How to Hire a Java Developer in 2021- the Ultimate Guide

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Olga Demidenko
Author, Geomotiv
Published: Mar 24, 2021

Today, the demand for highly skilled Java app development talent remains high. For some companies, it is challenging to find and retain dedicated specialists as a result. However, it is not an issue for experienced Java development companies like Geomotiv. We will share how to find and hire top java developers for projects of any scale and complexity from our experience.

How Popular are Java Developers?

According to a survey conducted by Stackoverflow, Java earned a spot in the top 5 popular technologies as of 2020. The language is becoming more predictable and stable amidst the uncertainty period. Java received two updates right on schedule in 2020 and has planned the next one in September 2021. However, a potential candidate should be at least knowledgeable of Java 8 as it remains the most popular version of the programming language.

As a Java developer, you do not have to worry about the next job avenue. It is still one of the most used programming languages on a global scale. 59% of hiring managers and recruiters have a high demand for Java developers in their companies, as the recent CodinGame Developer Survey 2021 found.

What are the Common Java Use Cases?

If you hire a Java programmer, you increase the number of potential projects for your development team. The spectrum of Java projects ranges from web and mobile development to back-end Enterprise apps and embedded systems. It is a versatile and powerful language for Big Data and Analytics, AI technologies, and microservices architecture solutions. 

The wide range of Java applications can make it challenging to find developers with the necessary skills to implement your particular project. Finding specialists that can make the most out of the language can be challenging as well. How to nail down the options and deliver the right talent onboard? In this article, we’ll also consider the most crucial aspects of a Java developer role.

What are the Areas of Java Development?

Java development embraces mobile, back-end, front-end, full-stack areas of software development. For example, a back-end Java developer can work on a monolithic client-server application or a set of cloud-based microservices. A front-end java developer has a separate career path, focusing on the software’s visual elements, among other things. The job of a full-stack Java developer and the technologies used to complete ongoing tasks will cover both software development aspects.

What are the Types of Java Developers?

It is also common to distinguish several types of vacancies according to the level of the candidates’ competence:

  • Junior
  • Mid
  • Senior
  • Lead (Architect)

Let’s consider what set of skills, what stack, and how many years of experience a Java developer possesses to fill each position.

Qualifications for a Junior Java Developer

If you are looking for junior Java developers, they can have up to 2 years of experience in object-oriented programming, specifically on Java/J2EE. An ideal candidate should know how to develop and enhance software applications through coding and testing.

Essential skills for a junior Java developer role

Skills for a Junior Java Developer

Qualifications for a Middle Java Developer

From Middle Java developers, most of the companies expect 2+ years of experience under their belt. They need to tackle most tasks without supervision or understand when it is necessary to reach out to other team members for help. It is also required to apply relevant tech skills to deliver specs, unit test scripts, and specifications. However, their skills are not expected to stretch to predicting or planning future issues or inefficiencies with the software.

Skills for a Middle Java Developer

Qualifications for a Senior Java Developer

When you hire a senior Java developer, expect them to solve slightly more complex problems and perform faster or better than a middle developer. In the role, such a specialist should have extensive practical experience in Java development and can make relevant technological decisions in the project. A senior Java developer should have good communication skills, as he needs to convey important technical decisions to the team and the project’s stakeholders. Part of their job is to supervise and pass their knowledge to junior developers.

Skills for a Senior Java Developer

Qualifications for a Java Lead (Architect)

A Java Architect needs to ensure proper implementation of the architecture and focus on its global development. In this role, excellent communication skills are required to provide technical leadership to the development team. A significant part of the job is to translate the client’s goals and needs into functional architecture.

Skills for a Java Architect

How Much do Java Developers Earn?

The next reasonable point when you hire a Java developer is to understand what their approximate salary is. We’ll be using the average monthly wage in different locations, including the USA, Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe. Let’s take a look at a Glassdoor estimate of Java developer salaries depending on their seniority level.

