How to Hire Experienced Python Programmers in 2023
Python is gaining popularity as the second most-in-demand language for web development thanks to its scalability. But the language alone doesn’t make exceptional software products. Skillful engineers do. That is why startups and enterprises are looking to hire a Python team with hands-on experience and in-depth expertise in their industries. The question is, how to hire Python developers who can create high-class software ranging from simple CRM tables to highly loaded financial systems?
Django Stars has hired over 100 certified Python engineers in-house and has been delivering Python projects of varying scope and complexity since 2008. We understand our client’s main concerns:
- Assembling a Python team that gets the job done properly in one go
- Evaluating the required team size and the scope of the proposed project
- Selecting the best tech stack to use
- Setting a realistic budget that offers value for money
At Django Stars, a technology partner trusted by both Y Combinator startups and Fortune 500 companies, we know how to validate the project scope, form the right team, and see the roadmap through to completion.
Multiple case studies demonstrate how we have helped other companies with hiring Python developers, launching products, and achieving business goals.
So let’s take a more detailed look at how to find and hire experienced Python developers, key attention points, and possible pitfalls.
Why Consider Python for Your Next Project?
Before hiring a Python team, it’s important to make sure Python is the right language for the project.
The choice of programming language depends on the following: the purpose of the product, its functional and non-functional requirements, performance requirements, security considerations, and more.
According to IEEE Spectrum, Python remained the number one programming language in 2022. One reason for this is Python’s large number of libraries for machine learning and artificial intelligence, the use of Python’s embedded versions in microcontrollers, and its ability to do big data analysis.
This information is further backed up by GitHub’s statistics. Python sits as the second most popular language, growing at a speed of 22.5% year-on-year.
What else is making Python a top choice?
- It’s easy to learn and understand
Python has a low barrier to entry — even early-career developers can easily get up and running with it. Additionally, Python data visualization libraries enable users to quickly comprehend and visualize even complex data.
- It supports several programming styles
Because Python is a multi-paradigm language, it supports procedural, object-oriented, and functional styles, giving tech teams more options when choosing a development approach.
- Multiple open-source libraries
Python has plenty of open-source libraries that streamline the development process, saving time and money. These contain a large amount of pre-written code, so developers don’t need to write the basics from scratch.
- It’s perfect for MVPs
Python is a great choice for creating MVPs and prototypes due to the efficiency of its code and code reuse. Programmers can create the same functionality with fewer code lines compared to other languages.
For more information, read about the advantages and disadvantages of Python development.
If the decision has been made to create a scalable, secure, and feature-rich MVP using Python, the next concern is ensuring everything works from the get-go.
What Companies Need to Know Before Hiring a Python Developer
There are several factors to consider when looking for Python developers:
- Project size
- Technical and functional features
- The current product stage
- Tech stack
Naturally, the complexity of the product defines the scope of the team needed. We advise writing down the core value of the product, the benefits it will provide to users, the target audience size, and the expected growth scale. Once these answers are defined, it will be easier to determine the size and seniority needed for the team.
For example, after careful consideration, it took only four Python engineers to develop a feature-rich digital assets management solution, Kwikee (recently rebranded to Syndigo), which is currently used by thousands of brands to deliver their content to retailers.
Technical and functional features
After understanding the product’s scope and goals, the next step is forming a list of features needed to achieve these results. It’s important to validate the list with a CTO or tech lead to ensure the key features are included in the MVP and that the product is scalable. This step permits the tech team to come up with the product logic, form a roadmap, and design a scalable product architecture, be it monolithic or microservice-based.
In the case of Molo, we took the existing developments and transformed them into a feasible MVP in under eight months. After the launch, we concentrated on further developing the product that went on to become the top digital mortgage broker in the UK.
The current product stage
The development time needed and the size of the engineering team will depend on the stage the project is at. For example, when developing an MVP, the tech team is usually smaller than one for a full-featured or complex product.
If the product already has some features and needs scaling, it can take time for developers to analyze the project logic and architecture and examine the existing code.
For example, Money Park started as an MVP built by six people and grew into Switzerland’s biggest online mortgage broker, with ongoing development supported by a team of 15 Python developers.
Sometimes, only certain tools are up to the task. Or perhaps a product needs to interact with specific software or systems. For instance, if a product is going to use AI-powered data analysis, it would be prudent to hire SciPy developers skilled in using appropriate Python libraries. We would also recommend that you read our article where we go into more detail about why Python is the best for AI and ML.
