How To Hire JavaScript Developers In 2023

You would think hiring a JavaScript developer would get easier with an ever-expanding market of developers, community and customer demand. No.

Jeff Atwood, a famous developer, said that any project that can be done in JavaScript would eventually be. And it’s trending in that direction. According to Statista, JavaScript is considered the most popular programming language, with over 50% of all developers finding it valuable enough to specialize in it.

So why is hiring a JavaScript developer difficult? In two words? Talent fit.

Amidst the multiple decisions that need to be taken to build your project, you have to answer these questions honestly.

How technically sound is your developer? Do they meet your project’s demand? Are you discerning enough technically and otherwise?

For example, your Junior JavaScript developer may only be good at following guidelines and not planning, designing or managing the project. Maybe they aren’t a culture fit in your company. And you need to know this before the onboarding process. You need to either be technical or get technical help in assessing JavaScript talent before making your hiring choice.

In this article, we’ll examine the skills, roles, types and hiring costs of recruiting JavaScript developers for your project. And if you stay till the end, you’ll get hiring tips to make this process easier.

Skills Of JavaScript Developers

JavaScript developers are either: 

  • Front-end Developers;
  • Back-end Developers; 
  • Full Stack Developers.

These skills are also referred to as core technical or hard skills. And then, there are soft skills that make for the effective implementation of core technical skills. We’ll examine the hard and soft skills of JavaScript developers below.

Hard JavaScript Developer Skills

Front-end JavaScript Developer

When it comes to hard skills, your JavaScript developer can specialize in the user-facing side of your web app project. These are front-end developers, and they’re knowledgeable in HTML5 and CSS3. They’re also proficient in frameworks like Meteor.JS, React.JS, JQuery, LESS and Angular. JS. You want them to interact with Content Management Systems (CMS), debug and test code as they write it.

Back-end JavaScript Developer

Back-end JavaScript developers need to study frameworks like Express.JS to create back-end applications. Then there are the dev skills to configure web servers like Nginx and Apache across multiple operating systems like macOS, Windows and Linux. 

A back-end developer should also be good with API frameworks and conversant with cloud services like Amazon Cloud Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. You want your back-end JavaScript developer to know their relational and non-relational databases. 

They should be experienced with MariaDB, MySQL, eXist and MongoDB.

Full Stack JavaScript Developer

Apart from basic experience with Java, Perl, PHP, and Python, full-stack developers are proficient in front- and back-end skills. Project context and personal experience would guide your eventual choice between hiring a front-end JavaScript developer and back-end JavaScript developer or going for a full-stack JavaScript developer.

Developer partners who are most invested in the project, like a CTO, should probably be full stack because the team has limited funds but needs quick adjustments to product-market fit. On the other hand, a software project with a looming deadline would require specialists to reduce pressure on one person.

That said, let’s examine the soft skills of JavaScript developers.

Soft JavaScript Developer Skills

Here, we’ll look at three important soft skills that help JavaScript developers effectively deploy their core technical skills.

  • Communication;
  • Customer Interest;
  • Creative Persistence.

Communication

The success of your project boils down to the ability to have a seamless process from planning and designing, to writing and testing code, to app optimization and maintenance. You want all developers, along this process, to be great teammates who communicate effectively.

But communication goes beyond intra-team activities like getting along with team members. Simply writing clean code is top-notch communication. It’s a chronological record of technical problems and company solutions for reference and code maintenance. Communication shapes the project’s direction in a high-intensity, problem-solving environment such as software development. 

Robert Cecil Martin writes in his 2008 book Clean Code: 

“Even bad code can function. But if the code isn’t clean, it can bring a development organization to its knees.”

Yet clean code is not nearly enough. 

As Lilian, founder of the startup Sidebird.io tweeted: 

“Customers don’t buy clean code, but what solves their problems.”

This brings us to the next soft skill a JavaScript developer should have – customer interest.

Customer Interest

The JavaScript developer you eventually work with should want to build within the context of the customer’s needs. If you’re building enterprise software, you want a software developer to turn ideas into products. Profitable web applications solve problems, and app features are the medium. 