Average Yearly Base Pay for a Java Developer, in USD

Location/Seniority Junior Middle Senior Architect
USA $67,277 $79,137 $95,134 $118,000
Brazil $5,584 $14,967 $19,656 $23,315
Mexico $11,868 $16,848 $22,128 $29,000
Argentina $5,319 $6,913 $16,260 $13,200
Germany $51,259 $66,981 $77,980 $85,619
Switzerland $87,152 $117,279 $151,709 $156,105
UK $37,356 $59,352 $101,084 $125,000
Belarus $8,800 $12,100 $30,690 $42,500
Ukraine $8,400 $15,180 $32,000 $45,900
Poland $15,888 $31,256 $41,621 $44,527

The table above shows the average salary values ​​by region, including the United States. US salary values ​​can vary significantly depending on the area. However, we have provided the average values ​​for the country for a quick reference.

Location is one of the factors that makes a significant impact on pay. According to PayScale, a Java developer salary in New York is 18% higher than the country’s average wage. Washington and San Francisco are among the top US destinations for a Java developer to earn the highest salaries. 

Other factors increasing pay are the type of the project and the skills required to implement it.  
A Java software engineer with Scala, REST, and Oracle can expect to earn more than those familiar with Angular and AWS.

Skills and Their Effect on Salary
Source: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Java_Developer/Salary

Core and additional skills vary from project to project and also affect developers’ compensation. Networking or distributed applications require solid expertise in protocols like IP and HTTP. Meanwhile, web applications built on Java match additional web technologies, including JavaScript, Web services, XML, and JSON. That is also to be taken into account when you plan to hire a Java developer.

Which Companies Hire Java Developers?

Financial institutions and investment banks, governmental services, software products, and hardware companies have Java in their tech stacks. They are constantly searching for tech talent with Java expertise to support their ongoing projects and undertake new endeavors. Here are some big names hiring Java developers, according to Glassdoor: JP Morgan, Atlassian, Apple, American Express, PayPal, Bank of America, Verizon, Goldman Sachs, General Motors, Comcast, Wells Fargo.

Companies Hiring Java Developers

Where to Hire Java Developers?

There are three main options to hire Java developers for a project:

  • hire a specialist in-house
  • find a remote freelancer
  • engage an offshore Java development company

Here’s where to find developers:

In-house Java developers Offshore Java developers Freelancers
Job portals and other online resources to match with the right talent: Indeed, Glassdoor, Careerbuilder, SimplyHired, ZipRecruiter, Monster, LinkedIn. Listings of top offshore development companies globally: Techreviewer, TheManifest, Clutch, Goodfirms, DesignRush, 99firms, and others. Websites, platforms, and marketplaces to find freelancers: Toptal, Hired, Fiverr, GitHub Jobs, Stackoverflow, Upwork, Gigster, Dice, the Muse, and others.

There are pros and cons to all three options. Have a quick look at the most crucial ones in the table below:

Advantages

In-house Java developers Offshore Java developers Freelancers
Face-to-face communication Instant access to Java developers with relevant expertise Access to rare knowledge and uncommon areas of expertise
Cultural and language fit Streamlined development process Ideal for small projects with a fixed scope of work
Dedication and long-term commitment Flexible cooperation models A vast community of self-employed Java developers
Alignment with company’s goals Easy scaling of resources Relatively low development costs
In-project expertise Reduced costs Temporary skills on demand

Disadvantages

In-house Java developers Offshore Java developers Freelancers
Costly recruitment process Potential communication concerns Low retention rates
High overhead costs Possible transparency and security risks Potential communication hurdles due to team distribution
Lack of local Java developers with expertise in different areas Less control over the development process Weak IP protection
Long-term process Cultural and social differences Less commitment to the company’s goals and vision
Staff turnover The risk of poor business and management processes No immediate replacement in case of sudden absence from work

The popularity of IT offshoring grows more and more, especially in Java technology. Such a practice is beneficial for those willing to recruit the right talent but stay within their budget and invest in the core business. Besides, Java is changing every year. Your project’s ideal candidates should be quick to update their skills and build proficiency in the latest libraries and frameworks.

