Hiring a good web developer can be very tricky, there’s a lot of layers into finding out who fits best to solve your company’s needs. But this is a process every business needs to go through when they’re in the market for hiring a good web developer.
Before jumping to hiring steps, let's acknowledge the job and skill of the web developers.
What Exactly Does a Web Developer Do?
Web developers, who are also called web programmers or web coders, are the people who make a website work. They create the site's functionality, interactivity, and structure, which is usually based on what designers and people in other important roles want.
Web developers are also responsible for testing to ensure that a site works properly on all browsers, both desktop and mobile. Once a website is up, a developer will provide updates and other maintenance work as needed.
Web Developer Skills
To succeed as a web developer, one will need a combination of hard and soft talents. Here are some of the most prevalent abilities required for this position:
Web developers must grasp HTML and CSS. HTML is the most widely used markup language on the Internet, and web developers use it to generate web pages. In contrast, CSS is used to style the webpage. It is in charge of the fonts, colors, and layout of a website's design. CSS designs a webpage, whereas HTML lays the groundwork for it.
As a web developer, developers will need strong analytical skills to make a wide range of useful websites. This includes verifying that the coding is right and that the website functions properly. It's also critical to understand your consumers' or clients' wants. Developers need to figure out what their goals and needs are and be ready to make any changes they want to see on the website. The more they learn about consumers, the better the website will be.
Responsive Design Skills
As a web developer, it's critical to understand how responsive design works. Because many people view web pages both online and on mobile devices, the websites' design must be responsive to shifting screen sizes. If your site isn't responsive, it won't work on either the desktop site or the mobile site. In other words, it will not function or appear correctly on either of these platforms. The ability to create a responsive design can also influence the number of visitors a website receives, because most people are not pleased by a website that does not display properly.
Developers need to be good with people because they will work with a wide range of clients. This involves a variety of social skills, such as good body language, active listening skills, the capacity to collaborate, and a general positive attitude and work ethic. The more you get along with and communicate with your clients, the easier the web development process will be for both of you.
Debugging and Testing Abilities
Web developers must know how to test websites for mistakes on a regular basis. They should also be able to debug any problems that arise. Testing ensures that the code is performing as expected and can be functional or unit testing. Developers in this role must be able to test and fix bugs on websites on a regular and effective basis.
Web devs also need to be familiar with the foundations of back-end web development. This is because you'll be working in collaboration with back-end developers or might be tasked with using these skills yourself. You'll need to understand how servers work, as well as APIs, SQL, databases, and cybersecurity. All of these are important skills to know as they relate to the server-side of a webpage.
Search Engine Optimization
Web developers should be well-versed in search engine optimization. This is due to the fact that website traffic is becoming increasingly vital to businesses. A website with good SEO will attract more visitors by ranking high enough in search engine result pages. Because more and more businesses are seeking for effective SEO, it's a vital ability to have as a web developer.
What Do Web Developers Do on a Daily Basis?
While particular duties will vary depending on the websites and the type of company, the usual day-to-day tasks of a web developer generally include:
- Meeting with clients to find out what they want from their website
- Creating design frameworks
- Wireframing pages, situating CTAs, links, and graphics
- If applicable, include multimedia components such as sound, animation, and video.
- Ensuring that the site is responsive and will display properly on all devices
- The site's functionality and rendering are being tested and improved.
- Uploading the website to a chosen server
Whether it’s to build your company’s website from scratch, or to add new features on an already existing one, a good web developer will be required. Here are some steps that you as a company can do to hire a good developer!
How to Hire Good Web Developer
Hiring a good developer may be one of the most important decisions for a company to make. After all, they are the ones who will be able to build a bridge between you and your customers virtually. At the risk of wasting time and money if you hire an incompatible and incompetent web developer, it’s best that you do these four steps during the selection process:
1. Traits over skill
Before you’re in awe of the list of skills, or years of your potential web developer candidate’s work experience, pause for a minute and check. Check whether they have the right traits for the company and its culture. If you appreciate a web developer with significant drive, determination, curiosity, and persistence, then you won’t be satisfied with a web developer who has worked in slow-paced, laxed, heavily structured large organizations.
Write down five to seven traits that you and your company appreciate in a potential candidate. It could be their versatility, adaptability, risk-taking level, self-starter personality, relentless drive, good team player, anything that comes to mind when you picture a perfect fit, write it down. Take that note and see if the potential candidate has at least four of the seven traits. Of course, interview answers can be rehearsed, so it’s best if you follow up this step with the following.
2. Test their ability
Impressed by their traits and perfect answers during the interview, it’s time to test their ability. Ideally you can test them with a small or non-critical project, just to see what kind of person they are. Are they a fast learner, quick and productive worker, or good team player? Did they do everything perfectly, right on time, or are their pace too slow for your standard.
