consultant (startup developer) is the best way to do so. Granted, while you may be capable of creating a decent digital product by connecting with a freelancer, if you’re looking for stunning, functional, well-secured, and scalable software products, then an expert startup developer is the only viable solution at your disposal. This guide is directed to:
- Current or future founders/co-founders of startups (new businesses, small businesses, new venture business models) who are developing a product for an online business idea.
- Entrepreneurs/Business owners who need to build a website, app, or digital product for an existing business.
- Companies looking for business consultants/business consulting services for digital expansion/digital product creation.
The Difficulties With Finding Startup Developers For Hire
Let’s be clear: software development is no walk in the park, much less for startups. In as much as it may seem that the market is flooding with developers, there are lots of phonies out there who misrepresent their capabilities to lure unsuspecting business developers in. To avoid being scammed and having to spend more money to fix a poorly done job, the wisest thing to do is to onboard a startup developer or development team that knows what they’re about.
As mentioned, you will find quite a number of so-called startup developers online. You will typically come across them on the most popular freelance platforms where they tend to appear in droves. If you post a job for a developer on one of these platforms, you can be sure that you will incite a tsunami of applications from candidates who swear to deliver the best quality work at unbelievable low rates, rates that seem too good to be true. It’s because they are.
Apart from the fact that these promises usually never materialize, you also have the added challenge of vetting prospective candidates on your own. Checking over qualifications via such a platform is a Herculean task. Besides, although candidates may seem like a good fit, there’s no sure way of knowing whether they have the right profile to easily integrate into your project and succeed.
That said, not all hope is lost. There are developers out there who are ready, willing, and able to take on startup consultancy at an affordable rate. All you need to do is find them.
How this Interviewing Guide Will Help
We will kick things off by briefly going over the key elements which distinguish junior startup developers from experienced specialists. Following this, we will provide a short, step-by-step process that you can leverage to find a developer that matches your needs.
Understandably, your focus should be to find the best startup developer in the shortest amount of time possible. Naturally, you want to identify the top developers without spending too much time and money on recruiting. Therefore, your objectives should be as follows:
- Easily detect unqualified candidates and remove them from your prospective candidate pool.
- Prioritize prospects who have displayed an in-depth understanding of their niche in their applications.
- Attract top developers by presenting your project as something exciting and challenging.
What Separates Expert Startup Developers from the Rest
Deciding on a cheap $20 an hour freelance developer with a passable portfolio may seem like a decent idea. However, doing so may cost you a lot more in the long run. In the same way that freelance developers can charge rock-bottom rates, you can also get rock-bottom projects. A junior developer or freelance programmer may:
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- Be limited in the skills they can provide to you
- Take an eternity to complete a task
- Have difficulty practicing proper communication
- Fail to understand basic instructions
- Unethically cover up mistakes
- Be ill-equipped to take on your specific business project
- Make mistakes that cost your business lots of money
- Be incapable of providing insight that will help you in your development
All of these risks can be avoided by hiring an expert startup developer. By expert, we aren’t referencing professionals who just have extensive qualifications or years of experience.
After all, there are several qualified developers with years worth of experience who are still considered juniors.
On the other hand, there are unqualified developers with a few years of experience who have demonstrated that they are capable of building world-class websites.
Consequently, qualifications and experience are not guaranteed markers of capabilities in web development.
Instead, there are other factors that are more important. These include:
- Extensive knowledge of both basic and advanced technical skills
- Proven ability in soft and communication skills (can be indicated by project success rate)
- Deep understanding of how online businesses work (user experience, design thinking)
Interview Questions and Answers to Secure Experts Developers
You should always divide your interviews in stages. Each stage will enable you to slim down the number of eligible candidates. The logic is that the further a candidate advances in the interview process, the more time you have to assess their profile and determine whether they are the right fit for you. These stages can be broken up in the following:
- Basic screening stage – Sifting through applicants to determine who meets the minimum requirements.
- In-depth technical knowledge and ability – Singling-out developers who already understand the unique technology challenges which your startup faces.
- Strategic knowledge – Identifying the best candidates who will aid you in your business’ development.
Step 1: Basic Screening Stage
This simply consists of eliminating candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements. For that reason, the questions should relate to matters such as minimum experience, rates, and language requirements, to name a few.
- How well do you speak English (or whatever language you need)? 1 – 10
- Have you ever worked with a startup before? If so, how many years?
- Have you ever worked in the healthcare industry (change the name of the industry as you see fit).
- Do you have examples of websites you have done for startups?
- Are you looking for an in-house full-time position or part-time consulting firm contract?
Step 2: In-depth Technical Knowledge and Ability
Once you have weeded out the unsuitable candidates from your batch, this phase enables you to figure out who’s really worth the investment.
The best way to do so is to ask open-ended questions on complex problems related to your project.
While you may be tempted to allow them to prepare the answers to these questions in advance, try your best to make them as spontaneous as possible.
Some of the questions you can ask are as follows:
- How would you make a product scalable?
- What do you think are the most important elements in user experience design?
- How would you go about improving page load times?
These questions do not require a yes or no response. Instead, the purpose is to find out how developers approach specific problems with the knowledge that they have. Naturally, the more coherent and logical the response is, the more likely that the candidate is a top developer.
Step 3: Strategic Knowledge
Now, your focus should be centered on grilling the remaining few candidates you have in order to find the best match to accompany you on your growth.
Once again, topics should be open-ended and cover relatively complex topics. However, in this case, you should place emphasis on topics that are related to your business’ growth.
- SEO strategy
- Content strategy
- Technology for scaling costs
- Market research/marketing strategy
- Methodology recommended for scaling digital product to take advantage of new markets
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- Would you recommend cloud infrastructure to make a WordPress site more scalable? If so, which platform and why?
