How to Find & Hire Javascript Developers

Hiring in the current tech talent market is highly competitive. You’ll find it challenging to come across a genuinely good JavaScript developer who doesn’t already have their hands full with projects.

In our 2020 developer survey, we found that 65% of programmers use JavaScript. In other words, 65% of programmers claim to know the language. However, a developer who’s dabbled with a bit of JavaScript isn’t necessarily an expert. The popularity of JavaScript makes it more difficult to identify the top-class JavaScript developers. Everyone claims to be a specialist.

This article shows you where to look and what to look for to hire an excellent JavaScript developer. 

What is a JavaScript developer?

The definition of a JavaScript developer is a software programmer who writes front-end website code as well as server-side code for any computer application.

A JavaScript developer typically works on a website’s front end. As such, they usually work alongside programmers who specialize in webpage styling and markup.

Front-end JavaScript developers give web pages dynamic function. Without JavaScript code, a website would only display static content, like unchanging text and images. JavaScript enables web pages to have changing content. For example, a stock web page with stock prices that change each time you refresh the page.

Check out this guide if you want to hire a front-end JavaScript programmer who specializes in the Angular framework.

JavaScript can also be used server-side to serve front-end resources, perform heavier computation, and access files and databases.

Aside from web development, a JavaScript programmer may specialize in machine learning and artificial intelligence. The JavaScript library called TensorFlow is one of the most popular ways of developing artificial intelligence applications.

What should a JavaScript developer know?

Every developer should know how to test and debug code, how to use a version control system, and how to solve problems creatively.

The following is what a JavaScript developer specifically should know.

The core JavaScript programming language

JavaScript can seem vast and impractical to understand due to frameworks like Node.js, libraries like jQuery, browser APIs, and an endless number of npm packages.

JavaScript has evolved through several versions, which has changed the preferred syntaxes of many operations. In other words, a JavaScript programmer can perform the same task in several different ways.

A good JavaScript programmer will know that the core JavaScript programming language is relatively small. They will know basic language features like if/else, the power of a function, the various uses of the return statement, error handling, array manipulation, and string manipulation. They will also understand more complex ideas like objects, variable scope, and the ‘this’ keyword.

A JavaScript developer should also be aware of the new additions to the core language introduced in JavaScript ES6. They should know how to work with a class, and all about promises, modules, and generators.

Check out this list of technical JavaScript questions for help when quizzing prospective developers.

Web design basics

Webpages are made from JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

JavaScript is the programming language that web browsers interpret to give dynamic function to web pages. Unless you are hiring a JavaScript developer to work on the back end exclusively, they need to know how to manipulate HTML and CSS code. They should also know how the Document Object Model (DOM) of a web browser works, with the Document Object Model tree.

Having some design knowledge would be beneficial. Designers don’t always know what’s technically possible. A JavaScript developer should be able to communicate design suggestions to designers.

JavaScript frameworks

Most commercial projects are built using a framework. Frameworks make development faster by providing pre-written and pre-tested code for common function. Developers can spend more time creating new functions rather than reinventing the wheel.

The most popular front-end JavaScript frameworks are Angular, React, and Vue.js. A JavaScript programmer can indirectly manipulate HTML, CSS, and the Document Object Model tree of a web browser using these frameworks.

The most popular back-end JavaScript frameworks are Node.js and Next.js.

The JavaScript developer you hire should be familiar with the frameworks already used by your projects. You want all your developers to be able to work on any of your ongoing projects, if needed.

If you’re starting a new project and have no framework preference, knowing any of these top frameworks is fine. You can achieve the same user experience but with varying execution performance, ease of development, community support, and security.

Performance optimization

There are many ways to achieve the same result in JavaScript, but different methods have different performance times. Every JavaScript programmer should know the basics of how to optimize the performance of their code.

Code can run slowly for many reasons, such as lots of instructions to execute, slow computer hardware, or network latency. A JavaScript programmer should know enough about the language and the framework that they are using to identify the cause of slow-running code.

How much do JavaScript developers make?

The cost of hiring a JavaScript developer varies. You can hire a full-time employee or a freelance programmer.

Cost of a full-time JavaScript developer

The average salary for a JavaScript developer in the US is around $72,000 per year or $29 per hour, according to PayScale. 80% of US JavaScript developer salaries are between $50,000 and $103,000.

