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Best Way to Find a Great Software Developer

When you are looking to contract or hire a software developer there are many options ahead of you. From the type of developer to where to find them, this article guides you through what you need to know when looking for a software developer.

blog image 13What Kind of Software Developer Are You Looking For?

If you are not technology savvy, you will need to do some research about the type of developer you need. The term software developer is general and covers people with a wide range of skills and expertise.

Software developers are generally categorized by:

  • The software platform they build (Web/Mobile/Desktop)
  • The type of programming language they use  (.Net, Java, Swift, etc.)
  • The portion of the application they develop (User Interface, Business Logic, Database, Architecture)

If you are looking for someone to do it all, you will need what’s known as a full-stack developer. A full stack developer will be able to design and create an application for you.  (Read What Is The Best Way To Get My Project Developed for more information about full stack developers).

Your candidate will still have experience in particular programming languages and software platforms. It’s best to focus on your primary platform (Web/Mobile/Desktop) when you don’t have a technology preference.

Read more about common web and mobile technologies here.

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Where To Find Software Developers

There are four primary ways of finding a software developer:

  • Through someone you know
  • Through a code school or university
  • Through an online service (job board/freelance site)
  • Through a professional agency

In the section below we cover the pros and cons of each approach and provide resources for you to further research where applicable.


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Friend of a Friend

Software development is a prevalent occupation. You most likely know someone who knows someone who is a software developer. You can start your search with your personal network.

Some developers are willing to work on your project during their nights and weekends to bring in additional income. This can be a viable option for some businesses as it will be a lot cheaper than other options. The tradeoff is that the project will take longer and you will have limited responsiveness from your developer while they work at their day job.

Another benefit of contacting a developer or technology expert who is a friend of a friend is that it is a way to get free advice on the type of resource you need and how to go about your project.

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Code School or University

Code schools and computer science departments of local universities are additional ways to find software developers. The developers will be green with a limited amount of experience, but what they lack in experience they often make up in enthusiasm.

You will want to confirm that the technologies the students know how to use are a good fit for your business. Because they have not been in the industry for long, a student will not be able to advise you if their skills line up with your long-term business needs. In the case of hiring a student, get a technology advisor or trusted friend to help you determine the right technology stack for your project before you hire.

To meet potential students, both universities and code schools offer career days where you can meet their students face to face and collect resumes. Contact your local university career center to find out more.

For code schools, consider organizations such as The Iron Yard and General Assembly.

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Job Sites

There are a variety of online sites where you can advertise a job position. As job sites can come and go, google the best job sites for software developers.

Some of the most common job sites at the time of writing include:


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Staffing Firm

If you would like to work with someone who can help advise you on the types of resources you need, as well as screen and interview those resources for you, consider hiring a professional staffing firm.

A staffing firm allows you to hire a variety of resources in a couple of ways.

  • Short-term contracts
  • Contract-to-Perm, where you bring on a resource as a contractor with the option to convert them to a permanent employee once you are satisfied that they are a good fit for your business
  • Full-time employee

For more information on working with a staffing firm, you can read:



In this article, we covered several different ways you can go about finding the resources you need for your software development project. Staffing is a service we provide to local Atlanta companies on a daily basis. Although we are not the right fit for everyone, we may be able to help.

Not all technologists are right for all positions. Beyond skill-set and experience, you also should consider cultural fit.

If you are thinking about hiring a software professional and are wondering how you can find someone who will work well in your organization, take a look at our checklist below.

software checklist

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