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8 Skills to Look for in a Python Developer

Skills to look for in a python developer

Hiring a Python developer for your next web project is almost mandatory. In case you haven’t heard, this programming language is crashing the charts remaining as the favorite for most programmers. According to GitHub and Google Trends, Python was the most popular language during 2020 (and it’s likely to stay that way in 2021).

It might seem that hiring a Python developer is a piece of cake. But don’t be fooled; hiring a talented developer is all about having a strategy and looking in the right places. But besides those fundamental aspects, you also need to be sure of what type of candidate you’re looking to find. That way, when you start doing interviews, you know how to tell between great developers versus not-so-great ones. So, how to make sure your next python developer is a match made from heaven for your team? By knowing what skills they should have. 

Overview of Python

Python is one of the dinosaurs of programming languages. It was created in the late 1980s and first released in 1991 by Guido van Rossum as a successor to the ABC programming language.

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

Programmers love this programming language because it helps them increase their productivity levels; Python’s design philosophy focuses on code readability. Its language constructs and object-oriented approach allow developers to write clear code for both small and large-scale projects.

Fun fact: Companies such as Amazon, Spotify, Google, and Facebook use Python.

Hire your next python develoer

But… What Does a Python Developer do?

It’s all laughter and joy until the time has come, and you need to start looking for a Python developer. 

What do they even do? Have you ever seen the famous tv-series Friends and noticed how despite everyone being friends for many years and basically being together 24/7, no one has the remote idea of what Chandler does for a living? No one knows what’s his job!

Don’t let this happen to you when hiring a Python developer. You need to be on top of the hiring process by knowing what their roles and responsibilities will be when they join your team. 

To make this easier for you, here’s a job description template that describes (in general terms) the roles and responsibilities of a Python developer: 

Python Developer Roles and Responsibilities 

8 Skills Python Developers Should Have

If you want to hire a talented Python developer, your first step is to know what skills to look for. These are the top 8 skills to look for in Python developers. 

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. Python is the Love of Their Lives

You’re probably thinking, “Well, duh! This is kind of obvious,” but despite being obvious, it’s worth highlighting. A python developer should know Python as they know how to talk or eat. It’s important that they understand Python’s core so well that they can program and work with it with their eyes closed.

How to know if a dev can be considered a 100% Python developer? Go for the specifics; for example, make sure they understand and master the 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 some of 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

Have you ever craved a glass of wine, went to your kitchen, and when you’re about to open it, you realize that you can’t find the wine opener anywhere? You spend 20 minutes looking for it and another 20 minutes searching in google for methods to open it without a wine opener. Suddenly you miraculously find the wine opener, and in less than two minutes, you have opened the wine and are ready to enjoy it.

That feeling of satisfaction is often the feeling that developers experience when using frameworks. Instead of spending hours with repetitive tasks, with a framework, they can reduce their time coding, and therefore, they are more productive.

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 the transfer of data 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. 

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 be highly beneficial by using these technologies. When Python developers use this language and work with data science, they can also work with neural networks, data visualization, data analysis, and data collection, having a rich overview of your web application.  Think about it, when Python developers are proficient in data science, they can acquire, visualize and analyze the information extracted from the data. This makes them have a clear picture of where the business application is standing and even predict customer’s 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. 

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, they have 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 problems (if needed) in the core framework to achieve optimized and great results. 

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 (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.

How to Hire 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 candidates; 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 hire talented remote developers. If you’re looking for a Python dev to help your IT team, we can help you! 

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Gabriela Molina

Gabriela Molina

Gabriela Molina is the writer and editor of the DistantJob blog. As a former freelancer, she has covered a wide range of topics throughout her career. She is currently specializing in the areas of technology, leadership, and remote work.