How to Hire the Best Symfony Developers
When handling software development projects and hiring Symfony developers, employers and hiring managers must have at least a basic understanding of the technologies involved and the level of expertise they need to do the job. When equipped with these essential information, hiring managers will definitely be able to hire the right Symfony developers who are able to address the business’ needs and who are able to fit into the company culture.
Below, you will find key information about Symfony. At the end of this article, you will be able to at least know what makes great Symfony developers great, as well as how to find them despite limited resources.
Symfony is not a programming language; it is an open-source PHP framework which is among the most popular application frameworks. It has an MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture, and it is utilised to build high-performance complex web applications.
Zend, Cake PHP, Codeigniter, and Laravel are other PHP frameworks, but Symfony stands out from these for many reasons.
Symfony Framework saves PHP developers a lot of time, mainly because it is a software created by users for their own needs. As Symfony is open-source, developers are able to add additional modules as the framework grows. And obviously, with readily available framework components and high-end configuration, a developer’s job is definitely made easier and more efficient.
Another good thing about Symfony is that it has a long-term support which is provided by SensioLabs, as well as an entire ecosystem that has grown up around Symfony since its first days: the community (such as the mailing lists, IRC, etc.) as well as many other service companies that have invested in the framework.
Symfony is a framework that is popular and widely used thanks to its speed, flexibility, reusable components, and innovation. A multitude of sites and applications of all types and sizes trust Symfony. Some of the big names that use Symfony are Dailymotion, Exercise.com, Yahoo!, phpBB and Drupal.
Why should you hire a Symfony developer?
To be able to build superior complex web sites and web applications, you have to invest in building a team of professional Symfony developers who have the skill set and the experience to achieve the results you want.
Let us discuss in detail the main benefits you will get when you hire Symfony developers for your business:
Build your web site or web app fast and easy
With the help of an expert Symfony developer, you significantly accelerate your time-to-market. An expert Symfony developer will be able to maximise the framework’s features to optimise the performance of your site or application. With Symfony enhancing your PHP project, you get robust and high-performing applications.
Experience user-friendly and flexible development
Symfony is packed with very helpful MVC components. A skilled Symfony developer will be able to utilise these components to give them full control over the configuration and other vital features of development.
Symfony is also very much compatible with other database systems. With an effective methodology, expert Symfony developers are able to use the framework to create complex and dynamic yet very flexible applications. When you hire Symfony developers, you gain an expert who is able to use the framework to answer your users’ needs.
Develop user-oriented web sites and web apps
Symfony is packed with features that offer options for great customisation and additional functionalities. You can only take advantage of this with a Symfony developer in your team. With your Symfony developer, you can build applications that are customised and specifically tailored according to your users’ needs.
There are 3 types of customisation that Symfony offers:
- Full-Stack - Build a complex web site or web app with multiple functionalities
- Brick by brick - Create specific features without requiring the entire framework. The application you will build has limited selective functions
- Micro framework - Create specific functionalities without requiring the entire framework. This is still possible with Symfony 2; developers can use a particular feature to develop a definite functionality.
Get lifetime support for security-related issues
Symfony developers can help you utilise the framework’s stability and sustainability, especially when it comes to security. Apps and web sites developed with Symfony are made more compatible with pubic APIs.
Moreover, Symfony 4 is created with the latest components that are tested in popular PHP projects; this means that you can be sure you get quality support should you come across security concerns throughout your development.
What are some best practices in Symfony development?
Over time, PHP developers have tried and tested several practices and have proven some to be the most effective in boosting a developer’s productivity throughout the development stage. To make sure you are hiring a good PHP developer with skills in Symfony, you should also check if they are knowledgeable about the best practices in Symfony developers.
These best practices help a developer build apps and sites in a more pragmatic and more time-efficient manner.
When creating the project…
Use Composer and Symfony Flex to create and manage Symfony applications. On the other hand, when creating new Symfony-based projects, use the Symfony Skeleton. Take a look at this code:
# minimum package
composer create-project symfony/skeleton project_name
# OR minimum common symfony components
composer create-project symfony/website-skeleton project_name
When organising your application logic, one great practice is to not create any budle. Look at the code below:
Keep this structure because it is easier to navigate. Moreover, most directory names are self-explanatory as well.
Here are some best practices in relation to configuration that your candidate may answer:
- Define the infrastructure-related configuration options as environment variables by using the .env file at the root of your project.
- Define all your application’s environment variables in the .env.dist file.
- Define all the options used by your application to modify its behaviour (e.g. sender of email notifications or the enabled feature toggles) in the services.yaml file.
When working with forms…
One popular best practice when working with forms is to define them as PHP classes. Take a look at this sample:
class PostType extends AbstractType
public function buildForm(FormBuilderInterface $builder, array $options)
It is also a good practice to put the form type classes in the App\Form namespace, unless there are other custom form classes like data transformers. Moreover, it is advisable that you add buttons in the templates instead of doing it in the form classes or the controllers.
What skills should you look for when hiring Symfony developers?
Essentially, you are hiring PHP developers in general, but you specifically need those who have skills and experience in the Symfony framework. That being said, the Symfony developer you will hire should first have the following PHP skills, plus other important soft skills and traits:
Updated with the latest changes in PHP
A great Symfony developer eagerly and passionately stays up-to-date with the latest applications and program updates, not only of the framework, but also of PHP. We all know that technology is a fast-paced and constantly changing industry, so having developers who are aware of the trends and updates—and are able to adapt to it—will definitely be a plus to your team and to your business.
Communication and Interpersonal skills
In a development project (and in almost all projects in all industries), communication is a vital skill to have. Although your Symfony developer is primarily tasked with writing codes, building your application, and coming up with solutions, they will also have to communicate and collaborate with teammates and colleagues from other teams and other departments every now and then.
With this, it makes sense that you look for strong communication and interpersonal skills when screening your candidates. You would need someone who communicates his ideas and is able to perform both in individual and group tasks.
As mentioned in our previous point, you’d want the Symfony developer you will hire to be able to perform well both in individual and group situations.
In the same way, it is also a wise choice to hire someone who was strong independent learning skills. Especially for small businesses and startups, Symfony developers who can work well without constant supervision and who can pick up new skills efficient even without close monitoring can significantly benefit your business and your talent pool.
To check for these skills, ask questions such as these:
- Are you invested on your personal development?
- What are you doing to constantly improve yourself?
- What do you do when tasked with a project whose language is something you are yet to learn?
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