If you could recommend that any developer you hire take just one course/class, what subject would it be in and why?
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Creating intriguing content is the best way to connect with your audience to grow your brand, and interactive experiences provide some of the most engaging content out there today. The D3 library of code gives developers the opportunity to visualize your message with interactivity, which is why mastering D3 will provide your developer (and brand) a much needed edge.
2. Teamwork and Communication
The biggest problem we see with developers is a lack of communication skills — the left hand not knowing what the right is doing. They sit next to each other, but do not speak with one another. If they learn to communicate more effectively, they will naturally teach each other. This leads to fewer bugs, improved code quality and compatibility, and faster delivery time.
3. Public Speaking
It’s a known fact that developers can lack in the communications department. Conversational comfort aside, it is important for a developer to be at ease while speaking to a group and have the ability to outwardly communicate their thoughts. This would eventually improve the communication inside the organization as well.
4. Basics of Project Management
We want every hire to understand how to organize, plan and successfully implement tasks for themselves and others. Especially since we’re a 100 percent remote company, it’s essential for everyone on our development team to take charge of their own projects and get others on board when needed. I love it when a developer has an active, project management mentality about their own work.
5. Sales and Business Development
The best developers are those who understand the business case behind the software they are building. Being adept in sales and biz dev, while also digging deep into what the value in the software is to the owner, will help them really level up their value to the project.
6. Search Engine Optimization for Developers
While SEO is primarily the responsibility of the marketing department, there are a lot of things that developers can do to improve the search rankings of a site. Ensuring proper use of canonical tags, structured data mark-ups and optimized URL structures are just a few of the “back end” activities that search engines consider that fall outside of the realm of expertise of the marketing team.
7. A Crash Corse on Your Industry
If you work in HR Technology, have your technologists get up to speed on what’s happening in the world of Human Capital Management. If you work in dog food, send your dev team to a conference or class for pet food scientists. Get your team out of the code and into your space. Seeing and hearing the challenges from the perspective of your buyer will do a lot to shape their approach to product.
8. A Lean Startup Course
I would encourage everyone on the product team to sign up for the How to Build a Startup course on Udacity as part of their new hire on-boarding. The course introduces a scientific, customer-centric approach that can help teams eliminate uncertainties through measurable hypothesis and pass/fail experiments, allowing developers to rapidly iterate and build customer validated products.
9. Usability Testing
Conducting early research will save you months of work when you realize that what you thought made sense from a development perspective makes no sense to end users. Usability testing is essential to delivering a great customer experience.
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