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  • Writer's pictureAndrey Shore

Hiring the best developers is a mistake

Declaring, during an interview session, that “we are here to build the best team ever” is as unrealistic as saying “we are building the next Google of the current generation”.

Such a statement, if said seriously, is an indication of an inevitable failure.

Stay away from companies building "the next Google"

Let’s think for a second about the definition of a start-up.

Start-up is a company in the initial steps of business.

It means

  • Not-existing or a very early form of a product.

  • Zero or a deficient number of clients.

  • Financial resources are very limited. Depending on the stage, the company may be backed by as much as 2 years of funding or as low as 3 months.

  • There’s no business and no legal structure.

  • There is no well-defined development process.

  • Leadership is not settled on goals, culture and management style.

Considering all these, you will be constantly running against disappearing time and money resources.

An ability to “write the best code” becomes much less relevant than “taking care of tasks fast” or “being able to deliver”.

The earliest the start-up stage the more team members will be involved in demo meetings, brainstormings, and POC development. In order to do it, people have to understand the company's business, be able to efficiently present the product as well as communicate problems and solve bottlenecks.

Investing your (and others) resources in looking for, interviewing, onboarding and controlling the best developers will not be possible.

So whom should you hire then?

Below are the characteristics that are most valuable for fast growth

  • Understanding of the company business (or willingness to understand)

  • Ability to work independently

  • Good communication skills

  • Relevant development background

  • Compliance with the culture (current or the future one). Don't have culture yet? Consider it as equipment you must to provide your developers with. Contact "Nobody's Ninja" team and we'll help.

  • Passion. The person should to be passioned about something. It can be either a hobby, a movie, an opensource project, you name it. Being excited about anything, is a very good component of a start-up personality.

  • Long-term potential. This goes both directions - willing to grow while contributing to the company, and willing to see this person thrive through the company's success.

  • Being able to receive and deliver feedback.

  • Ability to write reasonable code.

Note that the ability to write code is the last on the list.

Also, finding people with all the characteristics in place is not possible. Aim to look for 3-4 main ones. You, as a manager, have to identify and understand what are the missing characteristics, how they should be mentored and when emerged.


In the picture is the 1924 US Olympic Boxing Team. That year the team took first place with 6 medals.

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