2 m read

Should I look for specific programming language skills when hiring software engineers?

Hey, folks! So, you’re wondering, “Should I look for specific programming language skills when hiring software engineers?” I get it. That can be a pretty tricky question, especially when you’re trying to build a robust tech team for your startup. Let’s dive into this!

Short Answer: Yes and No. While having skills in a specific programming language can be beneficial, it is equally important to focus on a candidate’s problem-solving skills, and their understanding of data structures, algorithms, and design patterns. Let’s dig into that.

Does Programming Language Matter?

When hiring software engineers, one might be tempted to list a specific language requirement. However, focusing entirely on a particular language can limit the pool of potential candidates. Besides, technology is always evolving, and language-specific knowledge might be obsolete in a few years or even months.

That said, knowledge of programming languages is not irrelevant. If you’re building a web application, skills in JavaScript or Python could be helpful. If you’re developing a mobile app, knowing Java (for Android) or Swift (for iOS) could be beneficial. So, it is industry and product-specific.

What Else to Look For?

When hiring software engineers, it’s beneficial to look beyond just the programming languages they know. Here are some key skills to consider:

  • Problem-Solving: A solid understanding of data structures and algorithms can make engineers more effective in their roles.
  • Understanding Of Coding Principles: Having a grasp of principles such as DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself), KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) and SOLID can be more valuable than knowing a dozen programming languages.
  • Soft Skills: These include good communication, teamwork, and adaptability – vital for any role, but particularly in tech where teams often work remotely.

Practical Steps for Hiring

It can be daunting to hire tech talent, especially if you’re not from a technical background. Do check out this comprehensive guide on How to Hire Software Engineers for Your Startup which shares practical tips on identifying, evaluating, and managing tech talent.


As we wrapped up our discussion, it’s worth noting that while knowledge of specific programming languages can be beneficial when hiring software engineers, it’s essential to look at the bigger picture.

Factors like their problem-solving abilities, understanding of coding principles, and soft skills can often be just as, if not more, valuable. Simply put, think beyond just the programming language.


Leave a Reply