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Guide to Hiring JavaScript Developers

  • What is JavaScript, and how is it used?
  • Why is JavaScript popular, and how will it benefit your business?
  • Roles and responsibilities of a JavaScript developer
  • What skills should a JavaScript developer have?
  • JavaScript interview questions and answers

What is JavaScript, and how is it used?

Just as any developer will tell you, if you want a functional and visually appealing web product, you need HTML and CSS, both being vital for webpage structure and style. However, if you want something truly user-friendly, bare functionality and visual appeal are not enough. You need something more—something interactive. That’s where JavaScript comes in.

JavaScript is a high-level, cross-platform, and object-oriented programming language whose primary use is that it allows developers to make interactive web pages. It’s the reason for almost any webpage you’ve seen that does more than just show text and media; think dynamically updating content,  animated graphics, pop-up menus, interactive maps, etc. Originally, this scripting language used to have all its compilers on the client side, with codes executed on the client’s web browser. However, it is currently both a client-side and server-side language, with codes also executed on the server in response to HTTP requests.

As a piece of web development technology, JavaScript is easily the most popular in the world among not just developers but almost anyone who knows about programming languages. And as we will see shortly, companies of all types and sizes, tech-based or otherwise, hire JavaScript developers to make their web pages engaging to users.

Why is JavaScript popular, and how will it benefit your business?

JavaScript is simply everywhere; from smartphones and smartwatches to computers and smart TVs, nearly every digital and computing device relies on at least some JavaScript programming. If you want a first-hand experience of digital life without JavaScript, try disabling it on your browser and watch access to most websites become impractical. In fact, as of 2022, an estimated 98% of websites worldwide used the programming language, including social media giants like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

JavaScript is also very popular among developers, with half of the 27 million or so developers worldwide versed in it. Yet, the rush to hire JavaScript developers is only gaining momentum as the rising demand for dynamic and interactive websites drives up the demand for qualified developers. And so, you naturally wonder what’s with this scripting language.  Here are its main selling points and why you need to hire dedicated JavaScript developers for your company project.

  • Beginner-friendly: One of JavaScript’s many strengths is that it is quite easy to learn, unlike other programming languages like C++. This makes it a splendid entry point into programming for amateur developers. The language is intuitive and quite simple to implement, taking complex details and rendering them as abstract symbols a beginner can understand. Moreover, you don’t even need to set up a development environment from scratch to start coding. Since all major browsers come with a preinstalled JavaScript engine, a coder can just get on the developer tools section interface of their browser and start coding right away.

    Indeed, because JavaScript makes such a great entry point, most amateur developers start there; this means CTOs and startups can count on a steadily growing pool of new JavaScript developers for hire.

  • Large Developer Community: While it is important to hire JavaScript engineers who are able to operate independently, even the most adept developers can sometimes run into walls in their work. For developers at all levels within a company, access to a community of fellow developers from whose experience to draw becomes very crucial. In this regard, companies that hire JavaScript developers have an advantage.

    JavaScript has been around for over a decade and a half. In that time, it has spawned and sustained vast communities of indie and AAA developers, some working for the biggest tech firms like Google, Facebook, and Apple. When in need of help from more experienced colleagues, a JavaScript coder can get on platforms such as Hackernoon and Stack Overflow and find it in no time. Additionally, these communities make it easier for any CTO who knows their way around to spot and hire Javascript developers with the highest levels of programming experience. For the company, it cuts the time and money that would otherwise have been spent on research for in-house solutions.

  • Support for Multiple Programming Styles: If programming and web development are problem sets, programming styles or paradigms are the different tools needed to approach each often unique problem. You need to have as many different types of these tools in your repertoire as possible, and this is another main reason every tech company hires at least one dedicated JavaScript developer.

    As an object-oriented programming language, JavaScript is multi-paradigm, also supporting functional and event-driven programming styles. The functional paradigm, in particular, is very popular among JavaScript developers. It not only helps avoid the bothersome use of ‘this’ in code but also makes for more bug-free programming.

