Right now it seems the whole world is fighting for skilled and experienced developers, they are like gold. If you are one of the employers struggling, here are some ideas for building your team.
- Get them while they are fresh – hire the graduates. For every senior developer you employ, you should employ at least an additional two juniors. These may be straight out of their studies. They often have great skills, no experience but they will be happy to work at a fraction of what you are paying the senior.
- Teach the seniors how to lead. Allow the juniors to report directly into the senior developer and give him/her training on how to manage staff if necessary. The danger is that the juniors distract the senior but with a little training and discipline, the juniors will add value. Allow for twice a day to have a quick standup meeting where the senior assigns tasks and/or answers questions, and then leaves the junior staff to get on with it. The senior needs to take responsibility for making sure that their juniors are adding value by actually producing code, even if it is the mundane stuff.
- Everyone takes a step to the left. On a regular basis (at the end of a few sprints or at least once every 6 months depending on the nature of your projects) you switch things up. Move the juniors around so they report to a different lead. This will mean that the i.p. of your products, methodologies etc are constantly being stirred so they don’t stick on the edges. They will stay more consistent through your code and you won’t be stuck with only one person knowing it all.
This strategy will effectively triple your staff compliment of developers (which may be a good or a bad thing) but it will only add about a third (maybe a quarter) to your payroll.
You must understand that the juniors will have a lifespan of between one and two years before they will either need to be promoted, or they will be poached by those who have not adopted this strategy. The advantage you have is that you have had a year to find out which juniors are going to be great and which mediocre. We’ll show you how to hang onto the good ones.
For help with any of your staffing needs, please give us a call on 0215511337