How to Hire a Backend Developer: The Ultimate Playbook for Tech Leaders

Space level of development

Ah, the age-old question: How do you hire a great backend developer when you’re running a startup or company? As a CEO/CTO/COO, you know that hiring the right team member is paramount to your company’s success. As a software development professional, I understand the importance of hiring the right backend developer for your startup or company. That’s why I teamed up with a recruiting expert from TurnKey to create this ultimate guide based on two weeks of extensive research.

We know that hiring a skilled backend developer can be a tricky process, especially when you’re unsure about the technical and soft skills required. You may also be concerned about the time and resources required to find the right candidate.

But fear not! Our guide includes a comprehensive checklist of everything you need to know to ensure that you hire an expert backend developer who can deliver top-notch results. From defining the role to evaluating technical skills and cultural fit, we’ve got you covered.

So, if you’re looking to make smart decisions when it comes to hiring backend developers, dive into our ultimate guide now. With our expertise and insights, you’ll be well-equipped to find the perfect candidate for your team.

Table of Contents

What Is A Backend Developer Responsible For ?

How to Hire a Backend Developer | TurnKey

Backend developers are responsible for developing the core functionality of web and software applications. They create the backend components of an application, such as servers, databases, and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).

In a typical software development company, backend developers might be responsible for managing how the data is stored and how it is accessed by the front-end applications or other third parties.

Backend developers need to have a solid understanding of server-side programming languages such as PHP, Java, Ruby on Rails, Python or Node.js. They also need to understand how to deploy applications to different environments like staging and production servers. Knowledge of how to use version control systems is essential too.

A backend specialist must also be able to work with databases such as mySQL and PostgreSQL. They should be familiar with how RESTful APIs work, along with how to integrate them into other services or applications that may require access to your own application’s data sources.

Moreover, they should have a good understanding of how web architectures function in order to make sure their code is performant and secure from malicious attacks. Performance optimization techniques such as caching technologies, load balancing and scalability strategies should be well known before attempting any large scale projects.

In addition, backend developers must keep up with the latest technologies such as cloud computing platforms (e.g., Amazon Web Services) in order to ensure that their applications are running on reliable infrastructures that are cost effective for their clients’ businesses.

So in summary, backend developers are responsible for all aspects related to making sure an application’s underlying infrastructure works properly so that its users can get the full value out of it without interruption or downtime. It requires a combination of technical expertise and creativity in order to make sure the backend architecture supports all your requirements while optimizing resources effectively.

Hard & Soft Skills to Consider When Hiring Backend Developers

Hiring a software developer for your startup can be overwhelming. After all, with so many steps of software development—coding, debugging, designing, testing—finding someone with the perfect combination of hard and soft skills can seem like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s important to look for someone who knows the ins and outs of coding programs but is also creative and able to problem solve independently. 

Above all, you need to make sure that your prospective hire is passionate about their work and eager to stay up-to-date on developments in their industry. After all, building successful software takes more than just technical skills—it takes enthusiasm too!

So here are the major hard & soft skills for a mid-level backend developer:

Hard Skills:

  • Proficiency in programming languages such as Java, Python, PHP, JavaScript, and C#.
  • Advanced knowledge of object-oriented design principles (OOD) and data structures.
  • Database experience with SQL and NoSQL databases such as MongoDB.
  • Designing efficient algorithms for solving complex problems.
  • Understanding of how to use technologies to create scalable systems.
  • Knowledge of how to develop secure applications and how to prevent security vulnerabilities from being exploited.
  • Experience with web development technologies such as HTML, CSS, jQuery, and Ajax. 
  • Experience with both distributed and monolithic software architecture types.
  • Familiarity with cloud computing technology (e.g., Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure).
  • Ability to work with Linux/Unix operating systems and shell scripting or command line interface (CLI) tools.
  • Knowledge of how to implement application programming interfaces (APIs) that communicate between different software components in a system.
Backend Developer Soft Skills | TurnKey

Soft Skills:

  • Excellent communication skills to interact effectively with the rest of the team members including non-technical stakeholders like clients or business partners.
  • A strong analytical mindset so that they can think critically about how best to solve given problems using software engineering principles.
  • Exceptional problem-solving capabilities so that they can quickly identify issues or gaps in existing codebases.                                       
  • High attention to detail when coding.    
  • The ability to accurately estimate how much time it will take them to complete given tasks.  
  • Proactive instead of reactive behavior when addressing obstacles during the development process.  
  • Ability to multitask effectively while maintaining focus on their primary task(s) at hand.         
  • Flexible attitude which allows them to adjust quickly when working in high pressure situations.

