Сomputer programmers write code and convert it into a specific language. Nothing difficult in terms of their job description, right? However, is it easy to find the right candidate for your startup?

There’s no magic bullet for hiring programmers. In any case, you should be prepared for the interview and know exactly where, when, and how to hire a programmer for your future project masterpieces.

From this post, you’ll learn how to hire a developer or a development team for your startup, what characteristics of programmers to consider, and which online sources to keep in mind while hiring.

Let’s dive in!

The role of a modern programmer

Programming is the process of giving machines special instructions that describe how a program should be carried out. This process generates a means of communication such as code between a user and a computer. 

Programmers spend their careers learning different programming languages and tools to be able to build various computer programs.

Hiring a programmer is not an easy process. In 2020, 69% of employers in the USA had difficulties with filling tech positions (including programmers – the second hardest roles to fill).

So, how to hire developers for a startup? What are the secrets and possible pitfalls? Time to figure it out.

Why hiring a programmer

Hiring the right candidate for this position helps to deliver large and complex projects within a specified timeline. 

The daily activities of computer programmers include cooperation with software engineers and system analysts. 

Developers are also responsible for:

  • Writing programs in a certain programming language.
  • Developing in-house programs or customizing existing software solutions.
  • Solving complex problems with a well-documented and extensible code.
  • Debugging code for existing in-house or client programs based on immediate requirements.
  • Training end users for ensuring a complete implementation of the software product.
  • Identifying ways to expand and scale the business.

How to hire a coder for a startup business

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Different ranks of computer programmers

There are various jobs in the computer programming industry that are ranked by seniority. Here’s the list of the most common positions:

  • Software developer typically handles coding duties that are more complicated than the duties of a junior developer.
  • Senior software developer oversees the work done by a software developer and a junior dev specialist. They specialize in specific areas of web development and coding. 
  • Junior developer works underneath a software developer and a senior developer and performs basic coding tasks. So, this role is at the bottom of the chain.
  • Software architect is an expert in one or multiple areas of coding. This specialist handles complicated design and coding and works to enforce coding standards. 
  • Principal developer is responsible for planning large-scale development across a team of programmers (or several teams). Coding, analysis of requirements, testing and implementation can be also included into the list of their responsibilities.

Different types of programmers

The main goal of various types of programmers is to focus on creating code to accomplish certain tasks. 

Among the most popular types of programmers, we can highlight the following:

  • Computer programmers – they write, test and edit code that let software run on computers. It is also about behind-the-scenes computer and apps functions (for example, a calculator).
  • Web developers –  they usually work with web designers to create web pages. Designers are responsible for the site’s appearance, while these programmers focus on the background site functionality.
  • Programmer analysts – they are often responsible for examining the existing business systems as well as updating them to function with current technology. Companies also hire them for preparing guides, which tell business owners how to use these systems.
  • Mobile app developers – they write code for smartphone applications, test, and improve the coding.

Now it’s time to discuss their earnings.

Average computer programmer salary

How much do computer coders make?

Computer programmers get paid well, with an average salary of $65 (Payscale) in 2022.

how much money programmers earn

Another source (Indeed) proposes the following rates:

Developers salary

Full-time programmers vs. freelance programmers

Businesses can attract freelance programmers or hire offshore developers to create programs that will help them to work more efficiently. These specialists can be rehired to provide necessary maintenance on the program and fix issues that come up. 

However, if a company has consistent programming and coding needs, it’s better to hire full-time programmers. 

It depends on the size and type of the business. Perhaps, there will be a need to hire a team of full-timers. 

How to hire a programmer: 10 consistent steps

Now it’s time to move from fascinating theory to practical advice. Let’s highlight 10 stages that make up the complete process of hiring programmers and development teams. But first, let’s quickly recall how a reliable job description may look like.

Writing an effective job description to hire a programmer

If you want to hire a developer for your startup, you’ll need to write a clear job description to attract the right people. 

