How To Hire Software Engineers

How to Hire Software Engineer

Software engineers are top-in-demand professionals, and finding the best ones to hire can be a real struggle.

This is because many companies around the world highly demand their services.

Hence, finding one who’s not already fully booked with contracts or employed is difficult.

The implication of this is that 98% of talented software engineers are already taken.

Hence, you’re left with the 2% that may or may not be the best at what they do.

This puts you trying to build a team of competent software engineers in a dilemma.

Even more, the hiring process becomes more difficult if you have no tech-background or know the specific requirements for the role.

However, there’s still hope for you.

While finding the best software engineers to hire for your business is difficult, it’s not impossible.

This blog post covers effective guidelines that can help you hire the best software engineers.

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How To Hire Software Engineers

To help you understand better what this role is about and how to hire the best persons for the role, we’ll consider;

  • Software engineers; who they are and what they do
  • Differences between software engineers and software developers
  • Qualities and skills to look for in software engineers
  • Things to consider when hiring software engineers; How much do software engineers charge, your budget, and your business needs
  • Where and how to find Software engineers
  • How to evaluate software engineers before you hire
  • What to do after hiring software engineers

Hence, at the end of this blog post, you’ll;

  • Understand the roles software engineers can play in your business
  • Qualities that make other software engineers stand out from others
  • Where to find the best software engineers and hire them
  • What to do before and after the hiring process

Let’s dive right in.

Software Engineers; Who They Are and What They Do

Before you hire software engineers, you need to understand who they are and what they do fully.

So, software engineers are skilled professionals with vast knowledge in computer science.

Also, they use various engineering principles and programming languages to build software products, develop computer games, and run network control systems.

Software engineers have different job roles depending on their areas of specialization.

This is because the software engineering field is vast.

Hence, to understand what software engineers do, there’s a need to consider the various types of software engineers.

Types of Software Engineers

Some of the types of software engineers and their roles include;

Software Applications /Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer:

Software quality assurance engineers carry out tests on software/applications.

They do this to test the software’s efficiency, identify bugs/technical problems and fix them.

Their duties and responsibilities include;

  • Record tests cases, progress, and results
  • Conduct and document risk analysis
  • Discover bugs within software/applications
  • Identify potential challenges that users might encounter with software
  • …among others

These are some of the duties software quality assurances engineers can do for you when you hire them.

Above all, they can monitor the entire process of software development and ensure that the software runs as expected and meets the company’s standards.

DevOps Engineer:

These kinds of software engineers work with other development team members to ensure the speedy development and release of software applications.

DevOps engineers also come up with IT solutions that can improve the development of various software.

Their duties and responsibilities include the following;

  • Analyze software development project and offer expert advice and guidance on software development planning
  • Develop IT solutions
  • Software troubleshooting/maintenance
  • …and more

In all, DevOps software engineers take part in the planning, development, and maintenance of software.

Front-End Software Engineers:

A front-end engineer specializes in the front-end of software/applications.

The front-end of any software is where users can see physically and interact with.

Hence, these kinds of engineers manage the applications and fix bugs to ensure an efficient user interface.

The roles and responsibilities include;

  • Maintaining and improving applications
  • Optimizing applications for maximum speed
  • Collaborate with back-end developers and web designers to improve usability
  • ..among other things

Overall, front-end software engineers are hired to ensure that the user interface of application is in the best condition possible.

Back-End Software Engineers:

These types of engineers work on the back-end of most applications.

They are responsible for organizing and maintaining the structure of the applications.

Back-end engineers roles and responsibilities involve a lot of technicalities but may include the following;

  • Conduct UI tests and optimize the overall performance of applications
  • Troubleshoot and debug applications enhance performance
  • Improve applications code quality by writing unit tests, automation, and performing code reviews.
  • …. among other things
FullStack Engineer:

These are engineers that handle the front and back end of software/applications.

Hence, their duties involve organizing and maintaining the structure and user interface of applications.

Their duties may involve but are not limited to the following;

  • Overseeing a software development project from conception to completion phase
  • Ensuring responsiveness of applications
  • Maintaining servers and databases for functionality
  • ….among other things.
Software Security Engineer:

Software security engineers manage security systems of software, identify, and fix security flaws.

Hence, their roles and responsibilities include;

  • Implementing, testing, and operating advanced software security techniques based on  technical guidelines and reference architecture
  • Performing security testing and code review to improve software security
  • Troubleshooting and debugging security issues that arise

In all, software engineers focus on ensuring the efficiency and smooth operation of software/applications.

Hence, hiring software engineers for your business will help you give your customers a smooth and enjoyable experience with your various applications.