Types of Backend Software Developers

Backend software developers are responsible for creating and maintaining the server-side logic and database of a website or application. To ensure a successful web development project, it is important to hire an experienced backend developer with the right skill set. Here are some of the most common types of backend developers by seniority level, programming languages, and employment type.

By seniority level

Types of Backend Developers | TurnKey
  • Junior Backend Developer: A junior backend developer typically has up to two years of experience in programming languages such as Java, Ruby on Rails, Python, or PHP. They can be a great asset on small projects and have the potential to become highly skilled developers with more experience.
  • Mid-level Backend Developer: Mid-level developers usually have two to four years of experience as a backend developer and are familiar with object-oriented programming concepts. They are capable of working independently on projects and may be responsible for leading small teams.
  • Senior Backend Developer: Senior backend developers have four or more years of experience, along with extensive knowledge in databases, web services, and architecture. They are capable of leading complex projects and mentoring junior developers.

Want to Build an Amazing Backend Development Team That is Built Entirely Around You?

By tech stack

Types of Backend Developers | TurnKey

Depending on what programming language and technology a developer specializes in, there can be many different types of backend software developers. Here’s a look at how to hire a backend developer for the most common types:

  • Java Developers: Java is one of the oldest and yet still widely popular programming languages. If you need to hire someone who has experience in creating anything from web apps and mobile apps to embedded systems, you should look for a Java Developer.
  • Python Developers: Python is a versatile and powerful language that’s used for everything from web apps to data analysis. If you need someone who can create complex applications with ease, then you should consider hiring a python developer.
  • .NET Developers: .NET is Microsoft’s powerful development platform that enables developers to create robust web, mobile, and desktop applications. If you need someone who’s well-versed in the .NET framework and C# development, then you should look for a .NET Developer.
  • PHP Developers: PHP is a popular language that’s widely used for backend Development – especially in the WordPress world. If you need someone who can create dynamic web applications, then you should consider hiring a PHP Developer.
  • Ruby Developers: Ruby is an open source development language that’s used for creating complex mobile and web applications. If you need someone with experience in developing sophisticated frontend user interfaces, then you should look for a Ruby Developer.

Regardless of the language or technology, a good backend software developer should be well versed in how to create robust and secure applications. With the right hire, you can be sure your application has everything it needs to run smoothly and securely.

By employment type

Types of Backend Developers | TurnKey

When it comes to hiring a backend software developer, many businesses look to hire an employee with experience in the particular language and development environment they need. Here are some of the most common job types in backend software development:

  • Full-time Employee: A full-time employee is a permanent position, providing the most stability and security. You’ll get an employee that specializes in the language you need them to work with and their skills will be able to grow over time. It can be expensive if you don’t have someone on staff already who can manage them, plus you will have to offer competitive salaries.
  • Freelancer: With a freelancer, you’ll get someone who can give you the specific language expertise you need without having to take on a full-time employee. Generally, they will only be available for short-term projects and may come in at more expensive rates depending on how much experience they bring to the table. This can be a great option for businesses who need specialized help but don’t want to make the long-term commitment, or who have shorter-term projects that require highly experienced backend developers.
  • Contractors: A contractor is similar to a freelancer in terms of how they are hired, but they may be brought on for a specific project with an end date in mind. This can be a great option if you need help with a one-time project or don’t want to commit to a full-time employee.

No matter what type of backend software developer you’re looking to hire, it’s important to research their experience and make sure they’re the right fit for your company.

Top Countries to Consider When Hiring an Offshore Backend Developer

The top five countries for offshore software development are: Brazil, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, and the Philippines.


While many people dream of taking a samba-filled vacation to Brazil, startups and bigger companies love it for another reason – the ability to offshore one of the best backend developers. Brazilian developers are highly skilled and experienced in a wide range of technologies, including Java, .NET, database design, and web development. Brazilian developers typically possess a strong command of both English and Portuguese languages, making them ideal for global projects.


Ukraine has also become a popular location for offshore software development in Eastern Europe due to its wide variety of talent available at competitive prices. From junior development teams with basic knowledge of how coding works to senior developers with extensive experience in multiple programming languages, Ukraine offers something for everyone when it comes to backend development needs. Additionally, Ukrainian engineers are among the most experienced in the world, meaning you can expect high quality work right out of the gate when you offshore software development in Ukraine.


Poland has also become popular recently as an outsourcing destination due to its strong engineering culture and access to some of Europe’s best universities. Polish developers are known for their ability to create robust solutions while still keeping costs low as they generally charge less than other European countries such as Germany or France when it comes time for price negotiations; however, most Polish companies also offer higher quality services than those found elsewhere at similar prices – plus they understand how important deadlines are so you can trust that your project will be completed on time!


