Software as a service (SaaS) is on the rise. By 2023, the SaaS app market is projected to reach $208 billion while 86% of companies will be running purely on SaaS, creating additional demand for programmers with SaaS development skills and a product-specific mindset.
So, how to recruit the best-fit candidates when the competition for SaaS developers isn’t that fierce? In this article, we gathered everything you need to know to hire a SaaS developer with strong technical expertise, product mindset and personal fit while staying lean and agile. Enjoy.
Main characteristics of software as a service (SaaS)
The concept of SaaS is here to stay. Such popular solutions as Salesforce, Slack, Marketo, Spotify, and Atlassian are popular examples of SaaS apps with great customizability and diverse feature sets, created to meet the necessities of different target user groups.
Below are the main characteristics of SaaS apps which differentiate them from traditional software. Since SaaS implies an innovative approach to software delivery, understanding its distinctive features is also important for making the right hiring decisions.
- Multi-tenancy model. This means that the application has a single deployment environment while serving different users at the same time, who, in turn, can access only those parts of the app’s functionality they need and have paid for.
- Automated provisioning. Automated provisioning of a SaaS app means delivering the service following a predefined automated procedure, which is specific for each user group (for example, for personal or enterprise use).
- Subscription-based billing. Instead of paying for the license to use the product, in the case of software as a service, users pay only for those features they actually need and use. Being a more cost-effective approach for users, subscription-based service delivery also creates a stable source of income for a product owner.
- High availability. SaaS applications should be available across the globe 24/7, so they require a Service Level Agreement (SLA) of the highest degree.
- Elastic infrastructure. SaaS apps should also have the elastic infrastructure to provide scalable access to computing resources and IT services depending on the increased or decreased consumption. That’s why developing SaaS apps with microservices architecture is the classical approach.
- Data security. Since SaaS apps are shared between multiple tenants, their personal and business data should be protected with a Role Based Access Control.
SaaS development trends that define the skill set of a great SaaS programmer
So, SaaS apps are completely different from traditional software, mainly because they focus on service instead of the product. Combining SaaS approaches with popular and innovative technologies allows for delivering the service on a completely different level.
Below we are listing SaaS development trends which, at the same time, define the skill set SaaS developers should have to build market-disruptive software.
- Machine learning and artificial intelligence. ML and AI have already become the standard features of SaaS solutions, especially when it comes to automation (for example, automating email campaigns with MailChimp) and data analysis (for example, getting visual reports in Microsoft Power BI). The influence of ML and AI will grow, evolving into the concept of Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS), the market for which is expected to reach $12,6 billion by 2026. That’s why SaaS developers should also be skilled with ML and AI development tools and programming languages, like TensorFlow and Python.
- Mobile-first SaaS. For 87% of businesses, the employee’s opportunity to access business apps from personal mobile devices is crucial. The recent switch to a hybrid work model along with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend triggers the demand for mobile-first SaaS apps. From the development standpoint, creating mobile-first SaaS requires frontend and backend development skills with technologies like Java and Swift.
- Data-driven SaaS with centralized analytics. Business Intelligence software makes a great match with software as a service approach. While the companies may accurately tailor the functionality of the app to their business needs, the share of data analytics-focused SaaS apps is expected to grow, providing the opportunity to access business data anywhere and anytime, store it securely and extract valuable insights (with the help of AI and ML that we have already mentioned). This trend creates additional demand for programmers with analytical thinking and data visualization skills.
- Blockchain and SaaS. According to Statista, 93% of surveyed companies are concerned about SaaS security. Creating SaaS applications on top of private blockchains can be an advanced solution to a security issue, and for this goal, the project needs pretty rare programmers with a deep understanding of SaaS specifics and blockchain development skills at the same time.
What technologies a SaaS developer should be skilled with?
While at the first glance, SaaS development can seem a highly specific task, software developers can use common technologies to build software as a service apps. Let’s discover what technologies are usually used for SaaS application development, and what technical background your programmers should have.
- Docker and Kubernetes. These are the classic technologies to build microservice-based SaaS apps with elastic infrastructure.
- Symphony. Symphony is a PHP backend framework that SaaS developers can use for building enterprise-level solutions. Another reason to use Symphony for SaaS product development is a brick-by-brick approach the programmers can follow for additional flexibility.
- Angular.js. While Angular.js is one of the top choices for web app development, it can be a tool for the SaaS development process as well. It is a flexible and speedy framework for frontend development that allows for creating reusable components and following a modular approach. As for hiring Angular.js developers for your project, you are unlikely to face a talent shortage – there are 2,4 million Angular users on GitHub alone.
- Ionic. Ionic can be a good choice for mobile-first SaaS solutions since it allows for creating applications for iOS, Android and web using a single source code. In this way, Ionic makes SaaS development as cost-effective as possible and can be one of the best tools for creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for a SaaS app. What’s more, the talent pool of Ionic developers is truly impressive – it is used by 5 million programmers in 200 countries.
- MongoDB. MongoDB is a document-oriented database, meaning that it stores data in documents instead of records, and that’s why it offers a better speed when extracting large amounts of data. For SaaS apps, it means greater efficiency multiplied by a better user experience.
Your perfect SaaS programmer – skills and competencies
So, when there are no questions about technologies that are commonly used for SaaS app development, it’s time to look at the skills and competencies a SaaS developer should have.
