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Six Things To Look For In Your Next Java Developer Hire

Six Things To Look For In Your Next Java Developer Hire

In today's fast-paced digital landscape, finding the right Java developer for a company is crucial for ensuring the success of their software projects. Java, being one of the most widely used programming languages, powers numerous enterprise-level applications and systems worldwide. Therefore, hiring a skilled and experienced Java developer can significantly impact an organization's productivity and growth. In this blog post, we will explore the six essential things one should look for when hiring the next Java developer. By following these guidelines, one can make an informed decision and secure a talented professional who will contribute to their team's success.

1. Solid Knowledge of Java Fundamentals

The first and most crucial factor to consider when hiring a Java developer is their proficiency in the fundamental concepts of the language.

According to a recent survey conducted by Stack Overflow, Java remains one of the most in-demand programming languages globally, making up approximately 30% of the professional developer community. This statistic emphasizes the importance of thoroughly assessing a candidate's grasp of Java fundamentals during the hiring process.

Look for candidates who possess certifications like Oracle Certified Java Programmer (OCPJP), as it demonstrates their commitment to excellence and validates their Java expertise.

When hiring a Java developer, it is crucial to ensure that candidates possess a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts of the Java programming language.

Here are some key aspects of Java fundamentals that a developer should be well-versed in:

Java Basics

Object-oriented programming (OOP) principles:

Inheritance, polymorphism, encapsulation, and abstraction.

Core Java libraries:

Familiarity with commonly used libraries and packages in Java, such as java.lang, java.util, and

Exception handling:

Understanding how to handle exceptions and write robust error-handling code.


Knowledge of creating and managing multiple threads to achieve concurrent execution.

Input/output operations:

Understanding how to read from and write to files or streams.

Spring Framework Knowledge

Spring Core:

Understanding the core concepts of the Spring framework, including dependency injection and inversion of control (IoC).

Spring MVC:

Familiarity with building web applications using the Spring MVC framework, handling requests, and managing views.

Spring Boot:

Experience with Spring Boot, which simplifies the development of Java applications by providing convention-over-configuration and auto-configuration features.

Spring Data:

Knowledge of Spring Data for data access and persistence, including working with repositories and implementing data queries.

Hibernate Query Language

Hibernate ORM:

Understanding the basics of Hibernate Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) and how it simplifies database interactions.

Hibernate Query Language (HQL):

Proficiency in writing HQL queries to retrieve, update, and delete data from the database using object-oriented concepts.

Git Details

Version Control:

Understanding the principles and benefits of version control systems for managing source code.


Familiarity with Git, a widely used distributed version control system, including knowledge of basic Git commands for repository management, branching, merging, and resolving conflicts.


Experience with popular Git hosting platforms like GitHub or Bitbucket for collaborative development, code review, and repository management.

2. Experience with Java Frameworks and Tools

Java offers a vast ecosystem of frameworks and tools that simplify development, enhance productivity, and accelerate time-to-market. According to the Developer Survey conducted by JetBrains in 2021, Spring is the most widely used Java framework, with a market share of around 67%. This statistic highlights the significance of assessing a candidate's experience with Spring or similar frameworks when making a hiring decision.

When evaluating candidates for a Java developer position, assessing their experience with relevant frameworks and tools is crucial. Here are some specific frameworks and tools that should be part of a skilled Java developer's skill set:

Spring Framework:

The Spring Framework is one of the most widely used Java frameworks in enterprise application development. Look for candidates who have experience with Spring MVC (Model-View-Controller) for developing web applications, Spring Boot for rapid application development, and Spring Data for data access and persistence.


Hibernate is an object-relational mapping (ORM) framework that simplifies database interaction in Java applications. Candidates with Hibernate experience demonstrate their ability to handle complex data models and efficiently interact with databases.

JavaServer Faces (JSF):

JSF is a Java web application framework that simplifies the creation of user interfaces for web applications. Candidates who have worked with JSF showcase their ability to develop rich and interactive web interfaces.

Apache Maven:

Maven manages project dependencies, compiles source code, and creates executable artifacts. Proficiency in Maven indicates that a candidate is well-versed in project management and follows best practices for software development.


Look for candidates who have experience with JUnit and understand the importance of writing unit tests to ensure code quality and maintainability. Experience with other testing frameworks like Mockito or TestNG can also be valuable.


Git is a distributed version control system that facilitates collaboration and enables developers to manage source code efficiently. Look for candidates who have experience with Git and understand concepts like branching, merging, and resolving conflicts. Familiarity with platforms like GitHub or Bitbucket is also advantageous.

While these are some of the essential frameworks and tools for Java development, the specific requirements may vary depending on the project and organization. These frameworks enable developers to build scalable and maintainable applications efficiently. Candidates who have worked on projects utilizing these frameworks demonstrate their ability to leverage industry best practices and stay up to date with modern Java development trends.

3. Proficiency in Java-related Technologies

In addition to core Java knowledge and framework experience, it is important to think about how familiar a candidate is with Java-related technologies that are often used in enterprise environments.

