How much does it cost to hire a Python developer

Python is exactly that language which is well known or at least familiar among the masses, even with zero IT experience. It is interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language, with dynamic semantics, dynamic typing and binding, high-level built-in data structures. Python was released in 1991 and 27 years later it is still one of the most popular programming languages.

The biggest and well-known projects created on Python are YouTube (almost the entire codebase is written on Python), desktop Dropbox, Reddit, Quora, Spotify, Instagram, PayPal, NASA, Mozilla, Pinterest. The further developing of Python language is supported by such giants as Google, Dropbox, Mozilla, Facebook, Yandex, Red Hat, Microsoft and Intel, which made some resources predict the full domination of Python in web development by 2020.

Python has been an important part of Google since the beginning, and remains so as the system grows and evolves.

Peter Norvig, director of search quality at Google, Inc.

Being a whale of programming, Python is frequently estimated and, as usual, is at the top of the list:

The networking site Reddit is written in Python entirely.

Python was built with a clear philosophy of beauty (in relation to the code) and with the idea to make the language simple, explicit, complex and readability. Such approach turned Python into one of the best languages to work. In addition to this, other benefits also deserve to be noticed:

  • Extensive libraries provide working on string operations, Internet, web service tools, operating system interfaces and protocols;
  • Third party modules allow to work and integrate with multiple systems and platforms;
  • Object-oriented programming which is actually laid in the foundation of Python;
  • Variety of frameworks for flexible web programming (Django is the most popular);
  • Open source which means free-to-use.
Image source: IEEE Spectrum

Python use areas

  • Web development. From small micro to macro web applications – everything can be built with Python.
  • Software development. In case with Python, we talk about building control and testing software.
  • Desktop GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces). Less popular, but thanks to such libraries as wxPython or PyQT, Python is still used for building desktop GUIs.
  • Scientific and numeric. Using Python for analyzing almost all kind of data (weather, predicting matches scores, etc.).

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And depending to which category your future product will belong to, developer or development team will have particular knowledge and be specialized in the solving specific tasks.

Who is a Python developer?

Besides the necessary developer skills like problem-solving, ability to create, analyze and implement algorithms and effectively organize code, the Python developer is expected to be a specialist in the following:

  • High-level expert in fundamental Python concepts
  • Skilled in working with Python framework (depending on the task –  Django, Flask, etc.);
  • Basic knowledge of Object Relational Mapper;
  • Understanding of Python syntax and semantics;
  • Knowing the threading limitations and multi-process architecture of Python;
  • Basic skills in front-end technologies like JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3 etc;
  • Being familiar with server-side templating languages;
  • Working with different platforms (mobile, desktop) and ability to optimize data depending on the chosen platform;
  • Building Python applications;
  • Unit test and debugging skills;
  • In-depth understanding of the integration of different databases or data sources in a single system;
  • Knowing such aspects and process as security, user authentication and authorization, essential design principles, event-driven programming, creating database schemas.
Image source: Matt Makkai

In 2018 Python developer should be familiar with following IT skills (based on the job ads):

  • Co-occurring IT skills – Python, Agile Software Development, Django, Linux, JavaScript, Java, SQL, TDD, PostgreSQL, Amazon AWS, C++, HTML, CSS, Software Engineering, AngularJS;
  • Application Platforms – Apache Spark, Elasticsearch, Apache, Jupyter, CMS, nginx, OpenStack;
  • Cloud ServicesAmazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Serverless, AWS Lambda, GitHub, Google Cloud Platform;
  • Communications and networkingHTTP, SMS, Skype, Firewall, Internet, Junos;
  • Database and business intelligencePostgreSQL; Relational Database, MySQL, SQL Server, Big Data, NoSQL, Redis, RDBMS, MongoDB, Hadoop;
  • Development applicationsGit Jenkins JIRA Subversion Selenium Bitbucket Mercurial;
  • Libraries, frameworks and software standards – Django, HTML, CSS, Flask, REST, Web Services, Pandas, NumPy, React, AngularJS, jQuery;
  • Operating SystemsLinux, Unix, Windows, Ubuntu, CentOS, Android, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Apple iOS, Embedded Linux, Mac OS X.

Hiring process

Quite often the hiring the software developer, programmer, designer and other IT specialists can be the biggest “fly in the ointment” when you are going to create a new web product.   But, taking into account fundamental features of this industry, we can outline the scheme to recruit a great developer.

First, for your consideration, a few tips on what you should do and what to avoid:

  • Create a specific job ad – list all necessary skills and experience, required to build your idea, describe the responsibilities and expectations as much clear as possible;

Currently, Tesla is looking for the Python developer, and here is their original job advert:

Image source: Tesla
  • Visit Python communities – online forums, conferences, hackathons – all places of like-minded developers, where they feel free to share their knowledge and experience. A great chance for you to find someone who will suit your idea perfectly;
  • Prepare your questions – not so easy, if you don’t have a technical background. Below you will find few examples, but, what is more important, you should remember to avoid  common question ( What is Python? When was it build? etc);
  • Be patient – because Python is one of the top programming languages, there are a lot of good specialists on the market. It is important to stay cold mind, cause choosing the right one with the set of needed skills will take time and can shake your inner peace. To avoid headaches, there is an easier variant – post your idea on our platform and within 72 hours you will get the team of great developer ready to work on your project.