Here’s a brief list of what to include in the job description:

  • Company description.
  • Job requirements and duties.
  • List of desired technical skills.
  • List of desired soft skills.

Depending on you company, you’ll want to consider including:

  • Type of a programmer (frontend, backend, full stack, mobile).
  • Programming language(s) (Java, Python, Scala, React Native, etc.).
  • Education level and type of degree.
  • Years of experience.

Under job duties, you can add a description of what you need to be done to complete your project. It can include:

  • Project requirements overview.
  • Preparing a workflow .
  • Coding a project.
  • Testing the code.
  • Providing maintenance.

Now it’s time to consider steps for hiring a programmer or a development team.

Hiring the best coders

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1. Research the market

One of the initial things you should do is to visit websites that rank development companies and individual programmers with customer feedback.. 

The search results will demonstrate the top-rated programmers providing development services in a chosen language or technology.

By browsing those sections, you will learn about potential candidates, view their case studies, read the client reviews, and get more useful info.

2. Define the technology stack

If you want to hire a development team of your dream, you must know the project requirements, including the technology stack. It’s important to consider the goals of the project and what needs to be developed.

  • Front-end developers work with the client-side. They ensure users seamlessly interact with a product. 
  • Back-end developers are responsible for the server-side of the product. They build the business logic, including the server, database, and application. 

If your company has great ideas but little tech knowledge for a project, then having a CTO or a technical co-founder will help identify the technology more clearly. Knowing the tech stack, you’ll be able to narrow down your search.

3: Choose the location

Development teams or programmers can be based anywhere in the world. Nowadays it is possible to hire remote developers based in Eastern Europe or Asia (the most popular outsourcing destinations) and collaborate virtually. 

4. Estimate your budget

When choosing a developer, employers should keep their budget in mind as well. You can view average hourly rates in search results. 

Programmers’ rates are dependent on their qualification — which can vary drastically by region. You should be leery of choosing a specialist or a team with the lowest prices — as it may end up costing twice as much. 

Read reviews carefully and make sure that your candidate has a proven track record.

5. Arrange a simple test

It may seem strange, but some people who call themselves programmers can barely program. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to take an extremely simple programming test as the first step of any sane interview process. 

The test can be arranged online, with the goal not to prove that the candidate is some kind of coding genius, but that they know what programming in general is. 

Again, it may seem crazy, but if you don’t perform this sanity check, you can be sorry then.

6. Ask for the portfolio

All programmers should have a portfolio of the things they’ve worked on. Some of them share the applications they’ve designed or websites they have worked on.

It will be helpful to see what kind of work candidates have done, and what sort of online artifacts they’ve created. You will get more facts about what people do and what they’re good (or bad) at.

7. Consider cultural fit

Often cultural fit is a stronger predictor of successful results than the strongest programming background.

Caring about the professional skills of potential employees, do not forget to note their cultural and private characteristics, their philosophy, plans, and so on. It’s crucial to find specialists  who are naturally drawn to what you do.

8. Make a call

Your first call with a candidate should be technical and structured, so both of you can get out immediately if it clearly isn’t a fit.

Of course, you will ask professional questions, but don’t wait for the perfect answers. Your goal at this stage is to make sure that the candidates that do make it to the next step are not wasting their and your time. You may end the call early if there are too many warning flags.

9. Give them a real-life project

If everything is ok, it’s time to get the candidate in for a face-to-face interview.

However, if you want to determine beyond the shadow of a doubt if a person is going to be the right hire, give them a real-life test project. It can be anything you would give to a current employee, if they weren’t all busy. Select a small project that can be done in a couple of days.

10. Allow the candidate to make a pitch

By this time, you should be 95% certain that your candidate would be a great hire.

Instead of the nervous interview with tricky questions, propose the candidate to run a 15 minute presentation on their area of expertise. It will be a far better indicator of success than a traditional interview.

