How to hire Java developers: The ultimate guide
For Employers

February 15, 2024

How to hire Java developers: The ultimate guide

Java, the 5th most popular programming language worldwide, holds the prestigious position of being the #1 choice for an impressive array of applications, including DevOps, AI, VR, Big Data, Analytics, Cloud Data Storage, Mobile, Chatbots, and even Robotic Medicine. Its versatility and power have attracted a multitude of experienced developers.

Yet, finding the perfect Java programmer can be a challenging task. With the demand for their expertise soaring, the competition for skilled developers is fierce. Fear not! We've crafted a structured and effective guide to help you hire top-notch Java programmers who will undoubtedly elevate your organization's success. By following these proven strategies, you'll significantly increase your chances of welcoming brilliant Java programmers into your team or project. Let’s get started. 

Most popular tech stacks
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Types of Java developers

Based on the skill set, stack, and the number of years of experience, several types of Java developers are distinguished:

  • Junior
  • Middle
  • Senior
  • Architect

Junior Java Developer:

  • Experience: Up to 2 years in object-oriented programming.
  • Qualifications: In-depth knowledge of Java, advanced knowledge of at least one operating system, expertise in SQL and databases. Basic knowledge of other programming languages like C++, JavaScript, etc.
Source: HackerEarth

Middle Java Developer:

  • Experience: 2-3 years of programming experience and involvement in several software projects.
  • Qualifications: Vast experience in Java and Java EE app development, strong knowledge of unit testing tools and frameworks for web and enterprise projects, expertise in high-volume and low-latency systems, and comprehensive software analysis, testing, and debugging skills.
Source: HackerEarth

Senior Java Developer:

  • Experience: 4+ years of commercial experience.
  • Qualifications: Strong knowledge of all Java frameworks, solid understanding of OOP, DDD, SOLID principles, security patterns, database theory, and architectural and design patterns. Focus on enterprise integration, software development best practices, high coding standards, and writing highly performant and testable code.
Source: HackerEarth

Architect Java Developer:

  • Responsibilities: Helps achieve long-term application goals by designing the architecture to support the Java environment.
  • Qualifications: All skills of a senior Java developer plus the ability to oversee technical development teams, communicate with senior management, and implement software system solutions for companies.
Source: HackerEarth

Skills to look for in a Java developer

Typical set of skills for Java developer

The following are the most common technical requirements for remote Java developers:

  1. Languages: Java, Kotlin, Scala
  2. Frameworks: Spring, MyBatis, Hibernate, Struts, Jersey, GWT, Mockito
  3. Servlets and Application Servers: Tomcat, Jetty, WildFly, Oracle Weblogic, Websphere, etc.
  4. Tools: JDK, Gradle, Apache ANT, Javadoc, NetBeans
  5. Mapping Framework: Dozer, MapStruct, JAXB, etc.
  6. Libraries/APIs: Maven, Jackson, Junit, Google Guava, REST API, Stripe API
  7. Storage: Azure, AWS, Google Cloud SQL, MySQL, PostgresQL
  8. Integrated Development Environment: Eclipse, IntelliJ IDEA, etc.

Tech skills to look out in a remote Java developer

The key to hiring remote Java developers is to make sure they understand best practices in the field and have the right experience with the project. If you’re looking to hire a top remote Java developer, look for most of the following expertise:

  • Have a solid track record of providing Java / J2EE based applications gained through commercial experience.
  • Well-verse in full-stack development (JEE, Spring, Hibernate, AppServer).
  • Excellent knowledge of Spring Framework (Spring Boot / REST) and RestfulWeb Services.
  • Good knowledge of microservices and API design principles (Mulesoft and API development)
  • Knowledge of architecture and design concepts, object-oriented design and technology.
  • Expected to be exposed to design patterns. Continuous integration and continuous delivery with DevOps tools such as Ant, Maven, Jenkins
  • Experience with performance testing and performance tuning tools.
  • Knowledge of containers and container management technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes.
  • ORM experience and knowledge of SQL and basic database concepts.
  • Extensive knowledge of distributed systems, low latency services, NoSQL, and relational databases.
  • Experience in designing and implementing functional and non-functional test strategies, including related frameworks and tools.
  • Agile Scrum Experience, BDD Evangelist, Champion, Coach. Websphere Application Server / Tomcat / Liberty
  • Soft skills such as attention to detail, good communication skills, creativity, solution-oriented thinking, and ability to work in teams.
Essential tools for Java developers
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Best ways to source Java developers

The fastest way to connect with Java talents is to go where thousands of them are looking for work. Here are the most common ways to do it. 