  • Access to Vast Libraries: Another major strength of JavaScript is its wealth of resources, including the vast array of libraries that are accessible to programmers. These code libraries make development virtually a breeze by making easier such aspects as DOM manipulation, UI design and components, animation, database handling, graphics, and charting. Any single one of these has a panoply of relevant libraries; for instance, the graphical libraries include AngularJS, Bootstrap, Dojo Widgets, jQuery UI, React.js, Angular, Webix, and many others. Thus, when you hire a dedicated JavaScript developer who knows their stuff, they’ll pretty much breeze through most dev projects by bringing these libraries to bear.

  • Seamless Integration with Third-party Technologies: JavaScript gives ready access to a host of browser-based and third-party APIs, which allow coders to seamlessly integrate with external services, resources,  and functionalities. By leveraging these APIs, developers can perform many different types of tasks, including data retrieval from servers, audio and video manipulation, geolocation, accessing device sensors, etc.

  • Versatile: We mentioned that JavaScript is ubiquitous, running on everything from smartwatches and TVs to smartphones and computers. The same is true for browsers. From lesser-used ones like Internet Explorer and Edge to the more commonly used Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, there is hardly a known browser that won’t run JavaScript.  So, from a project commencement ease standpoint, it makes sense to hire JavaScript developers. With no need to set up a dev environment from scratch and no fresh code compilation needed, getting started on a JavaScript project is about as easy as pie.

Roles and responsibilities of a JavaScript developer

According to reports on developer trends, the JavaScript developer community is one of the fastest-growing in the world. Moreover, studies on job demand and salary trends among developers indicate that not only have companies been in a rush to hire JavaScript developers, but the average salary for a JavaScript dev has been rising quite steadily. Currently, the average JavaScript developer earns up to $93,000 annually on the job — definitely a substantial figure to factor into your budget. So, it bears asking: What jobs do companies spend so much cash to hire dedicated JavaScript engineers for?

  • Creating, Testing, and Debugging JavaScript Code and Apps: When companies spend thousands of dollars on hiring the best JavaScript coders around, this is the primary role they have in mind. A JavaScript programmer primarily develops web pages using JavaScript, tests and implements their functionalities, and debugs them as necessary. This will require them to be good at writing and executing JavaScript code, using JavaScript libraries and integrations, and applying iterative and incremental development approaches as necessary. it also means they must be able to use built-in JavaScript debuggers.

  • Web Product Maintenance and Optimization: ‘Coders, maintainers’ is virtually the rule where web products and their developers are concerned,  and JavaScript developers are not the exception. After building a functional and well-performing web page or application, a JavaScipt coder must also take on the job of subsequent maintenance. They must run regular performance diagnostics on the web pages or apps, identify and fix bugs, incorporate the latest JavaScript features, and optimize performance.

  • Group Coordination on Project Development: When firms hire JavaScript developers, they often go for more than one to be part of their dev team. The reason for this is that some projects may require several brains and pairs of hands to pull off. It is thus the job of the JavaScript developer to coordinate with other members of their team, bringing out the best ideas and implementing them towards the successful completion of the project.

  • User Support: Given the rapid pace at which new features and capabilities are being incorporated into web development systems nowadays, there are often features on the client side that may prove a bit hard to grasp initially. Especially in firms that hire JavaScript engineers to develop front-end products for their users, it is often the coder’s job to develop comprehensive tutorials and support systems for these users.  This includes working on infographics, providing live problem-solving tutorials, and developing interactive frameworks that display functions before execution. Moreover, they are also usually responsible for taking and responding to user complaints about the functionality of the web page.

  • Documentation and Reporting: A software developer’s job is truly never done, as every finished job is simply a data mine for next job improvements. Moreover, each developer’s experience and insights are invaluable to others, especially those working on a similar project. And so, developers document the process of working on a given product, often even as one of their duties on the job. However, documentation often beefs up the dev time, part of which will evidently not be spent coding. This is another reason why companies with a sizable budget often either hire JavaScript developers who are great at multitasking or just hire more than one—the job of documentation will weigh less on a single developer.