Here are some important ones to consider:

Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE):

Look for candidates who know how to use servlets, JSP, EJB, and JPA, which are all parts of Java EE. They should know how to make enterprise applications that are strong and scalable.

Application Servers:

Candidates should be familiar with Apache Tomcat and other popular application servers. These servers make it easier to deploy web applications. Oracle did a survey and found that Apache Tomcat is used by every 4 people out of 10.

Java Messaging Service (JMS):

Knowledge of JMS API is valuable for developers. It allows them to create messaging applications for asynchronous communication between different parts of a system.

Java Integration Frameworks:

Look for experience with frameworks like Apache Camel or Spring Integration. These frameworks facilitate the integration of different systems and applications.

Web Services:

Candidates should be familiar with building RESTful web services using JAX-RS or SOAP-based web services using JAX-WS. These skills enable developers to create scalable and interoperable web services.

By assessing a candidate's proficiency in these Java-related technologies, organizations can ensure they have the necessary skills for handling complex projects. Remember, the ability to learn new technologies is important, and a developer willing to adapt and grow will be a valuable asset to the team.

4. Problem-solving and Algorithmic Skills

A Java programmer should possess problem-solving capabilities and a solid understanding of algorithms. These competencies enable them to tackle complex problems and craft efficient code.

Algorithmic skills, involve understanding and creating step-by-step computational procedures to solve problems. Developers need to comprehend how different algorithms work, how they can be efficiently implemented, and when they should be used. This understanding aids in writing more performant and scalable code

Here are some key points to consider:

Analytical Thinking:

A good Java developer can break down big problems into smaller ones and find logical solutions.

Data Structures and Algorithms:

Look for candidates who know how to use basic data structures like arrays, linked lists, and trees. They should also understand common algorithms like sorting and searching.

Problem-solving Approaches:

Candidates should be able to use different ways to solve problems, like breaking them up into smaller parts or taking small steps to find the best solution.

Code Optimization:

Skilled Developers can make code run faster and use less memory. They know how to make algorithms better and write code that is easy to read.

Debugging Skills:

Effective debugging helps find problems in code and fix them. Candidates should know how to find and fix bugs using tools and effective methods.

Test-driven Development:

If a candidate knows about test-driven development, they know how important it is to test code to make sure it works right.

Companies can test the skills of candidates by giving them coding challenges or problem-solving exercises to assess their skills. By looking at a candidate's ability to solve problems and understand algorithms, they can find a Java developer who can handle difficult tasks and help make projects a success.

5. Familiarity with Agile Development Methodologies

Agile development methods have gained significant popularity in software development due to their emphasis on collaboration and adaptability. Agile methodologies champion a team-based approach where members actively engage, communicate, and collaborate to create software. This iterative, flexible process promotes responsiveness to changes, whether in customer requirements, market conditions, or technology.

When looking for a Java developer, think about how well they know Agile.


Look for people who know the Agile framework Scrum. They should know how to work in short cycles, work as a team, and have daily meetings.

Agile Values:

Candidates should know what Agile values are, such as working together with customers and being able to adapt to change.

User Stories and Backlog:

It's important to know how to write user stories and handle a product backlog. They should know how to estimate work and decide what to do first.

Continuous Integration:

Using tools like Jenkins shows that they know how to smoothly integrate code, test it, and deploy it.

Agile Meetings:

Applicants should know about sprint planning, reviews, and retrospectives. These meetings help plan, review how things are going, and improve.


Look for people who value working as a team and talking to each other openly. They should be able to change and work well with other people.

Ask the candidates what they know about Agile and how they deal with changes. This helps find developers who work well in collaborative environments.

6. Soft Skills and Team Collaboration

Even though technical skills are the most important, a successful Java developer also needs to have good soft skills and be able to work well with others.

A developer who can explain their ideas clearly and listen carefully to what others have to say is more likely to help the team work well together and get more done overall.

Here are some key points to look for:

Communication Skills:

Applicants should be able to say what they want and hear what others have to say.

Problem-Solving Abilities:

Look for candidates who can think of creative ways to solve problems.

Teamwork and Collaboration:

Developers need to work well with others, share ideas, and make positive contributions to the team.


Candidates should be open to learning new things and adapting to changes in technology.

Time Management:

Look for people who can keep track of their time well and meet deadlines.

Professionalism and Accountability:

Developers should have a strong work ethic and be responsible for their tasks.

During interviews, you should ask candidates about how they have worked with others and how they deal with challenges and deadlines. This will make it easier to find developers who can work well with others and make a positive contribution to the team.


It is very important for the success of software projects that a company hires the right Java developer. Consider the six important things this article talks about before you hire someone. Make sure a Java developer is hired who is skilled and able.

Don't forget to put an experience with Java frameworks and tools at the top of your list, along with a solid understanding of Java basics, proficiency in Java-related technologies, problem-solving, and algorithmic skills, knowledge of Agile development methods, and strong, soft skills for effective teamwork and collaboration.

As you start the hiring process, keep in mind that Cogent University is your gateway to a pool of exceptional talent. Our graduates, well-versed in Java and emerging technologies, are industry-ready and sought after by Fortune 500 companies, public sector entities, large system integrators, and startups.

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