If you’re looking to hire Python developers, it can be tricky to know what to look for in a candidate. It’s not enough to ask applicants if they know Python or how many years of experience they have with the language — this could mean the candidate just started learning it last week and hasn’t even gotten to the intermediate stage yet! Python developers are an essential part of the modern tech world, and they come in all shapes and sizes with all sorts of different skill sets, so you need to make sure you hire the right one.
1) Basic Computer Proficiency
If you’re hiring a programmer, chances are he or she will be working on a computer, so it stands to reason that you’ll want someone who knows his or her way around one. In addition to basic computer literacy, a good hire should also know how computers function and have experience writing code.
2) Exposure to Frameworks like Django
Many of today’s top frameworks, like Django and Laravel, are based on similar principles of code organization. This means that developers who understand how these principles work can readily adapt to working with many different kinds of applications. A strong knowledge of modern frameworks will enable you hire python developers with a wide range of skills.
3) General Development Experience
Unlike front-end, back-end, or mobile development, Python is a general programming language. To work with it effectively and be able to create apps or sites with complex functionality (such as those on our list of 100+ best python apps), you’ll need a firm grasp of good development practices in general.
4) Comfort with Linux
Most developers are pretty familiar with Linux, as many of them use it at home or in their other professional endeavors. But if you want to hire experienced Python developers, they’ll need some comfort with Linux—specifically Ubuntu. While not every developer will be installing Apache and MySQL by hand, they should all be comfortable enough to do so without breaking a sweat.
5) A Solid Understanding of Object-Oriented Programming
Part of what makes a skilled developer is his or her understanding of object-oriented programming (OOP). Some developers can learn new languages relatively quickly, but they lack an ability to really understand OOP principles. This is a skill that takes time and practice, so look for a developer who has at least some experience with it.
6) An Understanding of Design Patterns
Design patterns are a way of formalizing things, which can take your code from being merely functional to actually being expressive. These patterns will help you with hiring python developers as well as any developer that works in that language, and may even give you an advantage over other businesses if you have Python developers on your team who understand these patterns. There are many design patterns for different aspects of coding; some for creating clean APIs, others for file handling, and still more for networking or working with databases.
7) Familiarity with Unit Testing Tools like PyUnit or Nose
An essential aspect of any web development is unit testing. Unit tests help developers make sure that individual parts of a program—called units—work correctly, and should be written for every single line of code. Python comes with its own unit testing tools, but many programmers prefer PyUnit or Nose. Using one or both will improve your hire-ability, as they’re almost universally used by experienced python developers (and they’re easy to learn!).
8) Familiarity with Databases like PostgreSQL or MySQL
The two most popular open-source databases are PostgreSQL and MySQL. When hiring Python developers, it’s good to make sure they have at least a passing familiarity with at least one of these database engines. An understanding of SQL syntax will also be helpful. Learning SQL is relatively easy—it’s almost like a programming language unto itself—and you should try not to overthink it; instead, focus on using it where appropriate in your code base.
9) Comfort with Threading and Multithreading
Threading is a big part of how multi-threaded programming works, but it’s often not fully understood by folks just beginning with threading. It’s important for developers to have an understanding of what happens when threads are used and how that code can be written safely. Threading isn’t easy—it takes time, patience, and practice—but once you get comfortable working with multiple threads, your development skills will grow immensely.
10) Experience Creating RESTful APIs
Good developers know how to build APIs that are consistent, easy-to-use, and scalable. Whether you’re looking for a web developer or a desktop developer, good experience with APIs is essential. Look for candidates who have previously built RESTful APIs and understand concepts like HTTP verbs and resource utilization.