Experts estimate that there are 23 million web developers in the world today. They project this number to reach 27.7 million by 2027.
These statistics might give you the impression that finding a web designer and developer is easy. However, finding the right one in all these developers can be a lengthy and demanding affair.
You first need to analyze your project requirements to help you decide what kind of developers you need. You then need to analyze the skill requirements for the project.
Next, you need to decide on the kind of hiring platforms you will use. If you choose a freelance platform then you need to shortlist, interview, skill test, and check the references of each of your candidates. Finally, you need to hire web developers and give them the required project information.
There is a much easier way, however. Outsourcing expert developers or development teams from dedicated software development companies that allow companies access to their full-time developers is the best way to guarantee project success.
DevTeam.Space is one such company. Our developers have helped clients such as Samsung build and maintain their next-generation software projects.
If you wish to save time and find the best developers or development teams for your project then simply fill out our project specification form and one of our account managers will be in touch to arrange a complimentary discovery call to answer any questions that you might have.
We now go through these steps in more detail.
How to Hire a Web Developer
These are the steps that you need to follow to find that great web developer.
1. Analyze your project requirements
What are your project requirements? To answer this question, you shouldn’t just review your technical requirements. You need to look at your larger business requirements. Analyze the following questions:
Why are you undertaking a web development project?
Analyze your reasons for undertaking this web development project. You might need this project for the following reasons:
- Establishing an online presence for your small business: This is self-explanatory. You need an online presence in this era, therefore, you need a website.
- Adding value to customers: Your customers can reach you easily when you have a good website or application, etc.
- Marketing: A website provides that invaluable direct marketing channel for you to reach potential customers.
- Engaging customers: Your website offers valuable opportunities to engage your customers.
There are many more reasons, these are but the few main ones.
Are you undertaking a simple project like a basic website or a complex custom eCommerce project?
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Some web development projects can be relatively simple. For example, a WordPress development project. Such CMS projects need a medium level of skills and experience (depending on the level of customization, of course). Designers and developers need to know about the best WordPress themes, furthermore, they need to know which WordPress plugin to use.
Having analyzed your requirements, you will now know the kind of developers you need. You will also have an idea about when and how long you will need specific developers too.
Top Tip: Before we go any further, we strongly recommend that you ensure that you have at least a 4 hour working hours time overlap with any candidate before you even consider them. This is essential to ensure that you have enough time each day to catchup and deal with any problems.
2. Decide on your skills requirements to hire web developers
What skills and competencies do you need when you hire web developers?
Focus on the following but please remember this is a generalized list as there are many different types of projects out there:
Programming languages and frameworks skills that a full-stack developer needs
Depending on the project requirements, you might need developers with skills in one or more of the following programming languages:
You need website developers with sufficient experience in HTML5, HTML, and CSS.
Web development frameworks and libraries can help you to expedite your project. A full-stack developer knows lots of different frameworks and so can suggest which ones may benefit the project most. The choice of frameworks and libraries will, again, depend on your project.
For example, you might need developers with experience in jQuery, a popular library. Alternatively, you might choose to use Ruby on Rails, a very popular framework.
Are you planning to use Node.js in your project? You might choose to use popular Node.js frameworks like Express.js. Check for relevant skills when you interview your coders.
Note: Web developers don’t configure and manage a CI/CD environment. You will likely hire DevOps engineers for that. However, web developers should have a sufficient understanding of DevOps processes, tools, and best practices. That will allow them to utilize a CI/CD environment effectively. Look for this when hiring web developers.
If you are not sure exactly what kind of developers you will need, send us a few details of your project and one of our account managers will get in touch to arrange a complimentary discovery call to answer any questions that you might have.
Specialized skills for back-end development
Do you have a medium-to-high complexity project that you need to develop? Perhaps you are incorporating cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), big data, etc.? For example, you might be planning to leverage social media analytics for better marketing.
Back-end development becomes increasingly difficult with complex projects. You need to hire coders with the right level of back-end development skills. They should know the relevant programming languages, libraries, and frameworks, etc. They also need the following skill sets:
- Web application architecture;
- Web application security;
- API development;
- Relational databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.;
- NoSQL databases like MongoDB.
The nature of your website development project drives your developer experience requirements. Look for WordPress development experience if you have a CMS project. For an eCommerce project, you need developers with experience in relevant frameworks, etc.
