Toptal is a marketplace for top Algorithm engineers and coders. CEOs, CTOs, and management at top companies and startups work with Toptal Algorithm freelancers to augment their development teams for Algorithm development, app development, web development, and other software development projects to achieve their business needs.
Drazen is a data scientist and data engineer with over seven years of experience building analytics infrastructure, machine learning, and data analysis. He has extensive experience in big data, machine learning, and web development. He has worked with notable companies such as Slack and Microsoft, and built products used by millions of users.
United StatesToptal Member Since September 20, 2018
Eric is a senior data scientist based in San Diego, and prior to his current career, spent six years in the defense industry. He has a strong academic background culminating in a master's degree in mathematics and a PhD in electrical engineering. Some of the areas that he's worked in are algorithm development, signal/image processing, and machine learning.
Cosmin worked at Amazon, Google, and Apple on highly-scalable, distributed systems, and machine learning focused on NLP (Siri team). He worked for a startup called Kuende, writing Scala and Go microservices on top of Google Cloud. Cosmin has a strong background in advanced algorithms and data structures in C/C++ and is very passionate about machine learning.
Emilio is a tech lead with a strong educational background and extensive experience in the fintech industry. He's proficient in leading teams in implementing innovative financial solutions. He's skilled in technologies such as TypeScript, Python, and Java. He effectively collaborates among cross-functional teams, delivering projects from core banking integrations to blockchain solutions. Emilio loves contributing to open-source software and is proficient in microservices and distributed systems.
Phanindra combines deep back-end development expertise using Node.js with a range of skills from the front end with Vue and React to DevOps in AWS. This experience enables him to build scalable, secure, and fault-tolerant applications. With a passion for coding and strong attention to detail, Phanindra strives to exceed client expectations and deliver bug-free code.
Agnis is an experienced software engineer with a demonstrated history of working in both the academic and industry sectors. He's an expert problem solver specializing in algorithms and mathematics. Agnis joined Toptal to share those skills on projects that involve complex and challenging tasks.
James is a software engineer and consultant focused on web development. He has over a decade of experience in both startup and enterprise business environments building solutions where full-stack skills, creative thinking, and high attention to detail are key, and fast turnaround is paramount.
Along with earning a PhD in computer science and engineering, Dilip has over a decade of experience in the industry. Since 2015, he's been focusing on projects related to machine learning and deep learning. Dilip has an eye for detail which helps in working closely with domain scientists and improving the accuracy and reliability of models for fine-grained image classification, object detection and segmentation, natural language processing, time-series forecasting, and generative AI.
Czech RepublicToptal Member Since November 21, 2019
Ivan has experience working as a data scientist and a data engineer in network security and finance industries. This includes processing and cleaning data, formalizing business problems and creating solutions by designing features and applying machine learning techniques to solve the problems. He works with big data using Spark and MapReduce, and can visualize and present results to stakeholders in an easy-to-understand format.
Mats Petter has 15 years industry experience developing efficient algorithms for squeezing information out of image and other sensor data, working in diverse domains such as digital pens, optical multi-touch, eye tracking, and solar energy, both using standard methods and developing new patented domain-specific algorithms.
Vasil is a curious software engineer with in-depth knowledge of algorithms and mathematics. He has over ten years of experience writing high-performance software in C++. His expertise includes design, architecture, estimation, implementation, testing, integration, deployments, and documentation.
Algorithm developers are specialists in designing efficient, scalable, high-performing solutions, particularly for data-driven applications and complex computational problems. This guide includes insightful interview questions and answers, along with best practices to help you pinpoint leading candidates.
... allows corporations to quickly assemble teams that have the right skills for specific projects.
Despite accelerating demand for coders, Toptal prides itself on almost Ivy League-level vetting.
