skill assessment for software developers

Skills Assessment for Software Developers

Hiring qualified software developers for your company depends on how you assess the applicants you are hiring. The skills assessment process is very important to understand an applicants’ level of expertise and knowledge needed to work on your projects.

But before you hire the right candidate, it’s a must to have an overview of the essential skills that you need to look for in a software developer.

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essential skills of a software developer

When looking and screening for software developers, you should look for the following qualifications.

Technical skills

They should have in-depth knowledge and experience in:

Programming language and software framework

Recruit developers with a strong background in at least one language as this show their mastery in that language. If your projects are written in C#, C++, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, and Ruby, you will find many developers who specialize in these languages. Proficiency in a software framework is also important because a framework improves the quality, reliability, and robustness of the application.

Algorithms and data structures

An algorithm is a set of instructions to perform a calculation or solve a collection of problems. Data structures are a collection of data values. Developers with strong experience in algorithms and data structures can effectively organize data and use algorithms to solve a problem quickly.

Problem-solving

The bugs and errors in the code can cause problems in a code and it cannot move forward until the problem is solved. Look for a developer who doesn’t only know how to create software products, but also knows how to look for solutions.

Integrated development environment (IDE)

Developers should have efficient knowledge of IDEs to write, compile, run, and debug their code. An IDE will also speed up their development tasks.

Databases

Developers with skills in database management systems (DBMS) like MySQL, PostgreSQL, and other DBMS gives them the ability to properly backup, secure and manage the entire database.

Source control

Version control tools like Apache Subversion and GIT means allows one to efficiently manage, store, and secure their code.

Soft skills

These are some of the soft skills that the right candidate may have:

Adaptability

The right developer can easily adjust to evolving changes within the company and team, as well as in processes and project tasks. He or she should be open to learning new skills to be up-to-speed with recent technology.

Empathy

The ability to put one’s self in somebody else’s shoes. Empathizing with the intended users of the product allows developers to see things from their point of view. This enables them to really understand if the product will answer the user’s needs.

Teamwork

Being approachable in a work environment that’s focused on collaboration between team members and clients is crucial to the success and growth of the company.

Communication

Effective communication skills are essential to any industry, not just in software development. It’s important for developers to communicate with their peers, and clients in a clear and effective manner so that there are no misunderstandings between parties.

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How to assess the skills of software developers

This skills assessment is an integral part of the hiring process. This will involve an HR interview, technical interview from a senior developer, and assessment exams. The overall results could help you gauge whether to hire a specific applicant or not.

Interviews from HR and senior developer
Generally, an HR officer is the first person in line to interview an applicant. You can ask about a general summary about themselves, their previous salary and preferred salary range, work experiences, and their personal traits.

Based on their answers, you can gauge if they are a perfect fit for the company culture and if they can collaborate well with others in the team.

A technical interview usually follows after an assessment exam. It consists of two parts – a technical assessment and coding skills test. In the technical assessment, the interviewer asks the applicant about their know-how and experience on different tools and processes.

A coding test will determine an applicant’s background in software development, their expertise in writing codes, and problem-solving abilities.

Assessment exams using software assessment tools
Even today, some companies still provide assessment exams in printed format. We suggest that you go for a computer-based skills assessment tool as they are more convenient and cost-effective in the long run.

A software assessment tool can be customized into several categories such as aptitude and Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.) tests, coding tests where the answers are either multiple choice or in an essay format.

If your company still don’t have one, you can hire an IT expert to develop an assessment tool for you. They can customize these tests for specific programming languages, aptitude, and I.Q. tests. There are free and paid versions of these online tools. Some paid one in the market are:

  • HackerRank
  • Interview Mocha
  • Mettl
  • Codility
  • QuodeIt
  • SkillValue
  • Test4Geeks
  • Hackerearth

One of the popular free online tools is Programming Skills. However, a major disadvantage when using free tools is that the tests available are accessible to anyone. So, any applicant can search on Google for these tests and find a similar test like it. This could mean that applicants are aware of the possible questions before even taking the test. We suggest you get yourself a paid subscription to maintain the integrity and privacy of your assessment tests.

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