Your Guide To Hiring A Front-end Developer

A. Why To Hire Front-end Developer

Front-end development is a specialization of software development where the front-end of a website i.e the part users actually see (what’s known as the user interface (UI)) and interact with, is the key focus area. Front-end developers often work with 3 core technologies: Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and JavaScript. A front-end developer can take a page design and transform it into a working HTML page that considers areas like accessibility, web performance, future maintenance, cross-device testing, and responsive web design. A front-end developer is the best person to champion accessibility best practices in product teams, as they are the people writing the code that all users interact with.

A front-end developer’s job is to make pages more interactive and easier to use. The ultimate aim of an application should be conversion – that is to say, software should prompt the user to take action. And for that, whether it’s clicking a button or scrolling down the feed of an application, it’s carried out by a front-end developer via implementing a code. 

A front-end developer usually includes innovative ways such as videos, games, forums, activities, and social media to put in creative contents that incite users to take action & ultimately turn into conversion.

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B. Steps To Hire Front-end Developer

Generally, your website is the first thing people interact with. Whether you are an Enterprise or a Startup you need a website that works smoothly and has a look & feel. The website can be a great attraction magnet. For building a good website you need to hire front-end developers. You might end up wasting so much time searching for a good front-end developer and interviewing irrelevant candidates.

  • Research the essential skills required for the profile: Before you start searching, it’s important to decide exactly what skills are necessary for your project. If you want to start building a new website from scratch, you should decide in which programming language it should be written and likewise hire a developer who is well-versed in that.
  • A clearly defined job description: Writing a good job description will attract talented candidates for the post. You need to make sure you specify the front-end developer skill set, responsibilities, company information, expectations from the job role, etc. in detail. Including company culture in job descriptions also works well to attract more candidates.
  • Evaluate potential candidate’s portfolio and online presence: When looking for a front-end developer, look at how well they have put together their own online portfolio. This is something they did in order to showcase their skills. Additionally, you should also review their online presence. Check out their designer portfolio sites like Behance and Dribbble. Look whether they help people on question-answer forums like Quora and Stack Overflow. With this, you can easily assess the candidate’s expertise and passion for designing.
  • Assessment of skill: Simply glancing at a portfolio isn’t going to help you hire front-end developers. You have to evaluate both their technical skill and practical skills. To assess successfully, online assessment platforms are an efficient way of identifying which front–end developers you should continue interviewing. It’s simple to set up and the results are easy to interpret, even for a non-technical person.
  • Check compatibility: Finally, see what potential developers would do better with your website or product. Ask them to test your website and/or product and gauge their skills. See what they can come up with on their own to see if it aligns with your brand. Be extra sure whether your web developer fits well with your team and product.

C. Essential Skills You Need To Look For While Hiring

While there is a large pool of front-end developers available for you to choose from, finding the right fit who can properly assimilate and execute your brand can be difficult. That is why it is crucial to know what technical skills and traits to look for in your candidates. To help you distinguish good front-end developers from the rest, here’s a quick look into the essential skills to consider while hiring:

