How To Hire A Strong Ruby On Rails Developer

How To Hire A Strong Ruby On Rails Developer

Are you looking to hire the perfect Ruby on Rails developers?

I’ve got the perfect tips and tricks of the trade for you. Whether you are an outsourcing company or you have your own products to create, you might come across the need to further expand your back-end technologies using Ruby on Rails. If you’re looking to hire the best Ruby on Rails engineer on the market to help you develop your company’s projects, there are a few necessary steps you have to consider in order to make sure that you end up finding the best candidate for the available position.

Any mistake in the recruitment process can lead to you finding out that you don’t have the right employee who can write clean code for your customers and you might even need to start recruiting again, this time more accurately. I’ve listed a few tips to ease this challenging task of hiring the most talented Ruby on Rails developer in a market that’s more and more competitive when it comes to having the best developers possible.

Job descriptions

Job descriptions

A job description is your first chance to present your company and to list specific requirements and tasks that your Rails engineer will have to complete. Therefore, it’s essential that you craft a detailed job description. This allows Ruby on Rails engineers to adjust their resumes according to your job posting and even to complete it with frameworks or tools that he/she might have worked with but failed to mention. It’s surprising how many people have more experience than what they mention in the resume. However, the opposite is also true. Many applicants often add false statements and abilities to their resumes. It’s your duty to make sure that what they claim is true.

If you’re looking for someone who only works with the Rails framework, make sure that you do mention that any other framework is not accepted unless you offer Rails training for suitable candidates.

This helps you sort out the initial candidates easily. If anything is unclear, contact the candidate directly to understand more about his/her previous experience with Ruby.

Here are some examples of the skills/requirements you can include in a job posting for a Rails developer:

  • Excellent general programming skills
  • Solid understanding of object-oriented programming
  • B.A. in Computer Science, Engineering, or related field (preferably)
  • Experience with HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript
  • Hands-on experience with Ruby on Rails (other libraries such as RSpec and Resque are preferred)
  • Fluent command of English (both written and spoken)
  • Experience developing high-performance applications
  • Good knowledge of relational databases
  • Proficient understanding of code versioning tools (Git, Monotone, SVN, etc.)

Another important part of the job description is listing your responsibilities. This is where you present what you would need your Rails developer to do for your project, what technologies you use, and how you work daily. Take a look at the responsibilities below for some ideas:

  • Write clean, efficient, readable, and maintainable code
  • Participate in design and software quality meetings
  • Set up new functionalities
  • Keep the team informed regarding the status of the development process
  • Conduct regular code reviews to improve code quality, design, and tests
  • Collaborate with Product Owners and Managers
  • Explore new opportunities and technologies to use during product development

Remember that failing to mention something that is important for the position will have its consequences on your projects and on your relationship with the future employee.

A recommended structure for the job description is the following: a general presentation of your company, a list of skills/requirements, a list of responsibilities/tasks, a list of benefits, and contact details.

Requirements and responsibilities are the two most important parts of the job description, but you should also mention the benefits that your company offers (salary range, working environment, vacation days, facilities, etc.) In addition, leave your contact details and mention how the candidate should send you a resume, a cover letter, a link to his/her portfolio, or any relevant document.

Where to find the best developers

Job descriptions (1)

It can be difficult to hire a Ruby on Rails developer.

If you’re in charge of recruiting the next Rails star, make sure that after you post your job ad on your website’s Careers page and on other relevant websites you start searching for the perfect candidate yourself.

Some of the places where you can find a Rails developer and actually see their previous work are social media accounts, GitHub, Bitbucket, Stack Overflow, SourceForge, Toptal, Upwork, and many more. From such accounts, you can find out more not only about them and their personality but also about their code writing skills.

Platforms such as GitHub or Bitbucket allow you to see how well candidates write code using your preferred programming language. This is also an occasion for you to find out more about the other programming languages, technologies, or tools that they have used before.

More than this, repository hosting services can be shown to your more experienced employees so that they can objectively evaluate a candidate’s strong and weak points.

Together with your current developers, you can determine more efficiently whether a person can fit in your team and aid your work’s expansion or not. In fact, it is only with the help of your team of programmers that your company will grow.

Make no mistake:

The quality of their code is crucial to the future of your projects and it can guarantee whether you will or not have more clients in the future.

What if these methods fail?

Turn to your existing employees for referrals or attend local programming meetings and job fairs to get in touch with Ruby on Rails developers for hire that can be a benefit for your business.

There are many resources from which you can choose, but it’s best that you try all in order to find the most talented Rails developer out there. Keep in mind that even after excluding candidates, you should keep them in your database as this could become the perfect source for your future hirings.

Keep in mind that even after excluding candidates, you should keep them in your database as this could become the perfect source for your future hirings.

Job requirements

Job descriptions (2)

The experience you request of your candidates is dependant on whether you need a Junior developer or a more experienced one. Junior Rails developers need to know how to write basic elements of the Ruby language.

As an employer, you decide if you want to offer further training or if you’ll support your employees’ professional advancement by paying for training and courses. Junior Rails developer will interact mainly with object-oriented programming (OOP). Again, the basic concepts of OOP are needed to ensure that a candidate has the capacity to study more and become a Rails expert. When they first become Rails engineers it’s enough for them to know basic concepts, techniques, structures, view systems, web applications, and other common approaches.

