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A Non-Tech Founder Guide in Hiring Programmers for a Startup

Maksym Babych

Maksym Babych


Samuel Iluyemi

Samuel Iluyemi

Content Writer

16 min

Every business or idea needs fastidious execution without which the results won’t be satisfactory.

When it comes to starting your own thing, you need to know how to hire developers for a startups.

Knowing how to find a developer for your startup is even more critical. Mainly if you belong to a non-tech background.

You must understand the intricacies of hiring the right person for the job.

Programmers are no less than a wizard. They create magical digital solutions with their coding.

So, hiring a programmer for your business is unavoidable.

You are clear on the concept that you need to find developers for startup.

But do you have an idea about how to do it?

What will you ask?

  • How can you that he/she understands the technology and know-how to make an application?
  • What are the costs involved, and most importantly, where do you find a programmer for your new startup?

Well, we have got everything covered for you. So, sit back, get something to eat, and start reading this blog.

We have covered every possible detail about hiring programmers for startup owners.

Step 1 – Before You Hire a Developer

Define What You Want To Build

This is the primary question that you should ask yourself, What is my project all about?

Defining the solution you want to build will allow you to find programmers for startup in the right direction.

Are you targeting mobile users, web users, or both?

Developing a digital solution for mobile and web will require native tools to build.

For a solution that will run on mobile and web, you need a developer who knows about hybrid development technologies.

  • React Native
  • Xamarin
  • Flutter
  • Ionic

Within the purview of Mobile solutions, you may need to decide between Android or iOS.

There are no overlaps in the application development. You cannot expect an android developer to build an extensive and native iOS application.

The same holds the other way around.

Apart from this, both the iOS and Android application development requires a different SDK.

That is why it is crucial to find the platform on which you will run the app before knowing how to hire a programmer for a startup.

Before founder will think about hiring a developer, he or she needs to think through tech stack to use in startup

Analyze Your Competition and Their Products

After deciding the platform, look at the existing solutions working on the same lines.

To ensure better reception of your solution and hiring the perfect programmers for the startup, study your competition.

The viability of any solution is essential to know before knowing how to find programmers for your startup.

Once you have the list of similar solutions, note down:

  • Their features
  • What problems do they solve
  • Who is the ideal customer
  • How are they approaching the customer
  • Understand the problems and issues

Getting the answers to these questions will help you get your head around the kind of solution you want to build.

Consequently, if you know the vital application requirements, hiring programmers for startup will be more comfortable.

Because then you will know what to ask the developer for understanding his/her skillset.

Define Your Product’s Value Proposition

Three things will help you build a compelling value proposition for your solution:

  • Relevancy
  • Quantified User Benefits
  • Differentiation

Creating a value proposition is imperative for both ends.

In contrast, you are looking for how to find a software developer for startup and the end-user.

Plus, creating a value proposition does not make your solution look good. No, it also helps bring real value to the customer.

Sharing your values, mission, and vision with the potential developer will help him resonate with your perspective.

Define Your Application and The Ways It Works

To find the right programmers for your startup, create a how-to plan for your solution.

Write down everything or create a rough draft for the solutions’ operational sequences.

If possible, draft a UX and UI mockup of the application. This is imperative to find a programmer and show them what they can expect by working with your startup.

Create a user journey and show how you expect the user to engage with your solution.

This information is crucial for hiring programmers for startup.

Next, jot down the features you want to include in the MVP version. This will assist you while taking an interview.

Some by-default features that are essential for every application includes;

  • Sign-up or Registration
  • Profile Creation
  • Notifications
  • Contact

Other than this, there are multiple solution-specific features you must note down.

You can ask feature-related questions while you hire a programmer for startup to know how they approach the development process.

We are writing this guide to help even the non-tech startup founders get an idea of what they can expect from a candidate.

Even a non-tech founder must know how to find software developers for startup.

From all these features listed below, your ideal programmer should know which technology and framework is apt.

Plus, he/she shall also know about the time requirements for integrating them in the application.

Lastly, also create a roadmap of the solution. To find a programmer for your startup, you should know how to move forward with every milestone.

So, set a budget and a timeline before you call in candidates for an interview.

Until now, our focus was on creating a comprehensive plan of your application. Again, this is part is crucial for the non-tech startup founders.

Let’s move forward now. Here we will find how to find a software developer for your startup, choose the right candidate.

You know the software creation part.

Let’s now discuss who will build it and choose the right person for the development process.

Before founders decide to build an MVP, they need to go through easy 4 step framework on define product concept. And only after move to how to hire a programmer for a startup.

Step 2 – Understand What to Look For

Always remember two things here;

Indeed, you can hire a full-stack developer for the job, but one person cannot execute every aspect of the job with perfection.

  • Software development is not cut and dried for everybody.