How to Hire Offshore Java Developers with Geomotiv

In this way, hiring a remote Java developer from an offshore company like Geomotiv can take up this responsibility on the client’s shoulders. A specific hiring process approach is required to make developers vital players in the client’s business. To yield a better result,  we divide it into four parts:

  1. Preparation
  2. Screening of candidates
  3. Interviewing
  4. Hiring

The steps that are involved in the hiring process of offshore developers have their peculiarities. Let’s discuss them in detail.

Preparation

The preparation stage of hiring a Java developer involves close interaction between the HR department and the client. The HR department’s goal is to obtain all the necessary information about the project, the customer, and their team. It is essential to clarify all stages of hiring a Java developer, set a procedure for future interviews, and the degree of the client's overall involvement in the hiring process. We collaborate closely with the client to take into account each detail of the request.

This information forms the basis for creating a kind of checklist to identify and screen suitable specialists. Although it may vary from candidate to candidate, a typical one will include the following.

Java Developer Responsibilities:

  • Design, develop, implement, and test Java-based solutions using frameworks such as JavaEE, Spring, Hibernate, TomCat;
  • Ensure full compliance of the design with specifications;
  • Define objectives and functionality of the solution;
  • Support continuous debugging and resolve technical problems;
  • Collaborate effectively across teams and improve performance;
  • Prepare and produce releases of software components;
  • Translate business requirements into working Java-based solutions;
  • Recommend changes to existing Java-based apps and solutions.

Java Developer Skills (Technical):

  • Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) skills and knowledge of design patterns in Java;
  • Competence in Abstract classes and serialization;
  • Excellent skills in Java Build tools: Maven and Gradle;
  • Previous experience with JQuery, Ajax, JSON, CSS, HTML;
  • Familiarity with Java EE components: Servlets, Java Beans and Java Server Pages;
  • Working knowledge of Java Testing Tools: Selenium and TestNG;
  • Profound knowledge of Java Application Containers: JBoss and Jetty;
  • Hands-on experience in Big Data technologies: Hadoop and Spark;
  • Familiarity with GitHub Version control;
  • Excellent knowledge of Relational Databases, SQL, and ORM technologies.

Nice to have technical skills:

  • Experience with AWS, Google Cloud, Spring Boot, microservices.

Java Developer Skills (Soft):

  • Ability to solve complex problems with simple solutions
  • Ability to make quick adjustments in a testing environment
  • Analytical mindset and good problem-solving skills
  • Practical communication skills in English
  • Good organizational skills
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Strong attention to detail

Benefits and Perks:

  • Ability to work remotely
  • Medical insurance
  • Free English lessons
  • Paid vacation and sick leaves

Salary level:

Typically, our clients put the exact number in the budget, and we observe the job market to offer the best candidate for the available sum of money.

Based on the above checklist, an HR specialist prepares an honest and attractive description of the vacancy. After that, the search for potential candidates for the role of a Java developer begins. We generally communicate with two types of candidates:

  • active - with profiles and CVs on popular job boards;
  • inactive - with profiles on LinkedIn or other platforms.

Screening of Candidates

Next, we shortlist potentially suitable candidates from the pool. After agreeing on all the checklist points, the HR specialist asks for a CV for verification and approval. Next, we send the CV for technical screening. Our tech specialist often asks the candidate for additional information on their skills, experience, and career steps. 

Having fulfilled the Preparation and Screening stages, we invite shortlisted developers for a Skype interview with HR specialists. Previously, we used to hold person-to-person interviews in our office, but now we moved that process online. During the interview, the candidate receives all the necessary information about the project, the client, and the team. 

Based on the client’s request, HR specialists determine the candidate’s competencies according to the checklist.

Here’s what they check and discuss:

  • Motivation
  • Competencies
  • Compatibility with the company’s corporate culture
  • English proficiency
  • Terms of start
  • Salary expectations

Preliminary interviews help a lot to screen out irrelevant candidates, thus leaving a few quality ones. Once that is over, we invite that developer for consultation with tech specialists from our Java development team.

