Recruiting And Retention
Everything You Need to Know About Hiring Python Developers by Maria Gomez   |   December 25, 2019

A Complete Hiring Guide for Python Developers 

We have heard Python referred to as the Swiss Army knife of programming languages. It is practical and straightforward overall, but it is highly practical and functional for those who are skilled with it – just like a Swiss Army knife. Someone who understands how to use it can accomplish incredible feats with what might seem a simple tool, or in this case a simpler programming language. 

This language is used by companies like NASA, Google, and Quora and can be used for any number of fields including basic scripting, admin tasks, product development, web development, and more. Hiring the right Python developer, however, is a task unto itself.  It can be difficult to assess a developer’s true knowledge and skillfulness with the language. If you’re looking to hire Python developers, understanding a little bit about the language, how it’s used, and salary expectations, is a great starting point.

It can be difficult to discern true programming skills from a CV or resume alone. This is why most tech companies who are looking to hire a Python developer—or any kind of developer for that matter— turn to phone interviews and on the spot tests or skill assessments. As a hiring partner, CodersLink vets candidates before we connect them with any company. We understand the nuances involved in finding people with true technical skill, understanding of the programming language, hands-on experience, adaptability and willingness to constantly learn. 

What is Python and Who Are Today’s Python Developers?

Proficiency in Python is a sought after skill in the programming world. It is one of the most popular programming languages. According to the TIOBE index, it ranked third in December of 2018 and is among the favorites for 2019. The annual Python survey showed that 84% of Python users use the language as their primary one. 

Python was born in the early ’90s and exploded over the next decade thanks to the language accessibility, the fact that it is object-oriented with dynamic semantics and high-level built-in data structures. 

Python is a general-purpose programming language that is known as interpreted language. This is different from C or C++ languages which are considered compiled languages. Python is versatile and is therefore used in a wide range of applications. Typically, Python comes in two variations: Python 1 and Python 2, although an experienced developer in the language will easily adapt to the differences. 

Python’s incredible versatility is showcased in many of the high-profile projects in which it has been used including YouTube (whose majority code base is written in Python), Dropbox for desktop, much of Reddit, Quora, Spotify, Instagram, PayPal, and more. Google itself admits to the contribution of Python in many of its applications throughout the years. Python is very much dominant and growing in web development and is forecasted to rise to the top by 2020. 

What is Python Needed For? 

Python is used for a lot of different functions and areas. The most common are:

  • Web development
  • Software development
  • Desktop GUIs
  • Scientific and numeric applications such as analyzing big data sets, creating predictions, and making correlations.

Who Is A Skilled Python Developer?

A programmer skilled in Python is able to problem solve and use the language in a variety of functions and domains. A good candidate possesses a robust combination of hard skills and soft skills with an indispensable willingness for continuous learning.

When it comes to technical skills, developers need to possess technical understanding and versatility in their language and more. 

Some of the main technical skills for Python developers include: 

  • Visible expertise in Core Python
  • A solid understanding of web frameworks (Django, Flask, and CherryPy)
  • Object Relational Mapper (ORM) libraries 
  • Road to data science
  • Machine Learning and AI
  • Knowledge of Multi-Process Architecture 
  • Object relational mappers 

In addition to the technical skills needed for a Python programmer to be proficient and skilled at their work, there are also soft skills that make a candidate even more valuable to a tech company. As you might know, the tech industry is not straightforward or black and white. There are always setbacks, delays, issues that arise and so you want to work with a developer that also possesses key soft skills like: 

  • Communication skills
  • Listening skills
  • Adaptability
  • Design skills
  • Creativity 

Skills To Look For in a Python Developer — Technical and General Skills

According to Edureka, the abovementioned skills form the main components of what a solid Python developer needs to have. In this section we’ll take a closer look at all of them separately. 

Core Python Expertise. This is the foundation and what will largely define the ability of a developer to solve problems and achieve proficiency and develop difficult coding projects. These include the following aspects:

  • Data structures
  • OOPS concepts
  • Variables and data types
  • File handling concepts
  • Exception handling
  • Generators 
  • Iterators 

Understanding of web and Python frameworks. There are two main frameworks associated with Python: Django or Flask. Django is a high-level framework that prompts a clean and pragmatic design and Flask is a micro web framework.

Data Science. Learning some data science can be very beneficial for any developer. Even more so nowadays with the explosion of data analytics. Some aspects of data science include visualization and analysis of data, use of Python packages for Data Science. 

Machine Learning and AI. Both of these fall under Data Science as well, but are deserving of their own mention given the rise in interest over the past years. A good Python developer will have a grasp of all aspects including machine learning algorithms and AI functionality. 

Deep Learning. This refers to a type of machine learning to train deep neural networks. Deep learning mimics the way the brain functions; in other words, how it responds and learns. 

Multi-Process Architecture. A Python developer should have some understanding of Model View Controller and Model View Template. Understanding these different types of architecture allows you as a developer to have some ability to fix issues related to the core framework. 

Common Interview Questions for Hiring Python Developers 

There is no one way to figure out whether a Python developer is worth their salt, but there are different ways to decipher how in depth their skills are, whether they have a deep understanding of the language and whether they are adept at solving problems. 