When developing Sindeo, the number one mortgage broker in the US, Django Stars had to use a wide range of specific modules and frameworks to ensure smooth integration with a variety of tools and systems. This resulted in a revolutionary product with a straightforward way for US customers to approach homeownership and mortgage refinancing.
After this validation is dealt with, it is time to concentrate on actually building a team that works — and avoiding certain pitfalls in the process.
Common Mistakes When Choosing Python Developers
When it comes to product development, hiring an inexperienced engineer can end up costing above the odds in terms of time and resources. Here are the common pitfalls to avoid when recruiting Python developers:
Relying on passive recruiting only
Instead of waiting for candidates to reply to job listings, companies should track Python coders through different recruitment channels. Find a few that look promising and check out the projects they are currently working on, what technologies they use, and when the projects are due to finish.
Combining passive and active recruitment can yield the best result to build an in-house team. The other option is to hire a ready-made team with established processes from a technology partner such as Django Stars.
Not examining the candidate’s technical expertise thoroughly
Here, the importance of access to in-depth tech expertise kicks in again. A CTO or tech lead should understand all the peculiarities of a project in order to validate the candidate’s skills and make the right choice. It’s also a good idea to have a Senior Python developer on hand to correctly evaluate the candidate’s expertise and form an unbiased opinion.
Believing that soft skills are less important than technical ones
A team should run like clockwork. The coders should be able to communicate with their peers and executives, give their opinions, and handle criticism calmly, as a guide toward improvement. These are the skills that keep a team motivated and productive all the way through to project completion.
While managing interpersonal relationships can be tricky with a new team, partnering with Python development companies like Django Stars means this is taken care of by the hired-in company.
However, some companies prefer building in-house teams, so here’s a list of tips on finding Python engineers.
Where to Find Python Developers in 2023
Companies often struggle to find Python developers that are the best fit for their projects. Especially if there isn’t a senior Python developer or CTO to guide the process internally. There are some routes that can provide support, though.
Freelance and recruiting platforms
To form in-house teams, companies can look for candidates on Glassdoor, Indeed, TopTal, UpWork, Fiverr, LinkedIn, GitHub, Stack Overflow, and other platforms. They offer a plethora of information on the candidate’s background, project record, and reviews from prior customers.
This approach, however, has challenges: drowning in hundreds of CVs, having to personally shortlist developers from hundreds of good (on paper) candidates, and having to manage them later on.
Research and review platforms
Hiring a vendor that specializes in Python software development guarantees that the vendor will cover all the risks and challenges of assembling a Python team. On top of that, they are responsible for managing the team, from daily tasks to leaves and office expenses.
Clutch.co and Goodfirms should be the first places to look for Python development vendors. Both platforms feature public profiles with client reviews and filtering options to narrow down the selection.
How to Select Experienced Python Developers
Below is the process Django Stars follows when selecting Python developers for a new project.
Naturally, with 100+ certified Python engineers in-house, we can form teams internally. But as most customers usually work with us for 2-5 years, we regularly recruit to increase our capacity.
This is how to hire Python coders that can get the job done.
Understand different technologies
It’s important to either have an in-depth understanding of the tech stack and development tools needed to deliver the project or have access to such expertise. It’s also crucial to analyze the full picture of the candidate’s experience:
- Have they grown their skills over time?
- What projects have they participated in?
- Which new tools have they picked up during their career?
Only a thorough analysis will ensure you choose the candidates whose expertise and learning capabilities match the project requirements.
Provide pertinent project information
To attract the best candidates, companies need to pique their interest. So, describe the ins and outs of the project, how it benefits the target audience, and its potential. It’s also essential to indicate whether it’s a short or long-term project and what career growth opportunities are on offer. Be concise yet eloquent and upfront about key details.
Define the project goals and tech requirements
Create a list of project goals and technical specifications to make sure everyone is looking at the same picture. It should include:
- The vision and business goals
- Actions the team should take
- Milestones for each goal
- The target market
- Technical requirements
- Scaling strategies
As mentioned before, combine posting vacancies with researching profiles on suitable platforms. This can be done in-house, by a professional recruiter, or through the services of a technology partner like Django Stars.
