Will Ben Sims
16 mins read
Will Ben Sims
16 mins read
In the present era, Chief Technical Officers or CTOs have emerged as the key operational leaders playing an important role in the technical planning, talent acquisition, and development of software projects. Since the outsourcing app development team is increasingly playing an important role in software projects, it is testing time for the hiring expertise of CTOs.
Based upon the tried and tested practices that have been successful in software and app projects involving remote developer teams, here we provide a comprehensive guide for CTOs to hire the best app development consultant or remote app development teams.
Way before you engage with the actual hiring process, you need to make some preparations on your end. Without fulfilling these prerequisites, you cannot hire the right talents your project needs. Let's explain these prerequisites one by one.
It has to be the most important step from where all other things start. First, the project needs to have a clear idea regarding the scope of the project. To define the scope of the project in clear terms, you need to explain the following requirements.
Technical skills and expertise required from developers
The chosen app development platform
User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) attributes that define the app's look and feel
Key app features
Timeline for the app project
Objectives of the app
The next most important thing is to have a clear idea about how much you are going to spend on your app development project. This will make your hiring process easier as you can easily shortlist development companies by eliminating the vendor options with higher price quotes. The cost impact is different when you find local app developers instead of opting for remote ones. This is why coming up with a detailed budget is so important.
The development budget should consider every expected deliverable, including deployment, updates, and support. With detailed budget planning, you can prepare the financial requirements for everything up to the app launch and beyond.
Lastly, every project needs to have a clear path with a set of clearly defined priorities for the app project. This priority list will guide you on successively completing the steps right from evaluating the app idea, market research, wireframing, mock-ups, prototyping to hiring the developers for the project.
The priority list comes in handy, particularly in an agile development environment when the developers work in sprints. The set of priorities will guide them to complete the most important task first. Setting priorities beforehand is a must in a large app project involving experts of different specialties.
Now that you have prepared the prerequisites and have a clear idea of the entire app project and how it is going to be executed, it is time to hire the right developer talents for the app project.
To find the right developer talents, apart from relying on the web listing sources such as Goodfirms and Clutch, you can go deeper by finding talents in dedicated developer platforms such as GitHub and StackOverflow.
To find developers with the required skill and expertise, browse a lot of developer accounts in GitHub and StackOverflow. Here below, we provide a couple of tips to screen developers on GitHub and StackOverflow.
Developers can be easily judged on GitHub by the contributions they make. Look for all the different repositories where they profusely contributed. This will clearly show their technical abilities and experience. You should also evaluate the followers they have and the age of their developer account with GitHub.
StackOverflow is the platform where expert developers give solutions to problems and issues posted by others. So, through the number of responses and their quality, you can evaluate their technical abilities and skills. You can also take note of their engagement with the developer community, which is important for judging their teamsmanship.
Now for initial screening, it is always advisable to give more priority to expertise and skills than experience. Through industry experience and a great track record are important, they always don't ensure future success. As a CTO responsible for hiring the best developer team, you should always focus on the right talent and skills first, followed by the experience level.
One of the best ways to evaluate the technical abilities of a developer is to look for the industry-validated certifications received by the developers. The certifications often show clearly how the developers are updated with the latest skills and development expertise on the required platforms.
By focusing on technical certifications, you can easily focus upon the exact skill set required for your project. For example, you can look for AWS Certified Solutions Architects for your project, or you may look for a developer with Laravel certification or .Net certification. Many leading programming languages have their own certification programs to validate the development skills.
No skill can be judged better than by going through the actual output. This is why evaluating the developers' portfolios, and past track record is crucial in the hiring process. Go deeper into the app projects they contributed and ask about the key technical accomplishments they made through the most important app projects in their portfolio.
Make sure you just don't stop by browsing the portfolio of their app projects online. You need to ask scorching questions to evaluate their real contributions to those projects, and you need to find out how crucial a role they played in the teams behind those projects. You can also contact a few of their previous clients and discuss their experience corresponding to those app projects.