Although, if you want a JavaScript developer who specializes in machine learning, expect to pay more. The US average salary for a machine learning developer is $106,000.

A full-time JavaScript programmer has costs other than salary, such as tax and retirement contributions.

Pros of hiring a full-time JavaScript developer

  • Employees learn your goals and values.
  • You can communicate more efficiently with employees, and they prioritize communication with you.

Cons of hiring a full-time JavaScript developer

  • An employee can cost a significant amount of money to terminate if you end up being unhappy with their performance.
  • You need to provide employees with computer equipment and software licenses.
  • You have to pay an employee even when you don’t have any work to give them.

Cost of a freelance JavaScript developer

Freelance JavaScript programmers are usually more costly per hour compared with full-time employees. Freelancers need to pay more expenses themselves, such as tax contributions and equipment.

However, you pay a freelancer only when you need them and you don’t pay them the rest of the time, which can result in a considerable cost saving overall.

The average worldwide hourly rate of a freelance JavaScript developer is $61 to $80, according to Arc.

Pros of hiring a freelance JavaScript developer

  • While more expensive per hour, freelancers only charge for the number of hours necessary.
  • You can easily terminate a freelance contract.
  • You can return to a freelancer for further work at any time.
  • Freelancers handle their own expenses. You just pay them a fixed amount and have no other financial obligations to them.
  • You can hire freelance JavaScript programmers with different skill levels to match the difficulty of your projects.

Cons of hiring a freelance JavaScript developer

  • A freelancer could abandon your job for one with more upside.
  • Freelancers can work for several clients simultaneously. A freelancer might not give your project the time it needs.
  • There could be a language barrier.
  • Freelancers don’t all know or follow proper documentation standards. Your project could end up being too convoluted for a different programmer to maintain at a later date.

Where can I find a JavaScript developer?

Check out these places to find a JavaScript programmer who is both passionate and knowledgeable. You can visit most of these places using your web browser but some require in-person attendance.

CodinGame Sourcing

CodinGame Sourcing is the place to start your search for a JavaScript programmer. CodinGame Sourcing’s powerful matching algorithms will introduce you to the best JavaScript developers who match your requirements.

You’ll get the best return on your time by searching with CodinGame Sourcing.

Try CodinGame Sourcing for free now!

Freelancer platforms

Freelance job platforms are flooded with JavaScript developers. As the most popular programming language used to build websites, every developer and his dog knows JavaScript.

However, many JavaScript developers on these freelance websites will be unqualified, so be sure to screen them thoroughly.

Upwork and Freelancer are the most prominent freelance platforms out there. You will find mostly cheap but inexperienced JavaScript programmers on these sites. You’ll be able to find highly skilled developers, but you’ll have to put in the work and interview many applicants.

Toptal and TopCoder are more exclusive. Not just anyone can list on these platforms. Toptal specifically has strict acceptance standards, which only 3% of JavaScript programmers pass. You’ll pay a premium to hire using these sites but with the benefit of convenience and reliability.

YouTeam, Gun.io, Codeable, WeWorkRemotely, 10X Management, and Guru are freelance job websites that are worth checking out too.

JavaScript developer communities

JavaScript is popular. There are many discussion forums where JavaScript developers hang out in the masses to discuss their technical issues.

Some of the best JavaScript communities are SitePoint, Dev.to, and HashNode.

Seek out the regulars in these forums to find JavaScript programmers who spend their leisure time in JavaScript forums.

Generic programming Q&A websites

The JavaScript sections of generic programming Q&A websites are filled with experienced JavaScript programmers. StackOverflow is the biggest programming Q&A site where you will have the best luck when searching for top-class developers to contact.

Code repositories

A public code repository is where developers of any language specialty and experience level can share their coding projects.

GitHub is the most popular public code repository where JavaScript enthusiasts all vote for their favorite projects. The projects with the highest votes are usually the most innovative, so you’ll want to contact the publishers.

Jump in by visiting GitHub’s trending page. Filter the projects to see only those written in JavaScript.

Social media

LinkedIn is renowned for being the best social media platform for scouting tech talent.

