How to Test a Developer

A quick how to guide on how we source and test our developers.

March 04, 2023

When it comes to building or expanding your online presence, finding the right developer is a crucial step. Whether you’re looking to hire an individual developer or a development agency, it’s important to ensure that the person or team you choose has the skills and experience necessary to meet your needs.

We've recruited, tested and hired a large number of developers over the last couple of years and have had to refine our process to ensure we are getting the top talent. The following are some key steps and considerations to help you test a developer and make the right hiring decision for your business.

Step 1: Define Your Needs

Before you start searching for a developer, it’s important to take the time to clearly define your needs and goals. What do you want to achieve with your website or application? What features and functionality do you need? How much time and budget do you have for the project?

Having a clear understanding of your needs will help you communicate more effectively with potential developers and narrow down your options.

Not all developers can do website design and build, usually they are either backend or frontend focussed, it’s very rare you’ll find a developer thats a good all round developer. Designing a website is difficult and shouldn’t be down to your developer.

Once you have a clear list of requirements, you can split your job into its different areas e.g website design, custom website development, mobile app development, etc.

There is also no point interviewing a frontend developer before you have your design ready.

If you need help determining your requirements, then you are best off hiring an agency or developer to help you with technical scoping.

Step 2: Consider Their Portfolio and References

A developer’s portfolio and references can provide valuable insights into their skills, experience, and results. Review their portfolio and skill sets, so you have an understanding of if they meet your criteria. Review their LinkedIN profile, have they worked with large established companies previously. A developer that’s worked in a strong team before will be a much better developer.

Do not take any of this for granted though, a lot of companies and developers will bump up their numbers and or exaggerate their skills. It’s hard to cheat LinkedIN experience (e.g you wouldn’t be able to link yourself to an established company), but items in their  portfolio and past experience descriptions are to be viewed cautiously.

Always use testing to confirm they have the skills you need to complete the job.

Step 3: Evaluate Their Technical Skills

One of the most important factors to consider when testing a developer is their technical skills. This includes not only their programming skills but also their understanding of web design, database management, and other related technologies relative to your requirements.

To assess a developer’s technical skills, you can ask them to complete a technical test. There’s many good testing platforms out there that can help you determine if a developer has strong experience. Check for solutions that have anti-cheat systems.

These technical tests should reduce your pool of candidates by between 90-95%.

Step 4: Assess Their Communication and Collaboration Skills

In addition to technical skills, it’s important to consider a developer’s communication and collaboration skills. You want to work with someone who can clearly and effectively communicate with you, understand your needs and goals, and provide feedback and suggestions throughout the project. 

To assess a developer’s communication and collaboration skills, ask about their availability and how they prefer to communicate. You can also ask about their process for working with clients and if they have experience working with remote teams.

Do they use a project management tool?
Do they set you up with a staging environment?

Step 5: Consider Their Portfolio and References

A developer’s portfolio and references can provide valuable insights into their skills, experience, and results. Review their portfolio and ask for references from previous clients to get a sense of their work style and how they have helped other businesses achieve their goals.

  • Lower cost: Individual developers typically charge lower rates than agencies, which can be more budget-friendly for small or medium-sized businesses. Often this is marginally cheaper then hiring a mid level agency.
  • Stronger personal relationship: Working with a single developer can help establish a strong personal relationship and ensure that you have a single point of contact for your project.

Cons of Hiring a Developer

  • Limited skills and experience: Individual developers may have limited skills and experience, which can impact the quality and scope of your project.
  • Lack of resources: Individual developers may not have access to the same resources and support as an agency, which can impact their ability to deliver your project on time and within budget.
  • Limited availability: Individual developers may have limited availability and may not be able to start your project immediately, which can delay the timeline.
  • Testing is done by one person
  • You’ll need to spend considerable time managing and explaining your project.
  • No set processes to ensure success

Pros of Hiring an Agency

  • Access to a team of experts: Development agencies bring together
  • Expertise in several areas
  • Proven success record of deploying solutions
  • Cost at scale is cheaper
  • Better tooling 
  • Better processes
  • Better infrastructure

Are you planning to build a mobile application or website for your business? If yes, iClickSee is the best place to contact. You can reach us via our online form or simply schedule a call with us to discuss your project.