A Guide to Hiring a Python Developer


August 23, 2018

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So you have decided that hiring a Python developer will be good for your business, but you’re still not sure how to go about it. The good news is that through this post, we are outlining a basic guide that you can follow in looking for the guy you need. It may not answer all the questions you have in mind, but it should at least give you an idea where to start.

Know your business needs first

While it is true that acquiring the expert services of a Python specialist is a sound decision, perhaps an even better idea is to determine the exact needs of your business, or more specifically, the specific requirements of your software or web project before you proceed to searching for your developer.

It’s okay if you currently don’t know your project’s specific requirements — you can take the opportunity to review what your business is about, and more importantly, what you want to achieve with your Python developer. If you absolutely have no idea where to start, you can begin by visualizing what you need — it could be a website where you can sell stuff online, or it could be a mobile app that allows your customers to book reservations, or it could be as simple as a blog or resource hub that provides information and updates about your business or industry.

Having defined your project requirements should not only allow you some focus on your recruitment efforts, but also serves as a means for the initial screening of candidates, especially when you include the requirements in your job description template.

A little background on Python

Python is one of the most widely used programming languages today (along with the usual suspects like Java, PHP, or JavaScript). As a matter of fact, some of the most popular websites and mobile apps have been built using Python (mostly). Familiar examples include Google’s YouTube, social media giant Instagram, music streaming service Spotify, forums hub Reddit, Dropbox, Reddit, PayPal, Quora, and even NASA, among many others. To this day, the future development of the Python platform itself enjoys backing from the biggest tech brands, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Intel, just to name a handful.

Many agree that Python’s coding is not only simple and easy to use, but also versatile. On top of all that, this programming language offers a wide range of libraries, diverse web development frameworks (including Django), compatibility with third party modules, object-oriented programming, and lastly, an open-source nature that makes it customizable, depending on the project’s requirements. Moreover, Python is not only used in web and software development, but also building desktop graphical user interfaces (GUIs), and even in the analysis of data for various purposes (sports analytics, weather forecasts, etc).

What technical skills to look out for

Expertise in Python.

True, Python may be considered as a general purpose programming language (hence its popularity), but it actually comes in two different versions — the older Python 2.x and the newer Python 3.x. Why is it important to distinguish between the two? Well for one, they are not compatible with each other, and each has its own separate set of updates. It goes without saying that a great Python developer knows how to use both versions depending on the needs of the web project.

Strong web development fundamentals.

The three most basic programming languages for web development are JavaScript, HTML (now HTML5), and CSS (now CSS3), and knowledge of these is particularly useful when it comes to front-end coding. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the fact that Python is a general purpose platform means that it will also likely touch on the client-side aspects of the project. Thus, strong fundamentals in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS are definitely a plus.

Proficiency in using libraries, web frameworks, and modules.

Python allows developers to take full advantage of different Python libraries. Truly skilled Python developers are quite knowledgeable about commonly used libraries like Bottle, NumPy, Peewee, Pyglet, and ScyPy, just to name a few.

When it comes to web development frameworks, the best Python developers also know which ones to choose for a particular web project. Why is it important to pick the right one? Not only will the right framework make the development process more efficient (in terms of using only the appropriate resources without wasting time and effort), the perfect solution will also directly affect the performance and speed (more on this later) of the finished product.

Other qualifications that are also critical

Experience in enhancing processing speeds.

For all its wonderful qualities and capabilities, Python is seen by many as a slower programming language, at least when compared to Java or C++. In this day and age, processing and loading speeds are paramount concerns for business owners and software programmers. We will soon be transitioning into the 5G era, and super fast broadband connection speeds will amount to nothing if the application’s code does not facilitate the quick loading of content, graphics, and other web elements.

More importantly, everything nowadays is centered around giving the ultimate user experience. Global brands like Google and Apple have both proven that can you can marry technical wizardry with user-friendliness, and because consumers have grown used to that, business owners who offer less than seamless user interfaces in their web projects stand to lose potential customers.

Debugging and testing skills.

One can argue that because change happens so fast these days, entrepreneurs and developers are more pressured to deliver amidst tighter deadlines and more compact time frames. Because of these, web projects need to be tested thoroughly more than ever so that despite the sometimes truncated development process, the finished product will still be able to function as intended.

Needless to say, the testing skills of the Python developer will come to the fore. Experience counts for a lot, but even more critical is an analytical mind, an eye for considering multiple possible scenarios, and of course, the patience to actually do the debugging process if needed. Searching for bugs to fix may sometimes be tricky, but for good Python developers, they accept that it is a necessary part of their job.

Time management/project management.

Depending on the complexity of the requirements of your web project, completing it may take a relatively short period, or a really long time. Of course, so much will depend not only on your Python developer’s skill, but also on how effective and efficient he is in tackling the project.

This is where time and project management skills play an important part. The former is pretty much a given in most cases, but the latter would be useful especially if your Python developer will go on to lead a team consisting of other software programmers. We can talk about the usual cliches like teamwork and the value of knowing your role, but the bottomline is: a great Python developer sees the big picture, and can make adjustments when he needs to, in order to give the project a better chance of succeeding.

Where to Find Python Developers

They are basically everywhere, considering Python is a commonly utilized programming language. Python developers can work for you full-time as an in-house employee, but note that these types of programmers typically command rather big salary figures. So basically what we are trying to say is that if you can afford afford to hire one full-time, by all means do so.

But if you a small business owner, you might not have the budget to get an in-house developer. The simple alternative, of course, is to hire a part-time freelancer. You can either hire somebody from America (although based in a different state), or someone offshore (more on this later), and the general thinking is that those based in foreign countries are likely to cost less. But as mentioned earlier in this paragraph, they will be working for you part-time, instead of being a dedicated employee.

If you want lesser costs and full-time dedication, why don’t you consider offshore software development? In this arrangement, you usually partner with an offshore staffing company to recruit and even set up your offshore software development team. If you are open to this idea, we can help you out.

We can find skilled Python developers in the Philippines, and we will handle the hiring process for you. Contact us now.



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