Programmer for Hire: 5 Steps to Find Talents for Your Project

Updated 23 Jun 2023

19 Min




It’s a difficult task to hire a programmer for a project. Especially when you don’t have tech expertise to hold technical interviews. There are so many details to consider that even professional headhunters sometimes make hiring mistakes. According to Statista, there’s a wide variety of tools and programming languages that confuse experienced recruiters, let alone a non-tech person.

So, how to hire programmers and not to fail? Here’s a concise list of steps of hiring a programmer:

  • Requirements analysis. Define the needs for the programmer and the project, and determine the budget and timeline of the product implementation. In case you need a tech assistance, you can always order a consultation from a trustworthy tech vendor.
  • Exploring the relevant platforms. Use resources such as job posting sites, social media, and professional networks like Clutch, GoodFirms, to find a programmer.
  • Checking the portfolio. Evaluate candidates' resumes and portfolios.
  • Conducting interviews. Clarify details and assess the programmer's expertise, provide a test assignment to test the programmer's skills.
  • Identifying the best candidate. You are ready to offer the partnership to your tech vendor.
  • Keeping the cooperation clear. Establish transparent working conditions, such as communication, schedule, and milestones. Experienced IT vendors have a project manager on the side, who keeps in constant contact with the client and informs about the results of the work done.

In this post, we’ll explain all tricky moments connected with interviewing a programmer for hire, reveal the skills to focus on, and explain all the hiring options you have. Let’s get started.

Preparation Steps Before Hiring a Programmer

Technical expertise isn’t the only thing that has to be thought over in the question of how to find a programmer. Before you start searching for developers, you have to clearly define the requirements for your project and set clear goals. Market analysis, user research, and detailed feature list guarantee a pure vision of your product.

Let’s get a closer look at each of these steps.


Whatever niche you choose, you have to conduct detailed research. Figure out your audience, rivals, and possible obstacles. Compare your idea to already existing projects to understand how unique your project is. There’s no point in developing a complete clone of another project. Users won’t use a no-name product if there’s another well-established one. Besides, some programmers for hire don’t have a burning passion for boring and typical projects.


Well-held research lets you figure out the platforms that suit your product the most. Thus, if your audience mostly uses Android, you can launch a Minimum Valuable Product (MVP) for this platform and leave iOS development for later. Mind that native development for both platforms will cost you two times more than the project for a single platform.

On top of that, different platforms use different programming languages. For example, apps for iOS require hire a computer programmer to know Swift or Objective-C. If we’re talking about Android engineers, they use Kotlin or Java. Website coders for hire use HTML, CSS, JavaScript for front-end development, MySQL for databases, and Node.js or C# for back-end development. Plus, depending on the task, developers have to work with various frameworks and SDKs. So, when creating a job offer, make sure to specify the core language for your project. It’s better to hire a programmer who’s proficient with a specific technology than someone who’s average with several tools.

Here are programming languages used to develop projects on different platforms:

Programming languages for different platforms






Wear OS


Watch OS


Wearables stand apart from other platforms. In addition to the app on a wearable device, they also need a mobile phone app to communicate and transmit the data. During the interview, make inquiries about hiring programmers, in particular, experience in building apps for wearable platforms.

Feature list

Without regard to the type of developers for hire, they’ll ask you to provide a feature list.

Feature lists let coders for hire understand what tech stack to use during the project and what the final version of the software is meant to be.

Still, you can reach out to a software development company and stay laconic, like “I want a Twitch app”. However, such requirements don’t carry any valuable information themselves. Because of unclear requirements, business analysts will use more time to figure out what you really want and your final expectations for the project.

Moreover, if you’re planning to find freelancers or gather an in-house team, describe your demands precisely. These teams usually don’t have business analysts to help with requirements, so this responsibility falls on your shoulders. If your team doesn’t have clear requirements, your software's final version may contradict your expectations.

You can split the feature list into two types:

  • Primary features (MVP) that should be developed first and foremost.
  • Advanced features to make your software more sophisticated.

Learn how to build an MVP: the benefits, stages, and pitfalls

MVP is a great tool to reduce time-to-market and gather initial feedback. This type of project includes only primary features that allow users to test the concept of your app. For example, to develop an MVP version of a telehealth app, you need to create a registration screen, management of electronic health records, integrate streaming protocols, and create a calendar of appointments.

