What should you look for in a software developer?


Before you hire a new software developer, you need to identify what you should look for in applicants. Making the right hiring decision for any role is incredibly important to any business, but hiring a suitable software developer can be more challenging. This is because the IT and software industry is anything but stagnant. We live in a world of rapidly evolving technology, and the knowledge that someone on the cutting edge of tech has now will be utterly different from the knowledge people will need in ten years.

IT recruitment agencies are equipped to tackle this challenge by selecting candidates who will evolve their knowledge and skills alongside the development of various technologies.

Attitude to learning

As with any recruit, you want your new software developer to have an enthusiastic approach to learning. However, unlike hiring people outside IT, a positive attitude to learning is more than highly desirable, it is absolutely essential.

The knowledge your software developers’ has needs to grow and change to keep up with the latest technology. If they don’t, their knowledge will eventually lose relevance.

44% of developers have no related academic qualifications for being a developer, and 71% of software developers say they’re planning to use new programming languages in the next twelve months.

This is why company’s need to focus more on hiring the ‘right’ person, who can learn and develop on the job rather than someone with the right knowledge at that moment, but is a poor fit for the company and has a poor attitude to personal development. Most businesses’ appear to agree; 55% say that ‘willingness to learn’ is their top hiring criteria for software developers.

Your company’s culture

IT departments often have a reputation for lacking integration with other departments. This kind of issue is often a result of a businesses’ failure to synchronise departmental communication. Segmented departments are a breeding ground of poor communication, and opportunities to innovate and increase production are stifled.

Software developers are generally seen as ‘hard skills’ employees and may lack the level of communication skills as someone in HR, for example. This isn’t so much of a problem if the company culture tackles isolationist departments; however it becomes more deep-rooted and problematic if nothing is done.

Communication is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to culture, and an in-depth discussion would require a much longer article, but the fact is poor cultures will result in poor staff retention and low levels of motivation. Developers agree, 45% say that company culture and team spirit is the best way to attract new developers.

Whatever culture your business has, it’s essential that you recruit someone who suits it. That way, your software developers will have better well being and are more likely to reach their potential and add value to your company.


Many attributes account for great software developers, but ultimately, it’s about finding someone with the right intersection of skills, knowledge and company fit. If this is done well, you’ll be more likely to retain developers who will grow in value over time. Tracking down the best candidates can be a difficult task, but using an IT recruitment agency will save you time and provide you with cream-of-the-crop developers. If you’re looking to hire a software developer, GK recruitment can help.


At GK recruitment, we have over 20 years of IT recruitment experience. If you need help in recruiting a software developer who suits your team, we can help you find your perfect match. Contact us on 01257 429 499 or email us at info@gkrecruitment.com.

Start typing and press Enter to search

Recruiting for IT infrastructure professionalIT consultant