These are the things you will get from a simple test. Not to mention you’ll also get to check the delivered final product. Is it working properly, or is it full of bugs and errors? There’s a lot to gain from testing their ability before you offer the web developer position.
3. Love for learning
As a web developer, they are bound to learn new technology and skills every few years. While conducting the interview, make sure you slip some questions that will test whether they have a love for learning or not. If you’re hiring a web developer for the long run, you better hire someone who can adapt and learn new skills along the way.
Here are some questions you can pose to your potential web developer candidate:
“Did you learn any new programming languages recently? If so, what is it and how is it going to affect the current ones?”
“Do you have a favourite go-to place to learn new web or tech tips and tricks in general? If so, why did you pick that website/channel?”
“Do you go to technology conferences? If so, where/which one, and why?”
4. Don’t get emotional
Even if you manage to hire the best web developer after implementing all the above steps, unexpected things may happen and things may not work out as you’d hope. That all-star web developer could show a change in their traits and did not work as efficiently as they did at the very start.
It could be due to family issues, and other external or internal matters, whatever it might be, as soon as it affects the team dynamics and the deadline, you have to take some action. Start by talking to them, asking, and finding out what was the cause of this change? Offer solutions or ways to resolve their issue and find common ground to quickly get them on track.
It’s good if they can get over the challenge and get back to become the good developer that they are, but if it doesn’t, quickly fire them. Keeping someone whose heart and head are not in the game is going to bleed out to the other team member. Don’t get emotional, the company’s goals always come first.
Why Hire a Web Developer
There are plenty of reasons why a company would hire a web developer, whether it’s to create a website from scratch or maintain what’s currently available as an asset. Whatever the reason is, hiring a professional, highly skilled web developer is always the way to go, and here’s why:
- Time Efficient: Web development takes time, it’s better if you hire a professional than to rely on some newbie doing it for the first time. Not only will it be time efficient, but a professional web developer will also have proper insight to the direction of your web development that is highly valuable in the long run.
- Sleek Design: Professional web developers have that edge that oozes sophistication. You’ll want that awe as your customers’ first impression when they open the website. It’s priceless.
- Customizable: A good web developer will be able to build a custom design website, complete with add-on features unique to your company’s identity and brand. If you want your website to stand out, it’s time to add those customization, now!
- Built-in SEO: Search engine optimization or SEO is going to be a huge part of your website. A properly built website with embedded SEO architecture will win you a spot in the search engine result pages (SERPs). Good web developers will already have this in mind when developing your website.
- Cutting edge: In line with SEO architecture, a website with the latest and bests in implementing cutting edge technology on their backend will rank better on Google’ SERPs. For instance, a website without mobile responsive features or AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) will have lower rank than those who do. A good web developer will know this, and they’ll implement it accordingly.
Steps to Hire Web Developer
By now you know how to hire a good web developer and even have a strong reason to do so, but where can you start? Here are some of the steps you can do to hire a good web developer now.
1. Specify Business Challenges and Goals
First thing first, you need to specify your business needs. What is the size and goals of the project? Do you need to create a simple website with basic features (contact form, CTA button, subscription button, etc.), or a larger project that needs development in static/dynamic web apps, online store, and other integrated third-party services (CRM, CMS, database, chatbots, API, etc.)?
All web development projects are unique, and without understanding the size and aims of your project, it is difficult to provide clear advice on which web developers will best suit your project. Before you start looking, you need to decide what kind of web development project you need help with:
- A simple web project consists of creating a simple website or incorporating new features into an existing one. These features could include a contact form, a CTA button, a fresh template design, a subscribe button, and so on.
- Medium web projects encompass a wide range of project types, including the creation of static or dynamic web apps, online storefronts, and other services that necessitate the integration of third-party services such as CRM, CMS, databases, chatbots, APIs, and others.
- Large-scale web projects are those that require not only a plethora of complex technology but also integration with cloud hosting servers to store all of their user data, such as a video sharing social media app or social networks.
- Other projects, because project scope and situations vary.
At this step, you should also outline your specific business difficulties, i.e., why you need to engage a web developer. According to our experience, customers seek a web developer in the following three situations:
- You want to create a project from the ground up, which is a common scenario for existing enterprises and start-ups. To save time and money, start-ups should hire an outsourcing web development team. At the same time, established organizations that want to automate some business processes can pick between an in-house or a dedicated web development team.
- You’ll be required to hire a professional to your in-house team to keep an eye on ongoing project. In this instance, you have the option of hiring a freelance web developer or outsourcing a developer through a web development business for a specific length of time.
- You want to employ technology that no one on your in-house development team has used before. Unless you want to wait for your engineers to learn it, you can employ a web programmer from an outsourcing business who is already familiar with the technology.