The rest of the features can be developed later, after the validation of your idea.

Can’t decide on features?

Our business analysts can consult you on project requirements and tech stack free of charge.

UI/UX design

There’s no escape from design. Without design, computer programmers for hire won’t have a basis to work on. Designers indeed are the team that gets to work before developers. So you need to hire coders who will provide you with a wireframe, which is a draft of your future product. Wireframes display a general scheme of the app and the layout of all components. Even though wireframes may differ in details, their main goal is to show the proper placement of buttons, icons, navigational elements, and more.

In outsourcing companies that provide UI/UX design services, designers proceed to the main phase of the work after your approval of wireframes. They pick matching color schemes, develop a graphic design, navbars, buttons, create animations for in-app navigation. Besides all this, they also keep the overall concept of the app user-friendly and intuitive.

Here’s the list of questions you should ask yourself to hire a programmer:

  • What programming language do I need to create my product?
  • What experience should the programmer have to be able to implement my requirements?
  • What qualifications does the programmer need to create a product that meets the standards and requirements of my industry?
  • Where can I find qualified programmers?
  • How can I verify the programmer's experience and make sure he or she has the necessary knowledge and skills?
  • What will be the cost of creating my product, and how long will it take to develop it?
  • What software development methodology does the programmer prefer, and how can it meet my needs?
  • What will my responsibilities be while working on the project?
  • How will the interaction between me and the programmer be organized?
  • How will I evaluate the programmer's work, and what will be the criteria for the success of the project?

By answering these questions, you can determine the needs of your project, and choose the best-fitted and qualified programmer who can help you develop your product quickly and efficiently.

Feel to free to contact us. Our experts will consult you about the development and cost of your product idea and form a team of specialists to meet your business requirements

Where to Hire Programmers?

As we’re clear with project requirements and your primary responsibilities, let’s proceed to options to hire computer programmer.

Basically, there are three of them:

  • Freelance developers — self-employed programmers
  • In-house developers — engineers that work from your company’s office
  • Outsourcing companies — a company that develops your product from another country

It’s high time to take a closer look at each option.


Freelance programmers for hire are a perfect match for minor tasks and software upgrades. Freelancers can fix bugs, perform testing of different software parts, integrate various APIs, and more. But how are things going with more complicated tasks?

When opting to hire programmers online, consisting a whole team of freelancers for a large project is a risky idea. Due to team fragmentation and lack of management, the project can take much more time, and the quality may suffer. To organize the whole process, you’ll have to manage it on your own or hire a freelance project manager. Both options will cost you additional time and money.

On top of that, it may be challenging to find reliable freelance computer programmers for hire. Some of them deliver a project with bugs and vulnerabilities, while others may take the advance payment and disappear forever.

On top of that, it may be challenging to find reliable freelance computer programmers for hire. Some of them deliver a project with bugs and vulnerabilities, while others may take the advance payment and disappear forever.

What are the benefits of hiring freelance programmers?

What are freelance developers good for?

The only viable option is to hire freelancers and place them all together in your office. Freelance-contractors are a common practice among entrepreneurs. Thus, you gain more control over the development process and improve the cooperation between developers.

If you’re interested in freelance programmers for hire, here are some platforms where they offer their services:

  • Upwork
  • Youteam
  • Toptal
  • Fiverr
  • Peopleperhour
  • Freelancer

In the table below, you can find hourly rates of freelance programmers for hire online in the US by field of activity.

Rates of freelance developers

DeveloperHourly rates (US)





Full stack






In-house team

In-house teams are popular among large companies that have to maintain their software and want to create new products. Companies hire programmers to keep them at hand because of the superb level of control over the development team and improved communication. On top of that, a stable team that developed a product will maintain it effectively because of knowledge of the codebase.

However, this option to find programmers to hire has one significant drawback — the price. In the US or Western Europe, it’ll cost you a fortune to hire programmers for an in-house team. For example, US-based UI/UX designers earn $85,300/year. Developers, who are the core of the whole team earn $80,000/year on average. Mind that rates vary depending on the developer’s commercial experience and your location. Thus, a Californian senior programmer for hire may earn $150,000/year and even more. QA developers are an integral part of the team. In the US, their average salary is $71,000/year.