Moving on!

Software engineers are often regarded as software developers.

Hence, this leads us to consider the question; is there a difference between software engineers and software developers?

Differences Between Software Engineers and Software Developers

There are some differences between software engineers and software developers.

Software engineering uses various engineering principles, concepts, and programming languages to design, develop, and maintain software.

On the other hand, software development involves applying computer science principles and processes to create, design, and develop software.

A software engineer oversees the whole process of the software development project.

Whereas a software developer handles the development aspect of the software project.

Software engineers specialize in using applicable technology/IT solutions to create and develop designs that would solve clients’ problems.

On the other hand, software developers write codes and apply creativity to develop software designs that would meet clients’ needs.

Above all, both software engineers and developers analyze clients’ needs.

Also, they both design, test and develop software/systems that meet those needs.

Now you know the differences between software engineers and developers.

Hence, when hiring software engineers, you know how to define the job role properly.

Before hiring software engineers, it’s also essential to know the specific qualities and skills to be on the lookout for.

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Qualities and Skills of High-Performing Software Engineers to Look out for

There certain qualities and skills that make most software engineers stand out from each other.

Hence, you should be on the lookout for these skills and qualities while hiring software engineers for your company.

This is so that you find, select, and hire the best software engineers as part of your team.

Problem-Solving:

This is the first and important aspect of software engineering.

Software engineers are hired to identify and solve problems with software or computer systems.

Hence, a competent software engineer should have the ability to analyze problems with software applications and solve them accordingly.

This will require certain technical skills, research, analysis, deductive reasoning, and creativity.

Interpersonal and Leadership Skills:

Most times, software engineers do not work alone.

They will be required to work with other development/IT team-members.

Hence, the software engineers you hire should be willing to collaborate with other team members during development projects.

Even more, software engineers oversee the entire life-cycle of software development projects.

Hence, they may be required to manage various aspects of the projects and the teams in the project.

Given this, a good software engineer should be able to lead the team effectively to complete a project efficiently.

Time-management:

Most software development projects have deadlines and release dates.

Sometimes certain unforeseen challenges with the software development project may make the entire team fall behind schedule.

Hence, good software engineers should have good time-management skills to help them work efficiently and meet tight deadlines.

Technical Skills

Of course, good software engineers should have both soft and technical skills to be efficient on the job.

Hence, the software engineers you have should have the required technical skills for software engineering.

Some of the technical skills include;

  • Computer programming/knowledge of programming languages such as; JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Python, SQL, C++, PHP, Ruby, etc.
  • Software testing and debugging
  • Managing/working with Databases
  • Knowledge of and Interpreting Data Structures
  • Computer Networking; a good understanding of various computer networks and integrating them to provide IT solutions.
  • …among others

Written and Verbal Communication

Software engineers interact with people, especially on the job, team members, and clients.

As such, there’s a need for software engineers to be good at passing relevant information clearly and concisely.

Adaptability/Innovation

The tech world is always evolving.

New trends in technology render certain approaches and principles outdated and ineffective.

Hence, the best software engineers are open to learning new technologies and skills needed to adapt to the latest trends in the tech world.

This helps them approach and solve problems innovatively and effectively.

Empathy

This is also a necessary soft skill for most software engineers.

Empathy is all about understanding the emotions of others and feeling what they feel.

Hence, this skill is needed for software engineers to understand team members’ and clients’ needs and pain points.

Consequently, helping them solve problems and meet those needs effectively.

Business Acumen

Business acumen is all about understanding essential business principles.

It is also the ability to use that information to make effective business decisions to achieve business goals.

Hence, software engineers need to have business acumen.

This is important to help them understand your business and how best to help you achieve your goals.

Business acumen will also help software engineers use analytics and other business performance metrics to analyze software and how best to use them to meet your customers’ needs.

Now, you have an idea of the important skills and qualities to look out for when hiring software engineers.

Let’s discover some requirements you need to take care of by hiring software engineers.

Important Things to Consider When Hiring Software Engineers

When hiring software engineers, you should have a clear idea of how much software engineers charge.

This will help set your rates/how much you’re willing to offer for the services you’ll receive.

Depending on the level of expertise and experience, software engineers charge anything from $25-$300.

Hiring a software engineering agency would cost more than a professional software engineer.

Even more, hiring full-time software engineers as employees would cost more than hiring a freelancer.

Hence, consider how much you’re willing to offer, weigh your options and make a decision before hiring software engineers.

You also need to consider your budget.

After knowing how much software engineers charge, you need to go back to the drawing board and consider your budget.

