Need to Hire a Freelance Back-end Developer? Read This First

By: Trevor McKinley

2018-08-13 10 minute read

What are the key considerations when hiring a freelance back-end developer? A professional with a mix of skills and one that is responsible for the stability, security, performance and speed of your app?

A back-end developer skills include database programming, server scripting, API programming, testing and integrations and middleware. Their function is to deliver on the development and software planning your site needs to function.

That’s not all...

Here are some key considerations on finding a back-end developer and what to include in the job description:

Have a plan upfront

Have a plan and create a brief. It should include critical information regarding technologies and integration that will be needed for your project. The back-end developer is then able to visualize and conceptualize what logic will be required.

How can you actually use this?

A talented freelance back-end developer will more likely respond to a well-defined brief in addition to getting the results you are looking for they will also be able to make your project run more smoothly.

The brief should include:

  • A description of your business together with your target audience.
  • The goal of your project and the end result of the service it will provide users.
  • Existing server and database infrastructure.
  • Whether there are any existing integrations that are relied on for the project.
  • A deadline for the project which should include timelines, testing timelines and key deliverables.
hiring freelance back-end developer

hiring freelance back-end developer

Now that you have your brief, you are ready to write the back-end developer job description giving details about your business, your goals and the results you are looking for in the back-end software that they will be programming.

Your job description should also include whether the will be using Windows or Linux and whether they will be coding a data-heavy app, or back-end for real-time chat applications. By including this information, it will help attract the right person best suited for your project.

We can’t emphasize enough, the key is providing information with detail!

This includes the following:

  • The programming language you prefer such as JavaScript and Node.js, Python for data and for fast prototyping Ruby.
  • Give a description of your infrastructure with operating system, server setup, software stack, databases, integrations etc.
  • Include the timeline with any other specific requests and any problems you have with your app or site that you would like solved.

The interviewing process

Make a short list and narrow the field by looking for freelancers:

  • Who are able to translate client side functionality into server side code, cleanly with well-annotated code that is easy to maintain and scale-up as the project grows and can handle growth as traffic increases.
  • Is able to and is familiar in undergoing unit tests and sprint based testing
  • Writes codes with data, network and server security in mind, so that your firewalls, encryption are safe from hackers. Also customers can feel secure giving personal information.
  • Is able to interact and collaborate with UI designers, web designers and front-end developers.

Look: You need to know the difference between front-end vs. back-end development to better understand this.

freelance back-end developer interview

freelance back-end developer interview

During the interviewing process you can ask them the following questions to give you a good understanding of their competency.

  • Discover how the developer solves problems and ask what the software planning phase looks like. This will demonstrate to you how he will engage and consult with others during the process and which databases and platforms he feels would be appropriate. This would result in cost-effectiveness and scalability for the project.
  • Ask the developer what common mistakes he foresees in the infrastructure design and software development on the server side. This will give you an idea on how they will overcome any obstacles that may crop up.
  • Get a sense on how they prioritize testing during development (which should never be an afterthought) and ask how they handle testing of code and integrations.
  • Ask them how they solved a tricky back-end coding problem. This will give you an insight into how they tackle and solve problems and what they’ve got.

Bottom Line?

At the end of the interviewing process you will have a good idea on the production style and strengths of the back-end developer.


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