5 Things To Look for in a Developer


Hiring a developer — either for a specific project or on a retainer — can help your business reach new levels of success. From optimizing your existing tech stack to creating custom solutions, a developer can help you streamline business processes and get a competitive advantage.

Choosing the right developer can be a challenge. Here are five things to look for when hiring a developer to ensure you get the right fit for your project and organization.

Skills Transparency and Specificity

Development and programming is a nuanced, multifaceted skill set. Beware of the person who simply puts "programming skills" on their resume — this indicates a lack of proven experience.

A reliable developer will be specific and transparent in outlining their skills. For example, a self-proclaimed full stack developer should outline whether they're proficient in Python, Node, Javascript, etc. A cloud engineer should highlight if Azure is in their wheelhouse or Oracle is their preferred platform. They may even go as far as to rank their proficiency on a scale.

Using a vetting service like High5 total talent solutions can help you find pre-vetted developers who share their specific focal points and skill sets. Thanks to the pre-screening process, this approach also reduces the risk of hiring someone who can't do what they claim.

Strong Interpersonal Skills

While there are jokes to be made about those in STEM industries being introverts, strong interpersonal skills are a must. It's worth noting that someone who prefers to put their head down and complete solo work is entirely capable of interacting with others constructively.

Look for a developer with strong interpersonal skills. This person should be able to listen actively and communicate clearly with the team during the course of the project. These skills all tie into collaborating and fitting in with the company culture.

Commitment to Timelines and Communication

The developer you hire should have strong time management skills and a dedication to meeting project deadlines. In situations when meeting deadlines isn't possible — a common occurrence in the tech space — they should be proactive in communicating any barriers or delays.

These features are a sign of professionalism and dedication to expanding one's career. One of the best ways to assess this feature is their ability to get things done. This means that they'll have completed projects that are currently in use on their resume or portfolio rather than uncompleted projects or small samples that don't reflect the whole picture.

Proven Experience and Progression

Look for someone with documented experience and testimonials that act as social proof. If the developer you're vetting has references, check them. They should be more than happy to provide names and basic project information.

It's also wise to look for signs of progression through continued learning and more in-depth projects over time. Look for courses and professional development efforts in their portfolio and a track record from where they started to where they are now.

Passion and Positivity

Finally, you want someone passionate about their chosen field and has a positive "can-do" attitude about the project. That passion and positivity will carry over into your organization and move the project forward during trying times.

The best way to determine a contractor's passion and attitude is through conversation. Schedule a video interview and note how they address their experience and enthusiasm for the project. Passion for their career will also be conveyed through skills advancement and continued education, which should be evident on their resume.

It might take some time to find the right developer for your project and organizational needs. However, being strategic and intentional during the vetting process will help you find a talented, passionate developer to help your business scale and succeed.

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