Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm not a technical manager, how do I find a Software Developer?

A friend contacted me for advice on how to find and hire a good software developer. The problem is that he is a non-technical manager and only needs one person. I commented that he wasn't going to be able to mentor this person so he needs to find somebody he can trust and who can work without supervision. Here was my quick formula of how to find the right person. I thought it was worth sharing:

They will need to have a current blog discussing what they is playing with technically at the time. At a minimum they will need a good LinkedIn profile. In their profile (and resume) it should focus on accomplishments - solving problems for customers, not just technology they know. Good, successful software developers are all about solving customer and business problems rather than just technical ones. They know that straightforward technical problems are solved in lower cost labor markets (i.e. India). Next, they will need a GitHub account and have some projects up there. This shows they aren't just a 9-5er, but somebody who is passionate about their craft. Finally make sure you have a developer tech them out. Even if you don't have one in your organization it will be worth it to find one through your network and pay them a consulting fee. The difference will be 2x-10x in amount of work your developer can get done. If they have all of this together he or she will likely be able to run your mini-department and solve your problems for quite some time. Good luck.