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8 Skills to Look for in a Python Developer

- 3 min. to read

Hiring a talented Python developer is all about having a strategy and looking in the right places. 

We should know, we’ve been recruiting developers from all over the world for more than a decade now. To help you find the right Python developer for your organization, this article will present and explain the top Python developer skills that are needed and wanted in a developer, whether they are working remotely or in the office. 

What Does a Python Developer do?

Python is a general-purpose coding language; unlike HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It can be used for other programming types besides web development (for example, back-end development, software development, data science, etc.).

Python’s design philosophy focuses on code readability. Its language constructs and object-oriented approach allow developers to write clear code for small and large-scale projects.

A Python developer is in charge of coding, developing, designing, integrating , and debugging software products, usually on the server-side logic.

But the work of a Python developer evolves with their level of experience, and it’s important to know exactly what to expect of your developers:

What does a junior Python developer do? 

Entry level Python developers will shadow the more senior developers and learn from them. They will often be tasked with writing unit tests and improving the existing code with supervision from other developers who can mentor them and quickly help them grow.

What does a mid level Python developer do? 

Mid-level Python developers are expected to be capable of writing and building components to integrate into new or existing systems,or maintaining existing code by providing fixes and other code changes.

What does a senior level Python developer do? 

Besides mentoring the newer developers in the team, senior developers should be capable of designing entire systems and architectures for software solutions with appropriate technologies.

Python Developer Skills

Here are some of the most common Python skills required of developers, based on recent job listings:

  • Django
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • APIs
  • Docker
  • Linux
  • Cloud Computing
  • Machine Learning
  • Git
  • Continuous Integration
  • React
  • Flask
  • REST
  • PostgreSQL
  • DevOps
  • Microservices

As for other languages that often get paired up with Python:

  • JavaScript
  • Java
  • SQL
  • Go

Python developers are adding new skills to their repertoire as the technology changes and gets adapted into more industries, and this provides benefits to both developers and the companies that hire them. 

Python Developer Roles and Responsibilities

What python developers do will change according to the type of job they should perform: 

Software Engineer:

  • Develop and maintain code
  • Write unit tests
  • Debug software
  • Integrate third party code and APIs
  • Assess code and feature change requests
  • Evaluate and produce technical solutions to proposed problems

Web Developer:

  • Write back-end code and logic
  • Provide mechanisms to communicate with and update the back-end
  • Maintain the back-end updated and optimized
  • Integrate web frameworks
  • Deploy applications

Data Analyst:

  • Create scripts to collate and analyze data
  • Work with Python math and utility libraries
  • Create data models to use in reports for internal or client use

Machine Learning Engineer:

  • Research and implement Machine Learning algorithms
  • Make use of Machine Learning environments, platforms and libraries
  • Train and fine tune the Machine Learning algorithms to adapt to new variables and realities
  • Deploy Machine Learning Models to production environments
  • Analyze statistical data

Python Developer Job Description Template

python developers are adding new skills

8 Key Skills Python Developers Should Have

Which Python skills are in demand? These are the top 8 skills to look for in Python developers that we usually seek out in our candidates.

And if this seems like too much information, let us at DistantJob do the hard work for you. We’ve been helping companies find their perfect remote developers successfully in a matter of weeks! 

1. Solid knowledge of the Python programming language

Having solid knowledge of the language is, of course, essential. But testing this knowledge can sometimes be hard.

If you want to be thorough when interviewing your candidates, it’s important to ask the right questions. Ask about specific Python concepts such as data structures, data types, exception handling, file handling, generations, etc. If they don’t show hesitation when answering these types of questions, you can be certain that they know what they preach. 

2. CSS, HTML and JavaScript

While you might think it’s not a must for Python developers to learn front-end technologies, we firmly believe that knowing front-end technologies is a huge plus.

A Python developer often works with front-end technologies to make sure that the client-side matches the server-side. Working with CSS, HTML and JavaScript allows them to have a full picture of how a website or platform looks and how it works. 

3. Python Frameworks

Another skill to look for in your Python developers is whether he is familiar with Phyton frameworks or not. When a Python developer knows all the frameworks (or the most important ones), you can be confident that they have a fast development process because they stop dealing with low-level stuff such as threads or sockets. 