Interviewing

We use a robust interviewing process to determine if the candidate has the necessary qualifications to meet the project’s requirements. If there is a certain level of trust in our team, the client can completely transfer the interviewing process to our company. 

Since Java development is a fairly broad topic, each position will have its specific list of questions concerning the tech stack. However, the most common questions can be identified:

Java-core:

  1. What is the difference between JDK, JRE, and JVM?
  2. What is an abstraction in Java?
  3. How do Java threads work?
  4. Explain the concepts like Automatic garbage collection and Exception handling.
  5. What is a JIT compiler?
  6. What are the various access specifiers in Java?
  7. What is an object?
  8. What are the differences between the constructors and methods?
  9. What is meant by Overloading?
  10. What is the final keyword in Java?

Back-end:

  1. Compare SQL databases and MongoDB at a high level.
  2. What is the Spring MVC framework? 
  3. What is a JavaBean exactly? 
  4. REST and SOAP: when would you choose one, and when the other?
  5. What are MVC and MVVM?
  6. XML: Compare DOM and SAX parsers.
  7. How would you manage Web Services API versioning?
  8. What is meant by JSON objects?
  9. How would you test a distributed system?
  10. Explain what is “ignore test” in JUnit?

Front-end:

  1. How many objects of a servlet are created?
  2. What is the difference between GenericServlet and HttpServlet?
  3. Can you call a JSP from the servlet?
  4. List out some advantages of using JSP.
  5. What are the JSP implicit objects?
  6. What is Event-Dispatcher-Thread (EDT) in Swing?

It might be necessary for the client to communicate with the candidate after technical screening from our side. To make this process less-consuming for the client, we divide it into two stages:

  1. Technical interview with our Java development team. We select a few best candidates from tens screened and forward their CVs with our client’s feedback.
  2. Final interview with the client.

Hiring

Upon approval from the technical team and the client, the most suitable candidate gets a personal job offer with calendar terms of acceptance or decline. If a candidate receives a drop, our HR specialist asks for full feedback and recommendations for each programmer and forwards them via email. 

Sometimes the candidate does not fit one of the critical project’s requirements. However, we strive to maintain communication with them; perhaps they can have proper qualifications for other projects.

What our Clients Get as a Result

Peace of mind. Geomotiv is glad to remove all possible headaches for our client and get the best result most effectively. 

As soon as we receive a request to search for a candidate, we do our utmost to understand its essence and establish an effective recruiting process. However, our work does not end at that point as we take care of all worries of the onboarding and training processes. Our HR manager conducts periodical check-ins with new employees to evaluate their performance and understand ongoing needs. 

Saved time. We free the client from all the initial stages of preparing a vacancy, searching, and screening a pool of potential candidates. Our clients get a couple of CVs of qualified remote Java developers for a final review. As we already mentioned, the client can even fully delegate the hiring process to Geomotiv and simply confirm that they are ok with the chosen experts. On our side, we enjoy that process and devote our time to the client and the future employee.

Superior quality. We know how to decrease the number of irrelevant candidates for projects in Java and help you to leverage all the strengths of this programming language. Geomotiv is fully responsible for the quality of staff provided and knows how to improve it over time. Our clients don’t have to worry about each step of the procedure but get remote developers with relevant skills and experience.

To Conclude

This article covers the basics of hiring a Java developer and making it a successful investment for your client. We overviewed the modern market for the occupation, taking into account the levels of competence, location, average salary, tech stack, and various hiring options. 

If you are looking to hire top Java developers with proven expertise in all major frameworks, choose from specialists at Geomotiv. We are an offshore Java development company providing a full range of services: from web applications, high-load systems to Enterprise-level platforms and Java-based Big Data solutions.

Hire offshore developers at Geomotiv to avoid a complicated and time-consuming hiring process. Let us take care of HR and administrative issues and remove the headache of managing software development teams. With us, you can focus on your core business needs and finally get peace of mind.

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