For complex projects, you should look for designers and coders with the following experience:
- Website design with graphic design experience;
- Front-end development;
- Back-end development;
- Web services development;
- API development;
- Web application security;
- Using cloud computing platforms;
- Using web development tools and frameworks;
- How to make a web page load fast;
- Developing scalable web applications.
Note: You want Google to rank your website well. “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) plays a key part here. Your web design should incorporate SEO best practices, therefore, look for web designers with relevant experience.
Software quality skills
Every software development project will have defects, and your project won’t be an exception. You need a development team that knows how to prevent and resolve defects.
Look for the following skills when you hire web developers:
- Good knowledge of coding guidelines and best practices;
- The ability to follow software quality management processes;
- Sufficient knowledge in software defect prevention techniques;
- Code review expertise and experience;
- The ability to work with testers and DevOps engineers in a collaborative manner to expedite defect resolution.
3. Other competencies that the best web developers have
To be great, web developers need certain other skills too. These are as follows:
- Passion for excellence;
- Commitment to the project objectives;
- Great communication skills;
- A proactive attitude;
- The ability to see the big picture.
4. Choose a hiring platform to hire web developers
Now that you know the skills and competencies that you should look for, it’s time to focus on the hiring process. To start with, you need to choose an appropriate hiring platform.
As mentioned in the introduction, your decision in this matter carries plenty of importance. After all, you need competent web developers if you plan to have a successful project. Even the best project plans, management, and development tools will not help if you don’t hire the right people.
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1,200 top developers
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To put it simply, you can’t risk your web project failing. We can conclusively say from our experience helping to pick up the pieces of failing projects that turning troubled projects around costs a lot of money and effort. You obviously want to avoid this.
Choosing the right hiring platform gives you the best chance of hiring the right people. You can choose one of the following options:
A) General-purpose freelance platforms
General-purpose freelance platforms can help you to find web developers at a cheap rate. Some of these platforms have a wide reach. Your job posting will likely get hordes of replies.
However, you are the one left to shortlist and interview all these developers. This is incredibly time-consuming and may still not help you find a great developer.
The second option is the software development-specific freelance platform. Some of them claim to allow only the top developers to join their communities. They state that their screening process helps you to find quality developers.
However, while these are definitely better than the general-purpose freelancer platforms, these software-specific freelancer platforms don’t offer any project management support. After you hire a freelance web developer from one of these platforms, you are on your own.
A few words of warning: Part-time freelancers might work on multiple projects simultaneously since they try to improve their earnings. They might not dedicate the kind of bandwidth you need. You will need to manage the work done by freelancers working remotely. That can be hard.
Some of the freelance platforms deduct up to 10 to 20% of the fees that freelancers earn. That often acts as a demotivating factor. Freelancers might leave your project if they find a more lucrative offer. All of these problems and more fall on your shoulders when they occur.
B) Software development companies
Hybrid software development companies like DevTeam.Space allow you to outsource their full-time developers and development teams as and when you want. For those of you wanting to outsource your entire project development, you can also do this with ease.
DevTeam.Space’s community consists of more than 1,200 developers alone. This means that you have access to all the talent that you need, whenever you want it.
Reputable companies such as ours (see our Clutch feedback) not only comprehensively vet all their developers but also encourage their developers to regularly upgrade their skills. This focus on professional development helps you to find motivated and skilled developers. That helps when you have complex projects.
You might process sensitive data as part of your project. Naturally, you will want competent developers to secure this data. You will need appropriate commitments on the part of developers in this regard. Software development companies follow appropriate policies and practices in this regard. Your sensitive data is secure with these companies.
These development companies offer user-friendly and transparent contracting processes. They often offer flexible billing processes, which makes your life easier.
Get in touch if you would like to arrange a complimentary discovery call to learn more.
5. Conduct effective interviews to select a web developer
You have chosen a hiring platform. It’s now time to conduct effective interviews. You can conduct the interviews yourself if you have the required web development expertise. Otherwise, ask a knowledgeable associate to conduct the interviews. You can also find useful interview tips online.
Cover all technical areas during interviews. You need to ask questions relevant to your project. For example, ask about web development libraries and frameworks that you plan to use in your project.
Top Tip: Be sure to ask testing follow up questions in the skills interview. Try to really put your candidate on the hot plate so you can accurately assess their actual skills level.
Remember to also focus on actual development experience. Looking at the years of experience might not always help you, and you need to focus on relevant experience. Interviewers might often focus heavily on programming languages and tools. While that’s important, you might miss several key skill areas.
