The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Skilled Java Developers


Make sure you have the best support in hiring skilling Java Developers.

Java is the closest thing to a universal language in the IT industry with nearly 90% of all Fortune 500 companies using the Java programming language. This is largely due to its portability, security features, and the fact that it is relatively easy to learn. Java is a powerhouse that helps form the backbone of many systems including web applications, embedded systems, and big data processing.

Java touches every software development field and is used by popular platforms that you might often use, such as Twitter, Google, Amazon, Spotify, and YouTube. And while there are other ways to develop Android apps, most are written in Java using Google’s Android API, with Java Micro Edition serving as the framework to design applications that run on smartphones and feature phones.

Despite its widespread use, companies are facing challenges hiring for the role. Let’s explore the reasons why, and what you can do to hire a top-notch, skilled Java developer.

The Challenges in Hiring Java Developers

There are roughly 9.4 million Java developers worldwide, according to SlashData, but hiring one can be challenging. The biggest stumbling block seems to be finding developers with the right mix of skills. Despite Java being robust, secure, and relatively simpler and easier to learn than languages such as C and C++, many developers use it as their second language and may lack the depth of knowledge required for some roles.

These days, most companies want more than just coders. They want someone who is a people person and not just a technical contractor. Someone who can communicate well and take on some client-facing duties. They also want people who can manage smaller portions of a project or mentor junior developers. For these reasons, it’s imperative that companies have a thorough process for sourcing and evaluating talent for their development team.

Core Skills to Look For in a Skilled Java Developer

The most common problem hiring managers face is finding the best match between candidates’ skill sets and the company’s needs. Every developer should improve the performance of your business. If you already have an in-house development team, you’ll probably have a good idea of what the missing link in your team is, and where you need to draft in reinforcements.

If you’re building your first team from scratch, formulating a plan can help you to pinpoint the right developers for you. If you have a particular framework or offset of Java in mind, you’ll need to make that clear from the outset.

Regardless of experience level (junior, senior, or architect), anyone in this role must have these core skills, the so-called non-negotiables:

  • Java/J2EE
  • Object-Oriented Analysis and Design patterns
  • XML, Xquery, XSL
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Java-Based Web Services
  • Relational Databases, SQL, and ORM

Evaluating an Entry-Level or Junior Java Developer

Entry-level or Junior developers have little to no work experience with 0-2 years as the norm. They have basic hands-on experience in programming. They usually don’t write full modules or applications. Their tasks may include things such as implementing simple features, bug fixes or working alongside a Senior developer to gain more in-depth experience.

Important Skills

A Junior team member should have strong knowledge of at least one Operating System (OS). Basic knowledge of other languages such as JavaScript is also ideal for someone in this role. Candidates who fit the bill must also be able to grasp new concepts quickly and be able to write readable and clean Java code.

Evaluating a Senior Java Developer

Senior team members do the same general tasks as a Junior developer. However, they work on more complex assignments with minimal oversight or assistance.


Someone for this role should have at least 3-6 years of experience. They should be able to write clean optimized code. They should also have in-depth knowledge of J2EE and how to apply it in the context of solving business challenges. Debugging and error handling should also be in this person’s toolbelt. A Senior developer should have enough knowledge and experience to make relevant technological decisions. With the emergence of cloud computing, someone in this role should have some DevOps experience, specifically with tools such as Jenkins, Docker, and Kubernetes.


In addition to the core skills, they should also have experience with the following:

  • VM and Memory Management
  • Multithreading and Synchronization
  • Integration and Unit Testing
  • Knowledge of current frameworks, SDKs, APIs, and libraries
  • Principles of SOLID
  • JSF/Spring/MVC
  • Complex SQL queries
  • Runtime and Garbage Collection

Part of their job is to supervise and pass their knowledge to junior developers.

Evaluating a Java Architect

Someone in this role needs to see the big picture to translate the stakeholder’s goals into functional and scalable architecture.


An architect has typically come up through the ranks as a developer. They may have expertise in several languages and frameworks. This person should have 8-10+ years of experience.


Although an architect is expected to know how to code, this is usually not a technical role. As such, this person should possess exceptional project management, communication, and negotiation skills. They should have extensive experience in developing and architecting large-scale, high-performance, scalable and maintainable applications. They should also have some DevOps experience.

Additional skills for someone in this segment include:

  • Design Patterns
  • Architectural Patterns
  • Service-Oriented Architecture
  • Clustering Architecture
  • Legacy Platform Integration

Where to Find a Skilled Java Developer

So, how to find and hire top java developers for projects of any scale and complexity? 

Some companies chose to promote from within. They may have developers who are looking to advance or take on new challenges. In these cases, it is often cheaper to retrain an employee for a new role rather than going through an external hiring process. The benefit of hiring from within is that the individual will already be familiar with the companies application ecosystem and culture. Thus, there is a lower learning curve than there would be for a new hire.

Remote freelance developers are another option. With this approach, you wouldn’t need to deal with the expense of hiring someone as an employee. The freelancer would take care of their taxes, health insurance, and any other expenses. You would only need to pay them for the hours worked. The downside to this strategy is that you will still find it difficult to truly evaluate their knowledge.

Engaging with an outsourcing development team is an ideal approach to hiring for your development team. This strategy gives you instant access to Java developers with relevant expertise. The outsourcing team takes care of sourcing, evaluating, and hiring employees for you. As a result, you’ll save time on recruitment and you can be sure that the candidate selected will meet your needs.

Hire the Best Java Developers with Growin

Java is still one of the most used programming languages on a global scale, with 59% of hiring managers citing high demand for Java developers in their companies, as the recent CodinGame Developer Survey 2021 found.

Partnering with Growin means teaming up with a solid, well-established IT service partner driven to seek and invest in the best Java talent available on the market and in a cutting-edge tech stack. We’re a flexible and ready-to-adapt software development team that understands your processes, needs, and culture.

Growin has an agile mindset. We are fast decision-makers who use reliable, scalable, and evolving technology to deliver to our clients stable and innovative IT projects and products that meet their requirements and exceed their expectations.

Reach out today and learn why more companies are turning to our outsourcing program for building and scaling their development teams.

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