Building a cross-platform app to be used worldwide
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Leading a digital transformation
Drilling into real-time data creates an industry game changer
Tripcents wouldn't exist without Toptal. Toptal Projects enabled us to rapidly develop our foundation with a product manager, lead developer, and senior designer. In just over 60 days we went from concept to Alpha. The speed, knowledge, expertise, and flexibility is second to none. The Toptal team were as part of tripcents as any in-house team member of tripcents. They contributed and took ownership of the development just like everyone else. We will continue to use Toptal. As a start up, they are our secret weapon.
Brantley Pace, CEO & Co-Founder
I am more than pleased with our experience with Toptal. The professional I got to work with was on the phone with me within a couple of hours. I knew after discussing my project with him that he was the candidate I wanted. I hired him immediately and he wasted no time in getting to my project, even going the extra mile by adding some great design elements that enhanced our overall look.
Paul Fenley, Director
K Dunn & Associates
The developers I was paired with were incredible -- smart, driven, and responsive. It used to be hard to find quality engineers and consultants. Now it isn't.
Ryan Rockefeller, CEO
Toptal understood our project needs immediately. We were matched with an exceptional freelancer from Argentina who, from Day 1, immersed himself in our industry, blended seamlessly with our team, understood our vision, and produced top-notch results. Toptal makes connecting with superior developers and programmers very easy.
Jason Kulik, Co-Founder
As a small company with limited resources we can't afford to make expensive mistakes. Toptal provided us with an experienced programmer who was able to hit the ground running and begin contributing immediately. It has been a great experience and one we'd repeat again in a heartbeat.
Stuart Pocknee , Principal
Site Specific Software Solutions
We used Toptal to hire a developer with extensive Amazon Web Services experience. We interviewed four candidates, one of which turned out to be a great fit for our requirements. The process was quick and effective.
Abner Guzmán Rivera, CTO and Chief Scientist
Sergio was an awesome developer to work with. Top notch, responsive, and got the work done efficiently.
Dennis Baldwin, Chief Technologist and Co-Founder
Working with Marcin is a joy. He is competent, professional, flexible, and extremely quick to understand what is required and how to implement it.
André Fischer, CTO
We needed a expert engineer who could start on our project immediately. Simanas exceeded our expectations with his work. Not having to interview and chase down an expert developer was an excellent time-saver and made everyone feel more comfortable with our choice to switch platforms to utilize a more robust language. Toptal made the process easy and convenient. Toptal is now the first place we look for expert-level help.
Derek Minor, Senior VP of Web Development
Networld Media Group
Toptal's developers and architects have been both very professional and easy to work with. The solution they produced was fairly priced and top quality, reducing our time to launch. Thanks again, Toptal.
Jeremy Wessels, CEO
We had a great experience with Toptal. They paired us with the perfect developer for our application and made the process very easy. It was also easy to extend beyond the initial time frame, and we were able to keep the same contractor throughout our project. We definitely recommend Toptal for finding high quality talent quickly and seamlessly.
Ryan Morrissey, CTO
Applied Business Technologies, LLC
I'm incredibly impressed with Toptal. Our developer communicates with me every day, and is a very powerful coder. He's a true professional and his work is just excellent. 5 stars for Toptal.
Pietro Casoar, CEO
Ronin Play Pty Ltd
Working with Toptal has been a great experience. Prior to using them, I had spent quite some time interviewing other freelancers and wasn't finding what I needed. After engaging with Toptal, they matched me up with the perfect developer in a matter of days. The developer I'm working with not only delivers quality code, but he also makes suggestions on things that I hadn't thought of. It's clear to me that Amaury knows what he is doing. Highly recommended!
George Cheng, CEO
As a Toptal qualified front-end developer, I also run my own consulting practice. When clients come to me for help filling key roles on their team, Toptal is the only place I feel comfortable recommending. Toptal's entire candidate pool is the best of the best. Toptal is the best value for money I've found in nearly half a decade of professional online work.
Ethan Brooks, CTO
Langlotz Patent & Trademark Works, Inc.
In Higgle's early days, we needed the best-in-class developers, at affordable rates, in a timely fashion. Toptal delivered!
