If you’re in need of Ruby on Rails development, but aren’t sure where to start your search, you’ve come to the right place! Hiring an expert Rails developer can seem like a daunting task if you don’t know how the hiring process works or how to figure out what kind of Ruby developer will be best suited to your project. With this hiring guide, we’ll walk you through each step of the process and outline what kind of skills and experience you should look for in your future Rails developers so that you can find the right fit for your project.
Decide what you want
Before you start calling potential candidates, be as clear as possible about what you want in a developer. If your company is particularly mission-driven, finding someone who aligns with your values is just as important as finding someone who knows how to code in Ruby on Rails. Maybe you want someone who’s accustomed to working with startups or freelancers. Maybe you need a developer who has experience working remotely or under strict deadlines.
Understand your budget
It’s important that you set a realistic budget for what you can afford. The saying goes, you get what you pay for, so if you’re looking for someone with a lot of experience, or who is highly regarded in his field, expect to pay upwards of $100 an hour. Do your research and understand what kinds of rates other experts charge in your area before hiring anyone. If possible, have a ballpark number in mind before contacting candidates or posting job ads.
Get help with vetting and reviewing candidates
There are several sites that specialize in reviewing and ranking developer candidates. Get A Coder will help you review candidate’s GitHub repositories and Stack Overflow answers while Code Mentor will help you assess their personality and screen them for any personal or professional red flags. Each of these services costs a few hundred dollars, but they’re well worth it if they save you from hiring someone who turns out to be a poor fit.
Filter the pool down
When hiring a Rails developer, make sure that you know what your needs are. If you don’t really need a full-time developer, consider hiring one as a freelancer. Freelancers will often be cheaper and more flexible with their hours, but if they aren’t dedicated to your project they may not be reliable.
Check candidate’s portfolios
While you’re looking for a junior or senior level developer, check out their portfolios and see if they have any experience with Ruby on Rails. If so, hire them! Developers with expert experience in Ruby and/or Rails tend to find jobs more easily because of their popularity. For more information, take a look at our guide Top 5 Types of Programming Languages in 2015. The experts highlighted include: Objective-C, Java, C++, C# and Python.
Ask how questions
It’s important you feel comfortable working with your developer, which is why communication is key. To get a sense of how well you communicate, ask them questions. It will give you insight into whether or not they listen and if they understand what you are saying. Here are some examples: How long have you been programming? What languages do you use? Do you work solo or in a team?
Talk about your team, and how they work together
It’s important for you and your potential freelancer to understand how your team works, because you’ll want someone who is going to integrate well with your staff. Of course, it’s also smart for you and him or her to talk about what exactly is involved in a day-to-day basis when working with your company.
Interview at least three candidates in person
When you hire Ruby on Rails developers, it’s important that you hire someone who has experience working with a team and writing good code. So before hiring a candidate, make sure you have at least three potential hires over for interviews in person. Interviewing by phone or Skype is nice and easy, but nothing compares to meeting someone face-to-face.
Always negotiate salary with more than one offer
When you’re trying to hire a developer, it’s a good idea to negotiate salary with more than one offer. If you only have one offer in front of you, it can be easy for your hiring manager (or even for yourself) to fall into what economists call bidding war hysteria: feel like they have no other option but to agree to what is being requested.