Every website has a front end, that part you see when you click on it.
And every front end has a developer that carefully plans the design and builds all the components like buttons, nav menu, drop-down, accordion, contact form, etc., so you can interact with the website.
Are you a startup founder with an innovative idea and need a website to bring it to life? You need an aesthetically pleasing website that will keep your customers glued. To build that site, you need to hire a front-end developer.
Hiring a front-end programmer is easy, but hiring the right developer with the skills and experience for your project is an uphill task.
We know what it is like for non-technical managers and startup founders to be in this situation, so we have put up an excellent resource on how to hire the best front-end developer.
- A front-end programmer writes code to build a website's client-side and tests and debugs to fix errors.
- To hire a front-end engineer, you must describe your project details, hire for skills, consider experience and portfolio and interview the best programmer.
What Is Front-End Development?
A website user interface refers to that part you see and interact with when you click on it. Website interfaces that make up the front end are buttons, contact forms, menus, sidebars, pop-ups, images, text, videos, image sliders, accordions, etc.
Creating all these visible parts is called front-end or client-side development, which is different from back-end development.
Unlike the front end, the back end is that part of a website you can't see, which includes the database, server, and APIs that keep the site working from behind the scene.
What Is a Front-End Engineer?
A front-end engineer is a professional web developer responsible for designing and developing all the components that make up the client side.
If you want to build an interactive yet attractive website, you need the service of a front-end developer.
What Does a Front-End Developer Do?
Everything you see, click, or use to add or retrieve information on a website is created by a front-end engineer who focuses on user experience to develop a responsive and functional website for their clients.
Front-end developers link the back end to the user interface, enabling you to interact with a site's database when you submit a form.
Also, they make it possible for users to view custom data based on the information retrieved from the server.
Here are some roles of a front-end developer.
- Develop a website using front-end frameworks like Bootstrap, React, or Vue.
- Testing the website for usability and mobile friendliness.
- Collaborating with the web designer to select the best layout for a website.
- Ensure that the website is optimised for speed and performance.
- Debugging the website's code and fixing errors.
- Collaborating with the back-end developer to build an interactive user interface.
What Are the Experience Levels of a Front-End Web Developer?
When hiring a front-end programmer, you must consider their experience level before making your decision. There are three kinds of front-end developers based on experience - junior, mid-level, and senior. Let's consider the experience of each to know who to hire for your project.
Junior Front-End Developers
Junior front-end engineers have 0 - 3 years of experience developing websites or applications. Since they are new to the job, they should be proficient in one or two coding languages.
Most junior programmers have basic knowledge of front-end coding and are always assigned to handle simple tasks. They create software as quickly as possible at the cost of quality.
Also, since they have little experience coding web apps, they can't handle a project on their own without supervision from mid-level or senior front-end engineers. If you want to build a new innovative product that meets your users' expectations, hiring junior front-end programmers is not the best thing to do.
While they can write code, they may not develop a functional software product. But if you want to form a team of developers with varied experience, you can employ junior programmers who will work under the supervision of senior developers.
Mid-Level Front-End Engineers
Mid-level front-end programmers have 3 - 6 years of experience building websites. They have worked on different clients' websites and have been involved in building products that meet users' expectations along with other developers.
Because they have experience handling multiple projects across different technologies, they can handle less complex front-end development projects on their own and technically solve problems that arise in the process.
Senior Front-End Programmers
Senior front-end engineers have over six years of experience coding websites and building go-to-market products for clients. Unlike junior developers, they have a mastery of front-end languages and are skilled in using frameworks like React, Vue, Angular, Bootstrap, etc., to build websites.
One quality of senior front-end developers is that they understand the importance of creating a software product that meets business requirements.
Hiring senior programmers is the best option if you have an innovative idea and want software that works for you. They can independently do tasks ranging from software architecture to coding, testing, and debugging.
What Are the Skills of a Front-End Web Developer?
Are you planning to hire front-end developers? If you are, always remember to hire for skills, not cheap rates. But hiring a client-side programmer can be an uphill task if you don't know what skill to look for. Some of the skills of a front-end engineer are listed below.
- HTML and CSS. An experienced front-end developer must be proficient in coding using markup languages like HTML and CSS. These languages will help the developer create a web page's structure and add style to make it attractive.
- Mobile-responsive design. A front-end engineer must be able to build a responsive website that looks good on all devices.
- Version control systems. These tools help a programmer to keep track of changes made to code and revert to an earlier version if anything goes wrong. Hire a front-end programmer with knowledge of version control.
- Testing code. Before deploying the website, a front-end coder must test the code to ensure it works properly. Knowledge of software testing is essential when hiring a client-side developer.
- Debugging and fixing errors. If there are errors in the code, the engineer must debug and fix them before deploying the site.
- Cross-browser testing and development. Since your website needs to look good on any browser, you must hire a front-end developer that knows cross-browser testing.
- Communication and collaboration. A front-end web developer should work with clients and other programmers. So, you should employ a programmer who is good at oral and written communication and works well in a team.
