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10 Tips For Hiring a Web Developer

So you want to hire a web developer? Hiring a Web Developer can be one of your most critical hires. After all, that’s the person who will create the online face of your company and enable you to interact virtually with your customers.

So, it’s especially important that you hire the right talent the first time out. Otherwise, you risk hurting your business, as well as wasting time and money seeking a replacement.

Here are Ten tips that can help in the selection process:

1. Specify Your Business Challenges

All web development projects are different, and without knowing your project size and goals, it is hard to give you clear guidance on which web developers will suit your project the best. At the very beginning of your search, you need to decide what kind of web development project you need a developer for:

  1. A simple web project includes building a simple website, or integrating additional features to the existing one. These features might be a contact form, a CTA button, a new template design, a subscription button, and so on.
  2. Medium web projects include various project types, including the development of static or dynamic web apps, online stores, and other services that require integration of third-party services such as CRM, CMS, databases, chatbots, APIs, and others.

  3. Large-sized web projects refer to projects such as an video sharing social media app or social networks that require, not only a bunch of sophisticated technologies, but also integration with cloud hosting servers to store all their user data.
    Others projects, since project scope and situations can vary.

At this stage, you also need to define your specific business challenges, i.e., the reason you need to hire a web developer

2. Hire for DNA first, then work experience.

When you hire web developers, their personal DNA is the most important consideration. While experience is important, the bigger predictor of success is someone’s innate DNA and how it fits your company.

Are drive, determination, persistence, curiosity, important to you culture? Or, are you more low-key and relaxed about time management and deadlines? Whatever characteristics make up your culture, you want to ensure that the web developer will fit in.

For example, a brilliant web developer who has worked at a large financial institution may not do well at a startup. Why? A startup typically requires traits like versatility, adaptability, risk-taking and a self-starter personality, but these may be less important at a large company.

What to look for when hiring a web developer? Before signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), you also need to check the soft skills of your web developers since they are essential for the project’s success.

The set of crucial soft skills includes:

  • Communication is vital in order to be on the same page with the development team. Besides, effective communication and sharing expectations will result in less misunderstandings, clearer project requirements, and features set.
  • Teamwork is essential, especially for a large and complex project, since it involves, not only developers, but also designers, project managers, QA managers, business analysts, and other team members.
  • Proactivity, since it is always great when a developer can give feedback about technological solutions, share thoughts and suggest improvements during the project development process.
  • Approachability and Helpfulness are essential, because, if a developer cannot approach other team members and ask them about something, a small problem may turn into a big one. Thus, the developer’s skills in building a rapport with others results in more fruitful cooperation.

The best way to validate the soft skills of web developers is to conduct a video interview with a developer, or ask one to make a video and talk about himself, or explain how to deal with a complex technical task.

3. Decide on the developer's skills.

There are three types of web developers. Front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers. What is the difference between them? Let’s see.

  • Front-end developers make changes to the front of your site, i.e., the part of the website visitors interact with. You can hire such developers to change the design and layout of your website slightly. Still, consider that there is a difference between a front-end developer and web designer. Web designers are more visually creative, focusing on user experience. They create the website layout, color scheme, and other visual elements to be used. Web developers turn the website design into fully functional websites using HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, Node.JS, ASP.NET, React.JS, Angular 8, Vue, and other technologies.
  • Back-end developers are responsible for website structure, hidden behind the front-end, i.e., how your website works. You might need some specialist if you want to improve your website’s speed, integrate third-party services into the site infrastructure, or solve technical issues. In most cases, back-end developers use such technologies as PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, and databases, including MongoDB, SQL – MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and others.
  • Full-stack developers are experienced in developing both the front and back-end of websites. Such specialists are becoming popular among start-ups that have limited resources. While full-stack developers have a higher hourly rate, compared to previously described developers, it is cheaper to work with such a specialist than hire front and back end developers.

4. Try out a new developer with a small project first.

Although you might think you’ve identified your ideal candidate, just to be sure you should give him or her a small, non-critical project. That can let you observe the person in action and provide additional information beyond the job interview.

