As someone who’s been a web developer for over ten years, and hire developers regularly, I can sum up the difference between a professional developer and an amateur in a few points:
- The first giveaway is the eyes. If they’re full of hope and wonder, the developer probably never interacted with a manager or a client, he’s out. Just kidding. The first and most important point is the portfolio. There’s a big difference between a fat portfolio and a new one that only has a couple of projects on it.
- Years of experience. I guess this is very obvious, but worth mentioning. And if you’re thinking that people can lie on their resume, it’s usually very easy to tell when someone is lying about this. Their portfolio, past jobs, and technical interview are dead giveaways.
- The code. A professional developer’s code is neat, well commented, very optimized and easy to understand. An amateur’s code usually looks like a big unoptimized mess.
- A developer with many years of experience, can see the bigger picture and knows what’s needed to be done, whereas a newbie will get hung up on details and lose sight of his objective.
- A professional will give you what you need, an amateur will give you what you want.
- A good developer knows how to balance his time between the tasks at hand, while an amateur has no idea about where to start.
- Their hopes and dreams. If he still has any, he’s too young. Get yourself someone with dead eyes and a soul to match. Joking again. Or am I?