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How to hire a JavaScript developer: a best guide

23.12.22 15 min to read
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Over the past few years, improvements in web development technology have significantly enhanced the quality and speed of web applications, as well as the dynamism and interactivity of web pages. These outstanding achievements in online technology are due to the evolving and effective use of one of today’s most popular programming languages, JavaScript (or JS).

If you already own your website or mobile app or are just planning to create it, the probability that you will need programmers who know JavaScript well to develop its functions and keep it up to date is extremely high. And that’s true because about 98% of websites and almost 95% of web applications use JS-based technologies today. That’s why the position of a JavaScript developer is so in demand right now, and the market need for top-notch professionals in this field is only increasing.

In this article, we want to tell you who JS developers are and what they can do for you. We’d also like to give you some practical tips on where and how to hire a javascript developer and how to do it most efficiently and safely for your wallet.

Why you should hire JavaScript developers for your team

JavaScript is primarily an effective tool for creating interfaces. Together with the hypertextual markup language HTML 5 and cascading style sheets CSS 3, the essential tools for building modern websites and online apps, JS is a core element of the client side of the software.

Because JavaScript was originally created as a simple and executable scripting language for browsers, front-end development was, and still is, the predominant area of its applicability. Therefore, if you need to create a website or an interactive online application that can be used on different platforms, you have to hire JavaScript developers.

Further evolution of the language led to expanding its usage for various server applications and services scripts coding. As a back-end development tool, JavaScript is used in conjunction with other languages and programming environments to create hosted and cloud-based web applications of varying complexity. You will need JS-backend developers to make it work on the server side. However, there are also versatile full-stack development specialists skilled in setting up servers and creating dynamic interfaces. In which cases it would be beneficial to use their services, you can learn in the article How to hire a software developer in 2023.

Skills for JavaScript developers

What skills should a JavaScript programmer be confident in to be sure you’re hiring an expert?

The professional knowledge and skills necessary for a programmer to successfully perform his job responsibilities are called hard skills. The specialization of the developer determines a list of them. First of all, it is the expertise of the JavaScript language and related technologies.

Equally important is the personal component, which determines the employee’s behavior in a team and situations of uncertainty. Since the JS coder most often acts as a member of a crew working on a project, his soft skills have a significant impact on the productivity of his work. And it doesn’t matter at all whether he is a full-time employee or not.

Let’s look closely at the skills essential for a good JavaScript developer.

The Most JS-Programmer Skills 2023
Diversity of hard skills for JS programmers

JS-frontend developer’s hard skills

To create spectacular and high-performance interfaces for desktop and mobile devices, the front-end JavaScript developer must:

  • be proficient in HTML 5 and CSS 3;
  • know how to use specialized frameworks like Angular.JS, Vue.JS, Next.JS, Meteor.JS, etc., and the React.JS, JQuery, and LESS libraries;
  • have a good understanding of any popular Content Management Systems (CMS) for websites, such as WordPress, Joomla, or Magento, and online stores like WooCommerce or Shopify;
  • know how to test and fix bugs in user interfaces;
  • communicate effectively with back-end developers, including setting up REST APIs.

Additional proficiency in TypeScript and its progressive Angular 2.0 framework or Dart is especially welcome.

JS-backend developer’s hard skills

To effectively develop back-end software on the server side, JavaScript developers require:

  • confident skills in creating back-end applications using Node.JS and Express.JS frameworks;
  • ability to configure web servers (Apache, Nginx, IIS) under different operating systems (Linux, Microsoft Windows, Ubuntu, BSD, macOS, etc.);
  • knowledge of relational (MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, or other) and non-relational databases (MongoDB, eXist, and so on);
  • experience with API frameworks;
  • knowledge of Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud.

Of course, to work effectively as back-end developers, they also need knowledge of other programming languages and platforms, such as Python, Java, Perl, .Net, and PHP.

To avoid repeating ourselves, we should also note that for a full-stack JS developer, solid skills in all of the above areas are essential.

JS-developer’s soft skills

Now let’s consider what kind of employee you would be pleased, interested in, and beneficial to interact with. Important soft skills for a JavaScript developer usually include:

  • Customer centricity. This skill allows the specialist to understand the client’s needs by looking at the product they are developing from a broader perspective.
  • Self-organization. The skill of optimum workflow organization and rational use of working time provides timeliness of task performance and prevents the plans’ breakdown.
  • Communicability. The ability to express the essence of the arising problems and ideas and hear other crew members promotes mutual understanding and a creative atmosphere in the team.
  • Inventiveness. An interest in finding non-standard solutions and new possibilities allows them to overcome difficult situations and enrich the software product with original features.
  • Openness to new things. The ability to master new technologies allows a specialist to meet the challenges of time and increase his demand in the industry.

Agree that an attentive, disciplined, and proactive employee who is devoted to his work can’t be the wrong choice.

Where to find JavaScript developers

Before you find javascript developers, you need to determine their involvement in your project. Are their services temporarily required, or do you plan to have them on your staff for an extended period? Will this staff be a regular in-house development team, or are you considering an incidental staff augmentation based on the project’s needs?

Do you need employees sitting in one office with you, or are you comfortable with a remote collaboration? Do you trust only native developers, or do you see the benefit in working with an offshore development team? How similar in mindset and work culture must your employees be to feel comfortable working with them? How may the time zone difference influence the effectiveness of your collaboration?

By asking yourself these questions, you are guaranteed to choose the best hiring strategy for your case.

Freelance

The services of freelance programmers are usually used to perform relatively small amounts of work that do not require the constant involvement of a specialist in the project. A typical pool of tasks for freelance developers usually includes:

  • creating or updating single Web pages or small Web sites;
  • developing new features for online applications;
  • updating and optimizing server software.

Naturally, JavaScript freelance developers can also be hired to participate in larger projects, and in case of high results, long-term collaboration with them is not ruled out either. Moreover, on popular online freelance service platforms, you can often find fully staffed development teams to which you can delegate an extensive block of project tasks.

The main advantage of working with freelancers is that they are not formally your full-time employees, which makes your tax bill much lighter and the development process cheaper. On the other hand, you need JavaScript programming competence to recruit and interview candidates and monitor their results effectively. Otherwise, you risk getting poor-quality code that will require you to spend unplanned resources to fix. If you don’t have the right skills, you should consider getting help from an outside technician. Academy Smart may help you with that if needed.

Among the obvious advantages of working with freelancers are the following:

  • High chance of finding a suitable specialist, as specialized sites have a convenient search for candidates with comprehensive query filtering and detailed resumes with testimonials from previous clients;
  • The relatively low price of the services and the safety of the payments mediated by the freelance platform are paid to the performer only if the client accepts the work.

At the same time, the disadvantages of interacting with a JavaScript coders on the freelance platform are worth noting:

  • time-consuming search for specialists with the necessary qualifications;
  • difficulties in verifying the quality of the code if you don’t have JS coding expertise;
  • the high probability of failure of deadlines and refusal of the project for various reasons, and in this case, the new freelancer has to start from scratch.

Most often, JavaScript developers are hired on popular platforms like Upwork, Codementor, Freelancer, or Fiverr. Professional sites and social webs like GitHub or LinkedIn are also used to find JS programmers.

Outsourcing

The least time-consuming way to hire talented JavaScript developers is to contact an outsourcing company and order a dedicated team to do the entire project. The outsourcing company provides the team’s composition, the specialists’ qualifications, and the technical resources necessary for their work. In this case, you just need to outline your vision of the software product you need and approve the specification.

The main advantage of such a solution is complete freedom from recruiting routine since the people included in the dedicated team of your project have already been selected by the agency on a set of professionally significant criteria. You pay only for the final result and have much more free time for other needs of your business, only periodically receiving reports from the project manager on the team’s progress. Also, all the financial issues related to programmer salaries and their taxation do not bother you.

An additional attraction of JavaScript development outsourcing is the ability to manage software development costs more flexibly, attracting offshore professional human resources at a lower cost. At the same time, it is always possible to choose the country of the outsourcing company with a convenient time difference and profitable price for the work.

It is not at all difficult to find an outsourcing development team on the Internet, but customers particularly trust special rating platforms like Clutch, IT Firms, or Good Firms.

In the article How to Hire an Offshore Development Team, we have described all the pros and cons of outsourcing the development of online applications in detail. Let’s mention that Academy Smart is also a professional outsourcing company in custom software development with good practical experience. JS programming in React/Node, React/Express, and Angular/Node stacks is one of our main specializations, so you may easily find proficient and talented JavaScript developers in our team to solve any complex task.

Outstaffing

The outstaffing service provides a great opportunity to augment the in-house team with the JS qualifications and skill levels that are required in the project at the moment. It is a highly flexible tool for managing a staff of developers. In addition to the economic efficiency of recruiting an outstaffer, it opens up access to specialists with unique expertise, which can sometimes significantly optimize the overall cost of development. An additional benefit of hiring JavaScript developers-oustaffers is that you can use their services for as long as you need and drop them if the need for their participation has been depleted.

As with outsourcing, you don’t have to spend effort searching for and selecting suitable candidates since the service provider performs the recruiting functions for their own needs. At the same time, unlike outsourcing, you have complete control over incorporating an outstaffer into your team, selecting applicants from the agency’s staff, interviewing them, and checking their daily employment.

Another fundamental difference from outsourcing is the outstaffer’s greater involvement in the client’s work processes and emotional attachment to his team members. Indeed, outstaffers can work for years on large and complex projects in teams that have been working together well. And by contrast, if a JS developer, for various reasons, does not fit into the team, the agency can replace him at the customer’s request without the negative emotional background that accompanies an ordinary dismissal.

Of course, a significant time difference and cultural peculiarities can become obstacles to effective cooperation. Generally, these problems are solved by a balanced and deliberate decision favoring the service provider’s country. Practice shows that clients from Europe and North America find it very convenient to work with JavaScript programmers from Ukraine because the commonality of professional etiquette and the convenience of time difference are well combined with the very affordable prices of their services. Academy Smart employees, for example, are currently involved in creating dozens of software products within European and Middle Eastern teams as outstaff programmers. You may see some results of our JavaScript developers’ work below.

How much does it cost to hire JavaScript developers in 2023

It will take a lot of work to answer this question definitively:

  1. The salaries of JavaScript developers vary significantly depending on the overall experience and competence of the programmers. The difference in rates at the beginning of the career (up to 3 years) and seniority (over eight years) can be almost double.
  2. The cost of services significantly differs in the leading technological countries of the world and developing countries.
  3. And within one country, the difference between the services of capital developers and programmers from the periphery can be about 20%.

In addition, in-house JS coders, freelancers, and outsourcers differ in service pricing model. For example, the average salary figures for in-house programmers often show only pure payments without considering the company’s expenses for the upkeep of the employee’s workplace and taxation. Outsourcers, on their part, providing a comprehensive service of staff recruitment, technical equipment, design, and turnkey software development, usually don’t articulate the cost of the benefits of specific specialists, forming the final bill for the creation of the product as a whole. Besides, the size of the outsourcing company, its available human resources, and, consequently, its technology coverage also play a role in forming this check. Finally, the market situation in recent years has been extremely dynamic, so price fluctuations, even in a highly developed industry such as IT, are hard to avoid.

A small illustration of the average earnings trends of JavaScript developers, with which we enter 2023, for full-time employees in different countries of the world (developed and popular IT offshore), which we prepared using the materials of the Salary Expert database, includes following:

  • USA: 78000$ – 135600$, average hour rate – 52,7$
  • Germany: 65500$ – 113800$, average hour rate – 44$
  • Netherlands: 61900$ – 107500$, average hour rate – 41,8$
  • France: 56700$ – 98600$, average hour rate – 38,4$
  • UK: 54200$ – 94200$, average hour rate – 37$
  • Israel: 49900$ – 86800$, average hour rate – 33,7$
  • China: 36600$ – 63700$, average hour rate – 24,5$
  • Poland: 27000$ – 46800$, average hour rate – 18$
  • Malaysia: 23000$ – 40100$, average hour rate – 15,5$
  • Thailand: 19900$ – 34600$, average hour rate – 13,4$
  • Mexico: 19200$ – 33400$, average hour rate – 13$
  • India: 15800$ – 27500$, average hour rate – 10,6$
  • Argentina: 15300$ – 26600$, average hour rate – 10$
  • Ukraine: 12200$ – 21200$, average hour rate – 9$

For outsourcing companies with up to 250 employees, according to the data you can find using the service Good Firms or its analogs, the cost of web application development services with programmers in JavaScript will be approximately:

  • North America: average hourly rate – $100 and higher
  • Western Europe: average hourly rate – $50-100
  • Latin America: average hourly rate – $50
  • Eastern Europe: average hourly rate – $25-50
  • Asia: average hour rate – $25

Of course, these data have only a relative character and are suitable only for giving an idea of the general order of prices for services in different regions of the world. They don’t consider the specifics of your project, its complexity, or the features you need it to have. Are you looking for where to find JavaScript developers? Do you wish to estimate the cost of your future web application creation? Contact Academy Smart to get specific figures and plan your development more concretely.

Cloud services management platform case
Cloud services management platform our JS devs worked over

Interview questions for hiring JavaScript developers

As you design your interview plan, you can test common JavaScript skills by asking questions of varying levels of difficulty about variables, functions, syntax, objects, and so on. You can also demonstrate multiple code chunks, offering to conclude how the function will work, what the output will be, or what the error here is. Often when performing a technical screening, the programmer is asked to write a code fragment to evaluate its quality and engineering culture. Of course, to objectively assess the level of JS knowledge of the applicant, you must have solid JavaScript skills or a consultant who knows it well enough.

When analyzing the hard skills of the job applicant, you should also evaluate additional professional skills associated with the programmer’s specialization. For the front-end, it is knowledge of HTML and CSS, React and jQuery libraries, mastering SPA frameworks, interface integration, and CMS. For the back-end, those skills are interacting with server operating systems, databases, API protocols, configuring containers in the cloud, etc. During the interview, you can invite the specialist to simulate choosing a better tech stack for some of your products and explain that particular choice. Our article “How To Choose Technology Stack: Clients Guide” explains why it is a crucial question, especially for interviewing full-stack developers.

Finally, it is worth remembering that the programmer will work in your team, so his personal qualities are equally essential. Find out what motivates him, how he is used to handling difficult situations, how he feels about working overtime, and what new things he can and would like to offer.

How to hire a javascript developer if your recruiting resources are limited? As you understand, without a severe technical background, it isn’t easy to interview programmers well and choose the candidates correctly. It’s best to turn to professionals who know how to find valuable talent, competently evaluate their skills, and continually improve them on real projects in various fields.

How Academy SMART provides you with hiring JavaScript expert

Our company has been engaged in custom software development, using technologies based on JavaScript language, for over 13 years. During this time, we have delivered around 100 projects, taking part in the production of many different back-end solutions and cross-platform interfaces for mobile and web applications. Our programmers are proficient in popular and modern JavaScript development tools such as React.js, Vue.js, Node.js, Express.js, and Angular, creating various on-premise and cloud-based software of any complexity using them.

Our care for the clients implies the following:

  • professional advice based on in-depth technical analysis of customer needs and market niche software requirements;
  • the flexibility and variety of cooperation models as dedicated teams, subcontractors, or staff augmentation by outstaffers with transparent cost formation of our services;
  • high qualification and efficiency of the project development team as a whole and each employee in particular;
  • an extensive arsenal of robust and modern technology to create software;
  • responsible attitude to our duties and creative initiative.

Does your project need employees with strong JavaScript coding expertise? Need specific specialists or a staffed team for turnkey software development? Need help choosing a technology baseline to build or update your application? Let’s start a conversation to find the most profitable solution.

Hire JavaScript developers: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I hire a better JavaScript developer

To hire the best JavaScript developer, you must find suitable candidates on specialized job platforms and conduct hard technical skills testing and interviews to evaluate soft skills. If you don’t have a specific JS programmer background, ask a professional IT company or a recruiting agency to help you find applicants.

What does a JavaScript developer do

  • The front-end JavaScript developer creates cross-platform interfaces for online applications using HTML, CSS, React, Angular, Vue, and other JS programming frameworks.
  • The back-end JavaScript developer runs internal programs, the server, and various databases, relying on the tools of the Node or Express platform.
  • The full-stack JavaScript developer deals with both client-side and server-side software engineering.
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