Lara Aldag, CEO
Toptal makes finding a candidate extremely easy and gives you peace-of-mind that they have the skills to deliver. I would definitely recommend their services to anyone looking for highly-skilled developers.
Michael Gluckman, Data Manager
Toptal’s ability to rapidly match our project with the best developers was just superb. The developers have become part of our team, and I’m amazed at the level of professional commitment each of them has demonstrated. For those looking to work remotely with the best engineers, look no further than Toptal.
Laurent Alis, Founder
Toptal makes finding qualified engineers a breeze. We needed an experienced ASP.NET MVC architect to guide the development of our start-up app, and Toptal had three great candidates for us in less than a week. After making our selection, the engineer was online immediately and hit the ground running. It was so much faster and easier than having to discover and vet candidates ourselves.
Jeff Kelly, Co-Founder
We needed some short-term work in Scala, and Toptal found us a great developer within 24 hours. This simply would not have been possible via any other platform.
Franco Arda, Co-Founder
Toptal offers a no-compromise solution to businesses undergoing rapid development and scale. Every engineer we've contracted through Toptal has quickly integrated into our team and held their work to the highest standard of quality while maintaining blazing development speed.
Greg Kimball, Co-Founder
How to Hire Algorithm Developers through Toptal
Talk to One of Our Industry Experts
A Toptal director of engineering will work with you to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics.
Work With Hand-Selected Talent
Within days, we'll introduce you to the right algorithm developer for your project. Average time to match is under 24 hours.
The Right Fit, Guaranteed
Work with your new algorithm developer for a trial period (pay only if satisfied), ensuring they're the right fit before starting the engagement.
Find Experts With Related Skills
Access a vast pool of skilled developers in our talent network and hire the top 3% within just 48 hours.
How much does it cost to hire an algorithm developer?
Hiring an algorithm developer can represent a significant investment, depending on various factors such as the dev’s experience, the geographic region, and the complexity of the project. As of August 21, 2023, Glassdoor lists the yearly average total pay for an algorithm expert at $195,487, while a highly experienced developer can command a salary as high as $312,000.
How do you hire an algorithm developer?
Determine that you need an algorithm developer. If your product is too slow or costly and you don’t know how to solve that issue, that’s your cue.
Write a job posting describing your tech stack and stating that you need a developer with an algorithms specialization to optimize the execution of your product.
Narrow down the applicants using the skills outlined in the job posting.
Test their theoretical knowledge using the questions provided in this guide.
Test their practical knowledge with your tech stack.
How in demand are algorithm developers?
As fundamental to modern computing, algorithms are incredibly sought after across diverse sectors such as technology, finance, healthcare, and e-commerce. The exponential surge in data generation and collection necessitates using algorithms for efficient analysis and interpretation of this data. Moreover, the advent and proliferation of machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies have dramatically amplified the demand for sophisticated algorithms and, by extension, the professionals adept at developing them. Consequently, the job market for algorithm developers has become fiercely competitive, with businesses across industries vying to attract and retain top talent in this domain.
Why should you hire an algorithm developer?
Engaging an algorithm developer from the outset of a project can be particularly beneficial, mainly if the project involves complex, resource-intensive processes, such as constructing an accrual process for a payment system. An algorithm developer’s expertise in optimization can help streamline these processes from the start, preempting potential issues related to efficiency and performance.
However, systems in production or that are already live can also face challenges related to computing power, memory utilization, or execution speed. Under such conditions, the expertise of an algorithm developer proves invaluable.
How quickly can you hire with Toptal?
Typically, you can hire an algorithm developer with Toptal in about 48 hours. Our talent matchers are experts in the same fields they’re matching in—they’re not recruiters or HR reps. They’ll work with you to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics, and match you with ideal candidates from our vetted global talent network.
Once you select your algorithm expert, you’ll have a no-risk trial period to ensure they’re the perfect fit. Our matching process has a 98% trial-to-hire rate, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the best fit every time.
