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Hiring the right web developer

Find the right person for the job with this helpful guide.

Published on

February 16, 2023


If you’re looking to grow your tech team, a web developer is a great place to start. Websites are the heart of your organization’s brand and it’s important to hire the right person to keep it beating. But in a sea of Front-End, Back-End, and Full-Stack developers, how can you decide who is the right person for the job?

To target the right candidates, you need to know who has the right skills to get the job done.

The first thing you need to know: web developers fall into several specialized categories.

To choose the right fit for your project or team, you need to identify the main priorities and needs you are hiring for. Use our handy guide below to get started.

Front-end Developer (interface developers)

Responsible for: Development, design, and implementation of user-facing features of a web application. Simply put, they determine what each part of a site or application does and how it looks.

Back-end Developer (coding developers)

Responsible for: Functionality of the site by building and maintaining the infrastructure for the web application. Simply put, they handle what goes on behind the scenes like data storage, security, and other server-side functions.

Full-stack Developer

Responsible for: The best of both worlds: They develop both the front and back-end website infrastructure.

Now that you know what the different types of web developers do, it’s time to start building your job posting.

Identify which skills you need, and which type of Web Developer is best suited for your project or team, with these tips.

When will you need to hire a Front-End Web Developer?

When you have the following objectives:

  • Master visual designs that integrate with technical programming to improve the UI (user interface) / UX (user experience)
  • Develop new user features and build reusable codes for the website(s)
  • Optimize website speed
  • Prepare all the website input to be submitted to a back-end developer

What experience and technical skills are common for a Front-End Web Developer?

  • Coding: JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and more
  • Web frameworks: Popular ones include jQuery, Bootstrap, and more
  • Mobile & responsive website design
  • Browser specific development
  • Content Management Systems (CMS): Popular ones include WordPress, Drupal, Magento, and Joomla
  • Debugging (fixing website errors) and testing
  • Git (version control systems used to track code changes)

When will you need to hire a Back-End Web Developer?

When you have the following objectives:

  • Manage the server and data functionality for the user
  • Development of all server logic
  • Managing the centralized database
  • Maintaining quality performance and response from the front-end of the website

What experience and technical skills are common for a Back-End Web Developer?

  • Coding: Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, .NET, and more
  • CSS preprocessors (LESS and SASS)
  • Compliance with security
  • Web frameworks: Ruby on Rails, Django, Flask, Express, and more
  • Data structures and algorithms
  • Authentications and authorizations
  • Git (version control systems used to track code changes), backup administration
  • Optimizing outputs for device responsiveness
  • REST Services and APIs

When will you need to hire a Full-Stack Developer?

When you have the following objectives:

  • Build and manage the entire website design (front-end) and server infrastructure (back-end)
  • Database creation and management
  • Integrating front-end UI and connecting APIs

What experience and technical skills are common for a Full-Stack Developer?

All the above.

When looking for a Full-Stack Developer, they have a dual skill set and take care of everything from the front-end to the back-end (hence the term full-stack).

They design the front-end of a website, create the back-end infrastructure, and ensure the proper working order and functionality of the website.

Final Thoughts

“With so many tools and technologies out there, the keys to attracting top web developer candidates are knowing what your must haves are, what skills are easy for someone to pick up and what additional capabilities will be an asset.” - Madi Lalonde, Tech Implementation Lead, Altis Technology

Be sure that you have a full understanding of your web development requirements before you begin your search. Get a sense of your objectives, whether it’s the user interface design, website layout, and overall UX, or the functionality of your web application that comes first—or perhaps it’s all the above! Once you have a clear understanding of your technical needs for the role, you can decide what type of web developer your organization needs.

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