Node.js applications are data intensive, fast, scalable, yet require less effort, less code and less files. To reap the benefits of Node, you need to hire a specialist. But how do you find such a developer? What knowledge do you need to know yourself, and know what does your hiring process need to ensure success.? This is exactly what I’ll be covering below. Let’s get started!
Determine Your Project Requirements
Figuring out how complex you need to get to fulfil your ambitions sets the standard of technical ability your Node.js developer needs. There are technical skills that are easy to measure, while some other requirements will require further questioning that help you better gauge how much experience, knowledge or involvement they’ve had with relevant technology. Communication skills and other desired soft skills are other aspects which may require more proof.
Here are the requirements for a sample project I made up:
- At least 2 years of Node.js developing experience
- Well versed in Agile/Scrum development cycles
- Competent in MySQL and database management
- Some degree of experience with Python is strongly preferred.
- Writes clean code that is beneficial for future use
- Experience writing unit, integration, and automated tests
- Communication experience working with a team, comfortable working with offshore clients.
- Self-motivated person with a solid work ethic.
Choosing a Cost Efficient Hiring Option
Whether you’re a startup with a restricted budget or an enterprise level business taking a new Node.js initiative, you’re going to want to hire a developer or development team. You may already have your heart set on one option, but it’s important you analyze the pros and cons of different hiring options. The three options for hiring a developer that you may be looking for are:
- Hiring an in-house developer
- Hiring from a web development company (specializing in Node.js)
- Hiring a Node.js freelance developer.
1. Employing an In-house Developer
Hiring in-house is slowly but surely becoming a less attractive option. Employers prefer other hiring methods, as hiring locally (in Western countries at least) tends to be expensive. Furthermore, specialist developers are preferring more variation and freedom in their employment and the projects they take on—more and more developers are working freelance and/or remotely.
The hiring process for in-house developers is lengthy, meaning greater initial costs. Compared to developers in companies or vetted freelancers, you have to implement your own hiring filters to ensure candidates are as talented as their CV suggests. This may include hiring tests, phone interviews and a final in-person interview to make sure your developer of choice is the right pick.
Hiring an in-house developer limits you to hiring local talent. Of course, you may receive applications from those who live far away and are prepared to move, but the majority will be local. You’re a startup: you’re probably not in the position to be flying people out from Kiev. You’ve limited your talent pool and are less likely to find a developer who can satisfy your project needs. Either you may have to hire a junior developer that will need to upskill themselves, or you’ll have to extend your hiring process.
2. Hiring a Node.js Specialist from a Web Development Company
The great thing about hiring from a web development company is that the time from consulting to project start is very short. Once you’ve found a reputable company and have discussed your project, hiring plan and final costs, work will begin. This is great, though the initial cost of hiring from a web development company is likely higher than a freelancer, you end up saving money over time because they’re able to start earlier, work more efficiently and get your product shipped as soon as possible.
The most important thing about hiring from a web development company is choosing the right one. There are well-regarded development companies everywhere, however many business owners prefer looking offshore as it’s more affordable. Let’s take India for example, who has the largest population of qualified (college degree at least) individuals in computer science or other relevant field. These developers work for a fraction of the cost compared to other countries; you’re getting the same level of development talent for less. Indian companies get a huge amount of work from Western clients, which has given the best offshore companies an abundance of experience communicating across the cultural divide.
So, how do you narrow down to the best company? Since you’re searching for a Node.js developer, the first thing you need to establish is whether they specialize in Node.js development. After establishing that you should analyze the following:
Work portfolio: they should have a portfolio full of recent development work, hopefully within the same industry as your project.
Reviews/testimonials: an abundance of positive reviews and testimonials from previous clients. Video testimonials from previous clients are great because they’re much harder to fake. Furthermore, any positive reviews external to a company’s website reinforces its quality.
Years of industry experience: years of experience in an overcrowded industry is indicative of impressive success and fair pricing. I would recommend only considering companies that have over five years of experience.
Pricing options: the best companies will have a range of pricing options to ensure a cost-effective choice for projects of differing sizes, hiring requirements and duration. These are known as developer packages and are usually paid on a monthly basis. Developer packages allow a client to hire more than a singular Node.js developer cost efficiently. If a project requires another developer, project manager, support technician or tester, the client can achieve this at a lesser cost than it would take to hire the expertise individually. Clients can optimize costs by expanding or decreasing their hired development team to meet current project requirements or business growth. There will usually be an option for those who only want to hire a single Node.js developer, which will be very similar to hiring a freelancer, except with more consistent working hours.
A recommended choice for hiring Node.js developers at a cost-effective rate is global development company CodeClouds. They have a large development team split across four international offices. For anybody looking to hire Node.js developers, they offer dedicated developer packages like those mentioned above.
3. Node.js Freelancers
When hiring a Node.js developer, freelancers will offer the cheapest options available. The initial cost of freelancers is what makes them so attractive. However, you should be cautious as a cheaper price may result in low quality work. The problem here is that if you do receive undesirable work, you will have to hire a different (more expensive) freelancer to correct things or start again.
Freelancers should be hired for a specific reason! Usually, they’re sought out because they have a niche skill that you cannot find elsewhere and you’ll have to pay for it. If your project is short term, it may be better suited to a freelancer, as some development companies may not accept such a project—they tend to look for long-term customers.
However, there are plenty of superstar freelancers that will provide outstanding work! Before considering them, you should understand what to look for in a reputable freelancer.
The first things you should look for is references and testimonials from previous clients. These should be present on their freelancing profile. Compliments about quality work is great, but there are specifics comments in a review that pinpoint the best freelancers. If the comments seem a bit too generic, it could indicate that they’ve been purchased. Look for:
- Project timeline and money earned (align these with yours)
- Comments on specific technical tasks that exceeded expectations
- Comments on leadership, communication, and other soft skills
- Comments showing a keen interest in working with them again
Secondly, you should view their work portfolio. Look at any applications they’ve worked on and if possible, test it yourself to measure the quality of their work. Do the companies they’ve worked with seem professional? Could they be made up?
Finally, request a consulting call. A professional freelancer should be happy to take part in a consulting call and show urgency in identifying a suitable time. It’s a great sign if they ask to call you! They usually want to identify your expectations around setting deadlines, providing work updates and using communication channels. Of course, this is a chance to get to know them better to get a better grasp on their technical skills and personality.
My recommended site for hiring quality Node.js freelancers is Upwork!
Don’t expect hiring the best Node.js freelancer to be easy. It may take some time to find them, especially if hiring in-house. Be patient and keep in mind that finding the right developer will be a lot more cost-effective for your business in the long run. Good luck!