It is crucial to identify the right person before you hire developers for startup.

That is why we will not continue our discussion to find a programmer for startup by talking about different types of developers.

You need to understand the job description, profile, and requirements of your task beforehand.

For instance, if you create a web-based app, then hiring iOS mobile apps developers won’t be fruitful. Got the point?

So, moving ahead, we are going to talk about different genres of developers. And help answer another critical question for how to hire a programmer for a startup.

Yes, there are subsets of developers. Some work with the backend tasks, while others with the front-end.

We have a middle tier, full stack, desktop, web, mobile, and the list goes on.

Entepreneursh should remember these 2 basics before ask on how to find a programmer for thier product or startup

A Brief Overview of Developers

  • The Architect Role

Description It’s a senior level developer with knowledge of the major cloud providers and with the knowledge of CI/CD.

Also, with the ability to create automated, efficient, robust, and rollbackable release pipelines, and scalable, cost-effective architecture of the system.

Key Responsibilities Architects take care of building a complex solution accordingly to business needs and goals.

Also, they leading the team, conducting code and design review, guiding and assist different developers all over the development process.

Frameworks Used Usually architects well-known in both the backend and frontend frameworks of their development team.
  • The Role of Backend Developer

Description The role of a backend developer is to manage the server-side of the development.

A back-end developer builds bridges between the database and platform accessible by the user from managing databases, scripts, and architecture.

Key Responsibilities They are responsible for designing, implementing, and writing logical code that runs the solution.

Furthermore, a backend developer looks after the overall performance and scalability of the solution.

Frameworks Used Backend developers work on four significant aspects of development.

  • Server
  • Database
  • Programming Language
  • API

For these functions, they use technologies like PHP, Java, Python for programming.

Added to this, for databases, they should know about MongoDB, SQL, SQL Server, Redis, and MySQL.

For Server management and monitoring, hire backend developers for startups that know about Nginx, Apache, and Microsoft IIS.

  • The Role of Frontend Developer

Description A frontend developer works on the client-side of the solution.

This means that they look after the visuals and the aesthetic appeal.

How the end-user interacts with the application or website is the task of a frontend developer.

Key Responsibilities A frontend developer works to create experiences and engagement with the digital solution.

They do not work with the machines but have to resonate with the human mind.

So, suppose you are hiring developers for startup who will work on hybrid or dual solutions for iOS and Android.

In that case, they must know everything about cross-compatibility and device-specific layouts.

Frameworks Used Among the technologies and frameworks a frontend developer utilizes, HTML, CSS, Angular JS, React, Ionic is the most important.

Since a front-end developer also takes care of the design aspects, they must also have experience working with prototyping and mockup creation tools.

  • The Full-Stack Developer Role

Description You will also come across full-stack developers for startups when you are looking to hire.

A full-stack developer has the expertise to work on both frontend and backend technologies.

These are the individuals who are the pundits of CSS and HTML plus ASP, PHP, Node, Python, JSON, and so on.

Key Responsibilities Since a full stack developer understands the client side and server side’s intricacies, they will be responsible for fulfilling the tasks expected from both types of functions.

From designing remarkable interfaces to ensuring highly effective and prompt API connections, everything.

Frameworks Used When it comes to frameworks, a full stack developer has a lot of choices.

But, for writing this guide, how to find coders for your startup, we have listed down the most important, effective, and reputable frameworks they use.

React JS, Node JS, Angular, Django, Flask, jQuery, and Ruby on Rails are the major ones.

  • The Role of Mobile Developer

Description Moving on with how to find developers for your startup, we have mobile developers.

Interestingly, if you were building a startup before the start of the 21st Century, you wouldn’t have heard about a mobile developer.

But today, mobile developers are tasked with the creation of mobile-based solutions.

They can be for any device and platform.

It can be windows, iOS, or Android. That is why earlier, we focussed on identifying the platform on which you wish to run your solution.

Because only if you have the right medium to enter the market can you choose the right person to develop that product.

Key Responsibilities A mobile app developer’s core responsibility is to build native applications with platform-specific features and functionalities.

Assuming that you are building a mobile-only application for your e-commerce store, which will run on all the operating systems.

You will need to know how to find programmers for your startup with expertise in mobile development.

Since they are working with a technical perspective, mobile developers will better understand the requirements, execution, and implementation.

Frameworks Used The major development platforms and frameworks mobile developers use include Objective C, Swift, Java.

Other than this, hire developers that can bring the knowledge of Xamarin, PhoneGap, and Flutter to your startup.

So, we have distilled down to the second last leg of our discussion on how to hire programmers for a startup.

If you are dealing with information overload, here we have boiled down the core subject matter given above in a few points.