  • The basics: An entry-level front-end web developer must at least have a good understanding of the three building blocks of front-end development: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Other technical skills related to these languages are knowledge of the CSS and JavaScript frameworks (e.g., Bootstrap) and CSS pre-processing (e.g. Sass, Less, and Stylus). All of these are big components for front-end development which are required to be able to build off of it
  • Proficient in version control: After marking up with HTML, styling with CSS, and programming with JavaScript, a front-end developer may have already gone through several versions of the code during its development. At times when they have to revise a code, the worst thing that can happen is to start over just to change a single line of code. With version control, developers can track and control changes to the source code which prevents the whole code from being affected. A popular version control tool is Git, a free and open source control system that claims to be flexible, fast, and robust. Employers will definitely want to hire someone knowledgeable on how to use version control as it can save a lot of time and effort when doing revisions.
  • Knowledgeable in design concept: A solid understanding of the principles of good responsive design and knowledge of how to implement it are essential skills to look for when hiring front-end developers. Rest assured, front-end developers who know how to implement good responsive designs enable a website to work on any device type or screen size, which is important for you to cater to all users who want to access your website.
  • Browser developer tools: All modern web browsers have developer tools that enable developers to test and adjust the page in the browser itself. This also allows developers to see and tweak how the browser is interpreting the code. Developer tools will vary per browser, but it generally consists of an inspector and a JavaScript console. A developer must be knowledgeable on how to use and adjust code using this browser tool. The way a browser renders a developer’s code determines whether it’s a success or not.
  • Web performance: As such, a good front-end developer must know how to optimize a page to lessen its loading time, thus increasing its web performance. Scaling and compressing images, and minifying CSS and JavaScript are just some of the steps a front-end developer must know to increase web performance. Optimizing can be a tedious and time-consuming task for front-end developers; this is why it is best to hire someone who also knows how to use building and automation tools like Grunt to improve your web’s performance.
  • Attention to detail: While a front-end developer looks at the overall design and user experience of a website, a front-end developer shouldn’t also forget about the details. Small details like text spacing, font size, pop-ups, and working links all matter to the overall design and functionality of a website, as well as the company’s brand.
  • Critical thinking: As with any developer, good critical thinking skills are a must-have. Due to the nature of their work, front-end developers must be problem solvers, always ready to troubleshoot or think of innovative ways to execute a feature.
  • Patience: An often-overlooked trait, patience is an important trait for front-end developers. There are a lot of elements that a front-end developer needs to consider such as design, programming, and collaboration. These requirements combined with time and requirement constraints often result in a lot of challenges and frustrations for them. Behind the scenes, front-end developers must deal with lots of bug fixes, page tests, and cross-platform issues, all while collaborating with their team members. It would need a lot of patience to make all these happen.
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D. How To Hire Front-end Developers

There are several ways to hire front-end developers – job boards, freelance marketplace, outsourcing, and in-house development teams. Regardless, each has its pros & cons. It’s advisable to check each of the ways carefully and then go for the hiring option that best suits you & your app concept. 

  • Freelance developers: freelance marketplaces seem an easy way to hire front-end developers. And may also seem like an affordable option too. Although, in reality, the more freelancer front-end developers you hire for your business, the more problems it creates in communication and other development-related issues. Freelance developers are an excellent option for small-scale development projects. Also, they are cheaper options due to high competition in the market. However, most work remotely hence different time zones lead to different timetables.

Where can you hire them?

Coding Collective: Coding Collective provides a dedicated team of trusted IT professionals who can fit seamlessly into your working team or environment, be it on a project basis or as an extension of your own team. The platform provides a wide talent pool for front-end developers with ample experience and skills in their respective fields. Headquartered in Singapore, they specialize in selecting the ideal candidates with strong technical problem-solving skills, expert level of understanding of their programming skills, willingness to learn, and high-quality code & communication skills to fit your organization seamlessly.

Upwork: Founded by Hayden Brown, Upwork is a successful online platform where you may find experienced freelancers to meet your business needs. Upwork is a workforce of independent talent to build faster and transform your business.

In-house front-end developers: Once you hire front-end developers and work with them, you will eventually come to know whether the person is dedicated to your project or not. In-house front-end developers put in more effort to get positive outcomes. And efforts directly show interest. Owing to their dedication, they’re less likely to leave your project midway. Monthly salaries with a well-equipped workplace build motivation in in-house developers. However, the hiring process is time-consuming: find, interview & call them on board.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is an American business and employment-oriented online service that operates via the website and mobile app. Professionals are available and you can shortlist their profiles on the platform. The platform can even suggest the right candidate for the exact role you are looking for. It provides you a detailed view of the history of the candidate, their experience, and reviews by peers and colleagues. Glassdoor: Built on the foundation of increasing workplace transparency, Glassdoor offers insights into the employee experience powered by millions of company ratings and reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary insight, interview reviews and questions, benefits reviews, office photos, and more, combined with the latest jobs. Thus, if your company is listed on Glassdoor, with excellent reviews for jobs listed, candidates will flock to apply. In turn, job seekers on Glassdoor are well-researched and more informed about the jobs and companies they apply to and consider joining.