When they first become Rails engineers it’s enough for them to know basic concepts, techniques, structures, view systems, web applications, and other common approaches.

As a Rails employee advances in his/her career, he/she will have to know Ruby on Rails inside out. This is why you can also request experience with configuring a new application; the Model-view-controller (MVC) paradigm; ERB/Haml; ActiveRecord; unit testing with Rspec, FactoryGirl, Capybara, or Cucumber; ActiveRecord; Linux administration; API + JSON; REST and HTTP protocol, etc.

Often, Ruby on Rails experts are required to have front-end programming skills as well. This means that you should appreciate if they know HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc. In addition, employers ask Ruby developers to build databases. This is why they should have a grasp of MySQL, PostgreSQL, or NoSQL databases.

You can also request experience with Git, project/time/ticket management tools, and deployment. If you’re using a Rails developer to complete a team, make sure the candidate had previous experience working in a team. Another aspect of interest if you speak only English in your team and with your clients is for the candidate to be able to accurately speak and write in English. This guarantees that there will be no errors when communicating with co-workers or clients.

Another aspect of interest if you speak only English in your team and with your clients is for the candidate to be able to accurately speak and write in English. This guarantees that there will be no errors when communicating with co-workers or clients.

Testing engineering skills

Job descriptions (3)

If you’re hiring a Junior Ruby on Rails developer with no previous working experience, it is best that you take a look at college assignments and at the code they have written for personal projects. This is why most recruiters ask for a GitHub account to determine programming skills beforehand. In addition, we suggest that you give them some tasks or a project as part of the recruitment process. Make sure that these assignments are similar to what the employees will have to do at their future

This is why most recruiters ask for a GitHub account to determine programming skills beforehand. In addition, we suggest that you give them some tasks or a project as part of the recruitment process. Make sure that these assignments are similar to what the employees will have to do at their future workplace and that they’re tailored to the tools and techniques that he/she will have to use for your company’s projects.

For more experienced Rails engineers (ranging from Middle to Senior developers), it’s fairly easier to see and test what they know. However, after checking their previous work, getting in touch with previous employers and co-workers, it is also fundamental that you measure the quality and performance of their work through tasks, projects, supervised evaluations, and even through discussions with your current developer team, project managers, and the CEO. This is an effective method for the members of your team to get to know the development candidate personally and to evaluate his/her Rails knowledge through hands-on evaluation.

What is more, it is an opportunity for the applicant to meet the team, to observe how they work, to see the technologies they use, and to realize whether he/she would like to work there. If you have more than one team where a Rails engineer is needed, it is best that you introduce the candidate to all of them and see if he has a preference for any of these teams, if he interacts better with a certain one, or if his/her knowledge and experience would better fit a team or the other.

Tip:

One great way of testing Rails-related knowledge is creating your own tests which you can later send to your candidates. One tool that will allow you to do this is Hundred5.

Take a look at my Hundred5 review:

Testing soft skills

Job descriptions (4)

To hire Rails developers, soft skills are just as important as technical skills when it comes to ensuring the success of a project. It’s the team’s homogeneity and interaction that’ll influence how efficiently your employees work.

A candidate’s personality can be reviewed through discussions with the team leader, team members, the CEO, or through the classic structured interview with one or more HR representatives.

Now’s the time to ask questions regarding personality, the manner of working, preferences, and more.

It’s your chance to ask candidates about qualities or weaknesses, whether they prefer to work individually or in a team, their expectations from the other workers and from the team leader, the way in which the candidates deal with conflicts, what their personal motivations are, etc. A face-to-face interview is perfect for directly assessing real-life interactions, speech patterns, and body language.

Salary expectations

Job descriptions (5)

A Ruby on Rails expert developer’s salary ranges according to the country in which he/she is working and to his/her previous experience. Considering this, a Ruby on Rails engineer’s annual salary can be anywhere between a few thousand to 100,000 EUR or more.

When negotiating a Rails engineer’s salary, take into account his/her offer, your financial possibilities, his/her experience and knowledge, and general industry salary levels. Have in mind that in addition to the team and the projects you offer, the salary you give will influence the employee’s’ decision to extend his/her contract. If you promise periodical salary increases, re-evaluations, or bonuses, make sure to follow through with these statements.

What’s the bottom line?

Remember that a great Ruby on Rails developer is chosen even before the start of your recruitment process.

This is why it is of utmost importance that you plan every aspect of this path in detail before posting the job advertisement. Adapt each recruitment process to the needs of your company, your teams, and your projects.

Most importantly, remember that, when you are looking to hire a Ruby on Rails programmer, the perfect candidate will not always the one with more general experience or knowledge, but the one who has previously worked efficiently with the products and technologies you use for your projects.

Now I have a question for you

Are you ready to find your next best candidate?

Then you definitely need to consider the steps above. Feel free to share your own tips below. I’d love to know what to you thought of the post.

Happy hiring!

Published by Alexandra Cote

Alexandra Cote is a SaaS content writer and strategist with a passion for workplace productivity, social media marketing wonders, conversion rate optimization, artificial intelligence, and keyword research (Hooray for SEO!). Reach out to her via LinkedIn or her blog.

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