Romania is becoming increasingly popular as an outsourcing destination mainly due to its large number of experienced engineers who have worked on projects from all around the world – including many from Silicon Valley companies like Google and Facebook! This means that Romanian engineers are well versed in how these companies operate which allows them to provide high quality solutions faster than many other engineers from Europe or Asia, given their familiarity with  these firms. Additionally, Romania offers competitive pricing compared with other countries, making it ideal for those looking at reducing costs while still getting reliable results from their investment in offshoring their backend development needs.


Mexico has become a popular destination for offshoring backend development in recent years. Its lower costs, access to highly qualified developers, and proximity to the United States make it an attractive option for companies looking to expand their reach. Mexico is home to over 3 million software engineers and developers, who can provide services ranging from mobile app development to website design and cloud computing. 

The Mexican government also offers numerous incentives to encourage businesses to set up shop in the country. Companies are taking advantage of these incentives as they explore opportunities with development teams located in Mexico. By offshoring backend development tasks, businesses can benefit from improved efficiency, decreased operating costs, and faster time-to-market without sacrificing quality or customer service.

Each of these countries offer their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to how quickly you can get started with your project or how much experience your developer has – so be sure to do some research before making a final decision on how to best hire a backend software developer.

But no matter which country you choose in the end, you can rest assured knowing that the developers working on your project will be highly skilled professionals who understand how important it is to create a robust product within an agreed upon timeline.  So go ahead and take the plunge into offshoring your backend development needs – you won’t regret it!

TurnKey is the Most Trusted Name in Offshore Software Development. We’ll Bend Over Backwards to Make You Successful!

How to Interview a Backend Developer

The recruitment process for backend developers can be an intimidating prospect. It requires a thorough understanding of the technical skills and qualifications needed to succeed in this role, as well as how to assess these qualities in potential candidates. To ensure that you hire the best developer for your team, it’s important to take time throughout each step of the recruiting process.

Interview Process | TurnKey

Hiring the best developers for your needs is exactly where TurnKey can really help. During our recruiting process, every candidate is put through a robust screening protocol. And since our recruiting process is based on years of best practice and scientific rigor, we always find a perfect match for your company’s needs.

Moreover, TurnKey is well known for having the lowest churn rate of any offshore software development agency post-hire. Here’s a sneak peek of what our typical recruiting path looks like:

Interview Process | TurnKey

At TurnKey, we take great pride in our ability to find and hire the-match developers for top startups across various industries. Our robust screening protocol, expert recruitment team, and perfect retention program are the key pillars of our success. Our success speaks for itself – recently, we hired 16 developers for Headspace, a leading mental health startup in the US. We were able to identify the perfect-match developers who had the right technical skills and fit well with the company culture. These developers have since become an integral part of the Headspace team, contributing significantly to the company’s growth and success.

retention program

Kickoff meeting

At the kickoff meeting, both parties can get an idea of what they’re looking for in a successful hire. The client has the opportunity to voice their expectations in terms of required skills. With both sides having an understanding of each other’s needs, it’s time to start matching people with positions! Ultimately, the goal is to find a great fit that satisfies the unique requirements of both the employer and candidate alike.

Description Approval

Description Approval is a new method gaining popularity – here’s the lowdown: employers are asked to provide a detailed job description prior to searching for potential candidates. This helps remove any inconsistencies and guarantees that everyone is talking about the same job without any confusion in the actual interviewing process. It saves time, not to mention potential awkward conversations, and allows us to find the perfect candidate faster than ever before.


Backend developers are the unsung heroes of the tech world, and recruiting for them can be quite a task. Although it’s beneficial to have a large pool of talent to start with, sifting through hundreds of resumes and applications can be daunting.

That’s where the search phase of backend developer recruitment comes in! It’s all about knowing where to look, using informative keywords that will result in accurate search results. Moreover, understanding the importance of pairing an individual’s experience with the particular job role is a critical step in finding the right people for success—all while wading through hoards of applications.

The backend developer hiring process truly has its own unique set of complexities that must be navigated—but don’t worry, with some skillful searching tactics you’ll have your dream team in no time (especially if you use TurnKey!).

Initial Screening

Screening is the first step in determining which resumes will be moved forward in the recruitment process. Without it, companies would have to give every applicant equal consideration – no matter how suited for the job – and that can really slow things down! Initial screening involves weeding through resumes and drawing up a shortlist of those applicants who might make a good fit for the role at hand.

Resume Review

The resume review phase of the recruitment process allows recruiters to get a snapshot of developers and their professional background. It’s like a speed-dating session between candidates, their qualifications, and employer requirements.

