Top 10 Things to Look for When You Hire a Programmer

employee recognition tipsGood programmers are in greater demand now than ever. Unfortunately, not all programmers are created equally. As with any other kind of job, it can be a challenge to find and hire the best people.

When an employer needs to hire a programmer, there are specific qualities you should look for in any individual you consider. Programming in a highly skilled job, and thus it’s vital to be able to find the best potential candidates for your company.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you’ll want to consider before offering the job to an applicant.

Top 10 Things to Look for When You Hire a Programmer

Are you looking to hire a programmer for your company? Keep reading to learn how to separate the good from the bad.

1. Attention to Detail

There is really no arguing with the fact that programming is a meticulous profession. Every detail matters. A program with sloppy code isn’t going to run the way it’s intended to.

Any prospective programmer you’re considering hiring needs to have a strong attention to detail, and this is a part of their character that should be reflected in other parts of their lives, not just in their programming skills.

2. Strong Self-Learning Skills

Most companies would rather not waste time or resources training programmers. This means that potential candidates have to cultivate their skills elsewhere. Perhaps in school, at other jobs, or on their own time.

Finding a job candidate who is able to take the initiative to learn on their own will be a valuable asset to your business. The less hand-holding you have to do, the better. There tons of resources available for anyone eager to expand their knowledge base.

Asking questions like “How did you learn that?” can provide answers that tell you a lot about what a programmer is willing to do to improve themselves and for your company.

To find out if you have the skills to be a freelance coder take a look at Codeassess.

3. Strong Reading and Comprehension Skills

Freelance coding is a job that requires a tremendous amount of reading. This includes reading documentation, websites, and tons of code. You need to hire someone who is able to absorb and process information quickly, otherwise their productivity and the quality of their output will suffer.

4. Clear Thinking

This might sound rather obvious, but a good programmer needs a strong sense of logic. Thus more often than not, people with good math skills typically make the best programmers.

We suggest that during interviews you look for ways to test a potential candidate’s thinking process. This can help you better understand how they will approach and solve any sort of challenge or problem.

5. Curiosity

Solutions to problems are generally discovered through viewing the problem from various perspectives. Thus, curiosity is a great tool for finding new ways to approach a challenge.

The more open a programmer is to new concepts and ideas, the more likely they are to come up with a great solution that has never been considered before.

6. A Passion for Programming

Just as there are many kinds of people, there are also different kinds of programmers. There are plenty of “daycoders” who view programming as simply a 9-5 job, happy to stop thinking about writing code outside of work hours.

But a person with a true passion for programming is more likely to go above and beyond. This is the kind of person who lives and breathes code, maintaining enthusiasm even during times that others might see as a grind. They are also more likely to develop techniques and skills that become a major asset to your company.

7. An Ability to Adapt

The process of coding for a project can present an endless number of variables. The better a programmer is able to adapt to these variables, the more effective and productive they will be.

Some people simply can’t handle change very well, and thus might not be the most valuable addition to your team.

8. Strong Communication Skills

Regardless of the position in your company, communication is a key skill. The speed of business moves quickly, and so the ability to convey ideas and information accurately and effectively is of huge importance.

Good communication is especially vital in programming. Giving and receiving the right information on time can make or break a project. Unfortunately, not everyone is a great communicator. This is something to be very aware of during the interview process when job candidates tend to put their put foot forward.

9. The Ability to be Managed

It’s not at all unusual for programmers to be fairly independently-minded people. This is can be a strength due to the fact they often don’t need to be micromanaged. It can also be a challenge because they likely don’t enjoy having a boss overseeing their work.

A bit of pushback isn’t a bad thing, and should actually be supported and encouraged because bad ideas should always be challenged. This independent streak will often become visible during the interview, so be pay attention, ask the right questions, and listen to your gut.

Just keep in mind that a touch of stubbornness isn’t a negative attribute when properly managed.

10. An Overall Quick Learner

It’s obviously impossible to learn everything you might want to know about a person during an interview. But when talking to potential programmers for your company, one of the primary things you need to determine is whether or not the person is generally a quick learner.

One way to gauge a potential programmer’s aptitude for learning is to offer them a tour of your facility, then ask specific questions about things you mentioned during the tour. This will give you some insight into how well they listen and learn.

Determining the Right Person for the Job

When you need to hire a programmer for your company, this list can certainly help. Freelance coding requires a specific type of person, and not everyone who walks through the door will be the right choice for the job.

Part of the problem when interviewing programmers is that you might be looking too closely at skills that don’t really matter. Sure, they need to have the skills necessary to do the job, but keep in mind that the quality of person they are outside of work will be a direct indicator of the quality of employee they will be.

Click here to see 10 advantages to hiring bilingual employees.

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