In the 21st century, user experience is everything. As Steve Jobs once said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” How quickly have you clicked out of a site or software program that is not user friendly, feels clunky, or is hard to read? The people developing these frameworks are typically called front end developers; they work with the side of the software that people interact with.
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What is a Front End Developer?
At their core, front end developers are problem solvers. They are continually improving and enhancing user experience. They figure out how it might work best and the precise Design that will facilitate its use. The Design is then directly correlated with the product fulfilling its core mission and providing positive and productive user experience.
Who are Today’s Front End Developers?
The Challenge of Finding the Right Developer for Your Company
Put up a job post for a front end developer, and you’ll likely see the resumes pile in. And yet, how do you identify the qualities you need for the job amidst a sea of credentials and listed responsibilities.
The front end developer working in today’s dynamic and ever-changing technological landscape has spent a considerable amount of time honing the technical skills necessary to code sophisticated frameworks and structure data in a way that translates into usability and performance. At the same time, a front end developer is at heart, a person with creative instincts and a knack for solving problems creatively. So finding the right developer means finding someone with the technical experience and expertise but also with that intangible often elusive quality of genuine creativity and self-driven curiosity that makes great problem solvers and creative thinkers.
Everyday Responsibilities of Today’s Front End Developers
Just like many developer roles, a front end developer in your company might be different than a front end developer in another company. That’s because so much of their daily responsibilities and tasks are tailored to your specific needs and the kind of project you are looking for. At its core, front end developers work directly with user interaction and logic but also work with different browsers while understanding the way that content is presented in various platforms (desktop, mobile).
Some of the everyday responsibilities, however, include:
- Develop new user-facing features
- Ensure the technical feasibility of UI/UX designs
- Collaborate with back end developers
- Optimizing designs for mobile sites
- Testing site for usability
- Experience with APIs
Technical Skills of Front End Developers
Front end developers, just like back end developers, are typically pretty flexible coders that are versatile in a variety of different languages and programming tools. Other technical skills possessed by front end developers can include:
- HTML/CSS. It is essential to be proficient with these two languages in order to be an efficient front end developer. HTML is, of course, the standard markup language used to create web pages, so it’s kind of a basic building block to other front end frameworks. CSS and HTML determine the presentation.
- CSS Preprocessing. This also builds off of CSS knowledge but allows a developer more possibilities. Using preprocessors like SASS, LESS, or Stylus means you can write code and then have it convert to CSS.
- Debugging. A front end developer should know how to look for and fix common and uncommon bugs that occur. This means knowing different testing methods to find the problem.
- Creating responsive designs. Today’s websites need to be responsive when viewed through a variety of devices—having an in-depth understanding of responsive design principles and how to implement them through coding.
- Experience with browser developer tools. Knowing how to work the developers’ tools with browsers allow developers to test and fine-tune pages.
Other technical specialties:
In addition to the above, an excellent front end developer might possess any of the following working knowledge.
- Content Management Systems (CMS)
- Cross-Browser Testing
- Cross-Platform Testing
- Search Engine Optimization
- E-commerce systems
- Load testing
- Performance testing
Soft Skills of a Front end Developer
And just like any developer working on complicated projects, they likely have to interact and/or collaborate with other team members or clients. This means that soft skills also play a significant role in the successful integration of any developer to your company. Here are some of the most common soft skills needed for this kind of tech role.
Communication and collaboration skills.
Front end developers will often have to work with back end developers and other creative team members. This means exchanging ideas and collaborating to make sure that systems are working together. Communication skills mean that a developer is not only articulate and able to communicate problems to other developers but also to clients or other employees.
Creativity and problem-solving.
These two go hand in hand, but creativity is obviously a much-needed quality for a successful front end developer. They need to be able to approach the design in a creative way that helps users with their experience. It’s also a matter of aesthetics and ensuring functionality. Problem-solving is a central function of finding the best Design but also comes in when glitches occur, or issues arise.
