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19: How to Hire and Manage Developers

It’s critical that you know how to hire the right developers and what to look out for when adding new members to your team. Today I’m breaking down everything you need to know about coders, the differences between good and bad developers and equipping you with all the right questions to ask when interviewing candidates. First, let’s start with some basic red flags to spot “Bad” Developers:

1. Insecurity. An insecure developer is usually a senior programmer, who’s developed a system that only they can understand or is “too hard to explain” to other employees. Their intention is to make it impossible for the program to function without them. They create a system of inwardness, instead of developing something teachable and more useful to the company. They try to create job stability by developing a complicated operating system. This stems from insecurity and is toxic to the work environment.

2. A Silo. This is the person who makes themselves so invaluable to the company, they cannot be replaced. When someone develops an operating system only they can decode, they are a bad developer. A silo is also a person who develops out of insecurity.

3. Complicated Build Environments. How long does it take your organization to get somebody up to coding? If you hire someone and it takes them more than one day to get up them up to speed on your programming system, you’ve got a bad architect on your team. It shouldn’t be more complicated than a full workday to figure out the system. Only a bad developer would program a system that takes a week to decode. Make sure your operating system is neat and not outrageously complicated to translate.

4. There are too many branches. When there are too many branches to code and merge, it makes the system far too elaborate and can take up to a week to translate and run smoothly. This stems from the functionality of your build environments and can lead to unnecessarily laborious work. Be aware of developers who overcomplicate systems and codes that slow down development rather than contribute a teachable, effective system for greater productivity.

Bad developers intentionally makes their work unteachable. If you’re worried about someone else taking your job, you’re already gone. You should be focusing on how to contribute to your company to make it a greater system as a whole. The more people you can help and teach and learn from, the greater an asset you are to the organization.

Enough with the negativity! Let’s jump into some positive characteristics to look for in a “Good” Developer:

1. They finish no matter what! A bad developer might make an excuse, but if you’re a good developer you’re going to get it done. Always hire someone with a high level of integrity. Those are the developers that will always finish the job.

2. A great developer can work within any code base. Unlike an insecure developer who may spend extra time re-coding a system their own way, they will be transparent about any problematic systems and offer a teachable solution.

3. They are neat. When you look a their code, it’s clean and neat. No extra spaces or unnecessary symbols that overcomplicate codes to be unlearnable, (as an insecure developer would do). It’s a simple, obvious thing that makes an enormous difference.

4. They are accountable. They take responsibility for their projects, any issues they encounter and always come through with an alternative solution or offer an updated reasonable deadline if they need more time. They don’t run excuses or keep details vague. They stay accountable for their work and investment in the company.

5. A good developer is simple in their work. They create the most simple solution in the least amount of time. This makes their code easy to teach and utilize on a larger scale.

As you hire developers, it’s very important you chose someone who knows how to demo. It is an art form! A skilled demo is articulate and concise. They don’t get flustered explain a system or release too much information that could potentially jeopardize the company in any way. And perhaps most importantly, they perform well under pressure. Coders are under an intense amount of pressure, time constraints and detail oriented work. It’s important to hire developers that thrive under pressure and are meticulous in their field. These are the kinds of developers you can manage well.

Thanks for tuning in today! I hope these tips help you navigate your way to a more successful, high functioning team. If you have any other questions, mobile app, development inquires, I’m here for you! See you next week!