How to Hire Experienced Python Developers

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How to Hire Experienced Python Developers
irina-chernenko

Irina Chernenko

HR Manager @ Django Stars

Imagine the situation: you’ve received funding from investors and a chance to show off your product on the market. Full of enthusiasm, you hire an engineering team to work on the first version. Time goes by, and your financing dries up. And you have nothing much to show to your investors.

Unfortunately, this is a common situation for business owners who hire inexperienced developers for the sake of saving costs. This approach typically leads to more significant expenses, stress, and fuss.

How do you avoid it? Spare enough money to hire skilled developers.

In this article, I’ll explain how and where you сan hire experienced Python developers, what you should pay attention to, and how to avoid the most common mistakes business owners make.

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Table of Contents

Why Consider Python For Your Next Project?

Your choice of the programming language depends on different factors: the purpose of your product, its functional and nonfunctional requirements, performance requirements, security considerations, etc.

Why should you consider Python for your product development?

According to the IEEE Spectrum, Python was the number-one programming language in 2018. The report states that Python’s popularity has increased in recent years. One reason for this is Python’s large number of libraries for machine learning and artificial intelligence, the use of Python embedded versions in microcontrollers, and its ability to do big data analysis.

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What else is making Python a top choice?

  • It’s easy to learn and understand

Python has a low barrier to entry, which means that beginning developers can easily get up and running with it. In addition, Python data visualization libraries enable users to quickly comprehend and visualize even complex data.

  • It’s supports plenty of programming styles

If you decide to change your approach to development, Python has your back. It has a less-limited programming approach (e.g., compared to Java) and supports different programming styles such as procedural, object-oriented or functional.

  • It has lots of open-source libraries

Python has plenty of open-source libraries that streamline the development process and save you time and money. As Python libraries contain a large amount of pre-written code, developers don’t have to spend time writing basic things 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. If you need to test your product on your target audience or show your ideas to investors quickly — Python is there for you.

If you want to dive deeper, read our article about the most important pros and cons of Python development.

What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Developer

Hiring a Python developer is not a simple task. Before rolling up your sleeves and sorting through CVs, you should know exactly who you’re looking for. Here are the main things you need to keep in mind:

hire-python-developer-what-to-know

Project size

Before hiring a development team, define your project scope and its complexity. Create a document that describes the purpose of your product, its goals and benefits, main users, and potential scale. All these factors will define the size of your development team and the experience level of the engineers (junior, middle, or senior).

Technical and functional features

Once you’ve decided on your project scope and main goals, create a list of features and agree on it with your tech lead. Note that it’s essential to have a person with technical background in your team who will be responsible for tech management and debugging.

If you plan to start with an MVP, note how you will scale your project in the future. It will help your tech team come up with a product roadmap, define the logic, and create a scalable architecture.

What stage is the product at?

The development time and the size of your engineering team will depend on what stage your project is at. For example, if you develop an MVP, a size of your tech team will be usually smaller than what you’d need for a full-featured or complex product.

If you already have some features and need to scale your product, it can take time for developers to analyze the project logic and architecture and examine the existing code.

Each project is different. There’s no one-size-fits-all. Keep in mind what stage your product is at and its complexity when looking for a team for engineers.

Tech stack

Tech stack, features, and the complexity of your product will define the expertise your engineers need, as well as the tools they should be experienced in. For example, if you use specific software in your project, you need to make sure the developer has experience with it and can start working with it quickly.

All the factors I’ve mentioned define what kinds of developers you’ll need, how many of them should be in your team, and what sort of expertise they should have. This will help you find the best development team, plan the budget, and create a timeline with strict deadlines.

How to Build a Good Python Development Team

Of course, the size and expertise of your team matter. But imagine gathering the best team of engineers, but sparing little or no time to build processes for the team, defining the responsibilities of each member, or their role in the development process.

But don’t worry. It’s not about you. Check out some of our practical tips on how to build an effective team that will move mountains to make your product rock.

Educate your team about your product

Your team should be aware of more than just the technical specifics of your product. Make them feel like they’re a part of the mission and message you want to fulfil with your product. That’s why it’s important to tell your team about your project’s goals, benefits, target audience, and how it will make people’s lives better.

Don’t forget to mention any positive news related to your product, such as growth in user numbers or positive reviews. It will motivate them to move forward and do better.

Make sure your team members know and appreciate each others’ responsibilities

Primarily, everyone in your team should know their tasks and role in the project. If even one person doesn’t fit into the team and concentrates only on their area of expertise, sooner or later it will impact the whole development process.

That’s why you need to make sure that team members collaborate, discuss the difficulties they face, and together come up with the best solution. It’s especially important when you outsource Python development and your engineering team members live in different parts of the world.

Monitor progress

To ensure everyone is on the same page, arrange regular meetings to discuss the progress of the project and the challenges your team is facing. It will help you stay on track – and, if something goes wrong, to fix it as soon as possible.

