Why Great Developers Are Made, Not Hired: Insights for Tech Teams

Why Great Developers Are Made, Not Hired: Insights for Tech Teams

In the IT industry, the common belief is that the best developers are out there waiting to be discovered and hired. However, the reality is that great developers are often made, not found. Cultivating exceptional talent within your IT team involves more than just an effective hiring process. It requires a commitment to continuous learning, mentorship, and a supportive company culture.

In this article, we’ll explore why having a mentorship program is crucial and provide insights into how tech teams can nurture and grow their developers into top class professionals.

The Limitations of Hiring

Hiring skilled developers is essential, but the process has its limitations. Even the most thorough hiring process can only assess candidates based on their past performance and current skills. It’s impossible to predict how they will grow and adapt within your specific organizational environment.

hiring software developers


Onboarding skills of a Technical Lead will help each skilled developer to fully develop inside your company. Moreover, the rapidly evolving nature of IT means that the skills that are relevant today might not be as crucial tomorrow. Therefore, focusing solely on hiring can lead to missed opportunities for growth and innovation.

The Power of Mentorship and Continuous Learning

Mentorship is a cornerstone of developing great developers. Pairing less experienced developers with seasoned mentors allows for knowledge transfer, skill enhancement, and professional growth. Mentors provide guidance, share insights from their own experiences, and help mentees navigate challenges. 

This mentor – mentee relationship fosters a culture of continuous learning, where team members are encouraged to expand their skill sets and stay updated with the latest technological advancements. A supportive company culture is vital for nurturing talent. This includes creating an environment where developers feel valued, respected, and motivated. Encourage open communication, collaboration, and the sharing of ideas. Recognize and celebrate achievements, no matter how small, to boost morale and reinforce the value of each team member’s contributions. Providing opportunities for professional development, such as attending conferences, participating in workshops, and accessing online courses, is also crucial. Atlassian provides a compelling example of how to develop great developers from within. Their approach focuses on building effective mentoring relationships tailored to different career stages, which significantly boosts team effectiveness and personal growth. They prioritize continuous learning, where both mentors and mentees engage in a cycle of feedback and development to enhance their skills and capabilities​​ ​.

Competence Matrices

Competence matrices are effective tools for tracking and promoting the development of technical and soft skills. These matrices outline the skills and competencies required for various roles within the organization and help identify areas for improvement. By regularly reviewing and updating these matrices, IT teams can ensure that their developers are continually progressing and aligning their growth with the company’s strategic goals.

The Role of Feedback in Developer Growth

Constructive feedback is essential for growth. Regular performance reviews and one-on-one meetings provide opportunities for developers to receive feedback on their work and discuss their career aspirations. This feedback should be specific, actionable, and delivered in a supportive manner. Additionally, encouraging developers to seek feedback from their peers fosters a collaborative environment and promotes self-improvement.

positive feedback for software developer


Great developers are indeed made, not just hired. By focusing on mentorship, continuous learning, a supportive company culture, and regular feedback, IT teams can cultivate their developers into top class professionals. This approach not only enhances individual growth but also drives the overall success of the organization. Investing in your team’s development is a strategic move that pays dividends in innovation, performance, and employee satisfaction.

Setronica, with 25 years of experience in working with java solutions, has a strong business continuity history within its competence matrices. A long period of time for making a strong expertise with enterprise java solutions. Feel free to contact me via a form below if you have any questions regarding competence matrices and measuring team performance.


Why is hiring not enough to ensure a team of great developers? 

Hiring can bring in skilled individuals, but it does not guarantee their growth within the organization. Continuous development, mentorship, and a supportive culture are essential to nurture and enhance their skills.

How can mentorship programs benefit tech teams? 

Mentorship programs facilitate knowledge transfer, provide guidance, and help developers navigate challenges. They promote continuous learning and professional growth, which are crucial for staying updated with technological advancements.

What role does company culture play in developing great developers? 

A supportive company culture creates an environment where developers feel valued and motivated. It encourages open communication, collaboration, and professional development, all of which are vital for nurturing talent and fostering innovation.

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Kristijan Pušić

IT consultant and Business developer

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    Setronica is a software engineering company that provides a wide range of services, from software products to core business applications. We offer consulting, development, testing, infrastructure support, and cloud management services to enterprises. We apply the knowledge, skills, and Agile methodology of project management to integrate software development and business objectives effectively and efficiently.