Where to find & hire a Python developer

Already the traditional ways to find a new employer in IT industry is scrolling through the specialized portals like Toptal, Hired, We Work Remotely, GitHub, Upwork, Stack Overflow, Guru. The websites like Remote Python and  Python.org/Jobs will be a more specific help.

Another great option is using the services where you can publish your project idea and find the right developers according to the task demand. Lately, ThinkMobiles has launched the useful tool to combine and coordinate the great ideas and high-level professionals. With the selection process by the following items, our platform will pick up the best developer for your project:

  • What is the timeline for your project?
  • What should be the experienced level of the Python developer?
  • How many developers does your project require?
  • What is the budget for your project/  What salary/ hourly rates are you going to pay?

If you have the ability and time, our next tip where to find the Python developer will be visiting events like PythonCamp 2018PyDays ViennaDjangoCon Europe 2018PyLondiniumSciPy 2018, etc. After posting a job advert and initial selection of candidates based on their skills and previous experience, it is important to follow next vital steps while hiring almost any IT specialist:

  • technical interview – to estimate technical knowledge base – theoretical side;
  • testing task – to evaluate the real work on the giving task – practical side.

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Interview questions  

The following examples of questions are just the top of the iceberg. More tricky questions you can find on any Python community forums, where developers like to discuss possible plots of the interview. But no one said that you, as an employer, cannot use this information for your own benefit.

  1. How do you identify bugs in your code?
  2. Are there situations where you wouldn’t use Python?
  3. What is Unicode, what is UTF-8 and how do they relate?
  4. What is the difference between list and tuples?
  5. How is memory managed in Python?
  6. What is the difference between range and xrange?
  7. Explain the use of session in Django framework?
  8. How to get the Google cache age of any URL or web page?
  9. What is the difference between deep and shallow copy?
  10. What is monkey patching in Python?

The interview questions shouldn’t be limited to the idea to define the level of training. Extend your question list to estimate the communication, problem-solving skills, the knowledge of modern market trends and the ability of time-managing.  

Coding task

The skills testing is one of the key stages of hiring the IT specialist, including Python developer. The assigned task can check at once a few skills, which are especially needed for your project. In an example by Devskiller for mid-level programmers, knowledge of Python, web scraping, data analysis and Django is tested.

Input data: A compact customizable web scraper that takes a query (URL), scrapes the URL, and extracts the complete vocabulary of the document. In addition to displaying the extracted words in a table grouped by type (noun, verb, etc.) the app will display a graph showing word frequency across the collection of words.

Task detail:

  1. Get URL from USER;
  2. Scrape URL;
  3. Parse out only the content of the page (ignore html elements, tags etc.);
  4. Use a regular expression to extract all of the words;
  5. Use collections.counter to create a frequency count of all of the words;
  6. Get a words type (using NLTK library);
  7. Determine the number of times the word appears in the document;
  8. Create a table of all of the words;
  9. Use Matplotlib (/Seaborn) (or any other python visual library) to create a chart of the frequency of the 100 most common words;
  10. Display the data on a page.
Image source: Devskiller

Salaries & hourly rates

There are two main factors which influence the Python developer’s payments: location and experience/competence. The US remains the highest paid county for most specializations in IT. While the junior Python developers’ average salary in the States can reach $75,000, according to Indeed, the Senior developer earns about more than $100,000.

Image source: Indeed

In Western Europe countries Python developers are also highly paid, in comparison with Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia.

Country Average Salary
United Kingdom $74,000
Netherlands $57,000
France $48,500
Germany $58,000
Ireland $66,500
Denmark $76,000
Norway $86,000
Switzerland $90,500

The second cost define criteria is experience level, depending on which the rates can be divided this way:

  • Less than year – $70,131;
  • 1 – 4 years – $77,115;
  • 5 – 9 years – $97,230;
  • 10 – 19 years – $114,328;
  • More than 20 years –  $123,068 annually.

In a case you are going to hire a freelancer or outsourcing development company for a one-time job, it is useful to get familiar with general trends in hourly rates. Based on geographical location, the work specific and experience level, the hourly cost starts from $14 and rises up to $70, while the average rate fluctuates at the level of $25:

Country US Canada UK Australia New Zealand
Hourly Pay $34.00 $22.00 $27.00 $26.00 $18.00

All is fair in love and war. And in hiring a Python developer. View CV, scroll down web pages, be a permanent user of every specialize web resources, visit conferences and forums, use the special hiring tool like Thinkmobiles – everything will benefit you in finding a talented and dedicated developer.

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