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February 8, 2022 · 5 min read

3 secrets to hiring a software developer

Our Developer Evangelist, Cal Evans, shares a few tips on how to hire a developer for your project, even if tech isn’t your area of expertise. Know your product, hire professionals, and don’t skimp if you want success.

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Hey, did you know that good software developers make you more money than they cost you? Look, I know it sounds crazy, because we’re so used to hearing about cheap developers that can be found on so many job sites. Today, I’m going to share with you one big secret and three smaller secrets about software development. When you think about them together, they will revolutionize the way you think about how software is developed and, more specifically, your role as a non-developer.

So what is the big secret to building software? It’s hiring the best developer you can find, period. That’s it, full stop. If you want good software, start with good developers. It’s more than just hiring a single good developer, though. It’s building a team of professionals that know what they’re doing and can work together to take your idea and turn it into a reality. Now that you know the big secret, let’s look at how we can get there.

Let’s look at how you can get your project done correctly, on time, and on budget.  I know what you’re thinking: You can have on time, on budget, or built correctly. Pick two. But see, that’s a myth. Yes, you can have all three, but only if you are willing to put forth the effort.

Little Secret Number One: Hire professionals

The big idea here is to hire professional software developers. I mean, it sounds so simple, but a lot of people ignore this advice. Don’t go out and hire people who specialize in landing development contracts. Hire people who specialize in developing professional grade software. Hiring professionals is important because you only get one shot at getting your customers to use your system. If you hire a cut rate developer to build it out and it doesn’t work the first time, now you need to spend money to fix the problems, and then you need to spend even more money to find more customers now.

Little Secret Number Two: Know what you want to build before you hire your first developer

You have to be prepared to tell your developers exactly what you want to build. Software developers aren’t mind readers. They are experts in only one thing: solving problems with code. You, on the other hand, are the expert in the problem you are trying to solve. This means you have to be open with your developers. It means you have to be honest with your developers. It means you have to tell them everything you know about the problem that needs to be solved, except how to solve it. Let them do what you’re paying them to do: solve the problem.

Little Secret Number Three: Software development is not about writing code, it’s about solving problems

Look, code is a tool that developers use to solve problems and build cool things, but it’s not the only tool in the toolbox. Just like you would never trust a carpenter that showed up with just a hammer and nothing else ready to solve your problems, you shouldn’t trust a developer that wants to just sit down and start writing code. Software developers create plans. They create diagrams. They even create tests before they’re ready to write the first line of production code. All of these help them shape the solution they’re about to build. This way, when they actually start writing code, they know what code needs to be written, and they don’t spend hours chasing rabbits or going down blind alleys. All of this activity is key, because software development is not about coding. Understanding this secret will help you better understand the process, the people that do it, and more importantly, who you need to hire to do it.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: time is money, and if they aren’t coding, they’re wasting time. Nothing could be further from the truth. As I’ve already said, most software development is not coding. A lot of it is planning, and talking, and some of it’s just sitting and thinking a solution through. Then, and only then, does the coding start. The thing that nobody tells you is that coding without proper planning and preparation is the most expensive way to develop software. Now, hiring developers from solves Secret Number One. From there, you and your developer or your team can work through Secret Number Two. However, Secret Number Three requires you to trust a process that you might not fully understand–the process of software development. Look, if it looks easy, when the professionals you hire do it, don’t be fooled. It’s not–they’re just good at it. To get your software project up and off the ground, contact Gun IO, and we’ll hook you up with some of the best software developers in the industry. They’re waiting right now to help you turn your idea into a solution for your customers.

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