  • Firstly, understand your product and find reasons why anyone should use it.
  • Identify your audience and build a solution that resonates with them.
  • Create a plan or a roadmap, including the timeline and budget.
  • Jot down the core features and integrations you need. This is crucial to find the ideal programmer for your startup.
  • Understand and share your value proposition with every potential candidate and to help them build a better perspective.
  • Then move on to knowing about different sorts of programmers before hiring for your startup.
  • If not everything, you must have a basic idea of the technologies, frameworks, and their responsibilities.


In the next part of how to find programmers for your startup, we will look at the sources to scour for candidates.

No, the local newspaper and Indeed are not enough to find true talent. Let’s know some unique areas that will help you find a great developer.

Step 3 – Where to Look For

This is the main part of how to find developers for startup.

23% of the startups fail due to inadequate teams by a CB Insights report.

Also, working alone takes 3.6x longer to succeed.

Consider both these aspects before you hire developers. This implies that you cannot work alone and if you have a team, make it’s good.

To move forward, you must understand the importance of a developer for your startup.

Your digital solution is your dream, and you have worked day and night to gather enough resources to fulfill that dream.

So, you cannot share your dream with just anybody. No! You need to implement the most comprehensive hiring structure for startup.

Listed below are all the credible sources with a few details about how to get candidates from there.

If you decide to find a programmer for startup, you need to remember crucial statistic on why developers matter in the process of product launch.

Offline Hiring Avenues

Let’s look at how to find software developer for startup offline.

Source Description
Meetups This is the place where you can find the developers in action.

Visit as many meetups as you can to find a good programmer for your startup.

You may not always find someone as enthusiastic as you want.

But meetups are still good sources to get recommendations.

Ask the people you meet to refer an excellent and energetic developer whose interest area is startups development.

Coworking Spaces Coworking spaces have become the melting pot of talent and enthusiasm.

You might find your ideal developer here who might or might not be working on something of his own.

So, besides getting an acquaintance with an ideal programmer for your startup, you may also come across your founder partner.

If not, you can also find the right freelancer who is ready to commit and has the required expertise to help you succeed.

Hackathons Hackathons are also the places where to find developers for startup.

But, these events make more sense to those individuals who have a deep-set understanding of development.

As a non-tech founder, you can tag along with your technical buddy or just ask around about the right candidate.

Recommendations and References coming from hackathons are highly impressive and credible.

Conferences Formal corporate events and conferences will get you two things.

  • Latest Industry insights, technologies, and trends.
  • Developers who understand these trends and work with the new technologies.

All in all, conferences provide you access to the best talent pool for hiring programmers for startup.

In these conferences, you can also participate as a speaker and get noticed by the developers.

If they are inspired enough by your idea or product, they can approach you directly.

Universities What’s a better place to find fresh talent than universities?

Plus, the kind of opportunistic environment available in startups makes the fresh graduates fond of starting early.

So, you can visit the universities as a recruiter. Get to know the young developers.

This is one of the best answers for how to find young and energetic programmers for your startup.

After these offline sources, you might also find programmers in courses and training institutes learning and growing side by side.

Online Talent Pools and Sources

When offline systems don’t help hire the ideal developers for your startup, you can always look online.

However, here you need to have a keen eye and a strict elimination policy.

Because if you are expecting to meet 10 people at a conference, the number of people you will meet online will be close to 100.

Also, due to the pandemic, the majority of conferences and events are happening online.

Thus, online sources seem like the best answer for how to find coders for your startup.

Source Description
Social Media Social media has become the panacea for all our troubles.

It does not matter what you need; you will get it one.

Be it love, help, support, laugh, food, entertainment, skills, study, or talent, go to social media.

For our question, you can indeed find a programmer for your startup, provided you know how to do it.

Pitch your startup and idea on your social media accounts or publish a post for your requirements.

You will get plenty of responses to hire developers for startups.

Include channels like Facebook, LinkedIn (87%), Twitter, Reddit, etc.

You can also use these channels to promote your product and then attract talent with the postings.

Job Portals Destinations like Upwork, Toptal, Crossover, Hired, and Guru can also help find a programmer for your startup, but you should know how to use them.

Different portals have specific benefits and features.

Like Upwork is great if you want someone for the short term. For long-term commitment individuals, use Toptal.

These portals will help you find mostly freelancers.

And since you are developing a product from scratch, it is better to hire someone for regular work.

For that, consider Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, and Craigslist.

Communities You must be thinking about how to hire software developers for startup from here.

These communities like Stack, Github, Mashable, Angelist, Overflow thrive because of the community.

These platforms offer access to multiple talented individuals.

Plus, all of them have their dedicated profiles, which you can vet and understand their expertise and experience.

Messengers Messengers like Slack, Discord, Telegram run user-operated groups, and channels are useful. (A pro tip: to hire guys from Eastern Europe –  use Telegram promotion.)

Being a member of these channels will get you an introduction with multiple people from your niche.

