Hiring Django developers: Interview questions, skills & more

Need a Django developer but don’t know where to start in hiring and assessing their skills? Our hiring guide will help you find the right questions to ask and answers to look for.

Stefanija Tenekedjieva

Stefanija Tenekedjieva

Hiring Django developers: Interview questions, skills & more

Django is an open-source, Python-based framework for rapid development and practical web design. It offers a ton of resources to handle repetitive and novel development problems with ease, allowing developers to build better and more reliable web applications using significantly fewer lines of code.

It also offers many favorable characteristics that make many things more intuitive, including user authentication inquiries (signing in, signing out), management forms, uploading files, and more. It is one of the best software solutions for web and API development.

Best applications and uses of Django

As one of the most commonly praised frameworks written in Python, Django is very versatile, flexible, and—depending on your approach and the number of resources you’re using—lightweight.

Therefore, it can be used to create all kinds of applications, including different types of websites (wiki-style sites or content management systems), social media sites, news sites, web apps, and more.

Django is very popular among some of the most prominent companies worldwide. These include Instagram, Mozilla, Pinterest, Spotify, National Geographic, and more.

The Instagram web app has the largest Django deployment in the world, while a complex project like National Geographic’s Education page heavily relies on Django for content management and other CMS-related tasks.

Using Django, Mozilla Firefox is able to handle large amounts of API requests faster and more efficiently as well. On the other hand, Spotify uses some of the Django application functionalities to handle data analysis and other backend services likewise.

Common responsibilities of Django developers

Given that Django is one of the most popular Python frameworks today, it’s no surprise that Django developers are one the most sought-out Python-related devs out there. So, very commonly, you will find developers’ profiles that describe them as Python/Django developers. Django is used both in back end and front end development, which also makes it a skill full-stack developers might have too.

Whereas Django has numerous functions and features, it is up to Django developers to create a diverse range of web applications by avoiding common security threats such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and clickjacking.

Furthermore, Django's CSS integration and user authentication system enable developers to manage a variety of web development jobs, such as user authentication and project-specific site maps, with ease. A good Django developer must be able to create websites as well as optimize data algorithms and solve data analytics issues.

Interviewing a Django developer

An average earning for a software developer fluent in Django, depending on the seniority of the position, can range anywhere between $50K to $100K a year. In the Proxify network, we have around 200 vetted and highly qualified Django developers, with an average hourly rate of around 32.90 euros.

Although there are thousands of developers that know the Django framework, what will determine who is most suitable for your job position is the combination of other skills and experience in developing particular applications.

Here are some tips for your interviewing process that might help you decide on the best candidate.

Pre-screen

A pre-screen is an interview in which you normally screen away candidates who don't come across as professional or who may not meet all of the standards. It's less about technical abilities and more about selecting someone with a personality that fits your company's culture.

On the pre-screen, instead of focusing on technical capabilities and experience, try to think whether or not this developer would be a good fit for your team and if you want them to start working for you. At the end of the day, you will spend 8 hours a day with this person.

Some of the questions you need to answer at the pre-screen are:

  • Is this person polite and professional?
  • Is this person a good conversation partner?
  • Did they show up on time?
  • Did they listen to your questions with focus and respect?
  • Was their English level sufficient for them to successfully communicate with the rest of the team?
  • Were they able to show themselves in a good light?
  • Did they show any interest in your company and projects?

Interview questions and needed technical skills

Although a good developer doesn’t necessarily need a degree in computer science to be skilled in developing web applications or APIs, some skills are absolutely crucial for the next person to join your engineering team.

A developer proficient in Django should be knowledgeable in how to design, implement, and troubleshoot Python code with ease. They should also have experience working with Django web debugging, tests, bugs, security, and more.

A Django software engineer should know other skills are a thorough understanding of SQL databases high familiarity with the latest iteration of Python and its many frameworks, a sufficient understanding of REST APIs, and more.

Here are some interview questions to ask them, and what you should expect them to answer:

  1. Explain to us the Django architecture.

Expected answer: MVT (Model-View-Template) architecture is the foundation of Django. A software design pattern for creating web applications is called MVT.

The three components of MVT Structure are as follows:

  • Model: The model will serve as the data's interface. It is in charge of data maintenance. It is represented by a database and serves as the logical data structure for the entire application (generally relational databases such as MySql and Postgres). For further information, refer to Django Models.

  • View: The View is the user interface that appears when you render a webpage in your browser. Jinja files, HTML, CSS, and Javascript files represent it. For further information, go to Django Views.

  • Template: A template comprises static HTML output components and specific syntax that specifies how they should be combined.

  1. What are models in Django?

Expected answer, directly pulled from Django Project:

A model is the single, definitive source of information about your data. It contains the essential fields and behaviors of the data you’re storing. Generally, each model maps to a single database table.

