Illustration of a woman standing at a desk working on a laptop

Why this matters:

It’s a given that software developers are familiar with several programming languages; the key is knowing which ones they are strongest in. Depending on the company or project, they may be asked to quickly pick up new languages in order to build out an application. Therefore, it’s important that they are familiar with several, and are willing to learn more if needed.

What to listen for:

  • An ability to list and explain several coding languages that are commonly used for software development
  • Demonstrated experience in mastering at least one coding language
  • A willingness to learn more languages when needed for different projects

Why this matters:

A great way to assess a candidate’s organizational fit is to learn more about the methodologies that they’re familiar with. Whether it’s Agile or waterfall, software developers must know how to provide clear rationale behind why they choose a specific approach, and how it’s most effective for development.

What to listen for:

  • A clear explanation of different methodologies that facilitate effective software development
  • An understanding of common development strategies, such as Agile
  • An ability to explain which methodology is appropriate for various circumstances

Why this matters:

Quality assurance (QA) contains many steps, including conducting manual testing and identifying and mitigating defects. This question gives the candidate the opportunity to talk through the key aspects of QA — and its positive impact on product quality.

What to listen for:

  • A detailed explanation of the candidate’s typical QA process from start to finish
  • Strong understanding of a company’s typical QA process
  • Past participation in the QA

Why this matters:

Defects are a normal part of software development; for example, they might occur due to logic errors, conflicts in programming conditions, or when project requirements are unclear or have been miscommunicated. It’s important for developers to know how to quickly identify, address, and solve them as they occur. Here, your candidate can explain their approach.

What to listen for:

  • Intentionality about reducing bug probability
  • A practice of continuous improvement
  • The ability to identify and resolve bugs in a quick and efficient manner

Why this matters:

A good software developer can provide a detailed, well-rounded summary of their last assignment — one that will demonstrate their knowledge and skill, while shedding some light on their approach to challenges. Great candidates will also reflect on areas of improvement, showing initiative and the willingness to learn and grow.

What to listen for:

  • A clear and straightforward explanation of the project, its process, and its outcomes
  • A mention of potential areas of improvement
  • An ability to actively plan for the future based off of past development work

Why this matters:

Software developers make honest mistakes. It may be they’re overwhelmed with tasks, so a deadline has gone by unnoticed. It’s crucial that they take steps to correct future issues, whether that might involve creating a checklist, asking fellow team members for help, better managing their time, or another solution.

What to listen for:

  • Ownership of missteps or mistakes, without excuses
  • The desire to improve
  • Willingness to partner with other team members when in need of assistance

Why this matters:

While not required per se, software testing prior to a major launch is generally crucial to ensure quality and meet user expectations. Although a company may have QA (quality assurance) teams on hand to run formalized testing, software developers must still take part in the process, such as further iterating on products and apps until they are free of defects.

What to listen for:

  • An emphasis on the importance of testing, especially prior to major launches
  • An understanding of different types of testing, such as manual or unit testing
  • Experience collaborating with QA teams, or conducting prelaunch testing on their own

Why this matters:

In order to cover all bases of a product during development, software developers will have to provide important updates or information to other departments or stakeholders. Because not everyone may be familiar with technical concepts, developers must know how to explain their thinking in a way that’s understandable, inclusive, and productive.

What to listen for:

  • An ability to collaborate with other teams to ensure the success of a product
  • An ability to simplify complex technical concepts and make them digestible
  • Clear communication skills that help nontechnical employees to be fully aligned

Why this matters:

To stay organized in the face of multiple projects, it’s important for software developers to rely on available tools and resources. By using project management tools, they are actively demonstrating the ability to prioritize and keep deadlines — and when an app or website is urgently due for an important project or client, this skill is invaluable.

What to listen for:

  • A list of the most helpful project management tools for your candidate
  • An understanding of how project management tools can help with organization
  • Demonstrated experience in monitoring and completing multiple projects successfully
chatting over desk with laptops and coffee

Contact a sales specialist.

By submitting this form, you agree that we may use the data you provide to contact you with information related to your request/submission and LinkedIn's products and services. If you are a LinkedIn member, you can control the messages you receive from LinkedIn in your settings. If you are a guest, you can unsubscribe from LinkedIn marketing emails at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the email. Your data will be used subject to LinkedIn's Privacy Policy.