Why you shouldn't hire in-house developers for your project?

Points to watch out when considering how to hire a coder by the in-house model

On top of that, you have to consider additional expenses like office rent, software licenses, and purchase of hardware when hiring a computer programmer.

Outsourcing companies

Outsourcing software development companies are a middle ground between in-house teams and freelancers. They include all the positive traits listed before and minimize the risks. Basically, outsourcing implies delegating your project to a third-party company located in another country. Therefore a company from Poland, Estonia, or Czech will develop your project, and their project manager will keep you posted about the situation.

How outsourcing teams can benefit to your business?

What does outsourcing bring to your business?

With an outsourcing company, you don’t have to hire programmer on your own. The company already has its own dedicated team. Outsourcing teams usually charge slightly more than freelance developers, but much less than in-house teams.

Here are approximate outsource software developers’ rates in different regions:

Freelance developers' rates in different regions

RegionDevelopers' rates

North America


Western Europe


Central/ Northern Europe






South America


However, lower rates don’t affect product quality. Experienced outsource programmers for hire have the same level of expertise as in-house developers. This guarantees high performance and fault tolerance for your software. Still, to find a reliable tech partner, you have to conduct detailed research. The best way to make sure about the company’s reliability is to check their clients’ reviews.

The following services provide extensive information about where to hire programmers and provide the company’s rating:

  • Clutch
  • GoodFirms
  • ITFirms
  • LinkedIn

What should you choose?

As you see, every approach has within programmer hire its own benefits and drawbacks. Everything depends on your project requirements and future plans. If you’re planning on making frequent updates for your app, it’s better to go with an outsourcing company or an in-house team. If you have a humble project and you’re on a budget, it’s better to choose freelance developers.

We’ve created this comparative table to help you to hire programmers.

Comparison of different hiring options

Attributes / TeamsFreelanceOutsourceIn-house

Development cost

The smallest price to build a project

Reasonable price for the obtained quality

The price is too high for startups and small businesses

Product quality

Unpredictable quality, no guarantees of a viable product

Top-notch quality, sustainable performance

Communication with the client

Lack of project management leads to unawareness

PMs always keep you posted on the project condition

You have total control over the project and your team

Team cooperation

Freelancers can’t split tasks effectively without PM

Both teams use scrum methodology that serves for perfect teamwork

Design quality

Freelance developers manage only business logic without design

Designers work together with developers to create an attractive app

With an in-house approach, you’ll have to hire designers on your own

Quality assurance

Freelance developers usually don’t bother with testing

QA engineers test the app during each sprint and fix bugs

To test the project, you have to hire QA engineers

How to Hire a Programmer: Key Steps

Let’s dive deeper into the process of how to hire programmers successfully:

Define the requirements for the candidate

Before you begin your search, you need to clearly define the requirements for the potential candidate. This includes technical skills such as programming language, type of platform used and development tools, as well as soft skills such as communication abilities, leadership experience, problem-solving skills and many others. If you don't have enough IT expertise, you can contact a professional IT consultant to help you determine the requirements for a candidate. In addition, if you are considering outsourcing development, you don't have to worry about what skills the programmer should have. The software team will analyze your business and match you with the best professionals who meet your project requirements.

Choose a region

The second stage in hiring a specialist is to choose the region in which you want to find a qualified candidate. It is worth considering that today, remote work allows you to choose employees from different parts of the world. If you are considering outsourcing development, it is important to find a company that will complete the project with quality. There are many companies willing to offer their services, and the choice can be difficult. However, you should look at the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region, which offers the best combination of price and quality. This region is home to many talented IT professionals who are ready to complete any project professionally and efficiently.

Research the portfolio

Next, you should evaluate their professional experience. It is important to study the candidate's portfolio and evaluate how successfully they have implemented similar projects in the past. This will determine how experienced and qualified the candidate is in the chosen technology. Looking at the portfolio will also give you an idea of what tasks the professional has done before and how they have handled them. This way, you’ll get an an idea of the candidate's professional competencies, as well as understand how well their experience matches the requirements of your project. Therefore, you should pay attention to the evaluation of the applicant's portfolio when hiring developers to find the most suitable specialist for your project.