JavaScript programmers on LinkedIn make their skills known and searchable by entering them on their profiles. Other developers can then endorse those skills to increase the credibility of the claimed skills.

You can have confidence that JavaScript programmers with highly endorsed skills are the real deal. You can increase your confidence in a prospective hire by checking if other highly reputable programmers on LinkedIn have endorsed their skills.

In-person and remote networking

At in-person events, you have the freedom to attract JavaScript developers in your own unique way. Stand out from the crowd by putting on some sort of show. Hire actors to dress as iconic tech characters and grab attendees’ attention. Set up a booth with something interactive, such as a mini-hackathon, a VR experience, or a JavaScript-based game. Do whatever it takes to get developers to approach you and remember you!

Some of the most highly anticipated JavaScript events are ng-conf, React Europe, and ForwardJS. You can see a long list of JavaScript conferences here.

You can find the best student JavaScript programmers by attending university and college events, such as career fairs and recruitment talk days. You can secure the future of up-and-coming JavaScript programmers who aren’t even aware of how in-demand they’re going to be after graduating.

Unfortunately, in-person networking events are halted during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, you can still source developers remotely. Your remote sourcing options include recruitment webinars, virtual information seminars, virtual career fairs, and online development competitions (such as CodinGame’s Clash of Code).

The 5 best places to find a good JavaScript developer

  1. JavaScript conferences

Because of the popularity of the language, there are several huge JavaScript conferences throughout the world. You can meet a seemingly endless supply of JavaScript enthusiasts.

Although organizers are currently hosting these events online, the conferences will be in-peron again ASAP.

Popular JavaScript conferences include ng-conf, React Europe, ForwardJS, ReactNext, JSCamp, and JSConf.

Check the upcoming dates of the conferences that look the best to you and get your tickets booked.

  1. CodinGame Sourcing

Most of the best JavaScript developers are already either employed or busy with other projects. CodinGame has a means of contact with many of these developers via its popular online coding platform.

Leverage CodinGame’s direct connections with the best JavaScript programmers and try CodinGame Sourcing for free. Powerful matching algorithms will match you with the best JavaScript developers for your requirements.

  1. GitHub

GitHub is the most popular public code repository where JavaScript programmers share their projects. GitHub users vote for the best and most innovative projects, making it easy for you to see who the hottest JavaScript programmers are.

Check out GitHub’s trending page and start reaching out to the publishers of the top JavaScript projects.

  1. Toptal

Toptal is different from other freelance job sites. It accepts only the very best JavaScript programmers, so you know that anyone you’re considering on the platform is legit.

Toptal has stringent acceptance criteria that only the top 3% of developers meet. They have to deliver a full JavaScript project as part of getting accepted by the platform.

You can try out a JavaScript programmer from Toptal for a trial period with no risk. You don’t have to pay them if they don’t perform as expected.

  1. LinkedIn

So many recruiters search for JavaScript programmers on LinkedIn. The good programmers get floods of inquiries.

LinkedIn has a powerful mechanism for discovering developers with the skills that you need. You can easily see if a developer is experienced enough by looking at the number of endorsements of their JavaScript skills by other developers.

Send an appealing and unusual message to any JavaScript developer with a strong LinkedIn profile. Stand out from the other recruiters. You could even offer a gift to entice top developers to start conversing with you, such as a subscription to an educational coding platform.

JavaScript developers are easy to find but top-class JavaScript developers are not.

You have to know where JavaScript programmers hang out online and what you need to do to attract their attention.

First, make sure you have an appealing project for a programmer to work on. The best JavaScript programmers won’t want to work on the type of project they’ve seen one hundred times before.

Once you have an enticing project pitch written, check out the places listed in this guide and start reaching out to developers.
Finally, once you’ve grabbed the attention of a seemingly good JavaScript programmer, find out if they know their stuff by screening them remotely.

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Jon Holstead

Jon Holstead

Jon Holstead is a writer at CodinGame. Jon has previously worked as a software developer and CTO for both SaaS startups and larger tech organizations. He started his career in technology by earning a computer science Bachelor of Science degree from Durham University, UK. Jon has since built a multitude of ventures, including a property investment company and a business blog. Outside of work, Jon enjoys eating "pain au chocolat" and is a sucker for golden retrievers.