Common Interview Questions and Skills Assessments
There is no exact science when it comes to interviewing potential front end developers or any new member of your creative team. Finding the right candidate means digging through the noise and getting at the knowledge and skills that will benefit your company the most. We picked up just a few possible interview questions for front end developers.
- Explain meta tags in HTML?
- What is Node.js?
- Name some essential design elements.
- What is SQL Injection?
- Why and when should I use Webpack?
- Explain the CSS’ box model’ and the layout components that it consists of?
- What is Sass?
- Explain the Strict mode.
Finding the right candidate might also involve some more open-ended questions and/or skills assessment tests that can give you a better idea of how they work. Some more open-ended questions can include something like:
- Can you describe your workflow when you create a webpage?
- What are your favorite features of HTML and CSS3, and what would you change?
- Show them a sample website or your current company website and ask them to take you through the features that they think are working, not working, could be improved, etc.
In terms of real-time assessments, there are also options for skills assessment tests available through sites like interview mocha.
Job Description for a Front End Developer
When preparing your job description for a front end developer, consider a few things: company culture you want to portray, tone, the kind of workplace you want to show, etc. In your job description, make sure you describe your company’s mission, ethos, and priorities but also show the kind of workplace you provide. A good rule of thumb is the following:
- Expectations. What you expect from a developer both in terms of technical and soft skills.
- Show them there is room for growth. One way to attract top candidates is to make your job description one that shows that your company is a welcoming flourishing place that allows room for creativity and growth.
Job Title: Front End Developer
Years of Experience:
- 0 to 1 – Entry Level / Junior
- 1 to 3 – Intermediate
- 4 to 6 – Senior
- 7 to 9 – Architect / Team Lead / Tech Lead
- 10 to 14 – IT Manager / CTO / CPO / Project Manager
- City, Country
- Remote / Telecommute
- Hybrid (work on-site and from home some days)
- Part-time – fewer than 30 hours per week
- Full time -from 32 to 40 hours per week
- Temp-Hire – for short term projects or contract renovation every 6 or 12 months usually done through a staffing agency.
- Permanent placement – for long term projects or direct hires with a duration of more than 12 months.
While salary often depends on experience and specific skills, the salary expectations of front end developers range around $69, 411. And although data varies a little bit, the range stays on the ballpark. It also depends on the cost of living and other factors. For more senior-level developers, the salary can average about $90,000.
Streamline the Hiring Process and Make the Most of Your Resources
Make the hiring process work for you. Don’t expend resources and time that could be used in improving or creating your product. So how do you make the hiring process more comfortable and more effective? Find someone that can help you sort through the noise and find the right fit. Using a third party to help you with hiring is not only common for tech companies but has a proven track record of finding vetted, well-established, and experienced developers for different roles.
Using a third party does not mean you’re less involved in the hiring. On the contrary, it allows you to be more engaged without spending the hours in searching for possible qualified candidates. Companies like CodersLink, have a well-established pool of developers with varying skills. We can help you narrow down your search and take care of the paperwork that drains your company of resources. We do the searching, and you make the final decision.
So these are two valuable options for companies to use when getting a third party to help with hiring:
- Direct Placement Hiring:<span style=”font-weight: 400;”> Using the staffing agency as a way to bypass the recruitment process and use a third party’s connections and experience in the field to find candidates, while you take care of the hiring. This often transitions to a permanent placement, so the third party only assists on a temporary basis until you have fully taken the employee on permanently.
- Remote Hiring: Staffing services provide direct connections to qualified candidates that have been vetted for quality and experience. This ensures your company with access to great candidates that can work remotely.
Enhance Your User Experience with the Right Front End Developer
The right candidate means excellent returns for your company. Front end developers have important skills that have a real impact on the way potential customers or clients interact with your product. They are responsible for the user-facing code and the architecture that determines user experience.
Check out how CodersLink can help you find the right developer.
Let us know what other questions you have regarding the best hiring approach and questions for front end developers.