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Hiring + recruiting | Blog Post

Top Skills to Look for in Contract Software Developers

Greg Vilines

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As demand for skilled software developers increases, many businesses are turning to contract software developers to for their project needs. However, finding the right developer for your project can be a challenge. To help you make an informed decision, here are the top skills to look for in contract software developers.

Technical Skills Are First and Foremost

It’s not surprising to say that the contract software developer you hire needs to have the technical skills for your project. They should be proficient in the programming languages, frameworks, and tools that are required. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all need, as your specific technology needs will be unique.

Look for evidence of past work that demonstrates their ability to solve complex technical problems using the languages and technologies you need.  Be advised, some of the best developers are able to easily absorb new skills and technologies.  Focusing ONLY on deep experience with the technologies you’re deploying could cause you to pass over highly talented contractors.

Communication Skills Are Critical for Contract Development

Effective communication is crucial for a contract software developer to be successful. As a remote contractor, they won’t be able to work face-to-face with your team. That means they will need to rely on clear and regular communication to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Some of the communication skills that a contract software developer should possess:

Clear and concise communication 

A good contract software developer should be able to explain technical concepts in a way that is easy for others to understand. They should be able to communicate project requirements, progress updates, and any issues or roadblocks that arise in a clear and concise manner.


A contract software developer should be responsive to messages and be willing to provide regular updates on their work. This means responding to emails, chat messages, or phone calls quickly to keep your team in the loop about any changes or updates to the project.

Active Listening

Listening is just as important as speaking when it comes to communication. A good contract software developer should be an active listener, taking the time to understand your team’s needs and concerns. They should ask questions to clarify any uncertainties and seek feedback to ensure that their work meets expectations.

Key Communication Tools

In today’s remote work environment, there are a variety of tools available for agile software development. Contract software developers should be familiar with project management tools like Jira or Trello, as well as communication tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams or Zoom. They should be able to use these tools effectively to collaborate with your team and track the progress of the project.

Soft Skills

Finally, a good contract software developer should possess a variety of soft skills that enable them to work effectively as a remote contractor. These skills include the ability to work independently, to be self-motivated, and to be able to manage their time effectively. They should be able to adapt to your team’s work culture and be flexible enough to work with your team’s schedule.

Contract Software Developers Must Be Great Problem Solvers 

Software development is a complex process that requires a lot of problem-solving. Look for contract software developers who is able to think critically and creatively when faced with challenges.  Skills like:

Analytical thinking

A good contract software developer should be able to analyze complex technical problems and break them down into smaller, more manageable parts. This involves identifying the root cause of the problem, determining the best course of action, and implementing an effective solution.


Problem-solving often requires thinking outside the box and coming up with creative solutions. A contract software developer should be able to approach problems with an open mind and be willing to explore unconventional solutions.

Attention to detail

Solving technical problems requires a keen eye for detail. A contract software developer should be able to identify small details that could cause problems down the road and ensure that their code is error-free.


When problems arise, a good contract software developer should be able to troubleshoot and diagnose the issue quickly. They should be able to use debugging tools and analyze log files to determine the root cause of the problem.

Continuous learning

Technology is constantly evolving, which means a good contract software developer should be committed to continuous learning. They should be able to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in their field and be willing to learn new technologies and programming languages as needed.

Time Management Skills Help Contractors Hit Their Goals

Time management skills are essential for contract software developers to be effective, especially since they will be working remotely and managing their own schedule. A good contract software developer should manage their time effectively to ensure that they meet project deadlines and deliver high-quality code. This involves prioritizing tasks, setting realistic deadlines, and avoiding distractions that cause delays.

Project management tools like Jira or Trello can help them track progress and manage tasks effectively. Contractors can use time tracking software like RescueTime or Toggl to monitor their time spent on different tasks and identify areas where they can improve their efficiency. They can also use time blocking tools and techniques to schedule time for focused work and minimize distractions.

Software and Technology Demands Adaptability

Technology is constantly evolving, and your project requirements may change over time. Look for a contract software developer who is able to adapt to changing requirements and technologies. They should be able to learn new programming languages and tools quickly, and be willing to incorporate new ideas and feedback into their work.

Attention to Detail Is Critical for Quality Development

Attention to detail is important in software development because even small mistakes can have a big impact on the quality of the final product. Look for a contract software developer who has a keen eye for detail and is committed to delivering a high-quality product.

In conclusion, hiring a contract software developer can be a great way to bring in additional expertise and talent for your project. However, it’s important to ensure that you hire someone with the right skills for the job. Look for a developer who has strong technical skills, communication skills, problem-solving skills, time management skills, adaptability, and attention to detail. By doing so, you’ll be setting yourself up for a successful project and a positive working relationship with your developer.

Terminal offers both full-time and contract developers for your hiring needs. View our talent for free or get in touch to learn more!

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