How to Hire software developers (or development company) is a challenging, but critical endeavor. The tasks that the newly hired web developer handles will have a strong impact on your project and your business as a whole. Unfortunately there isn’t a set of interview questions that can guarantee you will select the best developer. The best approach is to have a well thought out plan well before the interview occurs.
Hire Software Developers the Right Way
The first step, which is actually completely independent of hiring the developer, is to document the features that you will need in your software application(s). Next research and discuss potential software developers. Third discuss your project in detail with a few of the best candidates available and finally evaluate the interviews. Let’s look at this in more detail:
Hiring a Developer Step 1: Document What You Need First
- List all the features that must be incorporated in your software application.
- Offer a full scope of potential ideas about how to present those ideas.
- On your wish list be cognizant of which items can become optional if costs are too high.
- Define flexibility up front; i.e., cost, delivery date, staff time, specific functionality, etc. (before hiring)
- Determine what level of input/expertise your staff might be able to offer
- On completion … what is your intended ROI and how will you measure that?
Hiring a Developer Step 2: Researching Potential Developers
- Review potential software developers websites, resumes and portfolios.
- Explore their written material. Is it easy to follow, informative, thorough, clear, and compelling?
- Do they offer solid examples of their development experience?
- Do they offer an address and phone number … or just an e-mail link?
Hiring a Developer Step 3: Discussing Service Offerings
- What are their application development rates?
- Does their availability match your needs? Some developers aren’t available for several weeks (or longer).
- Is your project larger then their minimum project size? Some developers don’t take projects less than a few months.
- Are references available?
- What are their standard contract terms? (Fixed Bid / Time & Material)
- Are any guarantees offered?
Hiring a Developer Step 4: Evaluate the Interview
- How well do they understand and incorporate your objectives?
- Do they offer insights or suggestions about how to achieve you goals economically?
- Do they discuss potential project risks and/or related costs?
- Are you comfortable with the developer’s approach?
- Do they display a level of enthusiasm for your project?
- Are they able to define deliverables and pinpoint completion dates?
In the end, clarity of communication and immediate access (to the developer you are considering hiring) is incredibly important. There must be a meeting of the minds and you need to establish a rapport before you make any commitment to a contract.
Following these steps closely and you will be well on the way to hiring a developer and successfully completing your software project.
Here’s an update I put together on hiring developers (iPhone in this case) in April 2014: