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How to Hire The Right Front-end Developer?

The Right Front-end Developer Would Have Experience With All Frontend Web Technologies Like ES6, Ajax, Jquery, Javascript Libraries, Modular Bundle, and User Experience Design.

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Over the years, numerous criteria and specifications have been placed when it comes to recruiting a front-end developer. If you’re wondering that if there is an ideal set of skills that must be exclusively looked upon and verified with regard to hiring a front-end developer, then the answer is yes, there is. Indeed, the skills and specifications that we are going to talk about in the following sections are the most common and sought-after ones by right from the Big Four to SMB. Before we deep dive into it, let’s get a quick glimpse of what is front-end development and who are those front-end developers.

What is front-end development?

Front-end development is a practice of implementing web design by converting data into a graphical interface (where the users interact with) using the coding languages such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

A front-end developer is the one who makes use of these distinct coding languages to transform raw content into a meaningful, formatted and interactive web site. Apart from these three basic languages, there are various essential technologies and tools that every front-end developer must be familiar with.

Must know web technologies:

With no doubt, to qualify as a front-end developer, one must be expertise in HTML, CSS and JavaScript languages. Although HTML and CSS complete 90% of the job, the latter (JavaScript) is what makes the formatted content dynamic and super-interactive.

According to Internet Live Stats, currently, there are over 1.79 billion websites in the world wide web. If not for the actual figure but to compare the upsurge, then what is true of the websites is also true of the front-end developers (the one who are responsible for building those websites). Obviously, this pushes the employers in great difficulty when it comes to finding the right front-end developer amidst a massive talent pool. On the other hand, the competition to deliver high-quality and intuitive websites makes clear that the recruiter must look for nothing but a candidate par excellence. Therefore, let’s look at the list of technologies that the best front-end-developer must know.

  • ECMAScript Programming Language (ES6): Being a programming language in itself, it is a standardization for JavaScript, and used for performing effective interoperability of web pages across different browsers.

Further, adequate experience in REST architecture and the services that implement this pattern such as RESTful services and APIs assist in streamlining the network communication on the web.

  • Ajax: If we want to make asynchronous calls to the server for the benefit of dynamically changing the content without a need to reload a page and thereby to improve the speed and usability of a web application, Ajax is very much needed.
  • jQuery: A widely deployed JavaScript library, helps to simplify HTML DOM manipulation, Ajax interactions, animations, event handling and much more. Above all, it makes using JS effortless by wrapping lengthy JS codes into methods that can be called using a single code of line, exactly a user-friendly technology that every good front-end developer should be using.  
  • JS frameworks: In a constantly developing ecosystem, a front-end developer needs not to work on everything right from scratch. A decent knowledge about popular frameworks like Angular, React, Backbone, Ember, and Foundation allow us to lift the burden off the shoulders by providing the pre-written JS codes to be used for common programming tasks.
  • CSS Preprocessor: Another technology that gives you a jumpstart in speeding up the CSS coding is the preprocessor. Even though CSS plays a pivotal role in front-end development, it has its limitations such as we cannot perform arithmetic operations and define variables. With preprocessors like SASS, LESS and Stylus such operations are possible and make CSS viable.
  • CSS or front-end frameworks: Like JS frameworks for JavaScript, the Front-end frameworks like Bootstrap, Bulma, etc. gives you a ready-made structure for your CSS code. It helps to speed up the development process by allowing us to reuse the available UI elements as the initial CSS is common for almost every project.

Depending on the tasks such as adding a minor change to the layout or several UI elements, a good front-end developer must know when to use a lightweight framework and to use a robust framework.

  • Responsive Web Design (RWD): It is used to build and optimize a flexible screen size, orientation and ratio across different environments such as mobile, tab, etc. The relevance and significance of implementing an RWD can be seen in the following quotation.

As per Statista report - “Mobile accounts for approximately half of the web traffic worldwide. In the second quarter of 2020, mobile devices (excluding tablets) generated 51.53 per cent of global website traffic, consistently hovering around the 50 per cent mark since the beginning of 2017.”  

With growing numbers in mobile users, an ideal front-end developer must be able to make a call between mobile-first web design and responsive web design based on the project requirements. Struggling to find out which of the web designs; mobile-first or RWD best suits to accomplish your business objectives? Contact Starkflow to get you connected with the experts in front-end development.

  • Content Management System (CMS): Most of the websites including e-commerce sites (a specific type of CMS) are built using the content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento and so forth. Currently, 63.8% of CMS-based websites and 38% of the worldwide websites are built using WordPress. These facts ensure the necessity for the front-end developers to possess hands-on experience in popular CMS if not all.
  • Testing & bug fixing: Ample experience in performing Unit testing, and functional testing is crucial for writing error-free codes and resolving potential threats when found during the User Acceptance Testing (UAT).
  • Cross-browser support: People tend to use different browsers as per their convenience; in such cases, it is the developers’ concern to confirm that every browser interprets their website code as it wanted to be. Further, a front-end developer must be skilful in Browser Developer Tools so as to use the inspector and JavaScript console whenever needed.

“Whatever the device you use for getting your information out, it should be the same information.”                                                

                                                                                            - Tim Berners-Lee

  • Version control system: To keep track of the changes that have been performed to the code over time, and the capability to revert to the earlier version whenever required is of paramount importance. Hence, a thorough understanding of using a version control system, especially Git, is an uncalled requirement for hiring a front-end developer.

Exposure to Project Management Methodologies & Others:

Apart from possessing experience in the much needed and popular web technologies, an ideal front-end developer should have sound exposure to widely-practised Agile methodologies like Scrum and Kanban and the following aspects:

  1. Modular bundle

Used to transform, bundle and package groups of modules (dependencies) into a single file, especially the JavaScript files. Most popular among all the modular bundles is the Webpack and other widely used bundles include Browserify and Parcel.

  1. Security & scalability

In an era of cyber-attack and hacking, securing the website via an SSL certificate and encrypting via HTTPS protocol is an indispensable part. Also, being a front-end developer and working on the interface that users interact with, one should have the ability to write clean, structured and easy-to-understand codes.

  1. UI/UX

Working on front-end development is all about grasping the nuances and pain points of UI/UX. A developer must be confident about what works for a website and what not and most importantly, what is a perfect way to implement complex UI elements and dynamic graphics like 3D.

  1. Basic SEO

If not for implementing complete SEO for a website, a front-end developer must be aware of the SEO practices and why it’s done. Often they may need to fine-tune a website with regard to the best SEO practices, at such times, a skilful front-end development must rightly tweak necessary settings so as to achieve optimum results.

  1. Prototype and mock-ups:

Nevertheless, an ideal front-end developer must be confident to deliver a working prototype for the employer’s assessment. If required, he/she must also be ready to provide a static mock-up of the web site’s appearance and a final prototype of the website.

Having said all these, no businesses are the same; it differs, be it goals and objectives or projects and work-culture. If it is true, then the expected roles and responsibilities from an employee change from company to company, and rightly, the company must go with the candidate whose talent best aligns with one’s business goals - looking for a front-end-developer with the above-mentioned skill set and one who contributes to realizing your business goals? Connect with us to hire you the right front-end developer as per your demands and requirements.

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