How do Toptal developers approach complex algorithm design and optimization?
Toptal developers use a variety of techniques and strategies to tackle complex problems efficiently. They have a deep understanding of algorithmic complexity, data structures, and mathematical optimization, allowing them to choose the best algorithms for each task, such as sorting, searching, or graph theory algorithms. Toptal developers are proficient in multiple programming languages (e.g., C++, Java, Python), and they apply their expertise in algorithm design and optimization to a wide range of applications, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data processing and analysis. Using advanced techniques like dynamic programming, greedy algorithms, and divide-and-conquer, Toptal developers are able to develop efficient, scalable, and robust solutions to meet any algorithmic challenge.
Paulo is a seasoned data scientist with broad-based experience across various industry sectors. His expertise resides primarily in the Python ecosystem, where he has honed his skills in machine learning algorithms, data analysis, visualization techniques, and hypothesis testing methodologies, including A/B and statistical analysis.
Algorithm Developers Are Crucial in Today’s Software Landscape
Algorithms form the foundation of every software and application. From carrying out simple calculations to executing complex data processing tasks, all operations are driven by some form of algorithm. This, coupled with the growing need for AI technologies—which rely heavily on efficient algorithms—explains the high demand for expert algorithm developers across various industries. With their unique skill set and versatility, algorithm developers are among the top earners in the software development field, with some making up to $312,000 a year.
But before investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in an algorithm expert, hiring managers should understand their business needs, how an algorithm engineer may be used to implement successful solutions, and what elements a highly effective recruiting and evaluation process should include. This guide provides insights and tips to help recruiters hire the right algorithm developers for any project.
What attributes distinguish quality Algorithm Developers from others?
An algorithm developer’s primary role is to optimize code, scrutinize processes, identify bottlenecks, and propose efficient problem-solving methods. Let’s consider the task of developing a sorting algorithm—a common problem in computer science—as an example of the distinction between novice and expert algorithm developers.
When asked to design an algorithm to sort an unsorted array of numbers, a beginner programmer would likely use a bubble sort. This algorithm is widely known and relatively simple to implement. However, a bubble sort has a significant downside: It’s slow and inefficient, especially for large data arrays.
In contrast, a seasoned algorithm developer would likely choose a quick sort, merge sort, or heap sort. A quick sort, for instance, utilizes a divide-and-conquer approach that’s significantly faster than a bubble sort, making it suitable for large data sets. This efficiency is about speed and resource usage, a critical factor in real-world applications.
The difference in efficiency exemplifies the core work performed by algorithm developers. Such issues arise frequently in many situations, such as database querying, network routing, and machine learning, to name a few. These are precisely the kind of problems an experienced algorithm developer can help solve, thereby significantly enhancing the performance of a software system.
As part of the hiring process, recruiters should look for the following knowledge and skills to identify an expert algorithm developer:
Various algorithm types (sorting, searching, recommendation, optimization, dynamic programming, etc.)
Principles of complexity analysis (time and space)
Essential data structures (arrays, linked lists, trees, graphs, etc.)
Specialized algorithms in fields like machine learning, distributed systems, and big data
Coding proficiency in Python, Java, C++, and other languages as required by the project
Use of algorithm design and optimization tools
Familiarity with big data technologies and tools
Algorithm implementation, considering edge cases and error handling
Database expertise, both relational and nonrelational
Problem-solving in complex scenarios with minimal direction
Effective communication, especially simplifying intricate topics
Patience and persistence in the iterative process of algorithm development
What projects benefit most from skilled Algorithm Developers?
Algorithm developers are pivotal in solving complex problems and improving system efficiencies across diverse sectors. Examples of typical projects they might work on include:
Image processing and computer vision – They develop algorithms to analyze, enhance, and interpret visual data often used in medical imaging, autonomous vehicles, and surveillance systems.
Natural language processing and machine translation – They work on parsing human language, enabling tasks like sentiment analysis, chatbot functionalities, and language translation.
