How to hire software engineers
Whether your goal is to develop a mobile app, build a dynamic SPA (single page application), or create a domain-specific language (DSL) for your enterprise software, a software engineer can help you take your software project from conception to completion.
So how do you find the right software engineer for your needs? What follows are some tips for finding top software engineering consultants on Upwork.
How to shortlist software engineering professionals
As you’re browsing available software engineering consultants, it can be helpful to develop a shortlist of the freelancers you may want to interview. You can screen profiles on criteria such as:
- Technology fit. You want a software engineer who understands what you are trying to build and which languages, frameworks, and other technologies are required.
- Developer workflow. You want an engineer who can slide right into your developer workflow (e.g., project management tools, test suites, version control systems).
- Feedback. Check reviews from past clients for glowing testimonials or red flags that can tell you what it’s like to work with a particular software engineer.
How to write an effective software engineering job post
2020欧洲杯体育投注平台With a clear picture of your ideal software engineer in mind, it’s time to write that job post. Although you don’t need a full job description as you would when hiring an employee, aim to provide enough detail for a freelancer to know if they’re the right fit for the project.
The title of your job description should be able to grab the attention of the type of engineer that you’re looking for. Are you looking for someone to help you build a powerful new eCommerce platform for your product? Then you’ll definitely want to include the “eCommerce” keyword in your title. Software engineer is a broad term, so include any specific frameworks, libraries, tools or industries that can help narrow your applicant pool. Also, customize your title so that it specifies the main traits you’re looking for in your desired engineer.
The main body of your project description should give candidates a rough project overview. This is where you elaborate on the details of who you’re looking for and what you’re trying to accomplish. Link or attach any wireframes, mockups, creative briefs or other documentation that can communicate to applicants the nature of the work to be done. If you need the engineer to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), you can also specify this requirement in your description.
The final part of a good project description is to touch upon your desired development schedule and deliverables—any designs, documentation, or source code. The source code is usually delivered using a version control solution such as Git.
Sample Project Description
Below is an example of a clear and concise project description.
Title: Software Engineer for an IoT Development Project
Description: We’re looking for an experienced software engineer to help build the firmware and embedded software for an exciting new product line of smart kitchen appliances. Experience developing firmware for custom microcontroller-based hardware (8 and 32 bit) is required.
The right engineer will have experience in the following:
- Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science or related discipline
- Experience developing for Arduino and IoT applications
- Solid foundation in C, C++
- Familiarity with embedded systems communications buses (i.e. I2C, UART, SPI, etc.)
- Experience working with Scrum.
Project Scope & Deliverables:
While much of the project has already been completed, we still need additional support to help us polish our product and meet our launch deadline in 6 months (mm/dd/yyyy). We will need the following three deliverables:
- Deliverable #1 by (date)
- Deliverable #2 by (date)
- Deliverable #3 by (date)
We are SmartKit, an innovative startup seeking to bring the power of the cloud to a kitchen near you.
That’s enough about us, to ensure you’ve read the entirety of this message, please include the name of your favorite film alongside your portfolio in your reply.
*Note all company names and dates, were created solely for the use of this example.
Software Engineer FAQs
Why hire software engineers?
2020欧洲杯体育投注平台Ever wonder what the difference is between a “software engineer” and a “software developer”? The software engineer is a software developer who also uses engineering principles to carry your software project through the software development life cycle (SDLC).
2020欧洲杯体育投注平台Here’s a quick overview of the skills you should look for in software engineering professionals:
- Application-specific programming language (e.g., Java for Android development)
- Programming paradigms (e.g., object-oriented design)
- Software development methodologies (e.g., Agile, Scrum, XP)
- Familiarity with the SDLC (from requirements gathering to deployment and maintenance)
- Code documentation
Software engineering consultants help businesses build well-documented, powerful software.
How much does it cost to hire a software engineer?
2020欧洲杯体育投注平台Here are some of the most important cost factors you’ll need to consider when budgeting to hire a software engineer for your needs. A software engineer can help you build a mobile app, design a website, create a web API, or build any number of software applications you’re looking for.
Cost Factor #1: What do you want engineered?
Different types of projects require different levels of expertise and engineers with different levels of expertise charge different rates. A simple WordPress blog won’t cost as much as a fully functional application that branches out among several APIs and caters to different countries.
2020欧洲杯体育投注平台One way to control this type of project is to ask for a minimal viable product (MVP) to take to market and then scale it as you determine its success. An MVP is the absolute minimum requirements needed to get the product launched to test user interest in the market. This will reduce costs while still providing you with the product you want.
Of course, software engineers perform numerous services aside from just web or app programming. Many have a strong background in engineering ideas instead of just taking development instructions. That’s the main difference between an engineer and a developer even though the two terms are used interchangeably by both developers and clients.
Software engineering also requires different types of professionals. You might need a database, software, and design engineer. All of these types of engineers charge different prices per hour. Engineers are also responsible for programming microprocessors and robotic hardware, and these programmers would charge a much different rate compared to a standard web developer.
Cost Factor #2: Scope
While it’s difficult for a non-engineer to fully understand the scope of a development project, it’s one of the biggest driving factors for cost. A small, simple app that uses no APIs or outside sources could only take a few weeks to engineer, but some applications can take months to complete because they have such a large scope.
2020欧洲杯体育投注平台The larger the scope, the more back-and-forth there will be, and more rounds of testing are needed. It’s difficult to estimate the size of an application scope from just an idea—you need to consult a software engineer to come up with a plan, a deadline, and some scope delivery items throughout the duration of the project.
To get an idea of what types of coding and requirements might affect scope, here is a general list:
- External APIs from other vendors and sources.
- Design requirements included with back-end coding
- Custom web services that extend the main application
- Revisions and changes to the scope during the project
- Device testing for applications meant for desktop and mobile devices
- Any equipment purchases needed such as robotics and micro-programming
- Poor documentation for requirements and planning
2020欧洲杯体育投注平台In failed projects, many times it’s poor documentation or a miscommunication that causes things to come apart. Always communicate your idea to a software engineer the best you can. A good engineer will help you create the documentation to ensure the project runs smoothly.
Cost Factor #3: Geography
2020欧洲杯体育投注平台If you’ve already searched for costs, you’ve probably heard the wide range of fees charged based on the geographic location of the developer. You’ve also probably read the pros and cons for engaging an engineer outside of your own area.
The pro is that some cities, states, and countries have a much cheaper cost of living, so engineers from these locations can charge lower rates. Engineers in the US, Australia and the UK can charge hundreds of dollars per hour, and sometimes more in hubs like New York, Sydney or London. However, the cost of living in countries such as Russia, India and Serbia is much lower and therefore the engineers could charge lower rates.
2020欧洲杯体育投注平台You still need to consider several factors that can actually increase cost and time of development. In the previous section, we mentioned miscommunication as a main cause of project failure. This possibility is increased when you work with developers who don’t speak your language. It’s an innocent yet costly problem when there are language barriers between the engineer and the owner.
Another issue is time zones. You could ask for changes at noon, and this could be late night for some developers, which can extend the deadline and costs due to time zone delays.