First screen

Within the fourth step to hire programmer for project, you should conduct a meeting with the specialist. Once you have identified a suitable candidate and become familiar with his/her portfolio, it is important to contact him/her and discuss possibilities of cooperation. During the first screening, you can share your idea and discuss the requirements for the project. You can also find out about the price list and the time schedule of the work to find programmers for hire. It is important to clarify all the issues concerning the project to avoid misunderstandings and make the work efficient. Cooperating with an experienced developer will help you create a quality product in the shortest possible time. That is why it is vital to contact a specialist and discuss all the details of the project to start working in the right direction.

Make a final decision

The final step in hiring a developer is selecting a candidate who meets your needs and requirements. Once you have contacted the developer, discussed all the details of the project and learned about his/her experience and cost of services, it is recommended to weigh all the pros and cons. When selecting a candidate, it is important to consider his or her professional skills, experience, portfolio, and price and timeline for the project. Choose a developer who has the appropriate experience and skills to complete the project in the best quality. Remember that choice of the specialist will have a huge impact on the success of your project. So, take your time in. You should carefully analyze all the details and select the best candidate to get a quality product within the deadline.

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Tips to Hire Programmer Online

As we can summarize, hiring a programmer can be a challenging task. That’s why, we’ve prepared actionable tips for you to succeed.

Identify the scope of your project needs

Before you start looking for a developer, it's important to understand the scope of your project and your company's needs. Make sure you know what programming languages, technologies and skills are needed to successfully complete the project. For example, if you are creating a mobile app, you may need a developer who specializes in Swift for iOS, or Java for Android. However, when applying to outsourcing software development vendors, you are free of worries referring to the technical project side. You just have to provide your requirements and negotiate them in detail.

Prepare a comprehensive job description

When creating a job description to hire coders for projects, make sure you detail the skills and experience required. Also you must specify what you expect from the candidate, what tasks he or she will perform, and what are your expectations as to the job to be done.

Ask about previous programming experience

When you start talking to candidates, make sure you ask about their previous programming experience. Find out what projects they've worked on previously, what the scope of the project was, what programming languages they used, and what their input was on the project.

Request work samples

Ask a programer for hire to provide samples of work they have previously developed. This can be websites or applications. This way, you can see their skill level and gauge how well they can work with the technology you need for your project. You can consult with your developers or hire a tech consultant to evaluate the programmer's experience.

How to Interview Programmers for Hire?

As we’ve figured out where to find programmers for hire, it’s time to know how to interview them. Let’s imagine that you’ve found several developers whose skills match your project requirements. How can you make sure that they’re good at their job? The only option is to interview them. However, an interview to hire a programer requires an understanding of technical details and human behavior.

In outsourcing companies, teams are already assembled, so you don’t waste your time and money to hire a programmer with experience in a particular field. That’s a strong advantage of outsourcing companies over in-house teams and freelancers. Still, if you’re interested in interviewing programmers, let’s discover the key points to pay attention to.

We’ve divided all skills into two groups for businesses looking for programmer:

  • Soft skills. These skills reflect the performer’s ability to manage stress, cooperate with the team, communicate with the client, and more.
  • Hard skills. This set of skills indicate the programmer’s tech-savviness and proficiency with development tools.

How to check soft skills?

If you want to hire a programmer that is a great team player, full of motivation, and dedication here are some questions worth asking:

  • What time management techniques do you use in your workflow?
  • How do you deal with distraction factors?
  • How do you establish a connection with other team members?
  • How do you keep motivated while dealing with monotonous tasks?
  • How do you keep productivity under stress loads?

These questions are suitable when you’re assembling an in-house team. But what are the options with freelance programmers? If you want to hire a programmer who works as a freelancer, check reviews on the freelancer’s page. No one else can tell you more about the contractor except for an angry client.

How to hire a developer with outstanding soft skills?

Must-have soft skills when hiring a programmer

How to check hard skills?

Hard skills define the programmer’s preferable tech stack. Kotlin or Java, front-end or back-end, Flutter, or React, all of these choices determine the programmer’s role in the project.

Here’s a list of hard skills required for different specializations:

How to hire a programer with outstanding hard skills?

Must-have hard skills for every developer

Recruiters on their own can’t assess the skills of coder for hire completely. That’s why companies engage CTO or senior developers to evaluate the candidate. However, if you don’t have experienced employees at the moment, here are two tips that will help you to decide on the developer.

