How to Hire the Top 1% of IT Talent Python Developers

Many organizations choose Python for their programming language because it’s versatile and can address an organization’s challenges in the long-term. It’s suitable for developing everything from desktop to web apps, artificial intelligence apps, and data-driven, scientific apps.
Developers that work in Python love it for a few reasons:

  • Highly readable – dynamically typed and necessary indentation
  • Numerous libraries – very handy and accessible to developers
  • Scalable language – easy to handle all sizes of tasks
  • Efficient – prototypes and MVPs (minimum viable products) take a short time to create
  • Promotes concise, readable, and better yet, maintainable code

Python developers aren’t hard to come by, but how can an organization pick, out of the surplus available to them, the top 1% Python developers? Experience and talent will set the top Python developers apart from the rest, and their results will speak volumes. This article will cover how to recruit, vet, and retain the top Python developers for projects.

Where to look for potential candidates

There are three common ways to hire a Python developer, and they are: in-house employee, freelancer, or via a software company. Here’s a breakdown of what the experience with each type of candidate will be like.

In-house and freelance

It takes experience to navigate the nuances of recruiting a Python developer, as well as being able and wanting to lead and manage the project from start to glorious finish.
This type of candidate will also need a team of experts, such as a quality assurance specialist and a project manager, in order to run a successful project. Additionally, freelancers are often skilled and experienced in a specific area.

For organizations that don’t have software development as their core business, this isn’t really an economical or viable option. Ongoing maintenance can be difficult as well because freelancers will have other projects and commitments, so if an app has bugs, someone else will have to be hired to fix them.

Software development company

While not the cheapest option, this type of candidate may actually present the best value. While working with a software development company may cost more at first, there is the assurance of quality. Working with a software company means that a business has access to a whole team of experts that are skilled and qualified in an array of functions – these experts can be project managers, designers, developers, and more.

They’re up to date with tech and developments and can provide the most effective solutions. Companies can also expect higher levels of quality control, reporting and communication, and reliability.

Which is the better fit?

An organization should pick a route based off of the following:

  • How quickly the developer is needed
  • Whether or not they have the technical know-how to interview as well as test candidates
  • The ability and desire to lead the project and see it through
  • Budget
  • How important quality is to the project

Each type of hire has its unique pros and cons for individual organizations to decide on.

Recruitment

Because Python is suitable for a vast array of applications, an organization needs to have a very clear idea of what they want and wish to achieve as well as be able to communicate it clearly. This makes it a lot easier to find developers that are skilled and experienced in the required areas.

Before looking for developers, organizations should:

  • Understand the challenges that can be faced (building scalable apps and systems, making integral business reforms automated, end user data confidentiality and protection, etc.
  • Be aware of what the candidates look for in a job opportunity
  • Define the size and scale of the project
  • Determine the technology stack (the front and back-end specs by which the application would be built

Prospective developers can be put through a technical interview, tailored to Python’s subtleties. The interview should have problem-solving questions that tie into the organization’s project, or are based off of real-life problems that the organization’s team has run into in the past. There should be a technical interviewer or the organization could employ a software service company.

Having a pair or even team programming task during an interview can also help the organization to see how the candidates will perform in a team setting. Their collaboration, communication, and technical prowess will show here.

Beyond an interview, there can also be a test project. This can really help narrow down a list of candidates by testing their skills and claims. It can also show the organisation how they go about completing a task (and how quickly).

Vetting

Truly great Python developers have to have both hard and soft skills, but far more than that, they have to be adaptable. Programming language is ever-changing, and Python already has a versatile nature. The following are the key qualities and skills that an organization should look for to ensure that they hire the top Python developers.

Technical expertise

Proficiency in Python 2.x and 3.x is an absolute must. While both are used widely, they aren’t compatible with each other. A good developer will have knowledge of modules, frameworks, and libraries, and that will enhance Python’s functionality.

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the knowledge and expertise that the top 1% of Python developers should have:

  • Python syntax and semantics
  • Front-end web applications – CSS3, HTML5, JavaScript
  • Python frameworks – Django, Flask, Pyramid, etc.
  • Basic Python concepts
  • Python multi-process architecture and threading limitations
  • Object Relational Mapper
  • Developing Python applications
  • Integration of RESTful API and other databases
  • Unit testing and debugging
  • System Administration
  • Optimizing data depending on the platform (desktop and mobile)
  • Server-side templating languages
  • Operating Systems – Chrome, Windows, Linux, Ubuntu, Android, iOS, etc.
  • Other relevant skills: user authentication, authorization, security, design concepts, and building database schemas

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Communication skills

Any developer, no matter how programming-based their job is, needs to be able to communicate well with other members of the team for their to be effective collaboration. The importance of soft skills when singling out top Python developers cannot be understated. Communication skills can actually set top Python developers apart from the rest, and will mean that they will really understand project requirements as well as communicate well with other developers.

Critical thinking

This skill will also be one that can help an organization single out the top 1% Python developers. There are a few Python frameworks and libraries, and these can help developers speed up the process of development while not increasing costs. The right developer(s) will have the critical thinking skills to select the framework that suits the project best, as each has its own pros and cons.

Ability to problem-solve

Great developers know how to troubleshoot problems as they happen during the process of development, and will save both time and money.

Retaining

Once an organization has found their top 1% Python developers, they would probably want to hold on to them! As with most careers, retaining developers is mostly about treating them as people with their own dreams, desires, and needs.

As a non-exhaustive list, developers should:

  • Feel empowered to do their job – they should be given everything that they need to work effectively, including time, space, and kindness. They should be able to be creative and approach problems in the way that they feel is best.
  • Be offered opportunities to learn new skills – as Python is ever-changing, developers need to keep up to date. This helps developers keep learning new skills which is engaging and fun, and helps the organization too.
  • Have a career path – or at least be offered one.
  • Feel at home – they should be welcomed by other colleagues and feel at home even if they don’t work directly with all of the other people in the organisation.
  • Have their hard work be recognized.
  • Have their market value be recognized – if they’re doing great work, they should be compensated as such and never

Organizations should respect their developers and show rather than tell them that they are appreciated!

Conclusion

Developers are pretty much the backbone of software applications. Python as a language is capable of doing more than the current apps offered, and top Python developers know how to wield the language in wonderful, powerful ways. Top Python developers are an invaluable asset to an organization and will make all the difference to a project.

If you need to know more about Python developers get in touch with us today. Here at Sphere Partners, we’re a strategic technology partner offering consulting services, cutting-edge software development, expert engineering teams on-demand and enterprise platform implementations such as Monday.com, NetSuite, Salesforce, Google Cloud and Snowflake for companies seeking to transform in a demanding digital world.

With a global team of business and technology consultants, solution creators, and engineers, Sphere delivers strategy, design, and software development to help organizations solve their technology challenges and improve productivity, enhance the user experience, and maximize growth.

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