Some product owners are afraid to delegate tasks and don’t fully trust their team. As a result, they control each step and monitor their work for fear of missing something. Remember, your main task is to organize the process and assign the responsibilities. Learn to trust your team, and let them do their job.

Motivate and praise your team

Let your team know that you respect their work. Don’t forget to praise the efforts of developers when they’ve successfully coped with a complicated task, reached a new milestone, or developed a world-class feature. The acknowledgements may be different, from common activities, to just words of gratitude. Whatever you do,  your team will appreciate it.

How to Form a Successful Development Team

A good team isn’t something that happens on its own. But why do we need one at all? Don’t good professionals form a good team by default? The thing is, it’s not enough to lock them in a room and give them a deadline. An efficient team isn’t just about professionalism; it’s also about how the team members interact. Only a truly efficient team can deal with the workload faster...

How to Form a Successful Development Team cover

Mistakes When Choosing Python Developers

We are all humans who make mistakes. However, when it comes to product development, hiring an inexperienced or irrelevant developer may cost you a lot of time and resources – which is bad when you want to get your product to market quickly.

Here are the most common mistakes business owners make:

  1. Rely on passive recruiting only
  2. Not examining the candidate’s technical expertise well enough
  3. Believing that soft skills are less important than technical ones.

hiring-python-developer-major-mistakes

Rely on passive recruiting only

Passive recruiting means placing the job application on different resources and waiting for the candidates to apply. Of course, this method can be effective in some cases, but if you limit yourself to passive recruiting only, you’ll lose a lot of opportunities.

Active recruiting is what works best now. Active recruiting means monitoring the best candidates on different recruiting platforms, and tracking what projects they’re working on right now and when these projects will end.

If you’re looking for a full team of engineers, it’s better to search through authoritative rating and review platforms like Clutch.co. There, you can use different filters to narrow down your search – for example, to the region where the company is based, your price range, and the company’s area of expertise.

The more creative you are in your search, the more effective the result. Combining passive and active recruiting is usually your best option.

Not examining the candidate’s technical expertise well enough

Usually, a candidate should go through a technical interview to get a position on the project. If the product owner doesn’t have sufficient technical skill, it’s better to hire a tech lead who will be responsible for technical interviews and development process.

When choosing candidates, it’s important to check both their practical and theoretical knowledge. Sometimes mid-level developers may have enough practical skills for their level. However, they might face some difficulties when completing simple tasks because of a lack of theoretical knowledge.

If you already have a development team and want to scale it, the best way to check the knowledge of the candidate is to get both the senior developer and tech lead involved. It’s the best way to avoid a subjective assessment and to analyze and test the developer’s skills.

Believing that soft skills are less important than technical ones

Often, when it comes to the estimation of candidates’ skills, employers pay more attention to what the developers know and can do, rather than to how they communicate with colleagues and work with team members. And that often plays a dirty trick on employers. Since miscommunication and inability to work in a team create blocks in the working process and lead it to stagnation.

In my opinion, if there is a choice between a candidate with excellent experience and poor soft skills and the one with less practice but far more skilled in teamwork and communication, it’s better to give a chance to the latter. To be clear, expertise and hard skills are important but they may mean nothing if a person doesn’t know how to demonstrate them.

Where to Find Python Developers

There are a lot of specialized recruitment platforms where you can hire dedicated Python developers. Here are some of the most popular ones:

Research and review platforms

Research and review platforms work best if you want to hire a dedicated team or a software company for your project. On these platforms you can compare different service providers, read reviews, and assess their experience.

A research and review platform that matches software buyers and service seekers with the best software team.

A B2B rating and review company that identifies leading IT companies based on customer reviews.

A YCombinator-backed platform for hiring remote software development teams. It’s the perfect platform for building remote teams in a short period of time.

A B2B rating and review platform that helps you hire the best IT company or team for your project. You have two options: enter your service category and get a list of the best service providers, or outline your project requirements and let the platform representatives come up with the best choice.

The platforms we’ve listed above are the most well-known and popular. Here are some other websites that may come in handy:

Freelance and recruiting platforms

If you’re looking for individual engineers rather than a whole team, freelance and recruiting platforms are a good way to go. Here are the most prominent ones:

Now let’s look at how to use these platforms and what information you need to gather before looking for candidates.

How to Hire Experienced Python Developers

Here’s what you should know to hire skillful developers who will work on your product at full capacity.

Understand the correlation between different technologies and their structure

Looking for the best engineer is not about searching through bunches of CVs and looking for familiar words in the job description. It’s about having deep knowledge of the technology stack and development tools.

Learn to analyze the full picture of the candidate’s experience, define whether they grew their skills over time, what projects they participate in, and what new tools they’ve learned during their career. Only a thorough analysis will help you evaluate the candidate’s expertise and learning capability.