2. Decide Developer's Skill You Need
There are three sorts of web developers. Front-end, back-end, and full-stack programmers What's the distinction between them? Let's see.
- Back-end developers are in charge of website structure, which is hidden behind the front-end, i.e. how your website operates. If you want to improve the speed of your website, integrate third-party services into the site infrastructure, or resolve technical issues, you may need to hire an expert. Back-end developers typically employ technologies such as PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, and databases such as MongoDB, SQL - MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and others.
- Full-stack developers have knowledge with both the front and back ends of websites. These professionals are becoming increasingly popular among start-ups with limited resources. While full-stack developers have a higher hourly fee than previously stated developers, working with such a specialist is less expensive than hiring front and back-end developers.
As you can read more in detail on this Talentport article, there are three types of web developers: Front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers. Look into your own in-house developers and see which one you need to add more of. Is it the client side (front-end), database (back-end), or someone versatile enough who can do both.
3. Find Them in The Right Platform
When you're looking for web programmers to hire, keep in mind that you're hiring a technological partner who will be a part of your organization for a number of years, helping with your project's technical needs and making improvements to your website as time goes on. As a result, you must be extremely cautious when hiring web developers.
To hire a web development team, use a slightly different strategy and look at the following websites:
- Clutch is a business-to-business review site where clients share their experiences working with development firms. The website has search filters and a grading system. As a result, you can not only locate the perfect team but also learn about its strengths and weaknesses.
- SoftwareWorld is a review website that ranks top developers based on user feedback and geography. The website also shows the key industries in which the web development team has worked.
- Tech blogs, such as the one you're reading, where web development teams share their development skills with future and present clients. Please contact them if you think their writings informative and relevant to your industry.
4. Portfolio Check
How to hire the perfect web developer? Before hiring a team of web developers, you should find out how much experience they have and if they can meet the needs of your next project. As a result, before filling out contact forms, it is always a good idea to look over the team's portfolio to learn more about their previous work. You can also look at the company's profile on the LinkedIn, Behance, and Dribble networks. If the company's skills match your needs, you can get in touch with the team and start talking about your project.
A quick portfolio check and glimpse on their profile on LinkedIn, Behance and Dribble network could be your next step. It’s the fastest and easiest way to see whether you’d like their style of final product or not.
What should you look for in a web developer? Before you sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), you should also evaluate your web developers' soft skills, which are very important to the success of the project. The following are examples of critical soft skills:
- Communication is essential for staying on the same page as the development team. Furthermore, good communication and expectation sharing will lead to fewer misconceptions, clearer project needs, and feature set.
- Teamwork is necessary, especially for a large and complex project involving designers, project managers, QA managers, business analysts, and other team members.
- Proactivity is important since it is always beneficial for a developer to provide input on technological solutions, discuss ideas, and offer changes during the project development process.
- It's important for developers to be friendly and helpful because if they can't talk to other team members and ask them about something, a small problem could quickly become a big problem. So, the developer's ability to get along with others makes it easier for them to work together.
The ideal technique to assess web developers' soft abilities is to conduct a video interview with them or ask them to make a video about themselves or explain how to deal with a complicated technical task.
5. Choose The Ideal Working Model
If you’re happy with their overall qualifications, it’s time to choose the perfect working model for your company. If you are a small company, start-up or a business that would like to develop a simple basic website, the project-based model is the best way to go. But if you’d like to implement complex functions such as cloud storage integration, or AI chatbot development, you can hire a dedicated web development team.
Depending on how big and complicated your web development project is, you can choose from the following ways to work together:
- The project-based model is popular among new and established firms looking to complete a small web development project. The work scope and deadlines in this paradigm are predetermined. In addition, the web development team is in charge of all project management as well as the selection of technological solutions. The web development team handles every aspect of this business model.
- If you need to integrate complicated functions on your websites, such as cloud storage integration or AI Chabot creation, but want to save time and money on employing in-house professionals, a Dedicated Team business model is ideal. Controlling the project roadmap is something you may accomplish on your own or delegate to your dedicated web development team. The responsibility for the project's success are dependent on the project management procedure. If the PM is on the customer's side, they are in charge of the team.
- The greatest choice for developing large projects while maintaining within the project's budget is to use outstaff or an extended team. You'll also need an in-house CTO and project manager for active collaboration, because with the outstaff model, you'll be responsible for task assignments, progress management, and leading web developers from the technical management side. Customers bear all responsibility, validation, and control in this company model.
Hiring a good web developer can be a long and excruciating journey, but if you do it right and you’ve matched with the perfect fit, the company will reap bountiful benefits in the long run. Take your time to think things through, list your preferred traits and check what type of web developer your company needs. It’s always best for you to know what you need before looking for what’s new.
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