Choose candidates with relevant experience
Needless to say, a Python development team working on a fintech project should have hands-on experience developing fintech software. The same goes for proptech, e-commerce, travel, and other industries.
Dev team interviews require a technical interviewer. Topics covered should include:
- Their experience with the tech stack and what languages and frameworks they’ve worked with
- Previous projects they’ve worked on, the tech stack, team size, etc.
- Challenges and obstacles they faced during projects and how they overcame them
Assign a test task
A well-designed detailed test task will uncover the developer’s real skills and their ability to deal with complex tasks. While different test tasks are appropriate for junior, middle, and senior developers, discovering candidates’ thought processes and problem-solving skills might be of more value than the test result.
Pay attention to soft skills
Below are the main soft skills most developers should have. The interview is a great chance to assess if a candidate measures up.
Pay attention to the speaking manner of the candidate and their ability to listen – and don’t interrupt. If the developer asks questions during the interview, treat it as a good sign. It shows the candidate isn’t afraid to clarify information, which is essential during the development process.
Ask the candidates about their experience of working in a team and their role in the development process. This helps establish if their strengths lie in working on a team or solo.
Ask what motivated the candidate to apply, whether it’s career growth, the desire to try something new, or the salary. This gives insight into how they are likely to function in the team and helps manage expectations on both sides.
- Time management
Ask the candidates how they manage their time, adjust priorities, set goals, and organize their communication with peers and superiors.
These rules are applicable when hiring anywhere around the world. But we strongly recommend looking at hiring Python engineers in Ukraine, despite the war. Why so?
Why are Ukrainian Python Developers the Best Option for Hiring in 2023?
We have a separate article on reasons to keep (or start) working with Ukrainian IT companies. But here’s a summary:
- Ukraine’s IT industry employs around 240,000 people and has over 180 universities providing a steady supply of new workers with relevant specialties.
- Ukraine is home to many unicorns, and plenty of US or EU-based unicorns have Ukrainian roots.
- The spread of seniority among developers is fairly even: 33% are seniors, 34% are middle-level, and 33% are juniors.
- Over 80% of Ukrainian Python engineers are certified by various credible authorities.
- Ukraine follows Western business culture and attitudes.
- All Ukrainian Python developers speak English at least at an intermediate level, and key team role holders are almost universally fluent speakers.
- Time zones in Ukraine overlap with Europe, and for the US, most tasks are done overnight.
- The cost of living in Ukraine is much lower than in the EU or US, which allows for competitive hourly rates without compromising on product quality.
- Over 100 international companies have R&D centers in Ukraine.
But what about the war?
Firstly, while the full-scale Russian invasion started on the 24th of February, 2022, the war started back in 2014 with the occupation of Crimea. The Ukrainian IT sector had eight years to prepare contingency plans for various scenarios, so it was not caught unawares.
Secondly, most Ukrainian developers have relocated to safer regions in the west of the country and are continuing to work. As all the sensitive data is securely stored in the cloud, customer projects were not affected.
For instance, Django Stars continues to deliver on all contractual obligations, supporting our clients from across the world, even in wartime.
“The most impressive what I find about this company [Django Stars] is that we engaged with Django Stars before the Russian Invasion broke out and have stayed in touch. There was little to no disruption to our project support despite the challenges their teams faced (and are still facing).”
David Falck, Vice President, Food Genius
Thirdly, the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to switch to remote work, which helps ensure process continuity now. We have learned to manage our time and deliver results without being in the office. So now, Ukrainian coders continue to work, even from bomb shelters.
Ukrainians are standing strong and are sure to win this war, backed up by the military and economic support of the US, EU, and NATO.
Post-war recovery will have the IT sector as one of its cornerstones, with unrelenting support from the government and private investors, allowing for lower project costs. It would be wise to continue with existing contracts or start new ones now, to benefit from this positive economic environment.
With that out of the way, let’s discuss Python development services cost.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Python Developer?
The cost of hiring a Python developer depends on a variety of factors:
- Their expertise
- Their English proficiency
- Their programming seniority (junior, middle, or senior)
- Project complexity
The average hourly rate for a Python developer is $20-100, depending on the country and level of English. For example:
- India and Argentina $20-40
- Ukraine $40-60
- Poland, Romania, the Philippines, Brazil $50-100
- Vietnam and Egypt $50-199
Although Ukraine offers one of the most competitive hourly rates for hiring Python developers, the price is not the only factor. Team communication and collaboration are also essential.