We gathered a few interview questions from various sources including Edureka and interview Mocha and put together a short list of the most common questions for you to use in your next interview.

Here are examples of interview questions:

  • How do you identify bugs in your code?
  • What are the key differences between Python 2 and 3? 
  • How is Python an interpreted language? 
  • How is memory managed in Python? 
  • What is namespace in Python?
  • What is the difference between list and tuples?
  • What is type conversion in Python?
  • What is the difference between range and xrange?
  • What is the difference between deep and shallow copy?
  • What is monkey patching in Python?

Skill Assessments in Python — What To Look For 

Testing your candidates knowledge of the language is one thing. Another is seeing their technical skills in real time by giving them a series of skills assessments that measure their ability to think on their feet, problem solve, and use the language effectively. Proper Python assessments can help you reduce your candidate vetting time by a considerable amount. 

These types of tests largely depend on what type of work you’re looking for your developer to do. It is highly recommended to create custom tests for all of your positions. It may sound time-consuming, but we assure you that it is well worth the time. You’ll see it pay off with quality hires instead of mishires. 

Keep in mind the following to create your tests and assessments:

  • What will the developer do on a practical level?
  • What type of languages and what expertise do they need to accomplish their tasks? 
  • Is there a particular skill you MUST have? How is it applied to an example task?
  • How will the different skills correlate to each other? 
  • Will their position be exposed to emergencies? If so, what is an example of that?

For example, Devskiller tests mid-level programmers on general Python knowledge, web scraping, data analysis, and Django usage. 

A Quick Overview of Python Salary Information

Python developers are in high demand precisely because of the unique nature of their skills. Understanding their basic pay scale is a must in planning your next hire for Python developers. 

Below is an estimated look at current intermediate developer rates by region. 

  • U.S- $85,000/yr
  • Mexico-$20,486/yr
  • India-$7,328/yr
  • UK- $58,842/yr
  • Argentina- $13,003/yr
  • Europe-  $70,000/yr 

For more detailed information on Mexico’s salaries visit our tech salaries report from 2019. 

Writing Your Company’s Job Description for Python Developers

If you are posting jobs on an online job recruitment page, using the right language is key. You want to be precise as to what it is you are looking for and learn to seek out the candidates that can stand up to the test.  

Your job posting might look something like this:

Job Title:

  • Python Developer
  • Full Stack Developer Python, C# & Java
  • Python Engineer

Seniority Level:

  • Junior
  • Intermediate
  • Senior

Years of Experience:

  • 0 to 1
  • 1 to 3
  • 4 to 6
  • 7 to 9
  • 10 to 14
  • 15+

Location:

  • City, Country
  • Remote

Employment type:

  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • others

Salary:

Posting an attractive salary will bring more job applications, also consider posting any additional cash compensations, bonuses and benefits.

Description:

Begin with a job description that explains your company, its mission, and what you expect from all employees and developers. This is a great place to introduce people to your company ethos and general tone and approach to projects.

Along with the job description, you want to include a list of specific skills. Below are suggestions for some of the requirements and skills to list.  

Responsibilities

  • Writing reusable, testable, and efficient code
  • Design and implementation of low-latency, high-availability, and performant applications
  • Integration of user-facing elements developed by front-end developers with server side logic
  • Implementation of security and data protection
  • Integration of data storage solutions 
  • Solving complex performance problems quickly and effectively
  • Responding to architectural challenges 

Skills And Qualifications

  • Expert in Python, with knowledge of at least one Python web framework {{such as Django, Flask, etc depending on your technology stack}}
  • Familiarity with some ORM (Object Relational Mapper) libraries
  • Able to integrate multiple data sources and databases into one system
  • Understanding of the threading limitations of Python, and multi-process architecture
  • Good understanding of server-side templating languages {{such as Jinja 2, Mako, etc depending on your technology stack}}
  • Basic understanding of front-end technologies, such as JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3
  • Understanding of accessibility and security compliance {{depending on the specific project}}
  • Knowledge of user authentication and authorization between multiple systems, servers, and environments
  • Understanding of fundamental design principles behind a scalable application
  • Familiarity with event-driven programming in Python
  • Understanding of the differences between multiple delivery platforms, such as mobile vs desktop, and optimizing output to match the specific platform
  • Able to create database schemas that represent and support business processes
  • Strong unit test and debugging skills
  • Proficient understanding of code versioning tools {{such as Git, Mercurial or SVN}}

Finding the Right Candidate Through Hiring Partners and Talent Recruitment Outsourcing 

Many HR managers or company heads find themselves at a loss when needing to fill a Python position. Given the popularity of the language, there are a lot of self-described Python experts out there, but that doesn’t mean they are actually experts.

 A Python developer is extremely valuable and a necessary part of your team. Throwing shots in the dark might not be the best approach to finding the right candidate. A hiring partner or specialized talent recruitment agency like CodersLink can help your company find the right candidate faster and more efficiently. A hiring partner works with you to find the candidate with the specific skill set you’re looking for. 

Find the Right Python Developer and Take Your Company To the Next Level

Your next Python developer might very well be the missing link for your tech company to reach the next level. Let us know how we can help you find them. 

What else would you like to know about hiring a Python developer? 

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