Choosing the Right People for I.T.—Common Concerns in Hiring Web Developers (Part 2)

In the last installment, I discussed the importance of web developers in a modern Software as a Service enterprise. Specifically, I broached the common pitfalls to avoid when hiring new development staff. In today’s post, I will continue to elaborate on the remaining red flags.

  • “One Hammer for all Nails”

The last red flag explained that you should hire developers qualified and experienced in their work. A developer skilled in his area of expertise represents a valuable asset to the company. However, it can also breed a dangerous mentality. A modern entrepreneur should understand the mindset of the developer when the latter consistently recommends the same tool, system, or software—on the other hand, she should attempt to balance its effects. Modern Entrepreneurs need to open their team’s eyes and suggest alternatives rather than allowing them to solve every problem in the same way.

  • Unteachable

This pitfall bears many similarities with the previous two. An unexperienced coder must possess the ability to pick up his missing skills in order to function properly within the modern enterprise while even experienced specialists must be able to consider other possible solutions or systems when solving a problem for a client, No matter the developer’s skill level, the ability to learn remains quintessential. A programmer who can effectively learn reads about tools and systems outside of his expertise and reaches out to other professionals in the industry. They can draw knowledge out of interactions with people who possess more or different knowledge and experience.

  • Anti-Source Control

“It’s too much overhead.” “It adds time to my development.”

As a modern entrepreneur, you have likely heard an excuse against source control at some point or another. Ultimately, source control is a vital component of any Software as a Service company, and not using it will only hurt your enterprise. Developers will likely formulate different rationales against the system—as the boss, you need to draw the line and make source control a nonnegotiable. Of course source control adds overhead and development time—source control is a form of insurance, and insurance costs something. Do not compromise with your developers on this issue.

Internally, for client projects we like using WANdisco’s SmartSVN (http://www.wandisco.com/smartsvn/home) for source control.

  • Reinventing the Wheel

In the world of Software as a Service, creativity and efficiency represents key values to success. Reinventing the wheel nullifies both. Most developers reinvent the wheel out of ignorance and laziness—they refuse to take the five minutes necessary for them to explore and find existing tools and systems that could help them. Other do it out of pride—they feel that they can develop a solution better than what’s out there. Even if this is true, it won’t help your modern enterprise become any more efficient. Finally, some developers wish to “save money” by developing their own substitute for an existing paid tool. From experience, this process is almost always more expensive.

Justin Yum is an apprentice for Anant Corporation (www.anant.us). For more tips, and announcements pertaining to Rahul Singh’s upcoming, “The Modern Enterprise” subscribe to the Anant Corporation newsletter by clicking here: http://eepurl.com/npJmj

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