Communication Between the Customer and Developers
Generally speaking, providing progress reports on the project and overseeing timely task completion is the responsibility of project managers and product owners. They also answer queries.
As for the communication between the team members, it’s important to remember that software development is not akin to basketball or football, where one superstar can carry the team. It’s more like sailing. It takes dedication and effort from the team as a whole to steer to the finish line.
Thus, it is imperative that developers can listen, take constructive feedback in their stride, and find appropriate solutions. These soft skills are as important as tech expertise.
Freelance Python Developers vs. Dedicated Python Engineers
When hiring freelancers or in-house developers, establishing the work processes and effective communication channels is a must. However, recruiting Python developers as a complete team usually means that these tasks are already taken care of.
Freelancers can be a good choice for companies that have detailed project specs in place, and all they need are some skilled pros to write the code, no questions asked. Keep an eye out for subcontracting, as a senior freelancer subbing out to a middle-level coder can compromise the quality of deliverables.
For projects that require engineers to architect solutions — rather than simply write code — a dedicated project manager is essential. This is where dedicated teams shine, and the more than 150 successful projects delivered by Django Stars are proof of this.
Finally, let’s talk about how to ensure the team stays productive and motivated throughout the whole project.
How to Build a Good Python Development Team
It takes some expertise to correctly build processes, define roles and responsibilities, and turn a group of talented engineers into a team. But when that comes together, such a team will be ready and able to move mountains to make the product succeed.
Below are some tips and best practices we use at Django Stars to ensure every Python engineer works at full efficiency.
Educate the team about the product
Communicate the project’s goals, benefits, target audience, and how it will make people’s lives better. Make them feel they are an important part of the bigger picture. Keep them in the loop on any positive developments with the project, as this is a great motivator.
Make sure team members know and appreciate each others’ responsibilities
The team members should openly communicate, discuss the challenges they face and find the best solutions together. Projects where everyone is simply concentrating on their single piece of the puzzle fail.
Ensure everyone is on the same page and informed of the project’s progress. This is especially important when working with offshore engineers — a cohesive and looped-in team can address any concerns immediately.
Motivate and praise the team
Employees are not cogs and bolts, they are people who need gratification. Praise them for successfully reaching a milestone, dealing with a complicated task, or developing a new great feature. Simple words of gratitude can be important to keep them motivated and prevent burnout.
Building a positive environment within the project reaps rewards in terms of a Python development team ready to go the extra mile to get the job done.
Selecting the best Python engineers can pose a serious challenge, not to mention the hurdle of forming a cohesive team, establishing working processes, and managing the project. Thus, recruiting Python engineers in ready teams from technology vendors like Django Stars remains a viable alternative. It’s a straightforward way to get access to certified professionals working according to polished processes at affordable hourly rates.
For those who prefer to handle matters entirely in-house, we hope this guide has been helpful, and we sincerely wish you to achieve the goals set.
But should you want to lean on our expertise and ensure success — drop us a line. We are always ready to talk business.
- Why are good Python developers so hard to find?
- To be a good fit for a project, a Python developer should have the needed tech background, be able to work effectively on a team, and have great soft skills. An engineer with these characteristics is rarely unemployed.
- Which countries provide offshore Python developers?
- There are many regions with Python development expertise around the globe — Chile, Argentina, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Israel, Egypt, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The costs differ widely, as does the quality of services.
- What are the challenges of hiring Python engineers?
- Aside from the complexity of correctly evaluating their hard skills, soft skills must be taken into account. Identifying whether the person is a team player or a project breaker before hiring is essential. Managing a team of people working in different time zones, sometimes on an unpredictable schedule, can be a challenge in itself.
- What soft and hard skills should Python programmers have?
- They should be familiar with Python 3, Django, Flask, AWS, Google Cloud, Redis DB, MongoDB, Kubernetes, Docker, SQL/NoSQL, and other niche tools, like OCR, SciPy, AI/ML libraries. As for soft skills, a Python engineer must be able to listen calmly and communicate their thoughts eloquently. This will help establish a positive team attitude.
- What are the best practices for hiring Python developers for a startup?
- Correctly evaluate your project budget and scope to determine the needed team size. For best results, entrust technology vendors like Django Stars with hiring a Python team with established processes, which will be able to deliver the expected results on time.