Smart web developers use around 20% of their skills most of the time. The key lies in using the right skills to solve the right problems. Coders need to develop sound judgment for this, which comes from experience.
Find out how a candidate has approached complex projects. Ask about the various problems that candidates faced during the project (here is a great place for those testing follow up questions). This might include, for example, resolving application security vulnerabilities or scalability challenges. Experienced developers should have considerable experience in solving complex challenges, and you need to ascertain that during the interview phase.
Focus on your project requirements. Find out whether candidates have worked on similar projects. Encourage them to explain how they approached such projects. Explain the business requirements of your project and invite their suggestions on how to approach them. You should expect high-level responses.
6. Help developers to succeed
You have interviewed candidates and selected developers. Now, you need to help them achieve maximum performance as fast as possible.
You need to provide detailed information about your project. This could include business requirements, technical solutions, technical requirements, architectural diagrams, etc.
You might follow specific standards and guidelines in your organization. Developers need to know them, therefore, provide this information.
Developers need access to your project repository. This will include your document management system, project management tools, collaboration tools, code repository, etc. Provide the necessary access.
You might have an existing team already, and your new developers might need to work closely with them. Introduce new developers to your existing team. Explain the roles and responsibilities of various team members. Establish communication channels.
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New developers need to understand your project plan, quality management systems, project schedule, etc. Explain these in detail. You need to explain iterations, milestones, approval processes, etc. Set clear expectations.
Focus on collaboration and foster an environment of teamwork. You might consider setting up a Scrum team since such teams deliver value rapidly.
Keep the following interview tips in mind when you hire a web developer:
A. Look for web developers that keep up-to-date with changes in technologies
Many of these developers routinely come up with important open-source tools and libraries. These tools and libraries can offer notable productivity gains. The right web developers keep track of these developments.
Dedicated web development companies like DevTeam.Space regularly retrain their full-time developers to ensure that they are up to date with the latest technology developments. Hiring developers from us means you can rest assured that your developers are on the cutting-edge of developments in their areas of expertise.
B. Look for enough senior web developers when using dynamically-typed languages
Dynamically-typed languages are powerful and flexible. However, junior developers are not unknown to make occasional variable type-related errors. In this web developer hiring guide, we recommend you build a team with a judicious mix of experience.
Get in touch if you need help doing this.
C. Value honesty above all
We strongly recommend that you have the expertise available during the interview process to ensure that you can throw plenty of curve balls at each candidate.
Provided you standardize the interviews (which will give you a better comparison of each candidate), you can test candidates with anything from solution rebuttals to (a DevTeam.Space favorite) adding in additional code to their coding test and flagging it as a problem with their code (you should expect the candidate to quickly identify the poor code as the problem and notify you that this is not their code).
That said, don’t penalize a candidate if they are unable to give a solution to a particular problem if they own up to it. Honesty is the lubricant that makes any project run smoothly. Not only is trust vital but it also means that you will be able to identify errors, etc., faster as the candidate will own up to their mistakes.
What we at DevTeam.Space love to do is to ask the same candidate the question again during a later interview. If they can now answer it, what it means is that you have a highly motivated developer on your hands who has independently gone out to find a solution to the problem.
As we are fond of saying here at DevTeam.Space, you can find plenty of talented but unmotivated developers, however, you don’t find any unmotivated but great developers.
Examples of interview questions
Depending on your choice of technology, you can use the appropriate DevTeam.Space interview questions. A few examples are as follows:
- Ruby on Rails interview questions;
- Python interview questions;
- Java interview questions;
- Node.js interview questions.
A. In Node.js, what are the 2 arguments that “async.queue” takes as inputs?
Answer: “Async.queue” in Node.js accepts the following arguments:
B. What does the “finalize()” method in Java do?
Answer: The Java garbage collector calls the “finalize()” method if it finds objects without any references. Such objects can then be discarded. You can override the “finalize()” method of the object class for these clean-up tasks.
C. How do you define a “controller” in Ruby on Rails?
Answer: Define a controller in Ruby on Rails in the following way:
class ClientsController < ApplicationController
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The above guide can help you to hire competent web developers. If you need any help finding the right people then get in touch.
It only takes 3 minutes (yes, we timed it) to fill out one of our DevTeam.Space product specification forms.
Once you have done so a dedicated account manager from DevTeam.Space will soon contact you to setup a complimentary discovery call so that we can answer any questions that you might have.