How to hire a good programmer if you're not good at programming

How to hire a good programmer if you're not good at programming

The main thing is to clearly define the tasks that a specialist must solve and to ask the right questions during the interview.
Sometimes a business grows well, grand plans are made and management (your superiors or yourself as a leader) decides to hire a staff programmer to solve certain problems.
It may be site maintenance and development of additional functionality, or perhaps an employee program or a CRM system. We propose an action plan in case it is impossible to delegate to someone the search for a specialist and it has already been decided exactly - there should be a programmer.
What you should do before continuing the research
Before looking for a programmer, use three important tips.

1. Answer the question, why do you need a programmer

Understand the basics: what the programmer should work with and what programming skills should be applied. Sorry if I scared you, but you don't need to learn anything: you need to figure out what specific tasks you need a programmer for.

Let's say for website development. Then read on the Internet the skills necessary for this, what IT companies require of candidates. For example, knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, Canvas, Bootstrap. Don't worry about these names, take the time to read these things at least on Wikipedia.

2. Find out the cost of programming services

It's an obvious fact - any good specialist costs money. Bet on the average market salary in programming.
Suppose you need a specialist in website maintenance and development of additional functions (comment forms, product filters, etc.). And of course, you took the first advice and looked at what skills such an employee should have.

Go to the site with vacancies (, or other), use the keyword search ("php-programmer", "web-programmer") and simply look at how many middle-level programmers are offered, that is to say with a long work experience - not a year, but at least two. Middle is no longer a beginner of any kind, and he can quickly get used to your projects. It's about as much and you have to pay such a friend.

3. Engage in relationships

Many of my colleagues were hired by word of mouth: with some, I just discussed part-time part-time jobs, I went to class with someone. Therefore, you will go through your connections, if any. Talk with friends, look in the forums. Most often, valuable staff is acquired this way.

How to choose a good programmer

If, thanks to knowledge, it was not possible to find a dream specialist, go to the sites with work. And be prepared for there to be many who will want great resources. It is not always good, because absolutely everyone will go for a good job with a living wage, and it is simply unrealistic to determine an intelligent specialist from a resume. How to be I will say further.

We are a vacant position

First, write voluminously and beautifully. So we create the first positive impression of our business. A great option is to see how IT companies fill vacancies. Take the ad you like as a template and personalize it for yourself. Important: if you have seen an unknown word, say a little about AJAX, and have not bothered to discover that it is better to delete it, do not include it in your job offer.

Second, honestly and as completely as possible, write down what your employee will do, what skills they should have, for whom they will develop programs. This will show you responsibility for this position.


You have created a vacancy, sorted some of the candidates by CV and selected specialists for an interview.

Of course, it's best to weed out the most inappropriate candidates at the telephone conversation stage, but it's not always an option if you have little understanding of programming.

However, you can still find out if the programmer had solved such problems before and what his experience was. Also find a simple task on the Internet, send the candidate an email, and give them enough time to complete it. Yes, it is an average test, but it will help to eliminate absolutely lazy individuals.

We interview

  1. Prepare a combat mission

You already know what you need, so ask the programmer to perform a specific task directly at the office and note the time. Before arriving, notify the check, but do not name the task itself.

Important! First, ask an independent source how long it should take to complete it: ask a thematic forum, a friend-programmer. You can even check on the freelance exchange, the main thing is to write "Urgent" and "Do you need to start now, how long does it take?" But it's a last resort: they can overdo it there, so an uninterested source is best.

  1. Talk about the candidate's experience.

Découvrez quelle expérience le candidat a, «sondez» tout. Si même un novice en programmation peut vous impressionner par ses connaissances techniques, concentrez-vous sur des projets réussis.Renseignez-vous autant que possible sur les lieux de travail antérieurs.

  1. Ask to show the portfolio

Let the candidate show what he has already done and say how much time he has spent on it. Yes, a wallet can be stolen, so pay attention to how a person relates. Personally, I feel love for my projects, I am ready to talk about them for hours.


4. Find out the reason for the job change

Very mundane, but it's important to know. The main thing is that the change of job is not a consequence of the candidate's inability to fulfill the tasks assigned to him.
If a specialist goes freelance, it's not bad: then he wants stability. If you are not satisfied with the conditions of the last place of work, this is also normal. For example, a KPI programmer linked to a watch simply exhausted certain people.

5. Offer a trial period

Here, only your ability to convince and the properly formed contract play a role. I did it: if an employee performs his duties, he receives 100% of his salary, if not 50%. This helps reduce the costs of the business if hiring fails.
Naturally, discuss the conditions at the very beginning, a person should know what they are going to.

Three more tips

  1. Drop the stereotypes

Programmers are ordinary people, they are not all anti-social and like to sit at home. For many, the range of interests is so wide that you will be surprised. So it's better to do without sentences like "But I never imagined the programmer". It's boring.

It's the truth - programmers love to be lazy. Therefore, follow his work, but do not stand above the soul.

  1. Make a list of people who can load the programmer

That it is a maximum of two people, so that the programmer is not pulled from all sides.This work requires concentration and when a person is absorbed in solving a complex problem, it is very difficult to change of position.

  1. Divide major projects into stages

It is easier to follow the process. In addition, if there is suddenly something to do, the programmer will have time for it and the additional task will be perceived with much less resistance.

Source :