How to find and hire backend software developers 

Need to hire a back end developer for your website project? In this post we teach you how to find the best back end developer for your unique project.
Apr 1, 2020 • 5 minute read
Ayesha Akhter @ayeshasuhail121
Technical Co-pilot
Cover photo for How to find and hire backend software developers 

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Need to hire a backend software developer? Read this first

Once you’ve done all the hard entrepreneurial work of constructing your business, company, or brand, it is essential to follow up with a well-designed, fully functional website.  It’s the bridge between you and your clientele, and it’s very important to hire the right people for the job.  

But what should you look for in a web developer?  Do you even need to hire more than one? What specific skills and qualities should they exhibit in order to maximize the functionality and enhance the user experience of your company website?  We’ve got you covered. By the end of this article, you should be well-prepared to onboard the best back end developer for your project. 

Frontend development vs backend development

When web users go online (on any device or app), they interact with a browser. As a user interacts with a website, the browser sends messages to the server hosting the website. The server then fetches any data necessary to meet the user's navigational request. 

The browser part of the equation that the user directly interacts with is known as the frontend.  You can think of it as the face of the site. The server-side, which is responsible for the work that goes on behind the scenes is known as the backend.  Think of this as the brain of a website.  

Let’s say you’re ready to create the website for your new business.  The frontend developer you hire would create the coding for the graphical user interface.  This involves setting up all of the buttons, images, interactive parts and navigations menus the site needs.  The backend developer is the one who builds the actual functionality of all of it, using precise programming to store and retrieve all the data.

Frontend developers should be proficient in specific technologies that apply to the interactive side of any domain.  They need to be skilled in the type of coding that creating the frontend requires. The most common code languages used by frontend developers are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.  A good frontend developer is well-versed in these three primary languages and should also be continually keeping an eye on new trends in the industry. They should also be able to use design tools (such as PhotoShop, Sketch or Figma) and know the fundamentals of web hosting and purchasing a domain.  

Backend developers rely heavily on critical thinking skills to design systems that run a site.  They often find themselves debugging code. They need to know precisely how and where to securely store data. They need to program the site to withstand various circumstances without crashing.  They need to be able to add or change features of the site without interrupting the functional flow. They also need to stage testing platforms in order to check possible outcomes and compose algorithms to ensure that the user experience is hassle-free.  

There are several languages a backend developer can use to build the site.  Python, PHP, Java, and Ruby are among the most popular, but there are many others.  Most backend devs focus their expertise on one or two but maintain competency in others.  A website generally is built using just one of these languages. 

Lastly, there is a title known as Full-Stack Developers.  These are the rare folks that can operate both the frontend and the backend.   As you may have guessed, this requires an in-depth understanding of the entire process of creating a website, with all its complexity.  In general, because a true expert in this wide range of capabilities is hard to find, it’s sometimes best to hire frontend and backend separately.  The exception would be for relatively small-scale projects where a full-stack dev can adequately handle the responsibility.

Why you need a backend developer

Well executed backend development is paramount to the successful creation of any website or app.  You don’t want to skimp on this essential position! Hiring a backend developer means that your site will be fully customized to meet the needs of your users.  Their role is to have a complete understanding of the aim of the website and organize the logic of the system. They need to ensure that logic translates well across all devices that would possibly be used to access your content.  They are responsible for creating the method of accepting data, installing payment processing systems, incorporating search engines, and connecting other important databases. The backend developer builds the architecture of your website and ties together all of its programming.  They shoulder a weighty responsibility.

Now, how to find one?

Options for hiring backend developers

As you can see, it is highly advisable to hire a professional for these demanding aspects of website development!  Your business will benefit greatly from the skills they bring to the table. Once you’ve decided what your hiring needs are, it’s time to figure out where to find the best candidate for the job.  

There are a number of places you can find a backend developer. You can contact an agency, work with job recruiters or hire a freelancer.

The most cost effective option is hiring a freelancer. A Freelancer can be hired on a project by project basis and there is no need to pay them any benefits. A freelancer can also be hired in a minutes (or seconds) compared to 42 days using conventional hiring methods. 

Flexibility is another important aspect that freelance workers can offer.  This increases the convenience factor of hiring freelancers over other companies.  They may work remotely, sometimes from different time zones, but are very comfortable having a flexible work schedule in order to meet project deadlines.

Narrowing down the search

There are a few key tips to help you find a quality freelance back end developer.

The first is thing to look for is experience. Freelancers usually publicly display their previous projects in their portfolio of work. This should give you an indication of whether their skillsets align with the complex requirements of your project. 

It’s imperative that you communicate clearly with potential candidates in order for your project to succeed.  Discuss the needs of your project in detail, and whether you are looking for a short- or long-term collaboration.  Some freelancers prefer part-time work, while others are looking for full-time positions. Establish realistic time frames (while factoring in different time zones) and how exactly you will maintain an ongoing dialogue regarding ideas, progress, and questions that arise.  

Another discussion point worth considering is whether or not you need your developer to remain available for future support.  If you encounter bugs in the system, need to program updates, or other tweaks and fixes, will you have access to their support?

 

Final words

Hiring the right backend developer has a massive impact on your website's success. Backend developers provide the architecture to give your site's visitors a great experience. It's worth taking the time to find the right fit for your project.

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