These groups help answer many “how-to” questions and help hire a programmer for your startup.

If you want to know something about the development aspect, shoot a question in the group, and you will get your answer.

Now we are left with the interview part. This is the part that matters the most for hiring programmers for startup.

Step 4 – Start the Interview with Candidate

Before conducting the interview, you will be sitting with a big pile of resumes, sourced from online and offline channels.

So, the first task involves shortlisting these candidates on the basis of:

  • Experience (Academic plus Practical)
  • What do they DO
  • Number of jobs
  • Companies they worked in
  • Products they have helped develop
  • Plaudits and Recommendations (for online portals, check the reviews given by other clients).

In addition, you may choose to use a pre-employment skills test to assist with shortlisting. For example, you could ask candidates to do a React skills test (or whichever languages & frameworks are important to the role). Then, you would choose to only proceed with interviewing those who scored highly on the test.

These aspects will get you half answer for how to find programmers for your startup.

For conducting the interview, both offline and online ways will work superbly.

However, if some candidates are not comfortable coming for a face to face interaction, be ready with your online setup.

PS: Mention this in your job description to expand your outreach to hire the best developers for the startup.

Coming to the interview for hiring programmers for startups. You need to be familiar with two types of aspects.

  1. Soft Skills
  2. Hard Skills

Soft skills include the overall personality and presentation of the individuals.

Significant attributes you should consider:

  • Communication
  • Punctuality
  • Active Listening
  • Comprehension
  • problem-Solving
  • Team Adaptability
  • Learning Attitude
  • Creativity

Hard Skills pertain to technical and subject-specific knowledge. Here the candidate can outsmart you. So, be careful about what you ask and how you ask.

Attributes include:

  • Database management
  • Network Security
  • Development
  • Knowledge about languages, frameworks, and the latest technologies
  • Situation analysis
  • Damage control
  • Bug reporting
  • UI/UX
  • Storage Systems Management

Are you getting confused?

Don’t worry; we have a solution to help you know how to find programmers for startup.

To know how to find software developer for startup, you must correlate hard and soft skills.

The qualities possessed by the shortlisted candidates under both these heads complement each other.

A candidate with good listening skills and better comprehension will understand the requirements better and with speed.

Likewise, a punctual individual shows commitment, ultimately leading to completing the job with precision, fewer errors, and on time.

As a non-tech person, it is not easy for you to assess the hard skills of the candidate.

And there is nothing wrong with it. A person can only wear enough hats.

The solution we present is hiring a CTO or Chief Technology Officer.

As the name suggests, a CTO possesses the right skillset to review a candidate for his/her technical skills. Also, CTO could help to set up a proper process of software development tracking, which is crucial for the future scaling of your company.

Getting  CTO onboard will augment your approach to find a programmer for startup.

But, do you need a full-time CTO in your office?

Most probably, no!

A CTO is not another employee on your roll call. But, he/she must act like a co-founder for your startup.

The CTO you hire must be energetic, act as a leader, augment your mission, and be ready to change with the technology.

Plus, the CTO will help you learn how to hire developers for a startup.

  • Hire a part-time CTO: Consider getting a freelancer CTO onboard or hiring someone part-time until you are making your team.

Being a startup, working with a part-time CTO is your best option.

  • Hire a CTO-service provider company: Today, companies are working as CTO’s, especially for startups.

They have an in-house talent of tech-savvy individuals that help non-tech startup founders hire the ideal developers.

Here too, check out the CTO’s experience, network, technical knowledge, certifications, and communication skills.

The CTO is a crucial role in the process of looking for how to find a programmer for your startup

A Better Solution (4 in One)

After considering all the steps and substeps, did you realize something?

Don’t you think that this entire process is a bit convoluted and vulnerable?

Everything that we have mentioned is authentic and performance-ready

But, when it comes to implementation, you cannot afford to make a mistake.

What if we were to tell you that is a way to find programmers for your startup without going through this elaborate exercise, how to do that?

You ask us to build your product, simple!

Yes, hiring an in-house developer will be great for communication, support, and team.

But hiring the Spdload team is equally satisfying and result-oriented.

We are self-motivated to help startups succeed. We are fast, adept, and follow scrum development practices.

Our experience in helping startups realize their dreams makes us trustworthy and reliable.

You will get access to the full-scale team (developers, designers, QAs, business analysts, project managers, DevOps).

There is no need to hire and spend time dealing with loads of CVs. We are only a single mail or call away.

The SpdLoad team is dedicated to foster success and growth for your startup, and we are adept in fulfilling our promise. We make your product ready to launch and outperform in the market.

We align our efforts with your motives. We will help you with development, idea validation, business analysis, market research, and competitor analysis.

SpdLoad offers you a one-stop solution; we will take your product from plinth to paramount at cost-effective rates.

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