Top Secrets to Finding the Best Software Developers

Kiran Madhunapantula By Kiran Madhunapantula on September 19, 2014

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In today's highly competitive business environment, software developers are not just looking for a great company, but they also want the right job, the right environment and a growth path packed with opportunities to keep moving forward. This is the second blog post as part of the series to discuss the secrets to finding the best software developers. Let us explore some reliable ways to land not just any software developer, but the right one, for your business.

Focus On Skills, Not Title

The environment that software organizations compete in today, is vastly different from how it was even just a decade ago. The complexity and quantum of real world problems have increased exponentially. Customers have moved from expecting a mere solution to their problem to asking questions about agility, speed and ease of use, while still solving a real world problem. A title does not hold much meaning when the person holding it is unable to provide logical and practical solutions that are constantly put through iterations and being improved. So, forego the titles and instead look for foundational qualities such as a deep lying passion for code quality, ability to contribute to and as a part of a team, refactoring code without fear and a keen attention to detail. Logical problem solving, as well as, a passion and willingness to keep learning, must be a prerequisite. Different programming languages can easily be taught when the foundational skills are in place. Good communication skills, discipline, business acumen can all be additional skills to look for.

Hang Out Where They Are

There are a number of prominent blogs that are completely dedicated to software development and engineering. The Microsoft Developer Network, developerWorks, JavaRanch, Mountain Goat Software, are all rife with guest contributors that participate actively in enriching the software developers’ community. You can identify vertical or technology related blogs and get introduced to the members, most of who, would be your target employee market. This will help you quickly score candidates who are more likely to have direct experience and interest in your product. It also gives you a pretty good idea of the candidate’s practical skills and capabilities as opposed to reading a carefully articulated resume. Open sourcing code that you write is a great way to give back, as well as, create a name and brand for yourself among the open source community.

LinkedIn is yet another lucrative avenue to source talent. Instead of just scanning profiles based on keywords, it would be far more beneficial to join groups that are related to your industry and are rich with potential candidates. Depending on the group and its settings, you can even use it as a platform to post your job listings.

Don’t Forget Seminars and Conferences

One of the best ways to gain access to top notch software developers is by attending events that they will be present at. You or your HR personnel can attend as many events, seminars, conferences, meetups as you can. For the ones you can’t make, you can always keep track of who is presenting by doing a simple search online. You can look up agendas of events such as Defrag/Blur/Glue, Google I/O, O’Reilly Strata, OSCON, TechCrunch Disrupt, Cloud Connect, Deploycon and find out who the speakers are and their respective topics. In order to narrow down, you can even identify relevant technologies or markets that your product is geared towards and follow events and speakers accordingly. A glimpse of their presentation (usually available online afterwards) also gives you a good idea of their abilities and how they fit into the grand scheme of your product vision.

Interested in learning the other secrets to hiring top notch software developers? Download the free ebook:

  8 secrets to finding the best software developers ebook

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