Your budget will determine how much you can afford to pay for the software engineering services.

Also, ask yourself what other resources/tools will be needed for the software development project.

Hence, analyze your cash flow and budget for business operations when hiring software engineers.

Another important thing you need to consider is your business needs.

You need to analyze your business goals to see where software developments fit in the grand scheme of things.

What aspect of your business goals will software development help you achieve?

Answering this question will help you identify your business needs and what should be done to fulfill those needs.

Overall, this will give you some essential information you need to begin the hiring process.

Now that you know what to do before you hire, you may ask; where and how to find Software engineers?

Let’s examine this.

Where and How to Find Software engineers

This is the initial phase of the hiring process.

First, where to find software engineers.

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1Use Job Boards to Search for Software Engineers 

Job boards are a great way to search for professionals in any field.

These job boards serve as online communities/platforms where they interact with each other and clients.

Hence, using some of the job boards is a great way to start your search.

Some of the best job boards include;

  • Upwork
  • Toptal
  • Fiverr
  • Indeed
  • Glassdoor
  • LinkedIn, etc.

2Tap Into Your Network and Ask for Referrals

Another great way to search for software engineers when hiring is to use your network.

Of course, you have friends, families, relatives, business associates, and colleagues.

Feel free to ask for referrals from them.

You may be lucky enough to find that they’ve worked with one or two software engineers in the past.

Hence, they can give you some recommendations and the contact address to reach them.

Now you know where to start your search, you need to make your search more specific.

This brings us to examine how to find software engineers.

3Create a Detailed Job Description to Find Software Engineers

Job descriptions are the perfect tools you need for finding the best software engineers to hire.

A job description contains important details about a job role and the requirements for the job.

It is also a great way to search specifically for the kind of software engineers you want on the job boards mentioned above.

Hence, create a detailed job description that captures the skills, qualities, and requirements you need for the role.

This way, interested candidates on these job boards will see it and reach out to you with their applications.

When you receive these applications, you can move on to the next phase of the hiring process.

How to Evaluate Software Engineers 

The next phase of the hiring process involves assessing and evaluating the software engineers.

You’ve received many applications.

However, there’s still much work to be done.

You need to go through these applications to determine the best fit/candidates for the role.

Hence you should;

4Review the Applications/Credentials

Here you’ll have to check through the different applications.

When doing this, pay close attention to the credentials it matches your requirement for the job.

Hence, your focus here should be on the applicants’ profile, skill set, expertise, and working experience.

At the end of this process, you should have a shortlist of the best-qualified candidates for the role.

Hence, contact them and schedule an interview.

5Interview the Applicants

This interview process will help you assess the knowledge base of the software engineers you want to hire.

Also, it would also help you access the software engineers’ experience so far in their professional journey.

Here are some interview questions you could ask.

  • Why should we hire you?
  • Do you enjoy working with teams or alone?
  • Can you say you’re a good leader, and what are your top leadership skills?
  • What approaches do you use to solve software problems or issues?
  • What are your greatest strengths in software engineering?
  • How do you handle tight deadlines?
  • What programming languages are you familiar with? etc.

6Assess the Applicants

Just questioning the applicants may not be enough to thoroughly evaluate the technical skills of the software engineers.

Hence, you may require the applicants to complete some software engineering and programming assessment tests.

This would put the problem-solving and technical skills of the software engineers to test.

Only candidates who pass the test would be deemed fit for the role.

Hence, you’re free to hire those that meet the criteria.

Discuss pay and working arrangements and hand over the job.

After hiring, there are still some things you need to do.

This brings us to the next phase of the hiring process.

What to do After Hiring 

These are some important things you need to do after hiring.

7Onboard the New Hire

Depending on the working arrangements, full-time or freelancing, you will need to onboard the new hire.

This will ensure an efficient workflow with other members of the team in the organization.

This is because software engineers do not work alone.

Hence you may need to introduce them to other development/IT team members and some guiding principles in the organization.

8Ensure Clear and Effective Communication 

Misinformation or misunderstanding across teams often leads to inefficient collaboration.

This can lead to major setbacks and destroy your software development project.

Hence, ensure to practice effective communication with the software engineer and enforce this across all teams in the organization.

Final Words on How to Hire Software Engineers

The benefit of having efficient hands on your team are numerous.

First, it would lead to more efficiency and productivity in the organizations.

Also, business goals are achieved effectively.

Thus leading to success and business growth.

These and more are what you’ll enjoy if you find and hire the best software engineers on your team.

Hence, use these simple guidelines to find the best persons for this role.

Best of luck.

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