Recommender systems – They create personalized recommendation engines for e-commerce platforms or entertainment sites like Netflix to suggest products or movies based on user behavior.
Predictive modeling and data analysis – They generate models that predict future trends or behavior, which are critical in sectors like healthcare and finance.
Fraud detection and cybersecurity – They design algorithms that identify suspicious activities or security breaches by analyzing transactional or network data.
Speech recognition and voice assistant technology – They enable devices like smartphones or smart speakers to understand and respond to vocal prompts.
Robotics and automation – They develop algorithms guiding robot movements or automating manufacturing processes.
AI and deep learning – They design neural networks and other deep learning models to solve games and perform tasks like classifying images.
Financial modeling and algorithmic trading – They might develop algorithms to predict stock market movements, assess risks, or execute high-frequency trades.
How can you identify the ideal Algorithm Developer for you?
Algorithmic problems can be diverse and complex. Thus, identifying the specific business needs is the main priority before finding the perfect algorithm developer. The first step? Create a problem statement outlining the current issues/projects and how algorithmic solutions will contribute to solving them.
The problem statement should include the following considerations (at a minimum):
What business aspects does the company intend to optimize? Are there specific algorithms currently in use that could be improved, or are new algorithms required to address particular problems?
Is the company seeking a short- or long-term engagement? Does the project require ongoing algorithm maintenance and optimization, or is it a one-off task?
Does the company have specific technical requirements, or is it seeking someone who can contribute broadly to its software development processes?
Are there specific algorithmic techniques or strategies (like sorting, searching, dynamic programming, or graph theory) that are particularly relevant?
Which parts of the company require the expertise of an algorithm developer? Is it the software development team, the data analysis department, or perhaps a new division being formed specifically for this task?
Who in the company will be available to participate in the design/redesign of processes impacted by algorithms? How much input will they have, and how much autonomy will the algorithm developer have?
What are the company’s current or desired software development platforms? Is there a specific environment for implementing the algorithms, like embedded systems, web platforms, or a high-performance computing setup?
Which programming languages are predominantly used in the company? Are there specific languages (like Python for machine learning or C++ for high-performance systems) in which the algorithm developer should be proficient?
What databases or data structures does the company use or plan to implement? Are there specific algorithmic constraints or requirements related to these, such as efficiency in time or space complexity?
Addressing these questions will establish precise requirements for the type of algorithm developer the project demands. Once this foundation is established, the next critical decision involves discerning whether the complexity and scope of the project necessitates the experience and insights of a senior-level algorithm engineer or if needs can be managed by a junior-level professional.
Junior algorithm developers – These developers are typically at the beginning of their careers, able to handle fundamental tasks such as data manipulation, simple algorithm design and implementation, and bug fixes. They usually have a solid understanding of data structures and search, path finding, and graph algorithms but are still developing their problem-solving skills. They can make decisions related to the basic design of algorithms and their implementation in code but will likely need guidance from more experienced colleagues.
Senior algorithm developers – With their more extensive backgrounds and long-standing experience in the field, senior algorithm developers are well versed in the nuances of complex algorithm design, optimization, and problem-solving. They have a deep understanding of the principles of efficient algorithms and can use this knowledge to create effective, scalable solutions for complex business problems. They are adept at understanding the business process and can select and integrate the appropriate technology tools seamlessly with the existing infrastructure.
How to Write an Algorithm Developer Job Description for Your Project
With the desired experience level and skills for your algorithm developer in hand, the next step is finding the ideal candidate. Like most job postings, each role will have a standard set of roles and responsibilities. To assist you in this task, consider using the following framework:
Company introduction – Begin with an engaging paragraph about the company. Include details about the company culture, perks, and benefits that make your organization unique. Include information about office hours, remote work opportunities, and anything else that makes your company appealing. Remember, algorithm developers are in high demand, so your proposal needs to stand out.
