How To Hire A Junior Developer
Three minutes with the CEO of Makers Academy.
Started in 2013, they’ve graduated over 700 students, who are now working in a few hundred different companies all across the UK and internationally. Unlike traditional education, their focus is not on giving out diploma, but on scoring their graduates a job. According to Evgeny; “we don’t stop until our graduate signs a contract”.
With a computer science background, Evgeny became attuned to both the teething pain of hiring junior developers, and disproportionate demand for experienced developers through contact with recruiters.
“I realised that nobody had any idea how to train junior developers.”
Small tech companies, who are initially focused on survival, rarely look for junior talent, but as Evgeny points out “once your focus is on growth, you need to start hiring across the spectrum.”
And there are huge benefits to hiring junior developers. Not only can they often hit the ground running really quickly, but it’s also much quicker and easier to hire a junior developer than to look for someone experienced. Rather than spend six months searching for your perfect senior hire, Evgeny invites companies to “see how much someone junior can achieve in half a year.”
The other side of this is diversity. Evgeny points out that “if you look at very experienced talent, you will find that it’s not particularly diverse, so if you try to build your team consisting purely of experienced developers you will eventually have a diversity issue.”
Luckily, Makers Academy have seen the diversity through their own doors skyrocket.
So you’ve gone ahead and hired an exciting junior developer! How can you set them up for success? For Evgeny, the first thing to tackle is onboarding. “When companies hire more experienced talent, they usually just throw them into the middle of the code base and hope that it’s going to work out.”
“We’ve seen it all — from economists and lawyers and sound engineers and professional poker players, to teachers and stay-at-home mums. You name it, people want to learn to code.”
So it’s important to really understand what the first few months of your new junior hire is going to look like.
Who’s going to help them?
Who is going to be their first point of contact?
Do you have a handbook or online resource that answers their questions?
Get this right, and you’re setting your junior developer up for success from day one (and lucky for you, CharlieHR handles most of it!).