Nobody starts a software development project with the aim of failing. Unfortunately, there is a chance of failure if you don’t find the right development partner to work with. Getting the right kind of information is key to selecting the perfect team for your project. But how do you do that?
The solution: ask the right questions and be sure to get great answers. After all, no matter how amazing the comments about a company are, you need to determine if they are the right fit for you.
Of course, you will need to ask questions related to contracts, rates, billing practices, and whether they can finish the work within a specific timeline you’ve set. While those are important questions, they shouldn't be your only criteria.
Especially if your organization hiring an agile software development partner.
If you need to hire a new addition to your team, you’ll need to assess their abilities well. Here are some of the questions you need to ask candidates during the interview process:
1. How do you approach a new design or project?
Developing a well-thought-out plan of approach is very important before you dive into a new project. This helps you avoid pitfalls that could delay a project and cost you more money during the process.
The first step in hiring a good developer is checking if they can analyze and develop a project plan. This should be done even before they write a single line of code.
2. Have you ever helped improve a business’ processes with your suggestion?
When building your business, you need an IT team who is capable of moving beyond the daily programming tasks to come up with real innovation. The ideal candidate functions with a business mindset that encourages them to think outside the box. They should be able to suggest new ideas for applications and seek excellent ways to improve your operations.
3. Can you give me an example of an IT problem and how you were able to fix it?
Creating code is just a small portion of a developer’s work. In business, not everything works perfectly at all times so developers are often tasked with finding the root cause of a certain problem. They are required to fix it right away and in an efficient manner.
When interviewing a candidate, look for a developer who investigates the code thoroughly and doesn't stop searching for possible solutions until one is found. Don’t forget to ask for a trial run so you can see how they work with fixing bugs.
4. Can you describe your ideal work environment?
The work environment in your organization plays a crucial role in how a developer does their job. There are professionals who need complete silence and solitude to focus, while others prefer a more lively environment. The candidate’s personal preference affects their productivity so discuss the office environment up front to prevent problems after hiring them.
5. How do you measure the success of a certain project?
Progress is mainly measured by the delivery of working software. Revisions, meetings, and documentation do not matter without a working software on hand. Agile teams release software iteratively.
As the project moves through the development process, more features and functionalities are added. Design flaws, issues, and bugs are quickly solved as the team creates and releases early versions of the project. Feedback is also an important factor when it comes to the success of a project.
6. What is your process in searching for a software bug, and how much time do you spend on debugging?
The first question lets you gauge how the candidate thinks when faced with difficult bugs. Each candidate has their own unique process but they should have a proper debugging tool. They need to understand how to sift through each line of code with that tool. Also, they should be able to understand what should be done to fix the bug without affecting other lines of code within a certain project.
In the second question, you get a sense of how much time a developer spends on debugging their own code. Developers who take a huge amount of time debugging may need extra help in improving the code.
7. Can you tell me about your company and the specific team I’ll be working with?
Find out how long the candidate's been in business. Working with a brand new company may not be the best choice when looking for an agile software development partner. You'll also need to identify how many developers they have and their average years of experience. There should be team members who are available and perfectly suited to your project.
Another thing to consider is certification. Determine if the candidate has won any awards related to the industry in the past years. Ask what kind of clients they usually work with. You need to make sure that they are prepared to handle your project.
8. What does a sprint accomplish?
The agile model works with a series of sprints. A sprint is a time frame allotted to accomplish your goal. Sprints typically take a month or less. In general, a sprint length is two weeks. Product owners set a goal at the beginning of a sprint. The goal is then broken up into smaller tasks, which are assigned to the agile software development partner.
The team holds a mini-retrospective about their performance before transitioning to the following sprint. Sprints are important because they lessen the complexity of critical projects. When new goals are set every two weeks, the team has clearer objectives to follow. This makes everyone motivated and keeps them on track.
Summing it Up
Agile is indeed one of the most successful software development methodologies out there. Choosing the right agile development partner is critical to the success of your project. Therefore, you need to ask the most insightful and useful questions during your hiring process.
Each software development partner has a unique take on the agile philosophy. To find one who matches your organization well, it will take more than the interview questions mentioned above. Consider bringing on board a candidate who is not only qualified but is also a cultural fit and great team player.