How to Hire a Python Developer as Product Owner

March 08, 2023 • 129 Views • 17 min read

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Bohdan Vasylkiv

CEO & Co-Founder

One of the main and most important steps in any software project development is choosing your development team. It does not matter whether you are planning to host an in-house team, hire python developers as an outsourced solution, or simply consider team extension. Each approach, despite all their differences and features, requires interviewing developers. Thus, it is highly important to perform an interview as precisely as possible. As a matter of fact, choosing even a single wrong developer, no to mention a whole team of developers, may and most probably will directly impact the whole development process.

However, it may be difficult to decide which dev is an ideal candidate for an open position, and which is simply pretending to be one. It is especially hard for those, who have no actual programming experience, i.e. most clients, which are looking for a dedicated team to embody their ideas.

So, to make it simpler for you as a product owner, we propose a brief guide on how to hire python developers.

Why Python Devs?

Frankly speaking, despite the fact, that interviews with developers are based on the same principles and have the same goals, there is no ultimate solution or questions, which will suit all the interviews. Obviously, each technology differs from another and requires a unique approach and a list of questions.

So, we decided to narrow down the topic to python software development services and choose the correct developer for your project. The reason for choosing Python over its alternatives or any other technologies is that it is one of the most popular and spread programming languages, which can be used in multiple cases. Moreover, there is a wide range of similar topics and tips on how to hire python developers, so you can compare this article with the rest of the advice on the Web in order to better understand the overall logic of finding python developers, or any other programming language specialist.

Additionally, Python programming language is easy to learn and understand, so you will get a chance to get acquainted with the programming language itself, and better understand the basic logic of interviewing a programmer and how to choose the correct developers' interview questions.

When To Hire Python Developers?

First thing first, you have to define the main aspects and requirements of your project. Even if your company is not specialized in software development, you will need a consultation of various specialists, ideally having your own Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Such a qualified professional is a must-have position in case you are going to maintain an in-house team. Alternatively, if you are interested only in developing an app from the scratch, and only then hiring a team for support, you may be interested in dedicated team service. It allows you to fully outsource all the processes, related to the software development cycle, including interviewing and hiring developers.

So, we will also consider outsourcing as an easy solution, which does not require the client’s engagement in finding and interviewing developers. The same scenario is possible in team extension, yet, judging from our experience, in this case, clients prefer to additionally talk with the available developers.

Eventually, you, as an app owner, will have to interview developers if you have your own in-house team and looking for a team extension, or are trying to gather the whole team by yourself.

Steps on Hiring Python Developers

Finally, before diving into details, let’s figure out what basic knowledge app owners need to know, before starting to look for developers.

First of all, this programming language has a huge development community. This means not only that there is plenty of potential employees, but also that the number of possible customizations, add-ons, extensions, and other Python-based products and instruments. Therefore, you need to learn at least the basics of this technology, get acquainted with its community, examine case studies, etc.

Clearly, there is no point in hiring python developers and interviewing them, if you can’t answer the questions yourself. To make it simple, do your homework and learn what you are going to work with. Frankly, even if you have specialists on board, who will be responsible for choosing developers, give them some time to additional time for preparation. Anyway, hiring a qualified software development specialist is a very complex process with multiple steps, and the interview is the final stage of choosing the candidate.

Besides, these experts have to choose the tech stack for your product and consider features, you will need to use in order to achieve the goals of an app. For instance, when it comes to Python, you have to know if you are going to use asynchronous programming, or whether you would prefer monolith or microservices architecture, etc. In other words, each aspect, no matter how unrelated it may seem, directly impacts your approach to finding skilled developers.

How to Find Python Software Developers?

Apart from preparing for contacting the developer, app owners have to be ready to maintain an interview, because it is one of the most important steps, which defines the result.

Before creating a list of questions for an interview with python software engineers, you have to understand who exactly you are looking for and what are your requirements. There are at least 3 different levels of development specialists: junior, middle, and senior. Obviously, each expertise level requires a personalized interviewing approach.

For example, it would be inappropriate to ask senior python dev with more than 10 years of experience general questions about Python or ask the easiest questions like “What Python statements do you know? ” To cut a long story short, it is preferable to create a question checklist for each developer’s expertise level in advance, if you are willing to save time and avoid awkward situations.

However, before making this checklist, you have to perform a few extra steps. Their list is variable, depending on multiple aspects like what development stage your project is in at the moment, if it is just a planning stage, or whether you already have a running development cycle and are looking for “extra hands”, do you have an agreed tech stack, or just considering one, are there any specialists like project managers or CTOs, or you are looking for them as well, etc.

Apparently, looking for developers is the last step to make, after you have already figured out the requirements and chosen technologies, have a management team on board, and passed all previous stages.

