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How to Hire Software Developers at Different Levels?

By November 11, 2021 4 min read

Who doesn’t need software developers these days? While startups are always looking for new talent to get their ideas off the ground, big tech companies are continuously searching for more programmers to keep up with their competitors.

The only problem is finding experienced software developers who can add genuine value to your team. After all, there’s so much to consider when hiring new developers. 

You can’t just leap into recruiting without doing your homework. Understanding why hiring software developers is difficult, locating software developers correctly, and attracting software developers to your organization is the key to a solid recruitment foundation. The recruitment process has several stages, each distinct and complex, with numerous risks and potential blunders. 

Moreover, every developer interview demands a calibrated inspection depending on the skill level you’re hiring. For example, you can’t pose a difficult question to a junior software developer or a simple question to a senior software developer.

This post tells you how to set up a successful process while hiring software developers at different levels— junior, middle, senior, and lead. 

First, let’s take a look at the essential things to keep in mind while hiring software developers across these levels.

Junior developer – Key requirements for the role

Junior software developers

Hiring junior software developers

  • 0 – 1.5 years of experience
  • Intrinsic motivation to learn 
  • Computer programming basics
  • Excellent baseline knowledge of information technology from a software and hardware perspective
  • Ability to pick up new tools and learn how to use them
  • Ability to understand and write at least one programming language (Example: Java, Python.)

Things to keep in mind while hiring software developers (at the junior level)

  • Junior-level developers/engineers may frequently write bug-infested code.
  • Most junior-level developers/engineers are unaware of best practices in coding.
  • It might take twice as long as a mid-level specialist for them to complete a task.  
  • They need supervision most of the time.
  • Most junior-level developers/engineers cannot communicate with customers or gather requirements properly (at least during the initial few months).

Middle-level developer – Key requirements for the role

Middle-level software developers

Hiring middle-level software developers

  • Two to four years of work experience 
  • Has an insatiable desire to learn 
  • Has worked on a variety of projects 
  • Can work independently and in a group 
  • Possess knowledge of at least a few aspects of the product development lifecycle.
  • Can set up a development environment on their own and mentor junior team members
  • Takes the initiative and has creative problem-solving abilities

Things to keep in mind while hiring software developers (at the middle level)

  • They may require assistance, as they may not have prior experience performing complex tasks on their own. So, you must be prepared to assist them if need be.
  • If you need to complete the project quickly but can’t afford to hire a senior developer, hiring medium-level developers can be a viable choice.

Senior developer – Key requirements for the role

Senior software developers

Hiring senior software developers

  • Five to eight years of experience
  • Intrinsic desire to learn and improve oneself 
  • Problem-solving and task-solving experience for various levels of complexity 
  • Can experiment/test, confirm assumptions, and connect the dots to draw a conclusion
  • The capacity to mentor and develop the team’s middle developers
  • Able to delegate tasks and manage the team 
  • Has a broad and deep perspective on project development with the ability to suggest the best ways to proceed while keeping the objective in mind.

Things to keep in mind while hiring software developers (at the senior level) 

  • A senior software developer can add a lot of value to your project, but they may demand high compensation. 
  • They may get overconfident sometimes.

Lead developer – Key requirements for the role

Lead software developers

Hiring lead software developers

  • More than eight  years of professional experience 
  • An inherent desire to learn and grow 
  • The ability to use statistics to establish commercial value and persuade others to join them 
  • Ability to increase the bar for software/website/app quality across many teams 
  • Adept in all areas of software engineering, including requirements gathering, validation, and management, architecture/design, code and other artifact development, integration, and testing/QA.

Things to keep in mind while hiring software developers (at the lead level)  

  • They are likely to charge high salaries.
  • Hiring a lead developer can be advantageous if your organization has a team of junior and middle developers, but you need a dependable, competent leader to guide your team to success. 
  • Similarly, hiring a lead developer is usually worth it when working with a large team or a sophisticated system. 

Conclusion

When hiring the best person for your company, technical skills, experience, and knowledge certainly matter. However,  one can acquire most skills with time, and thus, they shouldn’t be the only attributes to be considered. 

So, how do you go about finding developers who have the right level of experience for your project? 

It all depends on your project’s specifications, budget, and scope of labor. If you want to save money and build a team that adapts to your product in the long run, recruit a team of junior developers and only one senior or lead developer. Meanwhile, hiring numerous senior-level developers can be a great way to complete the project reliably and efficiently. 

Finally, suppose your team comprises different levels of expertise, but your senior engineers are either too busy or professionally inept to lead the team; in that case, you may want to employ a lead developer.

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Summary
Tips For Hiring Software Developers At Different Levels
Article Name
Tips For Hiring Software Developers At Different Levels
Description
Junior, Middle, Senior or Lead Software Developer? This question is not only difficult for startups but also for big techs. To make the right decision, read this.
Author
Ankit Sahu
Ankit is a writer and researcher who has extensively worked on blogs, emails, websites, applications, video scripts, and social media content for Govt. of India (Ministry of MSME and CBSE), global brands (Reebok and Abbott Healthcare), and homegrown brands (Republic TV, TimesPro, Chitale Bandhu and Kolte Patil Developers).
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