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Top 5 practices for hiring programmers

(Entrepreneur News) Hiring programmers can be an overwhelming task if you don’t know what to look for, but we tap the experienced folk to find out how to avoid the pitfalls.

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hiring programmers

hiring programmers

Hiring programmers at your own company

Technology is rapidly changing and many brands are hiring in-house or consulting talent to develop applications for their employees and customers, creating websites, and innovating in other ways, but many don’t know where to start. There are endless horror stories out there of relationships with programmers, but it doesn’t have to be that way because the truth is that there are many extremely talented programmers out there. But how do you know if you’re picking a good one, and how do you communicate that effectively?

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Elizabeth Whited oversees Marketing and Operations a The Rent Rite Directory offers the top five best practices for hiring programmers, in her own words, noting that “If it hasn’t happened already, at some point you may find yourself working with a less than productive programmer. Making sure to look for specific and certain criteria can make all the difference in hiring the right one.”

1. Know exactly what you want from them

Part of this process involves being able to clearly speak about your company, and exactly where you expect the company to grow with the help of a new programmer. The person you designate to interview needs to have a very clear understanding of the schedule and timeline that needs to be followed by the new programmer with attainable and realistic deadlines. Also keep in mind, extra projects will unexpectedly pop up, and should be factored into your planning.

Make sure you’ve answered these questions below, and thought about how flexible you are with them:

  • Will they be full-time, or an independent contractor?
  • Will they work in house, or off site?
  • If they outsource some of their work (especially outside of the country), what hours will they be available?
  • If you hire an independent contractor, find out their other time commitments. How many other clients are you comfortable with them also working with?

2. Use coding tests or a competency task

Although there are some who don’t believe in using coding tests for potential candidates, this is a good option, especially if they do not already have a large portfolio. Some tests have their own bugs or issues in them that need to be fixed, some are tasks to be completed, and some are comprised of small problems to solve, each one harder than the one before it. In the end, you will want a programmer who loves solving problems, and can figure out different routes to take in order to solve them.

Of course, not only does the perfect candidate have to be able to complete these tasks for you, but they also need to be able to work well with your team. Since they will be responding to your employees, and directly responsible for your website implementations, and sometimes overall workflow, see how they interact with the staff. Are they happy to answer questions, do they always place the blame elsewhere, etc.

Some coding tests websites to check into:

3. Ask for references and perform due diligence

Asking for references on some of their biggest projects should be standard when looking for a qualified programmer. Some programmers will have their portfolio readily available online (and if not, make sure to ask to see it), so that you have an idea about what to discuss with their references. A good place to start is to ask what percentages of projects were completed on time.

What were the reasons for those not completed on time? These answers may differ when you ask the programmer during the interview. Just keep in mind, sometimes the clients themselves hold up the process.

4. Ask friends who are programmers

In case you aren’t interested in hiring your friend, or their task load is too demanding for the job you need done, ask them if they would be able to help you find the right fit. They can tell you exactly what to steer clear of, since they have you and your company’s best interest in mind. If they can fit it into their schedule, ask them to come along for the interview!

5. Use a vendor recruiting company

You might also want to ask for references from the recruiting company to see how successful they were with pairing applicants. If and when you decide to use a recruiter, make sure to give them plenty of feedback on the types of candidates they are sending your way.
Some programming recruiting companies:

  • Careers 2.0 from Stack Overview
  • Midcom
  • Hiring the right programmer can catapult your business, and help you achieve the goals you’ve envisioned for it. Be prepared, and find that perfect fit.

Business Entrepreneur

The BEST report to gain perspective on all sides of the media (bye bias!)

(ENTREPRENEUR) We all want to stay informed, but American media has both obvious bias and hidden agendas. Sign up for these reports to see all sides.

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Getting no bias breaking news media.

Especially near elections, politically-charged business decisions, and on highly controversial topics, it’s hard to find non-bias media nowadays. Every news site or TV show seems to have a hidden agenda, but this new report aims to show all sides.

Ground News aims to give readers an opportunity to reduce their own media bias by aggregating news from many different sources in a way to showcase stories across the political spectrum. The Blindspot Report identifies news stories from both sides of the arena, helping readers see how bias is impacting the information they receive. This newsletter can give you a different perspective to understand both sides of the issue.

Is media bias even a thing?

