The backend software developer is an important cog in the wheel of any company. These are people that work behind-the-scenes to provide a solid, reliable backbone on which the frontend developers can create their amazing user interfaces and features. If you need to find someone for your team but don't know where to start, have no fear! In this blog post we'll teach you how to hire a backend developer and what skills they will bring to your business.
Just to be sure, we’re on the same page...
Who is a backend software developer?
Typically, a backend software developer is in charge of the backend or “server-side” of an application. This can be anything from designing and implementing databases and database structures, managing server infrastructure as well as handling system administration duties such as setting up load balancing to scale their application to programming languages like Ruby on Rails and NodeJS to creating APIs. A backend developer might not always write code for frontend applications that people interact with directly, but they are usually responsible for the back-end systems that power those interactions.
Want to find and hire backend software developers? Here is what to consider
The best way to start looking for backend developers is to start with the basics.
Start by defining what your needs are
Define what your company's needs are and then look for someone who has those specific skills on their resume or online portfolio.
Ask yourself these questions: What can the developer do? (e.g., does he/she have experience with back-end development?) How much of a need is there within my team for this skill?
Do I have a need for this skill in the short-term or long-term.
What is my budget?
How quickly do I need someone with these skills on board? How urgent is the project timeline?
Once you've defined what your company's needs are, it will be easier to find an appropriate candidate.
Look for a developer that has the prerequisite technical skills to handle your requirement. That is what it is - you want a web application built, then the candidate should have what it takes, simple. After you’ve defined your needs, then look for someone who has those specific skills on their resume or online portfolio.
A good programmer is more than just someone who knows how to code.
The best programs are the ones that have a strong sense of collaboration, an easy-going personality and a willingness to take on new challenges or pivot with the needs of the company as they arise. If you're looking to hire a web developer, then consider candidates who possess these qualities. So, take the time to find out about how they work with others - a good way to have an idea is to research customers reviews, testimonials and case studies on their site, or other mentions of the candidate in forums or social media etc.
Keep these points in mind when selecting a backend software developer for your project.
Important qualities that are important for the position of a backend developer you should look out for
Must be a team player
The backend engineer is often the center of a project. Their ability to work well with others, and their willingness to learn from them, are essential for success in this position.
Must be detail-oriented
Backend engineers have one big task: connecting all the pieces together so that it works as originally intended by its creators. Details are everything in this job, so it's important to be detail-oriented enough to catch potential mistakes that may arise from the complicated nature of a backend engineer's work.
Must have strong verbal and written communication skills
The individual is often responsible for communicating with other members of the team about their progress and what needs to be done next. Plus, sometimes they must present the project at an event or conference and talk about it in depth with their audience. Clear communication skills are necessary for both speaking well on a stage as well as being able to effectively use over collaborative tools like Slack to communicate
Must have strong problem-solving skills
Developing software can often involve running into roadblocks. There's no one-step process, and backend engineers are often faced with difficult problems that need to be solved. These problem-solving skills will come in handy for when the backend engineer is managing a team of their own too.
Must enjoy working independently
Backend software engineers have big tasks on their plate that often involve a lot of time alone with little supervision. They need to be comfortable and confident in their work, as well as enjoy the independence this position provides. This is especially true when you are hiring remotely - you need an individual that’ll deliver with little and no hand-holding.
Must enjoy learning
Backend engineering is not an easy job with one set path for success; it changes with the times and is always evolving. Someone who wants to be a backend engineer should enjoy learning new things as much as they like solving problems, or else it'll be a very difficult career path for them.
Crucial Technical skills for web developers
Must have knowledge in programming languages
The programming language you would require your candidate to have would depend on what you are building. However, a general knowledge of programming languages is necessary to execute backend software development work and have a good understanding of how they all link together for overall functionality.
Must know more than one language
Expertise in just one type of programming language will limit the scope of what you can do as a backend software developer. It's important to know more than one language in order to create a broader range of potential projects you can get involved with.
If possible, backend engineers should also have knowledge in several languages simultaneously- for example, Python and C++.
Must be proficient using git
backend developers must often manage changes that are made to the project, and git is the most popular version control system for developers. It's crucial that they're proficient in this software, so that any work done on a project can be saved properly without errors.
Experience in web development is important
The potential backend engineer should have experience in web development, as this is the backbone of what they'll be working on. They don't need to have years and years of work under their belt- a project or two will do just fine.
A backend developer should also know their way around databases
A backend engineer should also be knowledgeable in databases. A good understanding of SQL will help make it easier to communicate what needs to happen next during development work as well as troubleshoot any errors that may arise.
As well as being able to develop new features, they will also have knowledge in scaling data systems so that they can handle more requests from clients.
Hiring a backend developer is not always an easy task, but with the skills and qualities outlined in this post you should be able to find someone that will fit your company's needs.
Where to find top-quality backend developers?
Finding and hiring top-quality backend developers is not an easy feat. With the demand for engineers at a premium, it can be difficult to weed out candidates who are skilled but will also work on your budget.
Below are “places” you should start looking to find great talent that fits with your needs, as well as the pros and cons of each.
Job boards are a great place to start looking for backend developers because they make it easy to search through qualified candidates in your area or region. The downside is that you will need someone with experience reviewing applicants, as well as the time and manpower required to interview and schedule interviews.
LinkedIn is a great resource for finding backend developers, particularly in the IT industry or within your company’s network of professional contacts. The downside to this approach is that it can be difficult to filter through resumes to find top-quality candidates because you will not have any way of knowing how well the applicants might fit with your company.
In-person networking events
In-person networking events are great for finding top talent because they give you a chance to speak with many people face-to-face about the types of work that interests them or their skills. The downside is that it’s unlikely you will find your next engineer at the local chamber of commerce meeting.
Online networking sites
These are a great resource for finding backend developers and include niche networks like Stack Overflow or GitHub where you can find candidates with specific skills that may be hard to locate elsewhere. The downside is there’s no guarantee they will work on your budget, and it can be difficult to find out how well they will fit with your company.
Great if you want a short-term project and don’t mind taking on the risk. The upsides include lower cost, less time spent recruiting or advertising positions internally, and more flexibility for finding the right fit. The downsides include longer time identifying quality candidates, higher turnover rates, and project abandonment (yes, it is possible for freelancers working on your project to disappear into thin air).
Social media is a good place to find backend developers, but only if you have the time and resources available.
Agencies are generally a reliable source for backend developers who will fit with your needs. The downsides include higher costs and less control over the hiring process, which can make it difficult to find candidates that meet your requirements or budget without compromising on quality.
Find verified back-end developers online with Hiremotely
Finding top-quality backend developers can be difficult, especially when competing with other companies in your industry. There is also a wide range of quality among freelancers and agencies to choose from. One way to find the best possible developer for your company or project is by using Hiremotely.
Consider Hiremotely an hybrid - the pros of an agency, the flexibility for finding the right fit and control of the recruitment process you get with freelance sites. The best of both worlds minus the hassle of spending enormous time and resources recruiting or advertising positions. All these at a fair price.
The Hiremotely backend developers directory includes many filters to help you find a qualified and reliable developer. For example, if you are looking for someone who is familiar with Django or Python-based technologies, there are tools that can filter by those qualifications (and more). This makes it easier to quickly find a developer that is qualified for your project.
This platform also includes backend engineers who are not only highly experienced, but have been skill verified and tested. This means the developers do not just know what they're doing; they are result proven. The directory is also searchable by location, which can be helpful if you are looking for a backend software developer near you - in the same area as your company.