Ask for someone else’s help

If you’re are able to hire programmer online based on the soft skills, but don’t have tech expertise, you can ask for help. Ask your tech-savvy friend to stick around during the interview. Thus, a friend of yours will evaluate the programmer’s experience, so you’ll be able to decide whether to hire a programmer or not.

Inquire about the programmer’s pet-project

Answering how to hire a programmer, nothing else can show the programmer’s dedication and passion to the programming as their own pet-project. Ask for the candidate’s personal GitHub account and download their files from recently updated repositories. If you see a long history of commits, it means that hire computer programmers who continuously works on the project. This signals about the programmer’s commitment.

Besides, we have a list of questions that will help you to assess the candidate’s suitability for a particular position.

If you have no technical expertise, these questions don’t guarantee a successful interview. That’s why it’s better to seek help from experienced developers or contact an outsourcing software development company.

Why Hire Programmers at Cleveroad?

Cleveroad team provides full-cycle software development services for startups, small and medium sized firms, and enterprises. We have 140+ developers on board with expertise in various niches, and we are ready to choose programmers that will be a perfect fit for your project. We’ve delivered more than 170 successful projects to our clients in different parts of the world.

Turning to Cleveroad, you receive:

  • Multidisciplinary expertise. Our programmers have knowledge and experience in a variety of industries, allowing it to create innovative and effective solutions tailored to each specific niche. If you are looking for more specialized companies to work with, you can get the most out of this approach
  • Bespoke solutions. You get a tailor-made solution to cover your corpoarte needs and accelerate business digitalization.
  • Full-service development services. You can have a full-service software development, which reduces the time and costs of finding different specialists. It’ll also guarantee consistency and compatibility of all developed solutions.
  • On-demand services. Our qualified company offers flexible terms and fast development time, which can be important for businesses operating in a fast-changing environment.
  • Development for all types of platforms. You can get a quality solution for any operating system, including cross-platform solutions, which guarantees maximum audience coverage. We can renovate your business with the latest technologies like Internet of things, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and many others.

Here are some of our latest projects:

Want to hire a programmer?

Cleveroad developers are proficient in various technologies and will create your product idea

Frequently Asked Questions
How to hire a programmer?

To hire a programmer for your project you have to clearly define project requirements and understand the amount of platforms for your project. Then, decide on the type of programmers you need, conduct detailed research, and post job offers on different resources. After a successful interview, you'll definitely find a programmer.

Where to find programmers for hire?

Here's a list of platforms where you can search for programmers:

Where to hire programmers?

While searching for programmers, you have three options:

  • Freelance team. A team of freelance programmers that have to cooperate remotely.
  • Outsourcing company. Outsourcing implies delegating your project to a third-party company located in another country that has a preassembled team.
  • In-house team. with in-house approach, you have to rent an office and hire developers on your own.
How do you interview a programmer?

To hire a programmer that delivers quality software, you have to assess their soft and hard skills. It's crucial to understand whether a candidate is a good team player and how he manages stress issues. On top of that, you have to make sure that the programmer has deep expertise in the required niche.

What skills are necessary for a computer programmer?
  • Stress management
  • Time management
  • Motivation
  • Sociability
  • Expertise with programming languages
  • Knowledge of frameworks
  • Programming tools
What is the difference between inhouse and outsource?

In-house teams are popular among large companies that have to maintain their software and want to create new products. Companies hire programmers to keep them at hand because of the superb level of control over the development team and improved communication. On top of that, a stable team that developed a product will maintain it effectively because of knowledge of the codebase.

Outsourcing implies delegating your project to a third-party company located in another country. Therefore a company from Poland, Estonia, or Czech will develop your project, and their project manager will keep you posted about the situation. With an outsourcing company, you don’t have to hire programmers on your own. The company already has its own dedicated team. Outsourcing teams usually charge slightly more than freelance developers, but much less than in-house teams. Read here to know more about the difference between in-house and outsourced cooperation.

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About author

Evgeniy Altynpara is a CTO and member of the Forbes Councils’ community of tech professionals. He is an expert in software development and technological entrepreneurship and has 10+years of experience in digital transformation consulting in Healthcare, FinTech, Supply Chain and Logistics

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