- Time management. Meeting deadlines is part of every web development project. A developer must be able to organise and prioritise activities and manage time.
- Problem-solving. Front-end programmers must be able to handle problems that arise during the web development process. That is why hiring a developer with the ability to think critically is important.
Front-End Programmers Hiring Options
There are several options to explore when hiring a front-end engineer. You can hire freelancers to work on your project. Or, you can hire an in-house developer who will work from a traditional office. Another option is to give out the project to an IT outsourcing company. Let's examine the hiring options one after the other.
Freelance front-end developers are experts that work independently for different clients, handling multiple projects. You can hire a freelance developer if you have a simple and less complex project that requires the service of a single programmer.
While hiring freelancer client-side developers can save cash because they are cheap, remember that they are unreliable. Also, if you want to scale your front-end project and hire more developers, they might not be able to work in sync.
Another hiring option you can explore is employing an expert who will work from an office in your organisation. This option makes it easy for you to collaborate with the coder when you want and have full control of your project.
Aside from that, hiring in-house programmers is also an option for organisations that want to create a permanent web development team. The setback of this hiring option is that you have to fire the front-end developer if your project ends.
And if you have another web development project, you must hire again. This process of hiring and firing is stressful for most business owners. Also, you have to get extra resources like an office and tech tools the programmer will use.
Another way to hire front-end developers to work on your project is by hiring programmers from a nearshore development company. Nearshore developers are software engineers in a nearby country and have similar work culture and tech to yours.
Aside from that, nearshore developers have excellent communication skills because they understand your business language and can build a product that speaks to your customers.
The advantage of engaging nearshore developers over in-house programmers is that you can scale and cut back your team easily when you want. Also, a project manager will be assigned to handle your task and ensure all deliverables are met.
Tips for Hiring the Best Front-End Programmers
This section has five tips to help you hire the best front-end engineer for your project. Let's consider them one after the other.
List Your Project Requirements
One way to hire the best front-end developer is for you to get it right from the start. Start by asking yourself what kind of software you want.
How does the website or application meet your business needs? Who are your clients, and how will they interact with your software product? What problem does the software solve?
When you understand why you need a website or application, you can build a product that meets your users' expectations. Also, you can explain your software development project better to the developer who will help you scope the product.
The software scope should contain your project details. What should and shouldn't be in the software, all the deliverables, and the total amount it costs to build the product.
Hire for Skills
It can be tempting to settle for a front-end developer (most especially a freelancer) that charges a small fee to build a website.
While that might save you some cash initially, remember that cheap doesn't always translate to quality. If you want a quality software product, you should hire for skills, not cheap rates.
Also, the programmer should know front-end frameworks like Bootstrap, React, and Vue. Aside from that, testing, debugging, and fixing errors are some of the technical skills that make a good front-end developer.
Besides looking at tech skills, you should consider soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and time management.
Consider the Front-End Programmer's Experience
Experience matters when hiring a front-end web developer. Depending on your project's complexity, you can hire a mid-level or senior client-side programmer. Their years of experience will be useful when working on your project.
Remember that junior front-end web developers are just starting and are only suitable for less complex roles with senior devs supervising them. You can settle for a junior developer if you are expanding your technical team and you want someone you will train to work in your organisation.
Examine the Developer's Portfolio
One way to confirm a front-end developer experience is by checking the portfolio. A portfolio is a website that showcases a programmer's past project. You can evaluate a developer's skills by checking the technology used to build the projects.
If the front-end developer has handled a project similar to yours, you can ask how it is done and the technology used before you proceed to hire.
Interview the Front-End Engineer
Before signing contracts with the front-end developers, you interview them to know the best fit. Here are some of the questions.
- Can you explain CSS float and how it is used in web development?
- How do you ensure that your website is accessible and user-friendly?
- How do you deal with browser-specific incompatibility?
- Do you use CSS preprocessors?
- How do you plan a website?
- What are tags in HTML?
Answering all these questions will make you understand the front-end developer's technical and communication skills better.
Now that you have filtered the best front-end developer by examining the skills, experience, portfolio, and interviewing, you can sign a contract with the right expert. The contract should state the work the developer will do, the cost of the development project, and the deadline.
Hiring a front-end developer is difficult for a non-technical manager that wants the best programmer. Since you have been here, you have known what it takes to hire an experienced front-end programmer to build your website or application.
To recap, you should consider the developer's tech and soft skills, experience, and portfolio and conduct interviews before signing contracts.
Did you know that when you outsource your front-end development project to nearshore developers, you don't have to go through all these processes?
At Deazy, we help startups and organisations find the best software engineers to work on their projects. Our system intelligently matches a developer with the right experience and skills to ensure you get a go-to-market product that meets users' expectations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Look for When Hiring a Front-End Developer?
How Do I Recruit a Front-End Developer?
To recruit a front-end engineer, you can hire a freelancer to work on your project. Also, you can hire a developer to work from an office in your organisation. Better still, you can outsource your software project to a nearshore developer.