Below are the basic set of hard skills of a SaaS developer. Keep in mind that the list of skills below is approximate, while each project has its own requirements.
- Be skilled with popular programming languages and platforms like Python, Java, PHP, and Linux
- Have knowledge in database design and management
- Have the skill of integrating the product with other services through application programming interfaces (APIs).
As for the soft skills of SaaS programmers, they are similar to the ones any software developer should have, plus one more specific skill that comes from the specifics of SaaS.
- Collaboration and communication. The development team and the product owner should always stay on the same page while having a common and aligned vision. This soft skill is important not only for SaaS developers but also for the whole tech team, including designers, QA and testers, DevOps specialists and marketers. Compared to traditional software, SaaS apps must be updated more frequently to meet clients’ needs, requiring solid communication and collaboration between all team members.
- Understanding of Agile methodologies and test-driven development. Because of the reason above, the ability to quickly adapt to changes, creating and delivering a product in a test-driven environment is essential as well. SaaS development is always about looking for the best ways to deliver the greatest customer experience which Agile and DevOps methodologies also stand for.
- SaaS mindset. Combined together, the two soft skills above make a SaaS mindset – a specific vision that makes an emphasis on service and experience.
How much does it cost to hire a remote SaaS developer?
The hard and soft skills of SaaS developers are somewhat similar, yet quite different from the ones of traditional software developers. Taking into account that SaaS development is currently a hot topic, it’s safe to say that SaaS app developers for hire can have higher salary expectations. So, let’s find out how these trends affect a SaaS developer’s salary and how they differ across the continents.
|Saas Developer monthly salary
As always, the programmers from the US have the highest salaries while the developers from India earn almost 10 times less. So, where to hire software developers with a SaaS mindset and the necessary skills?
Brazil and Poland can be perfect-balanced destinations when it comes to SaaS developers’ talent pool and the cost to hire them. Brazil stands out with the largest tech talent pool in Latin America, while artificial intelligence, cloud computing and security solutions development are the leading subsectors of the Brazilian IT market.
Poland, in turn, is the top third software development outsourcing destination globally, which stands out with a solid level of technical education and high English proficiency. Polish developers are also skilled with cloud computing, while the absence of a language barrier promises seamless and effective communication, which is a must for SaaS development.
Bridge experts would be happy to help you hire top-notch SaaS developers across three continents. Contact us now for qualified hiring help!
Actionable tactics to hire remote SaaS developers
After we have discovered what skills and competencies a SaaS developer should have and what their monthly salary is in different countries, let’s find out how to hire a software developer with a SaaS background and mindset in the most effective way. Below are four viable hiring tactics to choose from depending on your project goals and current needs.
Hiring SaaS developers on Upwork or any other freelance marketplace seems like the simplest strategy. However, collaborating with freelance contractors makes the most sense when the skill you need for the project is common and the task itself has either a one-time or short-term nature.
And vice versa – hiring freelancers isn’t the best idea for long-term projects, since they are rarely dedicated to a single contractor and usually lack commitment, which is essential for SaaS product development. That’s why you have to be very careful with this tactic, as the lack of employees’ dedication can lead your project to failure.
Augment an in-house team
Once upon a time, Adobe products followed a traditional software business model and were distributed under the licence. Recently, they switched their approach to SaaS. If your business is looking to switch to SaaS like Adobe, scaling your in-house team with SaaS developers would be your next step.
Consider team augmentation services to quickly bridge the talent gap and find perfect-fit SaaS developers in a few days. Our local recruiters will source the right candidates on-demand to help your business achieve challenging business goals while you can stay focused on your project rather than hiring campaign.
Reach out to Bridge recruiters right now to grow your team with top-notch SaaS programming talent!
Consider IT recruitment
Given the growing competition for SaaS development talent, gathering a SaaS development team from scratch can be a challenge, especially for companies with no in-house HR department. IT recruitment services give tech talent hiring an easier way, especially if you partner with a trusted talent sourcing vendor like Bridge.
Our recruitment experience and hiring expertise enable us to quickly gather a full-scaled SaaS development team from scratch, making sure that the candidates have not only required tech skills, but also product mindset and cultural fit. We can help you source technical candidates from a chosen location, using recruitment automation software, a data-driven engine and the practical expertise of our local recruiters.
What’s more, you are welcome to manage your candidates using our customer-exclusive platform for interview scheduling and recruitment workflow management, making the best hiring decisions for your project.
Hire a SaaS engineer on the labor market with our IT recruitment services!
Finding and selecting the right candidates is usually the most time-consuming stage of the recruitment process. Sourcing-as-a-service speeds it up, allowing you to reach out to the best-fit SaaS developers much faster. Our experts use data-driven software powered by smart semantic search to ensure the perfect match and suggest candidates with relevant experience five times faster compared to manual sourcing. The only remaining task for you is to either interview candidates directly or keep them in mind for potential hires.
Take advantage of the speed and effectiveness of sourcing-as-a-service already today. Drop us a quick call to get started!
Developing a SaaS product is a great business idea for 2023, especially if you make it niche-specific and perfectly tailored to the needs of different target user groups. Hiring SaaS developers, in turn, is one of the most important tasks to solve along the way since they are the specialists directly responsible for the level of service your future product will deliver. Consider professional hiring help to recruit the best-fit SaaS developers at a better cost and build market-disruptive software.
Choose the recruitment strategy that suits your project goal and get in touch with us to hire more effectively!