Technology may have revolutionized the way we share information, but it has also exacerbated the divide between different views. Americans seem to be more polarized than ever before. It feels as if there isn’t any common ground for civil discourse. Although most Americans are getting better at identifying fake news, media bias often gives us a slanted perspective on the news. Media bias occurs when journalists or producers allow their own opinions to impact the way they report the news. A study out of UCLA found that media bias is real. When you get all your news from one source, you may not be getting the entire picture.

Sign up for the Blindspot Report

We’re all biased, regardless of where you sit on the political spectrum. We want information that supports our morals and ethics. We want someone to confirm what we believe. It’s human nature to want to listen to people who agree with us. Reading alternate sources to get your news isn’t about changing your own point of view. It’s about helping you compare different perspectives to let you think more clearly.

Ground News has three newsletters that help you stay informed. Sign up for the Blindspot Report to see what you’re missing.

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Business Entrepreneur

Small businesses angry at depletion of COVID-19 relief funds without warning

(ENTREPRENEUR) Small businesses are in shock when they find out COVID-19 relief funds are no longer available, with an email update from the SBA.

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Small businesses are no longer offered EDIL loans from the SBA.

In May, the Small Business Administration (SBA) sent out an update to borrowers of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19 relief. The EIDL program is now out of funds, according to an email sent to borrowers.

The loan program formally closed back in December 2021, but there was a period when small businesses who had already received funding could request additional money. That period is now officially over, and the $345 billion that was allotted for COVID-19 relief is gone.

The impact of EIDL

Many owners and entrepreneurs are outraged and frustrated with the lack of transparency from the SBA. There was no warning that the funds were almost depleted and many businesses were relying on that loan money to keep their businesses afloat as the economy rebounds. However, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman praised the program,

“The SBA has delivered historic economic relief to millions of America’s small businesses through the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan program…”

According to an SBA press release, over $390 billion in aid was distributed to nearly 4 million businesses.

Small businesses still need help

In May, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), told health ministers that COVID-19 and its effects are not over. Here in the United States, life seems to be getting back to normal, if you discount the horrific inflation and gas prices, which are further impacting the recovery of small businesses.

Congress has been wrangling with legislation (H.R. 3807) that would offer more funding for those that were hit hard due to covid. Getting the House and Senate to agree on this legislation is expected to be difficult. So, no guarantees that more help is coming.

The SBA recommends that businesses who need more resources contact their local SBA office. Virtual appointments can be made for those who wish to avoid contact.

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Business Entrepreneur

Regularly update your succession plan – it isn’t for setting and forgetting!

(ENTREPRENEUR) You may think that once you have a succession plan in place, you’re set for life, however, it’s recommended to continually update them!

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business succession plan

We’ve written before about how the everlasting success of the business will need to outlive you, and this is best conjured up in a succession plan. This is especially true for small business owners and entrepreneurs that have built an empire for themselves but aren’t sure what the future will hold beyond their passing. This is the exact reason that succession plans shouldn’t be set and forgotten, but instead consistently updated.

What are some of the obvious reasons that you may need to update your succession plan?

  1. Health Issues
  2. Marriage or Remarriage
  3. Changes in health in executors or guardians
  4. Changes in the law
  5. Changes in Residence

Now, for the not-so-obvious reason: It should be updated when any personal circumstances changes, which most likely happen often. This is why a will is like your home, an investment that needs to be properly maintained, and if it is, it will last a very long time.

Examples include changes in economic or parental status, as well as designations or fiduciaries. Elders could be aging, siblings may be having their own life changes, as well as if any dependents are born with or develop special needs.

“Every state has different laws regarding the administration of a will,” he said.?“For instance, states vary regarding the required residence of an executor, inheritance tax laws, and whether a child can be disinherited by omission.”

The recommended procedure is to review wills and powers of attorney at least every five years.

Lastly, when should a will update to a trust?

  1. When you have some significant assets (more than $500,000) in your own name.
  2. If you have special needs beneficiaries.
  3. If you have properties in multiple jurisdictions (multiple states or even counties).
  4. If you have beneficiaries you want to control distributions to (e.g., distribute at ages 25/30/35).
  5. If you have kids from a previous relationship you want taken care of.
  6. If you may want asset protection (special trust needed).
  7. If you are a big dog (over $22M if married), to save taxes.

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