Skip to content

How To Convince a Developer to Join Your Startup - Reading Time: 3 Mins

  • Career
  • Communication
  • Mentoring
  • Startup

📅 May 08, 2020

⏱️4 min read


When it comes to convincing a developer to join your startup. It can be a tough sell. Due to the demands of many companies who are going through digital transformation.

Which is why there is a huge increase in having developers doing higher-value tasks like building new products or services for the company. While using RPA, Low Code or No Code solutions to automate certain processes to reduce the reliance on developers.

Startups are thinking that a senior developer allows faster development work to accomplish without much hand-holding. This further shrinks a limited pool of talent that is contested from Google to the latest hottest startup.


In terms of compensation, it is quite hard to beat those companies who has a deeper pocket and resources to hire the right developers for their company. Instead of searching for this limited pool of highly expensive senior developers is setting yourself up for failure.

I would suggest that you search for developers. Who are interested in your vision and mission of your startup to solve problems for your customers? You do this by focusing on building and training your own avengers. Using the vision that you intend to execute for your startup.

Creating a pipeline for your professional, your university & local network. To scout for diamonds in the rough. Before they become expensive to get value for yourself. With the added benefit of the ripple effect in the people, who recommends good developers to join your startup.


One of the key things that i love about Lynn Tye's KeyValues is that she lists down all the companies or startups with specific values on what they stand for. So that these companies could share what it is like working for them instead of the usual information you get from job sites.

Think of it like a mini culture deck that were popularised by Netflix to filtering and allow any prospective candidates to know. What they are getting into before they apply for a position in your startup.

You can start off with just a 1 or 2-page culture deck. One of the 3 values that have to be considered. It is what in the book Debugging Teams called "HRT" that represents the company's focus on the values of a company:

  • Heart - Act like a human by showing kindness and empathy to towards everyone
  • Respect - Which focuses on respecting each other's views, identity, race, culture, religion and seek to not disrespect in them or to one-up each other during a discussion.
  • Trust - By both employer or employee to be an adult to act with integrity even when no one is there to watch you.

Work Arrangement

In recent months, I believe you had experienced the benefits of arrangement for remote work. Which due to the black swan event has resulted in tons of people finding ways to cater to their lifestyle for remote work.

I personally believe an increase of developers wanting to seek a better work-life balance. Which is why when covid19 is over, my suggestion is to include remote work.

As part of your established process to get work done for your developers. Since they can be a very attractive for anyone to get their feet wet for remote work. While it reduces on the crunch in local labour markets to help you to get a global talent force to work with you 24/7 in the weekdays.


I hope what is talked about could help you to attract and hire a developer that you need. So they could help you to build products or services with limited resources or capital. While they are growing to become better developers.

So it is time to shift your focus to find the diamond in the rough. To assemble your own team of Avengers to tackle complex problems that you may solve in the startup.

Like what Reid Hoffman did when he first founded Linkedin to help tackle and solve problems. Instead of competing with everyone with expensive senior developers but with developers who is a diamond in the rough. While being willing to learn to make a difference for your startup journey.


← PrevNext →
  • Powered by Contentful
  • Max Ong Zong Bao's DEV Profile