Project description – Next, provide a concise overview of the project. Explain the project’s goals, objectives, and the overall purpose of the role. Detail the specific technologies and tools the company uses, and outline the types of tasks and challenges that the prospective candidate would be tackling.
Responsibilities – List the main tasks and duties that the algorithm developer will be expected to perform. These may include:
Designing, implementing, and maintaining efficient algorithms to solve complex problems.
Optimizing existing algorithms for improved performance.
Collaborating with software developers to integrate algorithms into the larger system.
Conducting regular performance tests and troubleshooting algorithmic issues.
Utilizing machine learning or artificial intelligence to enhance algorithmic solutions and improve predictive accuracy.
Working with big data technologies to handle, process, and analyze large data sets for algorithmic applications.
Technical and soft skills – Specify the essential skills and qualifications needed for the role, as defined by the problem statement.
What are the most important Algorithm Developer interview questions?
Having a list of questions for the candidate when interviewing for an algorithm engineer position is essential to assess their technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and growth potential. The following algorithm interview questions will help you accurately assess a developer’s technical abilities:
How do algorithms work?
Algorithms are the heart of any computational process. They are essentially well-structured sets of instructions that guide a program to solve specific problems or perform specific tasks in a particular programming language. Algorithms start with defined inputs, which are processed according to a sequence of precise steps that follow logical and computational rules. After these steps, the algorithm delivers an output: the solution to the initial problem. Creating efficient algorithms that optimize time and resources is essential for building scalable and robust software.
How can you determine the time complexity of an algorithm?
The time complexity of an algorithm quantifies the amount of time taken by an algorithm to run, as a function of the length of the input. The simplest but most effective way of calculating the complexity of an algorithm is finding the loops in the code—more specifically, nested loops. The algorithm’s complexity will likely be proportional to the loop with the most depth.
There are problems for which the combinations of all items need to be calculated, not just the loops, such as in the notorious traveling salesman problem. In this situation, adding another input increases the complexity exponentially.
Which sorting algorithm is more memory efficient: quick sort, merge sort, or heap sort?
Most developers will suggest quick sort because it is the most well known and widely used sorting algorithm—and the fastest of these three. But the correct answer is heap sort: It’s not the fastest but it uses less memory than the other two.
Why are algorithms so important in computer science?
An algorithm is how a computer works. Everything a computer does is based on an algorithm, from booting up to shutting down and all the processes in between. Algorithm developers hold an essential role in computer science, as they craft the fundamental logic that drives all computational systems. Algorithm developers not only write the code but also optimize it to ensure that it’s as efficient as possible, both in terms of its speed and the resources it uses. Their work impacts every aspect of computing, from simple data sorting and searching to machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced data analysis.
Why do companies hire Algorithm Developers?
Companies hire algorithm developers due to algorithms’ foundational role in software and applications. These developers optimize code, identify process bottlenecks, and propose efficient problem-solving methods. The demand for these professionals has grown with the increasing need for efficiency in all kinds of software, and the recent explosion of AI and machine learning technologies. They hold the key to unlocking the potential of vast amounts of data, which is crucial for today’s data-driven businesses.
Algorithm developers are expected to possess a varied set of tools. Their theoretical knowledge should include understanding various algorithm types, complexity analysis, and data structures. Important technical skills include strong coding abilities, experience with algorithm design and optimization tools, and familiarity with big data technologies, databases, and machine learning.
Before starting the search for algorithm developers, recruiters should understand their business needs and how algorithmic solutions will contribute to solving them. The complexity and scope of the project will determine whether a senior-level algorithm engineer is required or if a junior-level professional will meet a company’s needs.
During the interview, the recruiter should assess the candidate’s understanding of algorithms, their ability to optimize them, and how they would use them to solve real-world problems. The developer’s theoretical understanding of algorithm types, data structures, and complexity analysis—combined with their technical skills in coding and familiarity with databases and machine learning—will be crucial to their success in the role.
The technical content presented in this article was reviewed by Alexis Hernandez.