4 Things to Keep in Mind When Hiring PHP Developers

If you’re looking to hire a PHP web developer, it’s important to know right off the bat that whoever you hire will determine the success or failure of your development project. Your PHP developers will essentially design every virtual aspect of your business, and hence you want someone who will fit in properly, and understand and accurately depict your organizational culture and values. This article highlights a few important qualities to consider when you’re weighing candidates for your business’s PHP development.

1.Scope of expertise

The person you hire should be able to demonstrate in-depth understanding of HTML as well as PHP. You will need to comb through their portfolio and weigh their problem solving skills and design flair. Examining the prospective provider’s past works can be very helpful in determining their strengths and witnesses, and figuring out whether they are the right people to take over your project.

You should also ask about their understanding and application of different development frameworks such as CakePHP (useful if you’re also using applications that need to be compatible with ATK4, Agavi or PHP4, all languages that are used in the development of large-scale or enterprise-level applications) and CodeIgniter (very useful when trying to develop advanced aesthetic features). The developer should also be able to demonstrate ability to use a host of plugins and databases, as well as be comfortable with different web hosting packages.

Once you’ve weighed this, remember that book knowledge and experience aren’t the only things you’re looking for. A proficient developer is useless if they don’t understand your organizational culture or goals. Therefore, look for someone who has worked a job related to your niche/field of business. You can also ask a few questions about how they will approach your project to see whether they share your vision, as explained in the next point.

2.Grasp of your vision/organizational culture

When you’re hiring an employee, you will usually look at their understanding of your organizational culture and how they might fit into it, and not just their credentials. Think about it like this: web developers that have only served startups and small businesses may not be great if you’re running a large enterprise, and vice versa.

Instead of examining their background on paper, you can also delve into their work experience by asking them to detail their opinions on previous jobs they handled. As a startup owner, it would be great to have on board someone who has a passion for small businesses and the commensurate experience within the field. In addition, their personality should fit in with the kind of people you employ, or you’ll have a hard time integrating them into your workforce.

Look for a person whose business philosophies and outlook on service delivery match your own. You can always get glimpses into who they really are through their work as well as by asking them opinion questions (that have no right or wrong answers). If you’re looking for someone to handle an out-of-the-box project, you’ll want a demonstration of this in their portfolio – proof that they are not afraid to go against the grain when the job demands it.

Getting a developer that embodies your organizational culture is important because this will seep into the projects they handle for you, and your virtual presence will be consistent with your true nature, which is exactly what you want.

3.People skills and networks

One of the best ways to get connected with the best developers is to spend some time with developer communities. You don’t actually have to be a developer in order to join these communities and collaborate with them. You can begin by attending meet-ups, conferences and workshops as well as join online forums and message boards in places such as drupal.org.

As you spend time around developers, you’ll pick up a few industry tricks that will make you more informed to carry out your own interviews, even if you don’t have the technical know-how. This is extremely valuable when trying to hire the right PHP developer for your business. In addition, you’ll know the things that developers will need from you in order to effectively perform their tasks.

In this environment, you’ll also be able to weigh your candidates’ people skills and networking. If you see someone who’s argumentative and constantly trying to show off and put others down, you’ll know they’re not the right fit for you. Some of these qualities will not be displayed during a one-on-one interview when people put their best foot forward.

4.Adaptability

Do not underestimate the importance of hiring a flexible/easily adaptable developer in your company. You’ve already heard that the only constant thing in the world is change, and nowhere is this truer than in the business world. Consumer needs are always changing and technology is always advancing. Within a span of just two years, you may find that a certain skillset has been rendered obsolete.

Therefore, you want a developer who has invested in learning newer technologies as they appear, despite having been in the field for some time. This is proof that they will not be complacent with their current station and hence be rendered obsolete when change comes.

You can ask them which sites they visit to learn new tricks and tips, and which courses they’ve enrolled in within the last year or so. Find out the last skill or language they learnt and whether they have ventured from their initial specialization at all. Ask which conferences and communities they visit and belong to.

A developer that truly loves his trade will always be reading up on advancements, attending meet-ups with like-minded individuals and always trying to get better at their skill. A complacent or rigid developer will only do the bare minimum for your business and will end up holding you back.

Conclusion

It is worth mentioning that the interview process requires preparation on your part as well. Don’t just show up there like a boss and ask a bunch of generic questions. It’s important to find out what exactly your business needs from a virtual developer, so that you can properly assess the candidates that you have. Don’t waste time on trivial things. You can also plan for practical exercises where they can demonstrate their skillset, among other tasks.

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