Creating a well-built website or software platform is critical if you want to create a successful business. But creating a mediocre web presence won’t cut it. One study found that the majority of internet users spends about 15 seconds browsing most web pages. That means that you can no longer afford to rely on tired website templates, and hope to create a meaningful experience for prospective customers.

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Instead, you’ll need to rely on custom website or platform design and development in order to provide visitors with an experience worth sticking around for. That’s where hiring an outstanding design and development intern comes in.

If you are able to hire the right intern, you can dramatically improve the experience of website visitors by offering a helpful and intuitive user experience. An improved experience can mean more website bookings, better customer retention, or faster sales.

While entrepreneurs can rely on hiring a professional to design and develop a custom-made website, this process can be time consuming and expensive. Instead, this article will help entrepreneurs to find talented design and development interns by reviewing four key traits to focus on when searching for a game changing intern.

1. Full-Stack Knowledge

Depending on the experience you and your team have in mind, developing a proper website or platform will probably require full stack knowledge. In this case, full stack knowledge is related to both front and back end web development, and some familiarity with user experience design best practices. While some businesses will look for specialists who are knowledgeable about one of the areas mentioned earlier, finding a talented full-stack design and development intern will be more cost effective. Furthermore, it will help your team to move faster because all of the necessary knowledge to create a fully functioning product will be on hand when needed.

While it might seem like finding a full-stack developer will be difficult, a recent survey of 50,000 developers showed that the majority consider themselves to be full-stack developers. That means that finding a knowledgeable full-stack intern capable of creating well-built websites or products should be feasible for most business owners.

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2. Ability to Self-Teach

Design and development are disciplines that change frequently. There are about 100 coding languages regularly used by professional developers around the globe, and user experience design best practices continue to evolve as open source knowledge is shared by some of the world’s best tech companies

That means that a design and development intern will probably need to do some on the job learning in order to be able to make a real impact while working for your organization. When interviewing, be sure to test intern candidates to see if they are capable of educating themselves. Otherwise, it can mean that the candidate will be unable to meaningfully contribute to the projects you are hoping they will complete.

3. Coach-Ability

Given that a design and development intern will be joining your business at the beginning of his or her career, it is important to find a candidate who is highly coachable. After all, they will most likely have limited experience working in a professional environment, and will need to readily incorporate feedback from a manager into how they approach various tasks.

Hiring an intern who has talent, but is not a good culture fit, and who is unwilling to adapt his or her working style to suit the organization is going to create problems. Avoid compromising on fit simply because an intern has great design and development skills. Instead, look for candidates who have some full-stack experience, but who are also willing to be mentored.

4. Eye for Detail

Great developers and designers have a good eye for detail. After all, a website can break because of one small bug in hundreds of lines of code. Front end languages like HTML, or Javascript are particularly difficult because they are highly sensitive to small errors. Similarly, user experience can be damaged thanks to one misspelled word, or one poorly placed icon.

Since it is unlikely that you will want to have other members of your team de-bug the work done by an intern, it is a good idea to search for a candidate who has an eye for detail. Otherwise, it will require more experienced employees to invest time in fixing small errors made by an intern.

Conclusion

The famous technologist and venture capitalist, Marc Andreessen said in a Wall Street Journal article in 2011, “software is eating the world.” He was right then, and he is even more right now. Hiring a talented design and development intern can help your company to better engage prospective customers, or to provide existing customers with a more meaningful software experience. When searching for candidates be sure to focus on full-stack developers, who are able to self-teach and who have an eye for detail. Be sure to also look for candidates who are coachable to ensure a good culture fit.