  • Rapid Prototyping of New Ideas: In highly competitive markets, CTOs and companies often hire JavaScript engineers to perform rapid prototyping and testing of new web page concepts and designs. The advantage of having a dev team that can pull this off is that investors, stakeholders, and executives don’t have to rely on just concepts to make their decisions. They will be presented with real visuals and a product that’s at least functional, albeit still not quite there, and they can more reliably gauge its potential.

What skills should a JavaScript developer have?

With the pool of developers steadily growing, there's no shortage of JavaScript developers for hire. Moreover, each developer you interview will bring a different level and even array of skills to the table. So, how do you decide what skills to give priority when assessing your candidates for hire?

  • Solid Knowledge of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS: So, we circle right back to the big three. You'll recall that, together with HTML and CSS, JavaScript is an indispensable programming language for designing well-rounded, interactive, and user-friendly web products. Therefore, when looking to hire a dedicated JavaScript developer, it's important to check that your candidate is proficient with all three. They must also be very familiar with basic development concepts like loops, functions, and variables.

  • Familiarity with JavaScript Libraries and Frameworks: To make the best use of JavaScript, any programmer needs to understand how to navigate and utilize the scripting language's vast collection of libraries and Frameworks, including React, AngularJS, and Dojo Widgets.

  • Asynchronous Coding: Most JavaScript engineers prefer to code synchronously, as it generally takes less brain space to handle. By comparison, asynchronous programming seems more cumbersome, and it is often avoided by amateur developers, even though JavaScript supports it. However, modern web development is more demanding, especially in terms of time schedule.

    With asynchronous programming, especially with such mechanisms as async/await and callbacks, it is easier to run multiple tasks and shorten the time spent coding. Moreover, being able to use asynchronous programming enables better performance improvement and code reusability, thus cutting costs and project times. So, to stay ahead of the curve, you want to hire JavaScript developers who know how to use the language's asynchronous coding features.

  • Proficiency with Frontend Testing Tools: As a full-stack technology, JavaScript calls for proficiency with both frontend and backend development. Part of that will involve the ability to run automated testing for UI applications. This means a JavaScript developer should be able to use JavaScript test tools like Cypress, WebdriverIO, and Playwright. Additionally, using the unit test framework, they should also be able to create their own automated test scripts and use them effectively.

  • Familiarity with Vanilla JavaScript: While effective JavaScript use requires the ability to leverage the coding script's many libraries, it is also vital to be familiar with plain (or vanilla) JavaScript. The fact is that most JavaScript developers are good at writing and executing code, but not as many are truly innovative about it. If you want to hire a dedicated JavaScript developer who can deliver the most brilliant and creative results, you'd best go for someone who has a foundation in basic JavaScript code minus the libraries and frameworks. Such a developer will have a greater ability to tailor the code to the specific demands of the relevant project and make it more flexible.

  • Skill with Functional Programming: JavaScript is a multi-paradigm programming language that allows not just object-oriented but also function-based coding. This latter paradigm is declarative, and it produces more concise, predictable, and easier-to-test code. When you hire a JavaScript developer who understands and can perform functional programming, you get way fewer mutations of data, side effects, or shared states plaguing your web project.

  • Interpersonal and Communication Skills: It may be a popular stereotype for software coders to be brilliant but awkward and poor communicators. However, the opposite is often the case, and the job itself even demands as much. If you're looking to hire a JavaScript developer for your firm's web project, it makes sense to hire someone who can communicate effectively and work cohesively with others. This skill set will prove vital when it's time to make a project progress report before the board of executives or lead a team of other developers in undertaking a project.

JavaScript interview questions and answers

Looking for great interview questions for hiring a JavaScript developer? Check out our guide to JavaScript interview questions and answers.

For more FAQs on hiring JavaScript developers, visit our FAQs page

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