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Post by Rich Moy on Mar 6, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Python is a general-purpose programming language that has been widely used by developers since its release in 1991. Kenneth Love, a Python instructor for Treehouse, says that whenever he needs to code something and the language doesn’t matter, he turns to Python. He adds that it has been used by developers to everything from microchips to video games. Because it’s both powerful and flexible, it’s no surprise that companies across all industries are competing to hire talented Python developers. To help you set yourself apart from the competition, here are a few things to know when you need to hire a Python developer.

Know Where They Spend Their Free Time

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, developers simply do not spend a lot of time on the more traditional social media platforms. However, they do seek out online communities of like-minded developers to learn from and share knowledge with. In fact, the community at Python.org still fosters a supportive and engaged community of developers who are looking to upgrade their skills. Python developers also turn to sites like Devshed, Dream.In.Code, and CodingForums.com to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. The Python tag on Stack Overflow is also one of the most frequently used, with over 709,000 questions tagged on the site.

As much as you might want to announce that you need to hire Python developers, it’s best to start conversations with passive candidates on these sites by joining the conversations they’re having about programming. They won’t expect you to know the ins-and-outs of the language, but you’ll earn their trust for taking an interest in what they’re talking about.

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Understand The Unique Challenges They Face

Because Python is used in so many applications, you might think that’s all the information you need to properly evaluate candidates. The reality is that Python developers tackle some incredibly complex and unique challenges on a daily basis. Here are just a few things they worry about every day at work:

  • Building and maintaining scalable systems. Python is used by companies like Google and Facebook for much of their back-end and data processing functions.
  • Automating tedious, but critical business functions. Developers often turn to Python to automate mission-critical tasks that would take hours to complete by hand.
  • Ensuring security and data protection for end-users. Because it’s prevalent in many back-end functions, Python developers are responsible for building systems that provide a safe and secure environment for end-users.

Learn What They Look for in Job Opportunities

The research you’ve done on Python development will show candidates that you’ve done your homework. But to recruit and hire Python developers, you should also know how they evaluate new job opportunities. We spoke to Stephan Richter, CTO at Shoobx, to hear his thoughts on the elements of an ideal Python job.

  • Jobs that actually use Python. It should come as no surprise that Python developers want to work with Python. Richter says, “A lot of openings I see might use some Python scripts for ops or simple utility scripts, but the main work is in another language.”
  • Companies that are committed to Open Source. Richter tells us that engineering teams that are active in the Open Source community are incredibly attractive to Python developers. He adds, “It’s a huge plus if companies use Open Source libraries and actively encourage contributions like bug fixes back into those projects.”
  • Opportunities to learn something new. Like all developers, Python candidates want to know that the teams they’re joining are active learners. Richter adds, “When I look for a job, I try to strike a balance between having the knowledge in the libraries that are relevant to the job—and the opportunity to learn new things that make me a better manager and developer.”

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