  1. Job portals: Tap into websites like Indeed, Glassdoor, SimplyHired, and ZipRecruiter to access a vast pool of Java developers. Define project requirements clearly to screen applicants effectively.
  2. Developers' forums: Engage with tech forums like Stack Overflow, The Verge, Code Project, XDA Developers, and Oracle Java Forum, where developers exchange experiences and stay updated on technology.
  3. Tech conferences: Attend or delegate someone to developers' conferences in big cities. Meet potential Java developers, even if they're not actively seeking job opportunities, as they might recommend others.
  4. Tech recruitment platforms: Explore platforms like Index.dev, Lemon.io, and Turing.com for pre-vetted Java developers, simplifying hiring and talent matching. Check the platform's reputation and credibility before proceeding.
  5. Freelance platforms: Platforms such as Freelancer, Toptal, Codementor, Upwork, and PeoplePerHour offer information on freelance Java developers, their portfolio, experience, and customer list. Exercise caution and thoroughly assess candidates to avoid risks.
  6. GitHub & StackOverflow: Source Java developers via GitHub, filtering by language, location, and recruitment availability. On StackOverflow, find candidates based on reputation and score from their answers to technical questions.
  7. Hackathons: Attend programming events like hackathons where Java developers come together to tackle IT challenges. Platforms like devpost.com can help you discover suitable events.
  8. LinkedIn: Utilize LinkedIn, a popular platform for hiring, to explore Java developers open to new opportunities, check their CVs, and easily connect with past customers.
Source: Mettl

Best tactics for a winning recruitment strategy

The whole hiring process is divided into several stages – from posting job descriptions to sending job offers. Thus, if you’re looking for a talented Java developer, you’ll need to get maximum value from the time and cost of hiring. Here is what needs to be done:  

1. Specify requirements & customize job description

Clearly define your project requirements and create a concise job description that lists specific tasks, required skills, project duration, and scope of work. Be detailed and determine the level of competency you need.

2. Advertise your vacancy

Post your job on various job boards like Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, or Java community platforms. Be authentic and realistic in your job description to attract the right candidates. Make multiple announcements to increase the chances of finding a suitable fit.

3. Conduct one-on-one interviews

Conducting one-on-one interviews with shortlisted candidates is crucial to assess their hard and soft skills and determine their suitability for your project. During the interview, focus on evaluating the candidate thoroughly by following these steps:

  • Ask technical and insightful questions: Pose technical questions that challenge the candidate's knowledge and problem-solving abilities. This will help you gauge their expertise and depth of understanding in Java development.
  • Practical skills assessment:For a more thorough evaluation, assign practical coding assignments or projects to observe their coding style, architectural skills, and real-world capabilities.
  • Assess soft skills: Present hypothetical scenarios related to your project and inquire about the candidate's strategies for handling them. Assess their communication, collaboration, and adaptability skills to determine how they align with your team and project goals.

To assess a candidate's technical skills, utilize tailored Java coding challenges or assessments through platforms like HackerRank or Codility. These tests reveal problem-solving abilities and coding proficiency.

4. Make the right decision

Study each resume you receive carefully and shortlist candidates based on education, certifications, experience, and skills. Prepare for one-on-one interviews to assess candidates' hard and soft skills. Ask technical questions and have candidates write code or perform simple tasks to evaluate their abilities. Consider outsourcing services to skip the screening process.

5. Weigh up pros and cons

Take your time in the selection process and weigh the pros and cons of all candidates based on selection criteria. Consult other recruiters if needed and keep your hiring budget in mind, aligning it with the average salary rates for Java developers.

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In-house vs Freelance vs Contract Work hiring paths

When it comes to hiring Java developers, there are three main options to consider: in-house developers, Java contractors, and freelance Java developers. Each option has its pros and cons, and the best match depends on your specific project needs and budget.

In-House Java developers:

Pros:

  • Face-to-face communication
  • Cultural and language fit
  • Dedication and long-term commitment
  • Complete working process control
  • Alignment with company's goals
  • In-project expertise
  • Ability to raise and train an employee

Cons:

  • Costly recruitment process
  • Time-consuming employment process
  • High overhead costs
  • Limited choice of local Java developers
  • High competition
  • Staff turnover

Best match for:

  • Long-term projects
  • Budget not strictly limited
  • Full employee control and coordinated teamwork required

Java contractors:

Pros:

  • Instant access to Java developers with relevant expertise
  • Streamlined development process
  • Flexible cooperation models
  • Easy scaling of resources
  • Moderate costs
  • Fast hiring
  • Remote work
  • Quality of work guarantees
  • Diverse talent pool not limited by geographical region

