Table of contents

Top 10 Things to Know Before Hiring a Front-end Developer in 2022

Top 10 Things to Know Before Hiring a Front-end Developer in 2022- Web Technologies, Coding Standards, Website Optimization & Minification, Command Line, Github.

Table of contents

Top 10 things to know before hiring a front-end developer

We heard enough about how a candidate should be prepared for an interview, what are the in-demand skills that he/she must acquire to get through the so and so job interviews. Most of the time, people do forget that it takes two hands clapping to make a sound. Yes, preparation must come from both the sides; recruiter and candidate. To get the best answer (or to get the most out of someone), firstly a right question must be thrown. Unless and until a right question is asked, it is unwise to expect the right answer from someone.

May the recruiter’s knowledge about a specific profession is right to a huge extent. Are you wondering how all these are going to impact the overall recruitment process? and what it has to do with a recruiter who by no means is going to contribute for that particular role? To put it very short, it does. It does change not only the selection result but also the future of the company. Imagine a situation wherein you are supposed to examine whether a candidate has enough expertise in JavaScript. Apart from conducting the coding tests, if you are supposed to assess it by asking a single question, what would be the best way to put it up.

Typical questions are like:

  1. How much do you rate your expertise in JavaScript on the scale of 10?
  2. Do you carry enough knowledge in JavaScript to teach someone?
  3. Have you single-handedly worked on a website using JavaScript?
  4. What are the challenges that you faced in website development while using JS?
  5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using JS?

The above-mentioned questions are pretty-much good ones to be asked in an interview. If you have noticed, these questions carry a common pattern like “expertise”, “teaching knowledge”, “challenges”, “advantages & disadvantages” that can be a great fit for most of the jobs. On the other side, let’s think about the answers that you would get for these questions. Firstly, the length would be one to three lines. Second, there are chances that you will get the  “widely-accepted and known answers” like from the internet. For example, speed and simplicity as the pros; and lack of client-side security and browser support as the cons of Javascript.

Though these answers reveal the candidate’s preparation effort for the position, it unfortunately also leads them to go ahead with the so-called “safe answers” instead of subjective ones which are certainly not the way it should be. Nevertheless, these questions only let you understand whether they “know JavaScript” but not about the “hands-on experience on JavaScript”. To hire a right front-end developer, your assessment must not stop at the candidate’s knowledge of programming languages but must get into the nitty-gritty of it. Need help on assessing a candidate's profile and recruitment process, contact Starkflow to get an instant solution.

The question you supposed to ask:

Among the various versions of JavaScript, which one do you prefer and why? (or) What is your favourite JavaScript version, and why?

You may think that what is great about the above question. The perk lies in the fact that it gives space and liberty to the candidate answering. So far, we have 9 versions in JavaScript - each of them has its own benefits and limitations, that’s exactly why the subsequent versions are getting released. If suppose a candidate is asked to choose one of the JS versions (of his/her choice). In that case, he/she will be talking more about the challenges, learning, experiment and exploration from his/her personal experience of using that particular version of JS.

A single subjective answer will let you know more about the candidate’s workflow, approach, an eye towards technical glitch, preferences (like simplified programming operations or increased kB size) and most importantly, the answer length - completely at candidate’s hand. A single well-planned question can help you with more than what you think - doesn’t sound great! Thus, this explains what it means when we say “preparation from both sides” and this article is all about helping you with that prep thing. The following are the ten things that every recruiter must know before hiring a front-end developer.  

1. Required web technologies

It is the primary thing. Nothing could be done without knowing the required technologies that it takes to build a website. With regard to programming languages, it is the trio - HTML, CSS & JavaScript that sets the ball rolling. Besides languages, you do have jQuery, JS library for the benefit of rapid web development and frameworks for CSS (or front-end) and JavaScript to get rid of the “from the scratch”  development work.

Want to know more about what are the other required technologies for front-end development? Visit our blog post on How to hire the right front-end developer?

2. Advanced technologies & versions

In an era of software-centric environment, knowing the necessary tools and technologies do not suffice, one must be up-to-date with the technologies. It is not necessary that a developer must always know & use the latest versions of the technologies. Expertise in one version leads them to sail through in all other versions of the same technology. Nevertheless, it is significant to know what is the latest version of HTML (for example) and what is the current major version of HTML (as both are two different things; latest 5 and major 4.01).

