Which Skills Does My Front-End Developer Need?

by | Jun 7, 2016 | front-end development, Web Development

If you run a business and need to interview front-end developers or a front-end development team – how do you know that your candidates are qualified, especially when you don’t speak their “language?” Furthermore, what qualifications and skill sets should you look for when hiring front-end development help?

We recently helped business owners learn the difference between front-end developer and designer – and now, NoBorder readers know the distinction and why it matters to their business. Today, we add to our Front-end Development for Business Guide, explaining exactly what you need to check off line item by line item when interviewing your next front-end developer.

Whether you’re hiring a front-end developer for a project, or bringing someone on full time, what hard and soft skills does the ideal front-end developer have today – and what can you absolutely not afford to compromise on?

Front End Developer Basic Skill Sets and Qualifications

First thing’s first: Take a hard look at the developer’s portfolio of past projects. Does their previous work match the aesthetic of your brand, or the style you want your brand to project? This is one of the most overlooked details for today’s CEOs and marketing leaders; often falling by the wayside in an effort to remember all of the software terminology and jargon that makes up a qualified front-end developer by skill set.

Once you’re satisfied with the aesthetics of their work, make sure the development candidate demonstrates excellent knowledge of HTML, CSS, JQuery, and Javascript standards. He or she should also bear a passionate commitment to writing high quality, clean code and semantic markup. A command of responsive web design, a keen, enthusiastic eye for user experience (UX), and the uncanny ability to work with layers, groups and effects are also absolutely necessary. In addition, a good front-end developer is expected to:

  • Develop functional, beautiful web and mobile-based applications, based on specific customer needs and usability
  • Provide website maintenance and enhancements
  • Create mockups and prototypes on deadline
  • Maintain strict graphic standards and branding throughout the product interface

By checking for these basic skill sets and qualifications, you can then move into the required soft skills your front-end developer needs to have to succeed with your business.

“Soft” and Interpersonal Skills

Finding a developer that exudes attention to detail is an absolute must. This is not just following tasks to the letter, but it’s also a keen interest in learning that drives the developer to test cross-platform consistencies, without the need to be prompted. Ensure that the developer cares about the tiny details that inform the big picture and expresses self-motivated to get the job done, without having to look over their shoulder.

You also want a developer that can both deliver what you want, and work by conscience at the same time. We both know that there’s nothing more frustrating than spending money on a product that will be outdated and require a full revamp in a matter of months. A front-end developer who is keenly aware of consumer trends, as well as the specific trends within their industry, will be able to spin an idea into a unique asset that solves all challenges.

Last, but not least, great communication skills are a must. A front-end developer is usually required to communicate with an array of designers to get any job done. If they don’t communicate regularly, he or she may end up misinterpreting design sets and implement them incorrectly. This is one of those professions where it’s absolutely OK to ask a lot of questions! Just ensure that the questions they’re answering are about the details – and not the absolute basics.

Specific Software Skills

Again, absolutely look for key software mentions and demonstration of skill in HTML, CSS, JQuery, and Javascript. Other helpful tools that you may need for your project include:

Extras You Want (or Need)

Get the most expertise for your budget. Look for additional experience in areas like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and CMS (Customer Management System). It’s also wise to look for a developer who specializes in the back end or platform that your business uses or prefers, so save time on all ends of your project.

In addition to actually developing, your front-end developer can consult you and your team on what to do – and how to do it. This includes guidance on developing certain pages for websites, like a career page, or project page, concerns about user experience, and what is to be expected from the new, finished product – and going forward.

Take the Guesswork out of the Web.

Hire a Customer-Oriented, Expert Front-End Developer at NoBorder Productions today.

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NoBorder Productions LLC
101 West Broadway, Suite 300
92101 CA, San Diego