So, summing up all the above, before maintaining an actual interview with any developer, app owners have to:

  • Choose the software development approach, i.e. outsourcing or in-house developers.
  • Consider the tech stack for your future application.
  • Find someone, who understands the specifics of the development and is familiar with the technologies you are going to use.
  • Create question checklists for the interview, which will include questions for each level of the developer’s expertise.
  • Only after these steps, it is possible to start the interview itself.

What Python Software Engineers Should Know?

Now, let’s briefly consider the main questions worth asking. Truly speaking, there is a wide range of ways how to hire python developers and interview them. Undoubtedly, there is no point in listing all of them. Instead, we can propose you 3 different lists of must-have questions, which definitely should be voiced. Consider answers to them as key markers of enough experienced python devs, regarding the expertise level.

Junior Python Programmer Questions

Junior is the lowest rank on our scale. Junior developers are almost newcomers to the industry and have some experience in working with the technology, know its basics, and how to use Python or any other technology in ideal circumstances.

So, the requirements bar for such specialists is by far too low, compared to others. To rephrase it, your demands and expectations should also be lower, than the rest developers. If you are looking for a perfect junior python software engineer, you have to make sure, that this programmer is familiar with the general Python rules and statements. Additionally, it would be a great advantage for the candidate to be able to think out-of-box and have some extra knowledge on the topic.

  • What are the most common Use Cases for Python? Python is commonly used for building websites or software, automating tasks, and data analysis.
  • How to delete a file in Python? You will need to use the os.remove() method.
  • What built-in types of data do you know in Python? Non-type, numeric type, sequence, mapping, set type, callable type.
  • Can you name the difference between Python lists and tuples? Lists can be edited, but are slower than tuples. However, tuples can not be edited.
  • Can you compare pickling vs unpickling? Pickling is when a Python object is converted into a byte stream, while unpickling is a reverse process of converting a byte stream back into an object.

Middle Python Dev

This level of python software engineers means that they have rich previous experience in developing python-based applications, and are acquainted with other python-based technologies like libraries or frameworks, for instance, Django. Besides, they may have got familiar with other tools like Structured Query Language, etc.

  • Do you know what the PEP is? Python Enhancement Proposal, also known as PEP. It is documentation, which aims to explain a new feature or provide devs with updated information.
  • What is the main difference between Python lists and arrays? Python lists store any type of data, while arrays must be declared and store only one data type.
  • What Namespaces are? Namespaces are the names of Python objects, which also define them. To make it simple, it is a dictionary, which contains objects, their names, and values.
  • How do comments differ from documentation strings? Basically, they are the same. Yet, comments are used with hashtags (#), while documentation is using triple quotes (“””).
  • What is Python Inheritance? Inheritance in Python is the process of defining a class, which will inherit methods and properties from another class. As a result, we have a child class, which inherits attributes, and a parent class, which we inherit from.

Senior Python Software Developer

The highest rank in our hierarchy. These developers are very confident Python users, who have rich experience in using this technology and great technical skills. Apart from simply coding in Python, they should have experience in combining it with other programming languages and using them. Also, they should have experience in debugging as well.

  • What is Monkey-Patching? It is also known as dynamic behavior when developers perform edits and modifications, while the code is at run-time.
  • Name the advantages of NumPy over Python Lists. NumPy array is faster and uses less storage. Moreover, NumPy proposes both matrix and vector operation solutions. Finally, some of NumPy's functionalities are better than those, proposed by Python lists.
  • How Does Python Multithreading work? There are at least two main tools for Python multithreading, which are the Python multithreading package and Global Interpreter Lock (GIL). However, the package is slow, so is not used often, while GIL actually creates an illusion of multithreading by processing one thread at a time but switching between them very fast.
  • How do the three most popular python libraries differ? Name them. The three most popular Python libraries are Flask, Django, and Pyramid. Flask: ready-to-use framework, preferred for building small applications; Django: has lots of out-of-box solutions and is used for creating larger applications; Pyramid: flexible and customizable, proposing multiple instruments for working with databases, supports templating, etc.
  • Name main Python drawbacks. It is slower, compared to the alternatives, and lacks threading and multiprocessing abilities.

End Line

These are the most basic, yet must-have general and technical questions, worth asking while hiring a python developer. However, these are definitely not the only questions worth asking. Frankly, it is advised to have at least 10 extra questions for each group, as well as technical tasks, which correspond to the expected level of knowledge. Additionally, to hire python developers, app owners have to learn numerous aspects and deepen into the context of this programming language, which obviously takes lots of time and effort. So, it is preferable to delegate such duties to others. It will not only make your life easier but can also be more effective.

In case you prefer to avoid the personal interview process and find developers on your own, contact us, and we will help you to find python developers, which will meet all your requirements.

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What are some key skills to look for in a Python developer as a product owner?

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Should I prioritize experience in Python or product management when hiring a Python developer as a product owner?

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