What makes an outstanding developer?
This is fairly easy: a superstar developer is more than an experienced coder with solid knowledge of technology. It’s a person, who is a great problem solver, always eager to learn and never stops learning, a good communicator, and a convinced advocate of simpler methods.
Having a developer of that level in your offshore development team can make the project a success, providing guidance and inspiration for other programmers, who might lack it because of working remotely (to say nothing of the expertise and talent that will be invested in your product). The difficulty in finding these ‘rock stars’ is that they are not numerous and rarely on the market for work, being highly valued by their employers. Nevertheless, a thorough and creative hiring process can help you identify and attract a top-level offshore programmer, rare as they are. If you are ready to go beyond the ordinary portfolio - interview - coding task scheme, here are several useful tips for you.
Give Them a Problem They Didn’t Expect
An interesting way to see how your candidate’s mind works and how they solve problems is to surprise them with a puzzle- or constructor-like task. It may seem unrelated to programming, and that’s what will help you see the developer’s reaction, too. When asked to solve this task, do they feel curious and challenged or look annoyed and don’t get the point of the assignment? How do they approach the problem?
Think Beyond Your Current Needs
Most companies focus on the skillset and experience of a candidate and look whether it meets their current technology needs. This approach can be the reason you miss a lot of great programmers. Next year you might choose to utilize a different technology, so what’s more important is the developer’s ability to adapt and learn quickly. Pay special attention to that when you analyze their professional background: someone who catches innovations easily will be a good asset for your business.
Give Them a Real-Life Task
Naturally, when you hire dedicated developers, you can’t do without a coding assignment. However, this doesn’t reveal the candidate’s potential to its fullest. If you are not only interested in the quality of the code, but also want to see how fast your potential offshore programmer works, whether or not he can work independently, give him a real-life assignment. Choose an actual task from your project and have the candidate work on it and get paid for it, like an independent consultant would. The results will give you a much better idea of their performance on your particular project.
Steve Jobs once said “I found that when you get enough "A" players together, when you go through the incredible work to find these "A" players, they really like working with each other.” An offshore software development team consisting of ‘A’ players can be a really powerful asset, fueling your business, so it’s worth making an extra effort to identify a superstar offshore programmer.
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