In this episode, we discuss how to filter through the noise of bad applicants and hire great software developers.
- Doug: Working on PodWP launch, attending Podcast Movement in Dallas in August
- David: Traveling to a conference in Scotland and WordCamp Hamburg, hired a full time developer
- Focus on the business instead of doing everything yourself and being a technician.
- Make broader product and business decisions, without worrying about the exact code implementation.
- Just because you can do the work doesn’t mean you have to.
- A lot of software developers have difficulties making great products when they are both managing and developing it themselves.
The 4 Step Hiring Process
- Post job offer
- Filter for the good applicants by using an Easter Egg in the application, e.g. “What’s your favorite WP plugin?”
- Appeal to the developer. A long term position, consistent work, and meaningful work can be motivating to them.
- Screen applicants
- Check their marketplace reviews and if they followed the application instructions. Filter out the cheaply priced applicants.
- Use a Trello board to organize your applicants (see below).
- Trial project
- Give them a simple test project (instructions here).
- Look to make sure the code actually works. Are there warnings and errors? Did they read the instructions, how long did they take to complete it? What is the code quality – did they use comments, did they structure the code well?
- Giving them the same, standardized project makes it easier to compare the applicants.
- Does the contractor deliver? Do you enjoy working with them?
- David has his full time developer write daily reports:
- What did you do today?
- Did you have any problems?
- Do you need feedback on anything?
- Working in person or “live” can be helpful.
- Hiring isn’t always the best option. In some cases a consultant is better. It depends on your goals and budget. A consultant will take less of your time, but more of your money. Hiring will cost you less money, but more time.
- Further reading: http://davidhehenberger.com/hiring-developers/
Tips & Tricks
- My Custom CSS plugin
- Menu that lets you add custom CSS to your site
- Doesn’t get replaced when upgrading your theme
- No FTP needed
- FTP client for Mac, about $30
- Synchronization button – syncs your local development folder with the folder on the website
- Performs FTP actions faster than other FTP clients