As we discussed earlier, clean code is important, but so is shipping products fast. This is especially true for startups in search of product-market fit. Good, in this case, beats perfect. 

Creative Persistence

The best JavaScript developers stick to hard technical problems and find solutions within a reasonable time frame. Many times along the journey, your developer would have to invent ways to solve unique problems. Such challenges require JavaScript talent to be experienced, disciplined and open-minded to outside-the-box possibilities.

Role And Responsibilities Of JavaScript Developers

There are three roles JavaScript developers can take up in your project. They’re either: 

  • Web Developers who are writing and testing code;
  • Systems Support maintaining code and tech infrastructure;
  • User Support, where they improve upon software with updates that boost user experience.

Regardless of what role your developers take on the project, they should all be able to:

  • Write robust code that is flexible enough to be improved on;
  • Stick to function-led UI/UX design for a better user experience;
  • Train and mentor junior team members to pass on hard-won lessons from experiences. It improves team dynamics and ability and reduces overall costs.

Types of JavaScript Developers

Across the board, there are three types of JavaScript developers. They’re Junior JavaScript Developers, Mid-Level JavaScript Developers, and Senior JavaScript Developers. Let’s touch on each of them below.

Junior JavaScript Developers

They usually have a basic understanding of React, Vue, HTML, CSS, Node.JS and SQL. They lack experience and are roughly a year into web development. 

Mid-Level JavaScript Developers

These JavaScript developers have expanded their knowledge and experience past their junior counterparts. They handle more challenging projects with less guidance as well. Their competence includes Nest.JS, Docker, Typescript, Websocket, Webpack and Bootstrap.

Senior JavaScript Developers

These are the most experienced engineers, and they help strategize, plan and design the direction of the web app. They also guide and manage mid-level/junior engineers to hit milestones and accomplish project goals.

Now that we know the skills, roles and types of JavaScript developers you need to recruit, let’s look at the cost and hiring tips before rounding up.

Hiring and Management Costs

The costs of hiring and managing JavaScript talent will mean different things to employers at different stages of the entrepreneurial journey. We’ll address this topic accordingly.

Startup

Most startup founders looking to hire JavaScript developers lack the technical experience and capital to build a dev team. And assuming they’ve raised money, it would be risky to invest cash in a dev team since their idea hasn’t been proven in the marketplace.

A Senior JavaScript Developer would be a perfect fit as the product is to be built from the ground up. But they’re both experienced and charge accordingly. So, in this case, you can offer equity in the startup. Making them a co-founder and CTO will give them the incentive and responsibility to see the project through. 

Enterprise

An established business has more choices. They could hire a Senior JavaScript Developer and a couple of Junior and Mid-level developers to help build their web app. They could decide to go with a Freelancer, Full Timer, Agency or curated developer marketplace like Deazy

Based on the ZipRecruiter data, the average cost of a full-time US developer is $86,003 annually. If your enterprise can’t afford a full-time JavaScript developer, go for a remote, global, full-time staff from places like Africa, South America, Eastern Europe and Asia.

Conclusion: Hiring Tips

With the above topics, you can take these three steps to hire a JavaScript developer today.

  • Figure out what you want to build and your prospective market. Also, look at the context of your mission. Do you have funds? Are you technically sound? Do you need a technical consultant? You need to know the risks and requirements of turning your idea into a product.
  • Write a job description to help you articulate the type of JavaScript developer your project requires. Then decide if you’d do the hiring or leave it to a recruiting agency. You’ll also decide if you’ll go for a full-timer, freelancer or dev agency. If you’re going solo, reach out to friends, social media, dev events and job boards to find JavaScript developers. 
  • Test the hard and soft skills of your JavaScript applicants to find the best fit for your project. Have a technical consultant handle core technical questions if you aren’t a technical founder or employer. 

And finally, onboard your choice of JavaScript developer(s) and get to work learning as you go.

Huynh Nguyen

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