Provide as much information as possible about the project

To draw the attention of the best candidates, you need to pique their interest and provide value. The best way to do this is to describe all the ins and outs of your project, how it benefits the target audience, and its potential for the future. It’s also essential to inform the candidates whether it’s a short or long-term project and what career growth opportunities it will offer them.

Define the project goals and tech requirements

Create a list of your project goals and technical specifications. This will help you communicate your requirements to the candidates. Here’s what to include:

  1. Your vision and business goals
  2. Actions your team should take
  3. Milestones for each goal
  4. Your target market
  5. Technical requirements
  6. Scaling strategies
  7. Budget

outsource-python-development-goals-and-requirements

Do an active search

Complete an active search on the platforms I mentioned above. Define the main keywords you’ll search with, as well as the country, age, and experience level of the candidate. Then start looking through the applications.

Choose candidates with relevant experience

Pay attention to the candidate’s experience. Research the tools and languages developers have worked with, how much experience they have, and what projects they’ve worked on.

If you have a niche industry, it’s smart to choose a developer with knowledge and experience of the field. For example, if you have a fintech product, your team should be familiar with certain financial terms and specific requirements of fintech projects.

Do an interview

If you don’t have an opportunity to meet with the candidate face to face, you can interview them via Skype. If you’re not a developer, it’s crucial to bring in a technical interviewer. Here are some areas to explore in your discussion:

  • Their experience with your tech stack, and what languages and frameworks they’ve worked with
  • Previous projects they’ve worked on, their tech stack, team size
  • Challenges and obstacles they faced during projects, and how they overcame them

Assign a test task

You definitely don’t want to hire an incompetent developer and waste your time and money. That’s why the best way to check the knowledge of the candidate is to create a detailed test task that will reveal the developer’s real skills and their capability to deal with complex tasks.

Pay attention to soft skills

Below are the main soft skills each developer should have. An interview is a great chance to see what kind of person your candidate is.

python-developer-for-hire

  • Communication

Pay attention to the speaking manner of the candidate and their ability to listen – and don’t interrupt. Also, 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 will definitely be a big plus during the development process.

    Teamwork

Ask the candidates about their experience of working in a team and their role in the development process. That way, you’ll find out whether the person is a team player or an individual worker.

  • Motivation

Ask what motivated the candidate to apply for this job, whether it’s career growth, the desire to try something new, or a salary. The answers will let you know what you can expect in return.

  • Time management

Time management can make or break your project. Ask the candidates how they manage their time, adjust priorities, set goals, and organize their communication with the vendor.

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 proficiency in English
  • The programming level (junior, middle, or senior)
  • Country
  • The complexity of the project

According to Clutch.com, the average hourly rate for a Python developer is $25-100, depending on the country and level of English. For example, in Ukraine, India, and Argentina the average hourly rate is $25-50, whereas in Poland, the Philippines, and Brazil, it is $50-100.

Communication Between the Customer and Developer

Communication between the customer and developer is a prerogative of the project manager and product owner. The team’s workflow and efficiency depends on how well the communication and management process has been set up.

First, to build a top-notch development team, it’s important to have clear requirements and to track progress. To avoid misunderstandings, assign the right tasks and educate the team about your product. You can learn more on how to successfully set tasks for the development team in our blog.

How to Successfully Set Tasks For a Development Team

There’s a saying that goes “Go I know not whither and fetch I know not what” and usually, mostly ironically, this describes a poorly set task – something that we all know too well and had to suffer through more than once. But, after more than three years of working on projects of all levels of complexity, I’ve developed some special organizing skills and an in-depth know-how of working in...

Tasks For a Development Team cover

Project management is crucial to product success. To make all the team processes run smoothly, pay special attention to the candidates’ soft skills. While hard skills can be improved or learned during the development process, soft ones are much harder to change.

I’ve already mentioned the basic soft skills each developer should have. Here’s how they can influence the development process:

  • Communication between team members

Software development is a team sport. The whole engineering team must move together towards a single goal – to create a valuable, high-quality product. However, if someone on the team members is too selfish, can’t listen to other people’s opinions, or find common ground with their colleagues, it will delay your project, if not completely screw it up.

  • Communication between the product owner and developers

Every developer should be an active listener and clear communicator. What does this mean? Imagine you have a weekly meeting with your development team where you discuss progress, issues, and further actions. For you, as for the product owner, it’s important that developers can listen to your feedback, accept criticism wisely, and draw conclusions. That’s why one of the most essential soft skills for a developer is the ability to listen. Another important quality is the ability to clearly communicate thoughts, and offer suggestions and new ideas. If this describes your developers, your work process will be always vivid and fruitful.

Conclusion

Now you’re ready to hire Python developers for your next project. My best advice is to spare enough time to gather requirements and create a test task. Your efforts will definitely pay off, as you’ll build a reliable and hard-working team.

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