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5 Things to Look for When Hiring Full-Stack Developers
5 min read

5 Things to Look for When Hiring Full-Stack Developers

Find out what to look for when hiring full-stack developers and the most important indicators of a full-stack developer’s worth and expertise.
5 Things to Look for When Hiring Full-Stack Developers

So your company needs a full stack developer? You’re not alone - full-stack developers are among the most in-demand software programmers because of their versatility and value.

But you only get those benefits if you hire a truly worthwhile full-stack developer, of course.

Unfortunately, quite a few developers have taken to playing fast and loose with the term “full-stack” now, which means you sometimes end up with someone who claims to be but isn’t.

To help you avoid situations like that in your recruitment, we’ll show you what to look for when hiring these developers. Below are the most important indicators of a full-stack dev’s worth and expertise.

1. Proficiency in at least 1 front-end & 1 back-end language

It’s not a perfect guarantee that they have a lot of experience working on both ends of the stack, but this helps you ensure that they know enough to do that capably if required.

Take note that most developers will naturally favour one end of the stack, by the way. You’ll run into full-stack developers who do mostly front-end work and only learnt to deal with the back-end as a secondary task - and vice versa.

Still, if they’ve done enough work in both areas to merit the descriptor “full-stack”, they should have expertise in at least one of both the main front-end and back-end technologies.

For the former, that usually includes CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. For the latter, look for expertise in languages like PHP, C#, Java, Ruby, etc.

2. Proven experience with a tech stack suited to your needs

There are a lot of possible tech stacks, so it’s not feasible to give an exact prescription here. Generally, though, you should check a developer’s resume to find out if they can work with the tech stack your project requires.

For instance, let’s say you need someone capable of building a dynamic web app on open-source technology.

In that case, you might need a developer with experience using the LEMP tech stack.

LEMP refers to a tech stack that relies on Linux as the operating system, NGINX as the web server, and MySQL and PHP for the embedded database and language, respectively. It’s very popular for projects of the type described above.

So it’s important that you do some research to find out which tech stacks you need most for your projects. Then, you just have to ensure that the developer you pick has experience with those stacks.

3. Extensive testing and debugging experience

When interviewing full-stack developers, this is something you definitely want to ask about. That’s because the debugging-and-testing process takes up more than half of a developer’s time!

As such, you need a full-stack developer who can demonstrate expertise in testing and debugging. Ask candidates questions like these:

  • How do you deal with edge cases?
  • What steps do you take to ensure robust algorithms? Or scalability?
  • Do you regularly read server logs? (Hint: it’s better if they do, as it can be very useful in debugging.)
    It also helps to ask them for an example of a unique or noteworthy testing or debugging problem they may have faced in the past.

Their answers will give you an idea of how they deal with issues and problem-solving. It may also give you an idea of how thorough they are when testing and debugging their work.

4. Leadership and collaborative skills

This is especially important if you’re hiring a full-stack developer as part of a team.

In most cases, full-stack developers are used to coordinate tasks in a project as well as integrate team members’ work. They’re often called on to serve as technical leads.

They may also be used as problem-solvers when issues require solutions that address disparate elements of a development project.

They’re typically the best options for such things because of their broad knowledge and ability to see the bigger picture.

As such, you should take time to find a developer with the soft skills necessary for such functions, should you ever need the full-stack developer to perform them.

Even if you’re hiring a full-stack developer to work on a solo project (like a basic app or minimum viable product), these skills remain useful.

After all, the dev still has to work with you to come up with the product you want, so collaborative and technical leadership abilities still come into play then!

5. Code that is consistently clean and reusable

Because full-stack developers work across the breadth of a project’s architecture, it’s more important than ever to ensure their code is clean and reusable.

You don’t want developers whose code tends to span multiple purposes in a single function. The bigger functions get, the unwieldier they are, and the uglier things become when a problem arises and people need to reuse or test the code.

The best full-stack developers stick to using only one purpose per function and even make sure to assign clear names to functions and variables. That makes their work easy to read and work with, for others and for themselves too!

That being said, testing for technical abilities like this can be challenging if you’re not a developer yourself. How exactly would you check the cleanliness of their code then?

Fortunately, there are ways to make the entire process of hiring a full-stack developer easier.

For instance, if you use Skilledd to find full-stack developers, you can use its platform to quickly identify candidates who meet all of the requirements above.

Skilledd’s engineers undergo technical assessment and scoring, as well as strict screening. You can specify just about all of your preferences and get matched to only the best options.

Moreover, Skilledd’s tech gurus are capable of adding further technical tests and custom evaluations to your recruitment process if desired. Skilledd’s team can even give candidates coding tests and assess those on your behalf.

To have Skilledd help you find the best full-stack developers for your business, head to now.