Just about anybody could use the services of a skilled Java developer, be they large organizations with well-built software or IT departments, or small enterprises or startup firms with small developer teams. Java, after all, is widely considered one of the most in-demand programming languages today, along with other names such as Python, JavaScript, C++, C#, PHP (check out our recent guide), and Perl.

Some companies may have already gotten the hang of hiring Java developers, specifically in recruiting talent that best fits their product, service, or goals in business. As for those looking to hire a Java developer for the first time, the task may prove daunting and tricky, especially if you have no idea where to begin. If you count yourself as one of those just learning how to find a good Java developer, you can go through some few simple rules that we have outlined in this post. So scroll away …

Rule #1: Check the candidate’s CV.

This is the most obvious place to start for a very obvious reason — a potential developer hire’s CV basically summarizes his set of skills and qualifications, educational background and attainment, work experience, and even a brief glimpse of his past projects and achievements. From here, you can pretty much tell which candidates have better (or better-looking) CVs than others. In other words, you can then start the initial narrowing your pool of prospects before diving into the details, which brings us to the next rule …

Rule #2: Evaluate the skill set.

Because you are looking for a skilled Java developer, you will need to look out for a particular set of skills directly related to the programming language and other commonly used Java technologies. For those who can handle the technical jargon, we suggest finding candidates proficient in JSP/Servlets, web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery), web frameworks (Struts, Spring), web architecture and services (REST, SOAP), and markup languages (JSON, XML).

Sure, it is fairly easy to get lost in all those programming terms and acronyms. But you can try a more simplified or broad approach — look for experience in architecture and design patterns, knowledge of testing frameworks, organization and project leading skills, and even certifications. Speaking of which …

Rule #3: Look for Java-related certifications.

Suffice it to say that there are so many. But here’s a tip — you can navigate your way through this rule by remembering a few keywords. Which keywords exactly? They include Oracle Certified (which used to be Sun Certified), Certified Professional, Certified Expert, Certified Master, and even Certified Associate. Because Java is such as all-encompassing programming language, the range of certifications naturally is quite diverse. Of course, knowing what your business needs helps a lot in choosing which certifications will work to your advantage. Still, it can’t hurt to check what your candidate has actually done in the past ….

Rule #4: Review the portfolio and track record.

It is certainly nice to encounter a candidate with an impressive portfolio of completed projects and list of clients served. But if you can find a Java developer that has had experienced working in your industry or has handled a similar project similar to what you are aiming for, then you are easily halfway there.

Also, going through a Java developer’s accomplishments should give you an idea of his proven strengths. Moreover, if you want to find out how flexible he can be, you can review his track record in order to determine what other skills, tools, and platforms he has used during the course of a project. Of course, if you want to know more about how he handles tasks and completes his deliverables, it is sometimes best to interview him about it …

Rule #5: Set up an interview.

While it is true that the credentials of candidates for a Java developer position may look good on paper, having an interview can sometimes provide you with a glimpse of how they tackle projects, how they work with teammates, and more importantly, how they communicate.

Yes, software developers are experts in writing computer code, but the best ones distinguish themselves by being able to articulate clearly how they approach each stage of the project and how they communicate with you (in English, of course) in bringing your plans to life

An interview also allows you to throw any additional questions you might have that went unanswered while going through Rules Number 1 to 4. These questions may be for gaining more insight into a particular skill, or asking for a bit more background on a past project, or basically just getting a more rounded feel of the candidate’s attitude, enthusiasm, or outlook for new projects.

Through this post, we tried to simplify the process of hiring a skilled Java developer by presenting five easy rules. Of course, the real thing is far from being simple. You will have to deal with a lot factors, including the costs of hiring such a developer and even the actual challenges of the hiring process.

Software developers in America are not cheap, including those that specialize in Java. A quick browse through search engines for job listings will annual salary levels of around a hundred thousand dollars every year. Obviously, not all business owners can afford that, and some of them are often left with no choice but to outsource software development.

There is an abundance of freelance developers out there — some very, very good, and some just so-so. And while they are less expensive than getting an in-house Java developer, you have to deal with the fact that as freelancers, they might be just working for you part-time, that is, apart from the dozens of other projects that they are likely handling at the same time.

So if you need a more dedicated professional (i.e. dedicated to serving your business) but won’t cost you as much as an in-house team, you might want to consider offshore software development. This simply means finding a skilled Java developer who is based in a country with cheap labor costs, to work for you full-time (technically, they would be part of your company), but located in an office an ocean away, managed by an offshore staffing partner.

If you are okay with the idea of availing of offshore software development (or simply want to know more), CoDev can help you. Contact us now, and we’ll take care of the process of hiring a Java developer that fits your business. More than that, we’ll even set up your offshore team’s office in the Philippines (where Java skills are aplenty), and you only need complete a monthly flat fee.