You can see how efficient the candidate is in delivering products and how buggy the final product is. Did he or she go above and beyond to get the product delivered? How creative was the solution? How well did he or she work in a team and communicate problems and delays?

5. Pick a developer with aptitude, not a particular skill set.

In the tech space, skills become obsolete every two years, give or take. So, it’s better to hire a web developer who can learn new technologies easily rather than someone who knows a specific technology now but may not adapt when a new one comes along.

The easiest way to detect whether someone will adapt well to change is to ask questions that will reveal whether a Web developer has a love for learning. For example:

  • What new programming languages did you learn recently?
  • What are your go-to places for learning new tech tips and tricks?
  • What are your favorite technology conferences?

6. Don't ask trivia questions about programming.

These are examples of trivia questions you want to avoid asking when interviewing web developers:

  • Who is the primary creator of the Java programming language?
  • In what year was PHP released?
  • What is the origin of the Python scripting language’s name?

While such information may seem useful, trivia questions are often a terrible way to determine if someone is smart. They just single out people who can memorize things.

As a rule of thumb when you conduct technical interviews, never ask questions that can be easily searched for and found online. Instead, try to focus on open-ended questions and listen. What to look for is how much passion candidates show in their answers and how well they communicate and explain tech terms.

Some examples of open-ended questions:

  • How do you manage conflicts in a web application when different people are editing the same data?
  • Which design patterns have you used, and in what situations?
  • Can you name any differences between object-oriented design and component-based design?

7. Select a working model.

Depending on the complexity and scope of your web development project, you may choose among the following models of cooperation:

  1. The project-based model is popular among start-ups or well-established businesses that want to accomplish a small web development project. This model includes a predefined scope of work and established timeframes. Also, the web development team is responsible for all project management as well as the choice of technological solutions. In this business model, all responsibilities are on the web development team.

  2. A Dedicated Team business model works great if you need to implement complex functions to your website, such as cloud storage integration, or AI Chabot development, but want to save time and costs on hiring in-house specialists. As for controlling the project roadmap, you can do it individually or pass the project’s decisions to your dedicated web development team. As for the responsibilities of the project’s success, they depend on the project management’s process side. If PM is on the side of the customer, they have responsibility for the team.

  3. Outstaff or Extended team is the best option for developing big projects while staying within the project’s budget. Also, for active cooperation, you’ll need to have an in-house CTO and project manager, since with outstaff model, you will be responsible for tasks assignments, progress management, and leading web developers from the technical management side. In this business model, all responsibility, validation and control are the customer’s.

8. Hire slow, fire fast..

Take your time when hiring, but if you realize the person isn’t working out, let him or her go as fast as you can. An ineffective web developer can be disruptive to the entire team and potentially the entire project.

The fire-fast rule may be difficult to follow in small companies where there’s often a feeling of everyone being in it together and forming close friendships. But don’t let that stop you.

9. Choose a payment model .

If you decide to work with a single web developer or web development team, you will need to pay them a salary every month, like regular workers. The same is necessary for both outstaff and Dedicated team working models. However, for a project-based working model, you can choose between:

  • Fixed price paying model, which is the best option for small web projects with a clear scope of work and time frame.
  • Time and Material, known as Pay as You Go, is used for small, medium, or big- sized projects when the scope of work, as well as the time frame, is not so easy to estimate. This paying model includes paying the hourly rate of each developer based on actual time spent on development.

10. Finding necessary specialists .

When you are looking for web programmers for hire, consider that you hire a technological partner who will become a part of your business for several years, providing your project with ongoing technical support and implementing further website improvements. Thus, you need to hire web developers very carefully.

dedicated team vs freelance developer

But where do yo find a great web developer? Contact Us or Comment below

In a nutshell

Whether you need to make small changes to your website, build a web app or complete social network with cloud storage and many third-party integrations, you can easily find a web developer for hire.

By following our guide on how to find a web developer, you can not only select the perfect candidate for your project but also choose the best working and paying models. Furthermore, don’t underestimate the importance of the web developer’s soft skills, since they impact your project’s success.

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