Hiring a JavaScript Developer: Executive Guide

February 16, 2024

JavaScript is one of the hottest IT buzzwords. You can hardly take two steps in the software industry without coming across something related to JavaScript. That’s because JavaScript is what makes the internet come alive; without it, the internet would be boring and non-interactive.

If you're looking to hire a JavaScript developer, this article is for you. At the end of the day, you'll know the type of JavaScript developer to hire and the skills to look out for.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a high-level, multi-paradigm programming language. Netscape initially developed it under the name LiveScript. Later, the name was changed to JavaScript. Since then, JavaScript has become the preferred language for most developers. In fact, it’s more appropriate to say that JavaScript has become necessary for software developers. This is because almost all the functions and applications that make the internet useful are based on JavaScript.

Additionally, JavaScript is a lightweight, interpreted programming language that allows developers to create and control dynamic content on websites; it enables them to add complex features to any web page. It is also what makes it possible for users to interact with a web page.

For instance, anytime you fill an interactive form on the internet, JavaScript is in the background, making it happen. That's not all. it allows content on a webpage to move, refresh, or change without requiring the user to reload the page.

Also, you've probably noticed how your Facebook timeline automatically updates to show you fresh content. Well, that's JavaScript at work. Other dynamic features like animated graphics, slideshows, videos, autocorrect, and autocomplete suggestions are also controlled by JavaScript.

JavaScript Developer Responsibility

Before we detail the responsibilities of JavaScript developers, it's best to mention that there are three types of JavaScript developers. The duties of JavaScript developers will vary based on their particular roles. So. what are the three roles of a JavaScript developer?

  • Front-end JavaScript developer:

A front-end JavaScript developer is responsible for building the client-side of a website or web application. Their job is to create functional pages that are also attractive and interactive.

  • Back-end JavaScript developer:

A back-end JavaScript developer handles the server-side. When you use a website or web app, you see only half of the story. Many things are going on behind the scenes to make the website or web app function as they should. A back-end JavaScript developer handles all these unseen aspects (the server, application, and database).

  • Full-stack developers:

A full-stack JavaScript developer knows how to develop both client-side and server-side software. They are experts at coding at least one front-end and one back-end language.

Now that things are more apparent, let's talk about the responsibilities of each JavaScript role.

Responsibilities of a front-end JavaScript developer

  • Create user-friendly web pages by using markup languages such as HTML, SGML, and XHTML.
  • Maintain and improve the website or web page.
  • Optimize and improve application speed.
  • Improve the functionality and usability of applications.
  • Create prototypes.
  • Assist back-end developers with coding and troubleshooting where necessary.
  • Design high-quality graphics, and ensure that the high standard is maintained.
  • Stay current; be familiar with emerging technologies and skills.

Responsibilities of a back-end JavaScript developer

  • Write clean code to develop functional web apps.
  • Take part in the entire development process.
  • Focus specifically on coding and debugging.
  • Regularly perform UI tests to optimize the web app's performance.
  • Work with front-end developers to combine user-friendly elements with server-side logic.
  • Provide training and support to internal teams
  • Build a reusable code for future use.

Responsibilities of a full-stack JavaScript developer

  • Use a range of technologies to develop applications.
  • Collaborate with development teams and project managers to create software solutions.
  • Design architecture for both client-side and server-side.
  • Create appealing designs for front-end development.
  • Develop databases and applications for the back-end.
  • Test product software to ensure responsiveness.
  • Create security and data protection settings.

JavaScript Developer Skills.

What should executives look for when hiring a JavaScript developer? Based on the company’s needs, the skills required for a JavaScript developer will vary. However, there are some essential skills that every JavaScript developer needs to have. Similar to the previous section, we will arrange the skills in relation to the three types of JavaScript developers.

Skills of a front-end JavaScript developer

  • A front-end JavaScript developer should have experience with HTML and CSS frameworks. Knowledge of HTML and CSS is pretty standard for any developer. But if you want to work as a front-end JavaScript developer, you need to go a little deeper. They should be familiar with the latest HTML5 and CSS3 features and know-how to combine them with different frameworks.

  • Front-end JavaScript developers should have extensive knowledge of JavaScript frameworks. They certainly can’t be a master of all the frameworks, but they should at least know some of the popular ones. For instance, AngularJS, ReactJS, or VueJS are good options to have in your repertoire.

Skills of a back-end JavaScript developer

  • A back-end JavaScript developer should know how to use popular back-end platforms like Node.js. Node.js is a powerful open-source, cross-platform that executes JavaScript code outside a web browser.

  • Back-end development involves managing databases. Therefore, a back-end JavaScript developer must have experience with SQL or MongoDB.

  • Finally, a back-end JavaScript developer needs to be familiar with either GraphQL or REST. Both of them are important for building APIs.

Skills of a full-stack JavaScript developer

A full-stack JavaScript developer must have several years of experience working with JavaScript. This is because a full-stack developer is meant to work with both front-end and back-end, and it takes a long time to master the two. A full-stack JavaScript developer must be familiar with all the skills that have already been mentioned.

Interview Questions

Hiring a JavaScript developer is a process that has many steps. First, you need to send out a job description and wait for candidates to send in their applications. Then you need to conduct the first level of screening to rule out unqualified applicants. The next level of shortlisting is the interview stage. Interviews give you the chance to match what a candidate says in his application against who he is in person. Unfortunately, many employers do not experience the full benefits of interviews because they do not ask the right questions. Here’s a list of questions you can ask to assess the skills of a potential developer:

Questions to check the candidate’s hard skills

  • List some advantages and disadvantages of JavaScript.
  • How do you explain closures in JavaScript? When are they used?
  • What is function hosting? What are the ways of creating a function?
  • Why is namespace necessary when coding in JavaScript?
  • What is event-driven programming?
  • Suggest ways to implement automated testing on a JavaScript code.
  • What are your favorite JavaScript frameworks, and why?
  • What is the difference between one-way data flow and two-way data binding?
  • How much experience do you have with MEAN stack?
  • How do you structure your CSS and JavaScript?

Questions to check the candidate’s soft skills

  • Problem-solving: Describe a time when you debugged a problematic error. What approach and tools did you use?
  • Adaptability: Describe a time when significant, unexpected changes occurred. How did you handle the situation?
  • Communication skills: how do you ensure that you communicate effectively with your team leader and team members? What do you do if there’s a disagreement?
  • Creativity: tell us about a time when you had to use a creative or non-standard method to solve a coding problem.

Outsource software developers – pros and cons

“Where can I find a JavaScript developer?” That’s a good question. Well, there are three options available: you can hire a freelance developer, build an in-house team or outsource the project. In this section, I’ll share some pros and cons of outsourcing software development.

Pros

  • Instant access to a team of qualified developers so you can start the project without delays.
  • Outsourcing gives you the best talents at an affordable rate.
  • Outsourcing removes geographical boundaries; you can hire the best talent from around the world.
  • Outsourcing gives you maximum flexibility.

Cons

  • You may struggle with communication because of time zone differences.
  • Managing a team of remote developers can be challenging in many ways.

Conclusion

Hiring a JavaScript software developer is not as straightforward as you may think. First, you need to determine whether your company needs a front-end developer, a back-end developer, or a full-stack developer. This will help you to know which skills to look out for in applicants. It will also guide you to frame the right interview questions. Finally, it would help if you decided whether you’re going to hire a freelancer or work with an outsourcing company.

We are confident that this article has answered your questions about hiring a JavaScript developer. Before you leave, please drop a comment below and share this post.