How to Hire Front-end Developers
Front-end web development is known by many names, such as:
- Front-end development
- UI development
- PSD to HTML
- Design to Code, and...
- Front-end developer
“Tell me more, please”
Okay then, since you asked so nicely.
Let’s differentiate front-end development from design.
Front-end development starts where design leaves off
Use a designer to visualize your ideas and concepts. A designer will help determine overall look and feel for your pending website. This includes: identify colors, fonts, font sizes, layout, images, and calls-to-action. A designer may create a visual design using any number of tools, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, or other tools like Sketch.
A front-end developer will build your website based on the design
The designer can share their design with your developer. A common output is a PSD file. The designer would also share any images used in the design.
- YOU decide what to create (say, a new landing page)
- Copywriter writes the content for the page
- Designer creates the design for the page
- Designer shares the design output with developer
- Developer builds the page based on the design
- Developer ensures page renders well on all devices (desktop, smartphone, tablet)
Be nice if it was just that simple, but you get the idea.
What does a front-end developer do?
Well first, let’s look at what the front-end itself does (and does not do):
- A user requests a web page from their browser
- The browser makes this request to the server
- The browser processes and displays the results to the user
- Back-end server scripts process the request, getting data from the database
- Server-side scripts process and return the data (populate drop-downs, load products, update user profile, etc)
With everything returned to the browser (steps 3 and 4 above), note:
- Client-side scripts process requests without call-backs to the server
- A responsive design allows the front-end to adapt to the user’s device
Understanding the process helps understand what a front-end developer does.
The front-end developer creates the user experience, embedding scripts in a site’s HTML. Everything a site visitor sees, clicks, and uses to input and retrieve information was built by the front-end developer.
Front-end developers bridge the design and back-end to create a desktop-like user experience
...all within the browser. Pretty cool.
Therefore, a front-end developer’s skill set includes:
- Build, modify, and maintain web applications
- Create tools to render your site in any browser
- Implement responsive design for mobile sites (smartphone and tablets)
- Work with back-end developers to create APIs
- Effectively manage source code with version control tools
- Optimize workflow by building tools to perform repetitive tasks
- Help optimize the site for SEO
- Test for usability and fix bugs during development
And the front-end languages to do that are often:
- HTML5 as the latest and greatest version of HTML
- CCS3, the latest standard for creating cascading style sheets (CSS)
Ready to move forward?. Great. Next question in your head might be...
“How do I find a worthy front-end developer?”
Since front-end developers create the things we see and interact with on a web page, makes sense to SEE what any candidate developers have built. Right?
Know where they “show off”
And it’s a good match, too. Front-end developers want you to SEE their work. Check out these popular platforms at Coroflot, Behance and Krop. Use this to preview their work to see if their approach aligns with your vibe and brand.
Stack Overflow is another a gem on the web to find developers. Stack Overflow is a community of nearly 7 million programmers. Wow, huh? Here’s a link to the most active front-end developers. Click around to see:
- What programming languages a developer is using
- Types of projects they’re working on
- Questions they answer
- How active they are
- What ‘fun’ projects they work on
- How they help others
Good to get a feel for their tech tools, communication skills, and how well they engage with others, wouldn’t you say? This will help determine your “worthy developer”.
Hire for a little before hiring for a lot
Say, you found a front-end developer that interests you. Why not give them a test project?
Got a small piece of work you need to complete for a client? Have them work on that. For example, send them a .psd file of a landing page with some animations. Let them code it up for you to see their work. Of course, you pay them for this.
Makes sense, right? You both get to kick the tires before buying the car.
Role reversal, anyone?
Most job sites are about developers applying for jobs.
Hired reverses the job search. Companies apply to developers. Interesting.
As someone seeking a front-end developer, you do some thoughtful work upfront to state, clarify and post your needs. Then… watch a load of highly qualified candidates come to you. At least, that’s the story. Seems to be a lot of good buzz about this. Could be another item in your toolbox.
Now, as we said at the top...
Mayven will build your front-end code
...that is if you contact us for a quote. Some ways we do this:
Design to Code
A.k.a. PSD to HTML (and CSS), Sketch to HTML, PSD to React.js, PSD to Bootstrap, PSD to HTML, and SASS/SCSS.
Need to convert your amazing design files into beautiful HTML code? Cool. Then send us your design (e.g. PSD, Sketch, or Illustrator format) and we’ll:
- Create and return a pixel-perfect markup…
- Tested across browsers, and...
- Written in valid WC3 HTML5 / XHTML / CSS markup
Design to Email Templates
We’ll convert your designs into custom email templates for your marketing campaigns. Our experts will:
- Code up a beautiful custom email marketing newsletter template
- Test across all devices to make sure it stays looking beautiful
- Supports Outlook 2007+, Outlook Express, Apple Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, AOL Webmail, Yahoo! Mail, Windows Live Mail, Gmail, and Outlook.com. Whew, that’s just about the entire e-universe.
Design to HTML5 Ad Units
Need some animation-crazy? We’ll convert your designs into custom html5 ad units for your marketing and advertising campaigns. Like this.
Animators are standing by to:
- Code up a great, clean html5 ad units with beautiful animations
- Test across all devices to make sure it looks and works great
- You provide optimized assets for it to work on your preferred ad platform (e.g. Doubleclick, Sizmek, and others). Please and thank you.