One of the important things in any organisation is having the right developers with the right skills to build your products for your company. Hiring developers is expensive and getting the right people is always a challenge.
In lots of places around the world, finding the right developers with the right skills is really hard. Since we have a shortage of developers, finding and hiring the rights ones for your team can be quite time consuming and expensive.
I offer an alternative approach, hiring and training junior developers.
Learn by teaching
By teaching others, you improve your understanding of the topic. A much deeper understanding is required to effectively teach someone in the use of that technology or tool. By having junior developers in your team you are giving your senior developers the opportunity to improve their knowledge of topics and improving their communication skills to someone that is not like them and may see things from a different perspective. If they can explain how to do something and have the patience to ensure that the other person understands, these are some great skills to have and can really level up your team.
Improve on boarding
Just like having a new team member join, having a junior developer join you can see some of the complex setup and assumed knowledge that your team has about certain products or processes. How long does it take to get a development environment up and running? Are the tools you use easy to install and learn.
This is a tricky one and has many factors that play into this but it is worth considering. Junior developers will initially be paid less due to their lack of previous experience in an environment that usually has a high level of responsibility. This reduced cost will help in absorbing the time and resources needed to train. Eventually you would want them to progress as their skills and knowledge improves by promoting them when the time is right.
Bigger talent pool
By recruiting junior developers you have a bigger pool of talent to hire from and select from in your area. Having more choices can help in choosing for other attributes like culture fit and attitude are more important than specific experience. Programming languages, tools and framework can all be learned. Attitude and passion on the other hand is much harder.
Having a junior can give a fresh perspective on how things can be done. They may be younger and come from a different generation. They may give insights into a different type of customer for your product that you may not have from your senior developers.
A junior employee has less likelihood of having picked up bad habits from previous employers that have worked for them. They are also easily trainable and coachable in the methods that your organisation is using. If you are adopting a practice like Agile, the junior developers can quickly pick up how this is done and follow it without having previous preconceptions of other practices that they may prefer as they have always done it a particular way.
There are many more factors and these are just a few of the most important that I have identified as the most important benefits in hiring junior developers. I have seen junior developers deliver lots of great projects and have been a great addition to my team.