Other important things like - what are the most popular and widely-used open-source tools, which technology competes with who, current alternatives for a specific technology, the best open-source tools and enterprise editions to cater to SMB, SME and large enterprises for the similar market opportunities.


3. Coding standars

Next, it is the coding standards of the programming languages. Every programming has its coding conventions - set of guidelines, styles, procedures, methods and best practices to follow and stick with. It is one of the inevitable things that every front-end developer must be aware of. For example, the naming convention like BEM methodology (Block, Element, Modifier) for HTML and CSS. In JavaScript, ES6 (aka ECMAScript) for standardization and tools like ESLint, JSLint and JSHint for static code analysis.

4. Choice of plugins and more

Another important aspect is the preference over plugins, extensions and modules - all these play a huge role in streamlining the entire development process. So, how should one choose such a crucial aspect (tool)? Does using a plugin will have an impact on the development process or for a product as a whole. By any chance, does one’s rationality behind selecting a plugin help in quality and delivery of the product?

With no doubt, selecting the right plugin makes a huge difference in the development process in the long run. Being a front-end developer, one supposed to know and confirm the following things.

  • Active installations (recommended 1000+)
  • Updates and compatibility
  • Is it a deprecated plugin?
  • Ease of use & MB size
  • Does it meet the project requirements?
  • Community support and documentation
  • User reviews

5. Website optimization and minification

In front-end development, if website development is one side of a coin, then the other side of the coin would be website optimization and maintenance. If building an interactive and meaningful website is meant for establishing an online presence, then optimizing a website is for retaining the customers and reputation. So many factors can pose a threat to website performance, it can be the size of images, HTML, CSS, JavaScript files and so forth.

In so many ways, one can optimize website performance, and one such method is minification. To minify a code, either a developer can write code free of unwanted spaces and lengthy comments or use technologies like Webpack to automatically minify the code, and thereby reduce the MB size. Almost for every website performance issues, there are various tools out there in the market - which every front-end developer must be familiar with let alone to be experienced.

6. Command Line interface

Front-end developers do carry mastery when it comes to building pages and performing tasks using the GUI (Graphical User Interface). Often, to add specific functionalities, a developer will be needed to use the command line - which every competent front-end developer must be experienced with.

7. Choosing a code editor

Most of them may think that a code editor is simply a tool to write and edit codes that will be later parsed by a web browser. Upon choosing the right code editor, it can do more than what is thought to be. Picking the code editor that best fits with your project requirements will help you to save time and petty mistakes.

Some of the common factors to be considered before picking a code editor would be the availability of syntax highlighter, autocomplete, indentations, brace matching functionality and so on. The most popular open-source code editors are Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, ATOM, and Notepad++

8. Previous projects and mock-ups

Besides coding tests and in-person interviews, specifically asking for the previous works on website development act as a testimonial for the candidate’s expertise. Submitting and being able to deliver static mock-ups of the website appearance, working, or final prototype of the website will be an added bonus and defines one’s confidence over his/her experience.

9. Creativity & problem solving

Front-end development is all about where users interact. A good front-end developer must be able to build a website not only with his/her coding experience but also with creativity. If you think that only UX and UI designers are meant to be good at creativity, not a front-end developer, you must reconsider your belief. If UI/UX and IxD (Interaction Design) is all about website designing, then the front-end development is all about the implementation. Without a creative sense and problem-solving skill (while facing hurdles in adding UI elements), a website can be merely built but does not speak.

10. Soft skills

Last but not least, website development is all about teamwork and collaboration. The websites are built to establish a company's online presence in the best possible way it ever could - and for this reason, everyone in the company right from CEO, production team, marketing team, editorial team and even client’s expectations contributes to the website development both in direct and indirect ways. This places another such important skill from the candidate side, i.e. soft skills. If not for the communication at its peak, a competent front-end developer must be able to converse and understand suggestions from his/her colleagues successfully.

As the saying goes, there are no limits. Even though the above-mentioned top 10 things cover almost all the essentials, still there are so many factors to consider and know before hiring a front-end developer. No time to go through all these hassle preparation things, yet looking for the right front-end developer who meets the specifications? Connect with our team to help you in the hiring process and to get more insights about front-end development.

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