What Skills And Experience To Look For When Hiring .NET Developers?

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It’s a great sign when resumes start coming in and you can begin your search for a new .NET developer or .NET Core developer. But before you consider who to invite for an on-site technical interview, you need to carry out technical screening, which implies far more than just looking at resumes. Technical screening allows you to screen candidates based on their skills and it saves you time by not interviewing candidates who don’t have the necessary abilities.

Here, we have a detailed guide on how you can go about screening candidates.

What is .NET?

This controlled programming environment is a software development framework created by Microsoft. It allows for software development and installation on Windows-based operating systems, although this will be different with .NET Core. It has similarities to the Java platform and supports numerous languages such as C#, Visual Basic.NET, F#, and C++. Developers can enjoy a wide range of libraries and frameworks and so the development of web, desktop, and mobile apps is simple. Other advantages are that .NET will naturally integrate with other Microsoft tools, the framework is mature and stable, and there is plenty of support from the community.

Important things to know if you are recruiting .NET developers

Even if you aren’t the most tech-minded, knowing the following will help you as a recruiter:

  • .Net developers need to be familiar with more than just one programming language. A good candidate will be confident with various libraries and frameworks, for example, ASP.NET, MVC, or Entity Framework.
  • If a candidate isn’t aware of one of the frameworks from your required list, you shouldn’t add them to your list of rejects. .NET frameworks have plenty in common and a solid understanding of one will help developers become familiar with others.
  • The most valuable candidates for your business will be those who have had a commercial experience, whether that’s with a different company, as a hobby or an open-source programming project.

.NET or .NET Core

.NET Core was created to overcome some of the limitations that .NET had, like porting the frameworks to other hardware architectures. .NET Core is not seen as a replacement as it might not be possible due to the technology or costs. There are similarities between the two and the differences will likely come down to the libraries or components. Your developer should be able to use both but bear in mind that things like ASP.NET WebForms and .NET C++ language are not yet supported by .NET Core. Often, which you choose will depend on the needs of your project, so again, this is why your candidate should be able to use both.

Assessing .NET developer Skills While Screening

There are different ways that you can screen your talent. A resume is going to provide you with lots of specific skills, but you will need to understand the .NET lingo. If you aren’t familiar with the terms and different languages/libraries and frameworks, have a list of glossary terms at hand. It is also well worth knowing which if the .NET technologies are closely related and even some of the names and abbreviations that are interchangeable.

Other screening methods can include technical interviews, video interviews, and online coding tests.

Should Your .NET Candidate Have Certificates?

There are arguments for and arguments against. Some feel that certifications show that a candidate has in-depth knowledge. They are also a way for candidates with less commercial experience to improve their resume. Other people feel that certificates demonstrate theoretical knowledge rather than skills.

If you do value certifications, .NET Microsoft certifications are some of the most meaningful. There are three key levels:

  • MTA- Microsoft Technology Associate- the first level that shows a candidate has worked with Microsoft technologies. This can include things like Software Development Fundamentals, HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals, and Introduction to Programming Using JavaScript.
  • MCSA- the next level (although not a necessarily a step on from MTA) has two qualifications; MCSA: Web Applications and MCSA: Universal Windows Platform
  • MCSD: App Builder- the final level requires the candidate to have previously passed the MCSA in Web Applications or Universal Windows Platform and will need to pass Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services.

Other information that would be good to see on a resume would be experience in projects that have large volumes of data, an interest in personal development by attending conferences and meetups, and participating in open-source projects.

How to Get the Most Out of Technical Screening Via Phone/Video Interviews

Really, the technical screening call should give you the chance to get to know the candidate better before inviting them for an on-site interview. Questions will vary from company to company and role to role, but here are some examples of key questions:

  • Can you describe the most interesting project you have worked on? – You will learn about the candidate’s preferences.
  • Can you explain the difference between this framework A and framework B? – This will show you how capable the candidate is at explaining things in a clear manner.
  • Do you prefer to work on every stage of the IT project or focus solely on the development side? – This points to whether the candidate might want to expand into other roles in the future or if they are more comfortable in a clearly defined role.
  • Why have you listed this framework on your resume? – It’s good to have an open-ended question to give the candidate a chance to talk about something in more depth.

Try to also include behavioral questions about mistakes they have made and lessons they have learned as this will give you insight into how the candidate views the decisions they make.

Using .NET Online Coding Tests for Additional Screening

The latest trend, and for good reason, is to use an online coding test as your primary assessment tool. This is because it only allows for the skilled candidates to pass onto the interview stage, saving significant time. Also, those who have participated in a coding test are more dedicated to the process and are more likely to show up for the on-site interview.

The coding test you choose must give you a picture of a range of skills and they must be related to real-life coding challenges that are relevant to the role they are applying for. Remember that multiple-choice tests generally annoy developers because there is no room for the candidate to show their abilities. Here are 5 things you should look for in your .NET coding tests:

  1. Tests should verify .NET skills as well as frameworks and libraries.
  2. The tasks in the test must have a similar level of difficulty to the tasks they will have to perform in their job.
  3. Using the company code to develop tests will create challenges similar to those in the role the candidate is interviewing for.
  4. Include code review challenges (especially for senior roles), as this will show you how a candidate faces debugging and finding traps.
  5. Don’t ban your candidate from using external sources, this is not how developers work in the real world.