9 Things to Look for When Hiring a Programmer

Hiring top-level programming talent can be tough, especially if you don’t know much about coding yourself. But to make the process easier, here are 9 things to look for when hiring a programmer.

Are you having trouble in knowing what to look for when hiring a programmer? Don’t know what to look for when choosing one?

Programming is one of the professions that people who are not programmers don’t have a clear understanding of how hard it is to pull off. There’s also the fact that programming is a broad term. Someone could be great at CSS but not so well-versed in PHP scripting.

This leads to a misunderstanding of who’s good in programming and who best suits your needs.

And with a median base salary of $64,008 per year recorded in 2016 and only growing, we understand why looking for the right programmer is a big deal. We’re here to help you choose the best candidate when you’re looking to hire a programmer.

To find out what qualities make a good programmer, read what we have listed below.

1. Curiosity

A good programmer follows protocol and gets stuff done by the book. A great programmer, on the other hand, tries to find other ways to get it done.

Curious programmers never stop searching for newer ways to solve problems, which sometimes lead to newer, easier, more creative ways to finish their work. Making them superior to ones who lack curiosity, and making them a better investment for your company.

During the interview, look for candidates who are asking questions about the open position, ones who want to know what they will be doing and why they’ll be doing it.

2. Adaptability and Willingness to Learn

Programming is something that always evolves. Good programmers should also be evolving alongside it to keep up with the trend. Being adaptable means that a programmer will likely be able to pick up on new software to use, and new technologies to learn and master.

With adaptability should come a programmer’s willingness to learn.

If a programmer will encounter new tech, they should be quick to learn how to operate the systems and how to use the hardware to its optimum levels. They also have to be able to learn a new programming language.

Is your coder great at CSS but now they need to master HTML5? A fast learner capable of adapting to new coding trends will make for a good hire.

While the interview is on-going, ask about the skills the potential candidate outside of programming. Them giving you a long list of things they’re proficient in should give a clear idea on how willing they are to learn new things.

3. Speed in Reading and Understanding Code

Writing code is important in a programmer’s job, of course. Being able to read and understand what they write, however, is more important.

Contrary to the belief, programmers spend most of their workdays reading and examining another person’s code, instead of typing their own. Programmers who are slow to read will not be effective in their work, and those who can’t comprehend what they’re reading will be detrimental to the workplace.

So that this will be less likely to happen to you, give your candidates a small test in their skills and log their results in a simple report sheet for future reference to compare when it’s time for you to hire a programmer.

4. Attention to Detail

As said above, a programmer’s job is to read and understand code, and having a keen eye is helpful for spotting the small errors in the thousands of lines they have to go through.

Spending a lot of time staring at lines on a computer will get old fast, and having someone who has great attention to detail will help avoid having one or two mistakes overlooked.

5. Logical Thinking

When you hire a programmer, they’re expected to run into a lot of problems, no matter how good they are at what they do. A good programmer should have a good sense of what to do in case these problems happen.

Clear logical thought will help a programmer figure out how to solve problems in a quick and efficient manner.

To make sure that your potential employee has adequate logic skills, give them a question or two with small puzzles that require logic to solve.

6. Passion in Programming

A passionate employee is a reliable employee. These are the types of employees that help a company succeed.

A programmer who finds enjoyment in programming is more likely to grind out better results with their work than those who are programming for the money.

7. Ability to Work Under and with People

Programmers sometimes work alone, and sometimes work with others. And with a total estimated workforce of over 420,000 people, it will be more likely that there will be some form of competition among them, even among co-workers.

A programmer should be a team player. They should know how to understand when it comes to workplace decisions about a job if the decision in question doesn’t go the way they want it to. This kind of teamwork is essential so that the workflow won’t get stalled by meaningless arguments and tension between co-workers.

8. Communication Skills

Good communication skills bring with it a better flow for the workplace. Programmers should be able to get the point they want to give without much trouble. If you hire someone with bad communication skills, it can lead to a lot of confusion and possible damages to the output of the team.

Tell your potential employees to give a presentation where they try to sell themselves as a programmer to you. It should be clear to see who has good communication skills once they finish their performance.

9. Grace in Failure

Everyone fails, especially programmers. As previously stated, programmers will encounter problems every now and then, and they will fail to solve them at one point or another. Showing how they handle failure is important to maintain good morale in the workplace and promote a positive image for the company.

Ask your potential employees about a time they’ve failed in something and ask them how they worked around their failure and if it helped them to grow.

On the occasion that they tell you they have never encountered a failure, they’re either the perfect programmer or someone with an overinflated ego. It should be clear to you if you’ll hire them or not at this point.

Best of Luck in Hiring a Programmer

Now that you know what to look for when you’re hiring a programmer, go through your list of potential candidates now! Remember, this is a big investment, and with much at stake, you can never be too sure and too thorough with your screening.

If you have more questions to ask, don’t be afraid to contact us today.

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