A software development manager is hard to find because of the scope of the work. In this article, we are listing down tips on hiring someone to fill those big shoes. Check the list and see if they make sense to you.
A software development manager is a bit of a catch-all title. In a previous article, we outlined the roles and competencies, and it seems that development managers have to be a little bit of everything.
Think about it. Dev managers have to hire and choose team members. They need to know the basics of coding as well as manage people and resources. Dev managers also need to know the market and deal with executives and clients.
In other words, a development manager has to have tech knowledge, business acumen, and communication skills. That is an unlikely combination of competencies in one person.
However, if you do need one, then you have your work cut out for you. As you can probably figure out, not many people out there can do the job. If you do manage to find one, you still need to get the candidate to sign on.
Software Development Manager Salary
Before anything else, you need to consider the practical aspects of hiring a development manager. First, do you know the salary range of an in-house Dev manager in the US? Well, it depends.
According to Salary.com, a Dev manager in the US makes a base salary between $117,161 and $174,627 a year. However, there are variations based on location. In New York City, for example, the range is $140,941 to $210,061. In Rock Springs, WY, it is $107,534 to $160,262.
Second, can you afford one? Based on the figures above, you would be looking at a significant investment. Some people might think it is a waste of money.
However, some development projects have many moving parts. Not having a development manager to oversee would be a big mistake. A mismanaged project can result in project delays, coding errors, and poor work quality. It will cost you much more in the end.
Software Development Manager Hiring Tips
If you do have the resources to hire a development manager for your projects, what do you need to do? Since you are angling for some rare fish, you don’t want to waste time with non-starters. You want only suitable candidates for the role of software development manager. Here are some tips to get that.
Specify the Scope
A dev manager wears many hats, but few people can do everything equally well. Specifying the scope of a project can help you find the right candidates right off the bat. For instance, if your task is to develop a SaaS product, look for someone with experience in that area.
Focus on Continuous Learning
In many ways, dev managers are project managers. However, the technical requirements make a difference. Dev managers need to know the fundamentals of coding. They typically worked in software development at some point.
How do you find that out? The easiest place to start is the academic credentials of a candidate. A degree in computer science is often a requirement for a dev manager role. That said, the education profile might not always have such markers.
Well, about 30% of software developers never went to college or completed a degree. This software development is a relatively recent thing, and it is a moving target. The things students learn in a computer science degree program could be obsolete by the time they graduate.
Look for evidence of continuous learning in candidate resumes. Most experienced developers started coding less than ten years ago. As recently as 2019, a survey of developers shows that 85.5% claim they are self-taught, and 60% took an online course. Regularly updating their skill sets shows a growth mindset and initiative, which makes for good managers.
An academic degree is a good thing in a development manager’s profile, but it should not be a requirement. Instead of academic degrees, focus on non-formal learning activities.
Check for an Online Presence
Dev managers evolve. It takes a while for software developers to accumulate the knowledge and experience they need to become development managers. How do they do that?
Developers often grow through community interaction. Online dev communities such as GitHub and StackOverflow play host to many developers.
Checking the online presence can give you a good idea of the skill level and commitment and candidates’ communication skills. Do they ask and answer questions? Do they connect well with other developers?
It would also be a good idea to go to their LinkedIn profiles. You will be able to check connections and past job experiences quickly.
Look for Leadership Abilities
A skilled software developer is not necessarily a good manager or even a good team player. If you see management experience in the resume, that is a good sign. It is likely the candidate has what it takes to lead and work with a team.
However, some developers exhibit leadership skills even if they have not previously worked in a management position. These skills will typically manifest during the interview, so be on the lookout.
Sealing the Deal with Software Development Managers
Once you have a list of likely candidates for the position, you need to move fast. Just like with software engineers, you are competing with many companies.
Give candidates a positive experience during the interviews and assessment. Your offer should be as attractive as possible, and be prepared to negotiate the terms.
Hire a Software Development Manager or Outsource?
The investment in software development can go significantly higher when you hire a development manager. However, much is at stake when it comes to a big project. Success can ride on the skills of the development manager.
Of course, you can always choose to outsource the whole project to experienced professionals instead of hiring an in-house team. Full Scale can help you cut costs without skipping on quality.
We are in the business of building development teams quickly and affordably. We deploy software developers, web developers, and other professionals with much success.
Contact us now and solve all your software development problems in one stroke!