ResumeSpice, one of the top executive resume writing services in the US, named us to their list of top staffing agencies!

Pre-Sell interview

During this phase, we evaluate a candidate’s ability to communicate and match them with open positions to determine if the employer thinks their worth interviewing further. By taking a pre-sell approach to interviewing, it allows recruiters to quickly cut through applicants and determine viable candidates, while giving applicants a chance to show off their skillset and decide if the position is right for them.

Technical Interview

The technical interview for backend developers is critical since it validates that the candidate has the skillset they claim they do.  Our interviews include topics on hard skills like scalability, storage solutions, SQL queries, and databases. We consider technical interviews the most important part of the hiring process, so we choose only top specialists with solid experience in the particular field to conduct the technical assessments.

Culture Interview

A culture interview is an important component of a successful hiring and onboarding process. It’s more than just a simple Q&A – it offers a great opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their fit with the organizational culture and the team. 

By having a meaningful conversation about the company, its values, and how those values impact their day-to-day job duties, employees get a chance to make sure they are truly aligning with the company. Plus, with this approach the recruitment specialist has an opportunity to ensure they are bringing on board folks with the right skills, abilities and attitude – making sure they find someone that not only fits in with the culture but is high performing as well!

Our goal at TurnKey is to ensure that we find the perfect-match developers for our clients. That's why our hiring process is robust and comprehensive, designed to evaluate technical and soft skills, cultural fit, and long-term potential. We leave no stone unturned in identifying the best talent for our clients, and it shows in the quality of developers we hire.
Yuliia AndrieievaHead of Recruitment at TurnKey

Candidate Feedback

Candidate feedback is an important process used when hiring new staff members. It enables companies to get a 360-degree understanding of the potential hire in order to make a more informed decision. 

Candidate feedback also provides insight that would otherwise be missed during interviews and applications, including characteristics such as enthusiasm for work, attitude to colleagues and willingness to learn.

Make Job Offer

The job offer stage is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. After getting through the initial application, followed by interviews and assessments designed to make sure someone is a perfect fit for the job, a job offer appears in the candidate’s inbox.


Starting a new development job can be intimidating – there’s so much to learn that sometimes even experienced developers feel overwhelmed. That’s where TurnKey helps too! Our training provide the right step-by-step guidance to help developers get up to speed quickly and confidently.

TurnKey is Your Absolute Best Partner in Finding Awesome Backend Developers

We've hired full-time software engineers through TurnKey. To date, not a single engineer has left our contract/arrangement...We've worked with several USA-based firms, and none has matched the speed and quality of candidates from TurnKey.
Kyle DodsonHead of Engineering at Salad Technologies

TurnKey is the perfect partner to help you navigate through the daunting challenge of recruiting offshore backend developers for your startup or company. With our specialized, tried-and-true approach, we can assemble an unbeatable team in just 30 days – faster than any other firm!

And our unparalleled industry knowledge allows TurnKey to find precisely the right personnel for your specific development needs–and all while being hyper transparent about salaries, fees and expenses. Don’t let talent scouting slow down your business – choose TurnKey today!

Ready to Skip All This Hassle and Get an Amazing Backend Development Team Now?


What does a backend developer do?

Backend developers are responsible for the server-side of application development. They specialize in the underlying systems, databases, and programming languages that make up the foundation of web applications. This includes tasks such as setting up application architecture, integrating APIs, and developing databases and other storage solutions. Backend developers also write the code to implement business logic and perform user authentication. In addition, backend developers often help shape the overall design of an application.

Which backend framework is the most popular?

The most popular backend framework is currently the open source JavaScript framework Node.js. It makes it easy to build scalable, high performance web applications with minimal coding and can be used on both the server and client side. It is well-suited for rapid development and allows developers to write code in JavaScript, which is quickly becoming a standard among the programming world. Node.js also offers great scalability, reliability, and security benefits compared to other frameworks.

Where should I hire a backend developer?

There are a few options to consider when hiring a backend developer. You can find professional developers through freelance platforms such as Upwork, Toptal, and Fiverr. You can also search for developers on job boards like Indeed or Glassdoor. Additionally, many companies have their own dedicated talent acquisition divisions which specialize in finding the right development specialist for their business. Lastly, you can post your job requirements on social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter to reach out to potential candidates interested in your project. Or you can skip all the above and let TurnKey hire the best developers for your specific needs.

June 6, 2023

TurnKey Staffing provides information for general guidance only and does not offer legal, tax, or accounting advice. We encourage you to consult with professional advisors before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or legal rights.

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