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Home Blog How to Hire a Great Front-End Developer

How to Hire a Great Front-End Developer

In this article concluding the series about Quality Assurance on PSD to HTML projects, I’ll show you how to hire a great front-end developer using the knowledge from my previous two articles.

What makes a great front-end developer? It’s their technical skills and personal characteristics. Personal qualities are even more important than technical skills, but skills are like a base you can built on. Without a solid base, even the greatest personality can fall short (at least when it comes to completing a coding task).

Personal qualities are even more important than technical skills

In this article, we will focus on approaching front-end developer’s technical skills while we assume that we can check candidate’s personal qualities in some other way (most typically during an interview).

We already know what defines front-end code as being of top quality in PSD to HTML conversion – it’s our Code Quality Assurance Checklist, a certain number of criteria the code has to pass in the quality assurance process.

We also know how to create our own Quality Assurance Scoring System which we can use for objective rating of projects.

Now it’s time to combine those into an effective hiring and onboarding system.

Train candidates while you hire them

First, let’s imagine where we want to be in a couple of months: we want our newly hired front-end developers to deliver outstanding results. In other words, we want them to deliver projects with a high QA score.

To achieve this they need to:

  1. have excellent front-end development skills acquired over long period of time (simply because it takes time and experience to gain such skills)
  2. adapt to our working environment (they need to follow our development standards and processes).

To find out whether they have excellent skills, we need to test them during the recruitment process. But why not to train them at the same time so they later more easily adapt to our way of work?

To do so, we use a PSD to HTML conversion test project at XHMLized. The requirements and criteria for the project evaluation are very similar to our regular projects. The test project even includes a part of our coding standards.

We evaluate test projects according our QA Checklist and calculate QA Scores identifying which candidates should pass to the next round (eg. interview).

Even more effective hiring

Of course, evaluating test projects take some time, so it’s good to do the first sorting by a quick review of code samples provided by candidates. An effective hiring process then could look like this:

  1. Send a questionnaire to candidates to collect basic information about them, including their code samples
  2. Do code sample review to identify candidates to whom you will send the test project
  3. Send the test project to the selected candidates
  4. Evaluate the test projects according to the QA Checklist and calculate their QA Scores
  5. Invite the candidates with the best scores for an interview

This way, we integrate a part of our onboarding process to the hiring process. This makes onboarding more effective and the candidate joins the company familiar with the development processes, standards and company expectations regarding their work.

Further, we recommend a training period lasting for the first couple of projects where Advanced QA is done and detailed feedback is provided on the projects of newly hired front-end developers so they can achieve a high quality standard as soon as possible.

Series Table of Contents:

  1. Code Quality Assurance Checklist: 8/20 Rule
  2. Can PSD to HTML quality be measured?
  3. How to hire a great front-end developer

About the author

Lubos Kmetko

Lubos Kmetko LinkedIn

Lubos Kmetko started to work for Xfive as a front-end developer in 2006. He currently helps with business operations and writes for the Xfive blog.

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Comments (2)

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Beverly F

Hi that is a great approach, we use a bit different hiring process:
1.) We send to each candidate a simple straightforward test, for example something like these ones:
http://www.testdome.com/Programming-Tests/Html-Css-JavaScript/16
These tests are used as negative filters, they are very simple and do not require much time so if a participant does not pass them we know he is not a good fit.
2.) We review candidates coding style from the tests and from any other resources (if he provided any in resume).
3.) We invite certain candidates to a follow up interview, unfortunately we do not have such a detailed QA Checklist (but I will suggest this, really great checklist indeed). But we do have other criteria as well, for example a great plus for a candidate is if he contributed to some open source project.
4.) Probation period.

Also if I may ask, do you notify or inform the candidates that their project test will be evaluated with QA Checklist?

Nov 07, 2014

Lubos Kmetko

Thanks, Beverly, your approach sounds good too!

To your question, yes, we let them know in advance, currently we use this test project https://github.com/xhtmlized/front-end-test-project where it's mentioned.

Nov 11, 2014

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Related blog posts

May 29, 2013 | Lubos Kmetko | QA

Code Quality Assurance Checklist: 8/20 Rule

In PSD to HTML conversion, what defines front-end code as being of top quality? We follow 8/20 Rule here at XHTMLized – 8 areas consisting of 20 criteria the code has to pass in the code quality assurance process. What are those?

Aug 09, 2013 | Lubos Kmetko | QA

Can PSD to HTML Quality Be Measured?

In this article, I’ll show you how you can design your own Quality Assurance Scoring System based on the criteria we used in my previous article Code Quality Assurance Checklist: 8/20 Rule.

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