How to find the best Ruby on Rails developers

It’s no secret that if you want something done and you want it done well, you need to find the best. What worked for us was a combination of the suggestions below, ordered from least helpful to most helpful.

Below are a few areas where you can find the “best Ruby on Rails developers” you can.

Dev Bootcamps

Don’t use these to find your next best Ruby on Rails developer. The developers that come out of these can be hit-or-miss. You can definitely find a diamond in the rough, we have a couple times. It’ll be better to focus most of your efforts on the places below.

Meetup.com meet-ups

The developers at these meetups are going to be more focused on side-work which means they won’t be able to devote all their time to your project. If you have a side project with no deadlines or doesn’t require a lot of work all the time, you’ll be fine. We’ve also found with these types of meet-ups there’s a large percentage attending that are willing to jump-ship from their current gig to get a quick bump in pay and aren’t really going to be the cream of the crop of what you’re after. A great way to weed them out early is to do a little digging. Developers that post about the meetups they attend, the keynotes they’re tuning in to, or the panels they’re excited to see are most likely going to be more proactive than the Ruby developer that seems to have nothing to do with technology.

Events / Conferences

Now your getting warmer. Conferences or events are usually really good since that brings out the best Ruby on Rails developers that want the conversations they’re after instead of talking about the 80% of their work that they always talk about like unit-testing/RSpec testing at a basic-level. Developers at a conference are going to want to know the architecture of you’re entire platform and know if your deploy process is awesome or sucks… They won’t care if you’re agile, or if you have a ping-pong table, those are to be expected if you chat them up. Come armed with those questions or information right off the bat, if you get a blank-stare when you mention your deploy process, you need to make it better immediately, but also it’s a first-sign indicator that you’re talking to the wrong person.

Friends of Developers you have already hired

This is the best. Developers that you already have on your team are going to refer their friends if you ask. Most of our business happens this way, and we like it that way for two reasons. A funnel of referrals and direct communication with companies & individuals means we’ve never met any strangers, and we know for a fact that company will do their part as a client. This is a double-edge sword, though. The biggest problem most organizations have is that their own developers will not refer their friends to your organization if there is something fundamentally off currently. This method is the best and most cost-effective way to hire awesome developers, you just really have to have your shit together before going down this route. Make the developers want to invite their friends. Offering them bonuses is always the easiest. Most of the time though, bonuses aren’t what developers want. The better way to go about it is to ask your developers what they would like to see improved within your organization and let them take the reigns to suggest solutions on how to improve those things.

You will then have the opposite issue when you ask your developers to refer their friends: you can’t afford to hire all the people they bring to you.