4. Object Relational Mapper

Object Relational Mappers (ORMs) are a class of libraries that facilitate data transfer from a relational database to Python objects. 

In simple words, an object-relational mapper is a technique that converts data between incompatible types using object-oriented programming languages. ORMs can create a virtual object database that can be used within the Python language (or any other language).

The most significant benefit for developers of using an ORM library is that they save a substantial amount of time by offering them the flexibility to switch to another relational database when required. Using ORMs, Python developers can continue to write in Python code instead of using SQL to create and update data schemas. 

5. Python Libraries 

Python has many great advantages, and one of them is its massive collection of libraries. According to the Python Package Index, Python has over 267,000 projects. So, when developers plan to create something or are stuck in the middle of a project, they have all these libraries available for them with the necessary documentation and guidance.

When interviewing a Python developer, ask them about the libraries they have used in the past or why they have to use them. Most of them are great tools for developers to learn more about AI, machine learning, data science, among other trending topics. Besides that, more common libraries allow developers to stay flexible and develop more complex solutions faster.

6. Machine Learning and AI

We’re living in a digital era, making it almost impossible to run away from industries such as Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

Even web apps can benefit greatly by using these technologies. Python can be used to work with data science, neural networks, data visualization, data analysis, and data collection, providing a rich overview of your web application’s information. This way, data scientists can acquire, visualize and analyze the information extracted from the data, have a clear picture of where the business application is standing, and even predict customers’ behavior.

When interviewing a Python developer, it’s a huge (gigantic) plus if they are proficient in AI/ML. For this, you need to make sure they have a solid understanding of the Machine Learning Algorithms and even some of the modules Python offers towards implementing these solutions. 

7. Multi-process architecture

When developing a web application, Python developers need a development architecture to separate the app’s internal working from users. Nowadays, there are easier frameworks and architecture models, such as the Model View Controller architecture or the Model View Template architecture.

A Python developer should have a basic understanding of how their code will work in release or deployment environments. After understanding its architecture, they can identify and solve the core framework’s problems (if needed) to achieve optimized and great results. When interviewing about this topic, get to know their past projects and how they are structured to get a good analysis of your candidate’s mind towards the architecture of software.

8. Version Control

Have you ever sent a slack message poorly written? In a matter of seconds, you click on edit and send the message the right way. Easy! Well, version control works similarly to developers.

Version control (also called source control) is the practice of tracking and managing changes to software code. Version control systems are tools that help developers manage changes to source code over time. Developers can iterate their code and keep track of every single change that happens in web applications.

If your Python developers use version control systems such as Git, it means that they keep track of every modification to the code in a special kind of database. If they make a mistake, they can always compare the earlier version of the code to fix the error. When interviewing, it’s a good rule of thumb to check if they provide an online profile for their code, such as GitHub. If not, ask about their methodologies for dealing with code changes over time and how they can recover from costly mistakes. The answer to these problems is usually good version control set up.

Preparing Your Python Interview

How do you interview a Python developer? The best way to assess your candidate on their Python knowledge is with a good and structured interview.

A good starting point is to ask about their knowledge of the language overall. Ask about Python concepts and watch for the candidate’s confidence in their answers.

After that comes probably the most important part of the interviewing process. You should give your candidate a practical test. Coding challenges are a popular method of testing your candidate’s knowledge, as well as work methodology. 

Hiring Python developers can be easy

How do I hire the best Python developers? You’ve probably read many different strategies for hiring developers. Maybe even implemented some of them, such as recruiting over LinkedIn (or other social media platforms), job boards, by referrals, etc. And you’ve probably experienced how frustrating it is not to find the talent you need for your team despite all the efforts.

Hiring programmers has always been difficult. It doesn’t matter all the technological advances or all the new tools to recruit and find great remote developers; when it comes to the IT industry, you always want to make sure you’re making it the right way. 

At DistantJob, we know how difficult this is because thousands of companies have asked for our help. They have tried their best and failed in the attempt. Instead of wasting more time, energy, and resources, they chose a wiser option: us! 

We have over a decade of experience helping companies find and hire talented remote developers. If you’re looking for a Python dev to help your IT team, I and my recruitment team can help you! And if you are a developer looking for a job, we can help you as well! Make sure to check our available remote IT positions.

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