Adapt these steps and tips to your particular situation, keep what you think makes sense, and ignore the rest.

Interviewing programmers

When interviewing candidates, ask them about their past programming projects, technical skills, and educational background. 

By asking targeted interview questions to identify a programmer candidate’s level of tech expertise and work style, you will be able to make the right hiring decision.

A successful interview should cover the following topics: 

  • Programming languages and algorithms.
  • Debugging techniques.
  • Development experience and past projects.
  • Passion for programming.
  • Awareness of the latest tech industry trends, etc.

Don’t forget to discuss the soft skills of the candidate.

Best sources to hire programmers

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Best places to find programmers

Finding a development team may seem easy, but how do you uncover the most qualified coders?

If you don’t know where to find your future gurus of programming, consider the following places and recruiting strategies:

  • Colleges and universities. Educational institutions can provide you with the actual data on recent graduates with promising skills in the programming industry. You can reach out to these young talents to set up interviews and find out if they suit your position.
  • Online search. Many programmers advertise their expertise online, due to the job nature. Make sure you examine the work experience of potential candidates and contact them to attract their attention.
  • Communication with businesses. Different companies in your area can give you leads about programmers they’ve hired in the past. 
  • Posting the job online. Try to post your programmer job on special job sites to attract quality candidates.

You can also consider the following sites to attract a programmer perfect for your project:

1. Guru

This is the global network of millions of developers, Almost half of them are listed in the fields of IT, web development, and programming. If you want to find a skilled programmer, you can look through an extensive database of coders that is available here.

Guru doesn’t charge to post jobs. However, there is a small percentage taken from the invoice as a handling fee.

2. Toptal

The screening process here includes a language and personality interview, a practical exam, in-depth skills reviews ,and test projects.  The applicants demonstrate their professionalism and work ethic.

3. Upwork

This is one of the largest online freelancing platforms on the web. The sheer volume of developers available means that you can find appropriate candidates at a competitive price.

Welldoneby company listing: find the best programmers for your projects

Looking for an appropriate website to hire a coder for your startup, you can get confused easily. It’s better to have one proven source that will provide you with all required data. This is where Welldoneby comes to the rescue. 

Our site provides access to the list of professional programmers and development teams from different locations.

In the Welldoneby catalog, you will find portfolios, budgets, the cost of an hour of work, reviews of the company, and other useful data.

Hire a programmer using the Welldoneby catalog

The list of the top software firms from different spheres is also available here. So, if you want to find the staff to develop a new e-commerce site or are looking for a way to hire a game developer, you can easily get what you want on Welldoneby.

All companies are verified, we track their work quality and check reviews. Don’t hesitate to find the best coders from Europe, Asia, South or North America, and Africa.

Final words

A today’s developer is a team player. Moving on from the lone wolf coder personas, the world of software development has switched to methodologies like Agile and DevOps, which emphasize teamwork, communication and collaboration.

Wondering where to hire the best programmer? A systematic approach to identifying the best candidates will help you to streamline your recruitment process. 

Hiring coders can be a laborious and time-consuming process. Writing a robust job posting that hits all the right notes, sorting through stacks of resumes, vetting candidates and calling references can take time, but it is really worth it. 

Consider any of the sources mentioned in this post and pay special attention to the Welldoneby listing, as you’ll definitely find what you need there.


What defines a good programmers? 

Professional programmers must have a good understanding of cloud services, knowledge of big data management essentials, good command of English and tech stack, and provide their professional portfolios.

What is the typical working day of a programmer?

Programmers usually work 40-50 hours a week, depending on their projects and the companies they work for. The timing may increase if they’re nearing deadlines and need to perform extra work.

What are the disadvantages of a programmer’s job?

Programmers spend a lot of time working on computers. Therefore, they often suffer from back pain, headache, hand and wrist problems.

What soft skills should good candidates have?

You might search for a candidate who is communicative, approachable, supportive, empathetic, patient, open-minded and willing to adapt.