- What would be the main elements that constitute a solid SEO strategy?
- How would you use technology to make my product more appealing for my customers?
What are the most important considerations when hiring startup developers?
Startup owners must keep certain important points in mind when they hire a developer. These are as follows:
A. The knowledge of software development processes is crucial
Whether you have an in-house team or you attract talent to your company, the developers need software development process skills. Every tech company now realizes the importance of following the right processes.
Clients will make long-term financial commitments to buy your product only if it offers them sustained value. CEOs or technical co-founders know that the clients will remain dedicated to their platform or product if it demonstrates excellence. Excellence comes from diligence and the right processes.
Your project managers can’t afford to teach software development processes to developers. Smart developers learn these skills by working on complex projects, and you should hire such candidates.
B. Software developers must know a tech stack comprehensively
The best-qualified candidates don’t need to be experts in multiple tech stacks. However, quality candidates know one tech stack in-depth. Mention your preferred tech stack in the job description when creating job openings.
Your dream team needs to have developers that have worked on a tech stack for a considerable duration. That should include frontend and backend developers. You need developers with experience in complex projects.
C. Hiring remote developers can significantly help startup founders
Consider hiring remote talents. Remote developers have made a big difference for many organizations over several decades. You access a global pool of talent when you hire remote developers.
Depending on where you are, the local market might simply not have a large enough talent pool to meet your requirements. Many CEOs and tech co-founders have also found that remote teams add considerable value. Hire remote developers from trusted software development companies like DevTeam.Space though.
D. Best talents are not only tech experts but they have excellent soft skills too
All technical companies need developers with soft skills. However, this need is more for early-stage startups. Such companies need to manage many complexities.
The developers you hire need to work effectively with the other team members in your organization. Such collaboration with your in-house developers is crucial for managing the complexities. Communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills also become important in such situations.
E. Hiring freelance developers might not be the best idea for a successful startup
Planning to hire freelance developers? First of all, analyze the requirements of your startup company.
You might get freelancers at a low rate on online platforms. However, will they be able to handle the complexities of a startup? They work part-time on your project, and they might even leave the project mid-way. You don’t get any project management support from freelance platforms either.
You need dedicated effort from your developers. For that, you should hire full-time developers. Hire them from trusted partners like DevTeam.Space.
F. It’s important to specify skill requirements on job boards
You want to channel your efforts effectively while hiring developers. If you receive too many resumes that don’t match your requirements, then your time will not be spent well. Make your job posting concise. Specify the skill requirements upfront. You will then receive more relevant resumes.
G. The company culture is important for the success of startup developers
You might have talented people in your company. However, that doesn’t guarantee success. Pay attention to the organizational culture. Foster innovation, openness, and integrity. It’s often the only difference between great and mediocre companies. A positive and result-oriented culture helps startup developers to succeed.
H. Ineffective communication with developers is an important reason why startups fail
Robust communication is important in all organizations. Set up an effective communication process with your developers. It will help you to remove the roadblocks quicker.
Communication is even more important if you have remote developers. Imagine working with a remote team in Eastern Europe while you are in the US! Proactive communication on your part will significantly improve the chances of success.
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I. The right developer needs to understand software quality management
You need to detect bugs early and prevent errors in the production environment. This is a proactive approach and not a reactive one. This approach requires a thorough knowledge of software quality management. Look for developers with in-depth knowledge of code review, testing, coding standards, etc.
J. The hiring process and interview should focus on relevant experience over theoretical knowledge
Focus on relevant experience over theoretical knowledge when hiring developers. The best tech talents aren’t the ones with the knowledge of little-known features of a programming language. Skilled developers know how to offer sustained value to clients.
The most qualified candidates will have considerable domain knowledge. The domain could be supply chain, e-Commerce business, banking, financial services, healthcare, etc., and that depends on your requirements.
You need software developers with experience in the kind of projects you have. Assessing this can be hard, however, we at DevTeam.Space can help. We are helping entrepreneurs hire developers for a long time. Our vetting process ensures that you get the best full-time developers.
K. The best developers have sufficient knowledge of software development methodologies
Find developers with enough knowledge of software development methodologies. Talented developers should know about well-known methodologies like agile and waterfall.
Startups often develop an MVP (minimum viable product) and test the market. Developing an MVP can be considerably different from developing a full-featured product. Developers for your startup should understand how MVP development works. They should understand frameworks like scrum.
Mention the requirements for software development methodology-related skills when you create job postings. Spend time assessing these skills when you interview developers.
L. A talented developer should have a good understanding of software architecture and non-functional requirements
Hire developers with a thorough understanding of software architecture. App development means much more than just meeting the functional requirements. The right developers know the importance of non-functional requirements (NFRs) like security, performance, scalability, and maintainability.
They also know that solving the tech problems around these areas depends considerably on the software architecture. Therefore, good developers need a good familiarity with software architecture patterns. The best developer for your startup will proactively work with the architect and provide inputs on the architecture.
Mention the requirements for software architecture knowledge in job descriptions. Assess the architecture skills when you evaluate the technical knowledge of the candidates.
Submit a Project With Zero Risk
Startups are a joy. That said, finding team members to accomplish certain roles can be a complex task. Luckily, despite the ever-going presence of shabby freelancers who seem to be at each and every corner you turn, there are still fantastic developers out there who specialize in startups.
Using the structure and guide indicated above, you will definitely have an easier time sourcing the kind of talent needed to take your project to the next level.
An easy way to begin your search for talent is by filling out a DevTeam.Space product specification form to gain entry into a community of vetted developers who have the expertise needed to undertake your project. Check out the form and you will be contacted by an account manager who will connect you to the right profile for your job.