A crucial aspect of evaluating the portfolio and track record of the developers is to know whether they can meet deadlines and adhere to the project milestones in between. Despite great technical abilities and sophisticated skills, many remote developers and development companies often falter in this regard. Check whether they met project deadlines and whether adherence to time limits is part of their standard practices.
The basic screening process is over, and you are about to undergo rigorous technical evaluation. Between these two steps, you should focus on evaluating the soft skills of the developers. Soft skills are equally important for the success of a project as they correspond to communication ability, capacity to work as a collaborative team member, their personality and mindset to grow and excel in their career.
In the interview evaluating soft skills and personality attributes, you mainly need to check whether the candidates are suitable to work as a team member for a rigorous software project requiring steady communication and frequent collaboration. Do they suit a development team regularly engaged through online meetings, collaborative development, and planning activities focused on giving better output? This is an unavoidable criterion for choosing a developer for your team.
Despite being passionate and positively geared to meet project deadlines, developers may lack the kind of work habits and collaboration skills your project requires. You need to check their work habits and how innovative they are in deploying new approaches.
Lastly, you also need to consider the cultural and linguistic differences as well. Apart from checking their proficiency with the English language, how easily they can align with the company's culture despite coming from a different background needs to be considered. Another key aspect is how reliable they are in taking responsibilities on their shoulder and whether you can depend on them for bigger responsibilities regarding the project.
Now comes the essential part of the hiring process. Now that you have evaluated their soft skills and personality attributes, it is essential to focus on the technical aspects. A thorough technical interview should be scheduled just following the soft skill interview.
The objective of this interview is to go deeper into the previous projects of the developers, the roles and responsibilities they took, and the key contributions they made in the development projects. The technical interview also focuses on the problem-solving skills of the developers and their rationale for choosing a particular technology solution instead of the other.
Generally, a technical interview accompanies a coding session to know the programming abilities and skills of the developers. This is where you can check whether they can write clean code with a low footprint. Skilled developers with multifarious experience can often reduce the code size for developing the same feature that took a lot of code writing by others.
Low footprint and clean coding often relieve the app from becoming heavier. Clean coding practices also give relief from errors and bugs while ensuring optimum productivity of the developers. Clean and concise coding also helps in rolling out faster app updates and easier app maintenance.
Now you have checked their technical abilities and clean coding practices. It is time to evaluate their skills with a sample app project that bears a few similar attributes to the proposed app project. Please give them a small but actual assignment allowing them a taste of the actual environment that the project is going to be built upon. Allow them to access a variety of libraries and developer platforms like StackOverflow, GitHub, etc., and several frameworks for the assignment.
Make sure to provide a limited timeframe to complete the assignment. The result will completely reveal their practical skills and problem-solving aptitude other than their theoretical grasp over the different programming languages and skills. When you mention a specific context and scenario for the entire project, their actual output can be easily evaluated against the project objectives.
Sample programming session with a real assignment leaves no scopes for technical skill gaps influenced by individual bias. Instead of making haste to come to a conclusion regarding the skills and capabilities of the developers, look for the excellence and glitches in their work and measure the pros and cons in regard to your app development project.
Now that all the steps in the remote hiring process are over and you have shortlisted the talented developers with the right technical abilities you need, another step is important to evaluate how they collaborate remotely with the in-house development team engaged in the same app project. Yes, now is the time for a pair programming session.
The technical team headed by the CTO must be able to access the development environment for both in-house and remote teams in real-time. The objective of the pair programming session is to make the remote developers work on the same app project simultaneously, sharing the same environment with the in-house developer team.
This is the final step in the long and multi-step remote hiring process and the ultimate one to judge whether a remote developer fits perfectly into the development team. Since modern software development projects mostly happen to be highly collaborative, the capability to work alongside the in-house team is extremely important for any project. Only the candidates evaluated positively through this step can be given a formal offer to join the team.
Since the app development world is expanding rapidly, creating new opportunities to establish digital footprints for every business, skilled app developers face huge demand. No wonder app projects no longer feel the constraints of location for hiring the right talent. This guide will be helpful to guide any CTO and their technical team in making the best developer talent acquisition.
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