by Josh Althuser

3 things to consider when hiring a Python developer

Mar 10, 2017
CareersIT Leadership

Tips for nontechnical hiring managers when hiring for technical roles

Created in the 1980s, Python is still one of the most dynamic and flexible programming languages around today. Designed to be clear and simple, Python’s versatility has made it suitable for both advanced and general programming assignments, and it can be found everywhere from Reddit to Youtube and even Instagram.

Companies that are looking to hire a Python developer but don’t know exactly what they should be looking for in a candidate can easily familiarize themselves with the basic traits a skilled programmer should possess. You don’t need to be an expert in Python, and most likely you’re not so that’s why you’re hiring one, to find a developer that fits your needs.

1. Test their skills

Before taking someone on your team, it’s always nice to see them in action. With programmers, you can test their skills using an established template, or create your own based on a mockup of your actual product. While testing a possible hire is an efficient way of finding out whether or not they have basic skills needed to get the job done, it can also give you a sense of their unique style.

Here are a few things you can learn right away simply by administering a test:

  • Tests illustrate the ways in which a developer tackles a project, while also monitoring how long it takes for them to complete a task

  • You’ll get a sense of whether or not your potential hire takes time to reflect on their own work, and if they take initiative, finding ways to improve the final

  • A skilled programmer may make some suggestions of their own, showing their initiative and creativity

In addition to showing off their skills, evaluating potential candidates is a useful way to spark up a conversation and see if your potential teammate expresses interest in your product. Even if you’ve found an all-star developer, if they seem dispassionate about your project, you might as well move on.

2. Work with a freelancer

 Taking on a Python developer, will of course, strengthen your programming chops, but don’t forget that throwing someone new into the mix will directly affect the whole team. As programming can be easily done from anywhere in the world, thanks to a rapidly growing freelance economy, companies looking to hire a new team member are no longer limited to local networks.

Here are some of the ways that current communication tools have enabled digital networks making it both manageable and attractive to hire a freelance developer:

  • Tools like Slack and Zoom have made it easier than ever to keep in touch with remote employees on a day to day basis

  • Platforms like Github and Bitbucket are coding repositories that are simply to use and also act as a social network for programmers

  • InVison, and Basecamp are just two of the many team-friendly tools out there that keep you in the loop and allow you to tweak and adjust designs and ideas in real time

Another added bonus to working with a remote developer is having access to a wealth of varied experiences outside of your local professional community. Freelance developers tend to have varied resumes thanks to their diverse clientele and projects, subsequently giving your whole team the chance to diversify their network and learn from each other.

3. They know their market

A skilled and dedicated Python developer doesn’t just know how to write an elegant piece of code, but should also be an expert in their field. A developer who knows the ins and of their market someone you’ll want on your team. Not only are they up to date on changes and developments taking place in their own community, but it shows they are willing to go above and beyond, embracing progress at any stage.

Some of the key features that indicate your potential hire knows their market like the back of their hand:

  • Any developer knows that programming language is constantly changing, so they will be aware of any updates that could enhance or improve their work

  • In addition to understanding changes in syntax, a programmer should be committed to conducting some routine maintenance from time to time, checking their previous work, even if it seems to be running smoothly

  • A Pythonist should utilize unit testing, even for the simplest of tasks, which is an effective way to check if there are any problems, such as syntax or logical errors

It’s easy to forget that when hiring someone for a specific skill that you aren’t going to be able to monitor their progress, especially if you don’t speak Python. A developer that invests time into checking and improving their own work will improve efficiency and accuracy in the long run, ensuring you don’t have to worry when it comes time to release your product to the world.