Cons:

  • Potential communication concerns
  • Possible transparency and security risks
  • Less control over the development process
  • Cultural and social differences
  • Risk of poor business and management processes
  • Different time zones

Best match:

  • Limited budget
  • Need for a niche professional for specific tasks
  • Requirement for a specialist for a small task or project

Freelance Java developers:

Pros:

  • Access to rare knowledge and uncommon areas of expertise
  • Plenty of candidates to choose from
  • Ideal for small projects with a fixed scope of work
  • Vast community of self-employed Java developers
  • Relatively low development costs
  • Temporary skills on demand

Cons:

  • Low retention rates
  • Poorer quality and higher risks
  • Potential communication hurdles due to team distribution
  • Weak IP protection
  • Less commitment to the company's goals and vision
  • No immediate replacement in case of sudden absence from work

Best match:

  • Minimizing development costs
  • Need to scale the development team quickly
  • Assignment of a developer for a long-term project

Things to look for hiring remote Java developers

By scrutinizing these skills during the hiring process, you'll find Java programmers who are well-equipped to excel in their roles.

  • Java performance: Evaluate their understanding of JVM internals, GC behavior, and Java performance tuning. Knowledge in this area is crucial for experienced developers.
  • Kubernetes and Docker: Assess their familiarity with Docker and Kubernetes, vital tools in modern DevOps teams, irrespective of experience level.
  • DevOps (Jenkins): Seek developers who grasp various DevOps tools and principles to enhance project management and automation.
  • Coding practice: Ensure candidates actively participate in coding, either through personal projects, open-source contributions, or coding challenges.
  • Network programming in Java: Check their proficiency in socket programming and networking fundamentals to gauge their expertise.
  • Java Versions (12 to 17): Confirm that developers are well-versed in significant JDK versions, including the latest, Java 17.
  • Spring 5.0: Assess their knowledge of Spring Framework 5.0, which includes valuable features like reactive programming and Java 8 and 9 adoption.
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Java developers salaries

The next important step in hiring a Java developer is to define the approximate recruitment costs. The table below provides the average annual salary of a Java developer across five continents, based on location and seniority level.

Worldwide annual salaries of Java developers by region

The cost to hire an entry-level Java developer can vary based on several factors. Below is an overview of the average annual salaries for Java developers at different experience levels and in various regions:

Junior Java Developer:

  • Average salary: Around $53.8k annually.
  • Varies based on the country: Higher rates in Australia and the USA, more cost-effective in Eastern Europe and India.

Mid-Level Java Developer:

  • Average salary: Approximately $71k per year.
  • Represents a 30% increase compared to junior developers.

Senior Java Developer:

  • Salary can vary significantly based on the country.
  • In the USA, the average salary is $105.5k per year, while in Ukraine, it's around $41k, according to PayScale.

4. Java Architect:

  • Average salary: Around $118.2k.
  • Paid more due to their ability to bring technical leadership. 

Factors affecting Java developer salary:

  1. Experience Level: Senior and architect developers are typically paid more due to their ability to bring higher value and technical leadership to the company.
  2. Location: The geographical location significantly influences the salary of developers. The USA is one of the most expensive markets for hiring developers, while outsourcing destinations like Ukraine, Poland, and India offer similar services at lower rates.
  3. Skills: The level of theoretical knowledge and practical skills, along with expertise in specific tools and technologies, can impact a Java developer's salary.

Java developer interview questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions based on our recruitment process, other top companies hiring Java developers, and examples from some popular websites.

  • Which Java framework do you work with and why?
  • Why is the main method static in Java?
  • Can you define an abstract class?
  • What are the pros and cons of arrays in Java?
  • What are the pros and cons of Hibernate over JDBC?
  • How can you catch an exception thrown by another thread in Java?
  • Can you define the difference between HashMap and HashTable in Java?
  • What is the difference between a String, StringBuffer, and a StringBuilder?
  • Can you explain the concept of constructor overloading?
  • Can you explain the difference between JVM, JRE, and JDK in Java?
Looking for senior, high-performing Java developers, 100% vetted and coachable? Don’t put it off any longer. Hire developers today

Hiring high-performing Java developers with Index.dev

Are you looking to hire Java developers for your specific project requirements? Look no further! At Index.dev, we specialize in finding candidates with the precise expertise and relevant projects in their portfolios.

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At Index.dev, we tailor our recruitment process to match your unique needs. Get in touch today to start building your dream team of Java developers →