The basics:

  • Each model is a Python class that subclasses django.db.models.Model.
  • Each attribute of the model represents a database field.
  • With all this, Django gives you an automatically-generated database-access API; see making queries.
  1. What is DRF (Django Rest Framework)?

Expected answer: The Django REST framework offers a powerful and adaptable toolkit for creating Web APIs. The DRF library is used to develop Rest APIs. It was explicitly designed to make building CRUD operations in Django simpler. Utilizing your Django Server as a REST API is made simple by the Django Rest Framework.

  1. What is Django ORM?

Expected answer: The Django ORM is an implementation of the object-relational mapping (ORM) concept, which can be used to interact with application data from relational databases such as SQLite, PostgreSQL and MySQL.

  1. How does the Django project directory structure work?

Expected answer: Django uses a directory structure to organize the many components of the web application. For this, a project and an app folder are created. The project can be kept DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself) and orderly by being correctly organized and developed.

  1. What are static files? Can you explain their use?

Expected answer: Static files, such as images, JavaScript and CSS are essential to render a complete web page. These files are not part of the HTML generated by the server.

  1. Can you explain the Django response lifecycle?

Expected answer: According to the fundamental tenet of the HTTP protocol, the client submits a request to the server using the request data, and the server replies to the client. While configuring the Django application, we require a web server and WSGI server. The web server aids in serving static files and content. If the static files on the web server cannot do it, the WSGI server must, which increases the number of requests made to the server. Therefore, progressively reduce the application's performance while balancing the server's request load. Therefore, using the web server is highly advised.

A client is a piece of software that can send requests using the HTTPS/HTTP protocol. It is regarded as a web browser in general. When deploying the Django framework on the database, we use one of the combinations "Nginx, uWSGI and Django," "Nginx, gunicorn and Django," or "Apache, mod wsgi and Nginx."

The rules of configuration to forward the request to the WSGI server or to handle it on its own are included in each request sent by a client to the server that is passed to the web server for the first time.

  1. What is the use of a session framework?

Expected answer: The session framework lets users store and retrieve arbitrary data on a per-site-visitor basis. It stores data on the server side and abstracts the sending and receiving of cookies.

  1. What is a Django field class?

Expected answer: Field class provides information about and dynamic access to, a single field of a class or an interface. The reflected field may be a class (static) field or an instance field.

Django uses field class types to establish the following: The database's column type instructs it on what kind of data to store (e.g. INTEGER, VARCHAR, TEXT). When rendering a form field, the default HTML widget should be used (for example, input type="text"> or select>).

  1. What are exceptions in Django?

Expected answer: A Python script typically raises an exception when it comes to a scenario that it cannot handle. A Python object that describes an error is called an exception. When a Python script encounters an exception, it must either deal with it immediately or quit and stop working.

When asked about the best way to assess the skill of a Django developer hands-on, Fullstack Software Developer Ömer Özhan simply says:

"I would ask them to make a sample project and look for the code quality. Also, ask questions about how the framework works on a lower level to make sure they understand the logic, syntax, or terminology."

author Ömer Özhan

Essential soft skills

A general list of soft skills the recruiters at Proxify use when interviewing developers for any skill is the following:

  • Professionalism
  • Presentability
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Motivation
  • Enthusiasm
  • Great English
  • Openness
  • Social skills
  • Honesty
  • Curiosity
  • Flexibility.

A specific soft skill regarding Django devs, according to Ömer, is “being good at googling and learning new stuff as the framework and language evolve quickly”.

Telling a great Django developer apart

An excellent Django developer will need to have plenty of years of experience and a wider portfolio of other languages and frameworks, depending on their main focus. According to Ömer, high code quality and willingness to learn new technologies are always good indicators for an excellent developer.

Should I use Django?

The question of whether or not you should use a certain platform, programming language, or framework to address your needs, is a tricky one. First off, what does your project look like? Are you looking to reinvent the wheel, or is your focus on writing a fast and performative social networking application using cross-site scripting for better performance across the board?

Here are some common use-cases where Django has proven to be more than sufficient to build your project from the ground up:

  • Working with a web server;
  • Developing backend APIs;
  • Securing your app from known vulnerabilities such as XSS, SQL Injection, CSRF, or Clickjacking;
  • Working with machine learning;
  • Scaling your application in either direction (up or down), and more.

However, Django isn’t a good fit when you need to produce small, simple apps that don’t require complex programming or databases, or if your project is too complex that requires more than a single codebase.

Three steps to your perfect Django developer

  • Step 1

    Tell us about your needs

    Talk to a technical manager about your requirements and goals for your product or project.

  • Step 2

    Get matched to the perfect developer

    Within days, a hand-picked and fully-vetted developer will be presented to you.

  • Step 3

    Begin working together (risk-free)

    Work begins. Completely risk-free for a week. You only pay if happy.

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