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How to hire the best Node.js developers

Finding excellent Node.js developers can be a real struggle. Many companies won’t even know what exactly they are looking for! We have gathered together some of the best practices for both general and Node.js software development to help out. Read on to find out how to spot a specialist in web applications development and what habits he or she should follow when handling Node.js ventures.

There’s a growing market out there for reliable, experienced and highly skilled Node.js developers. If you’re trying to hire the best Node.js programmers yourself, then you may have noticed they appear to be few and far between. It can be difficult for a manager or company to know exactly what traits characterize the best developers, both in general and in Node.js, and how to hire such specialists. But we are here to help out - at iRonin we have a few treasured experts in Node.js, so we know a thing or two about hiring them. So if you’ll trying to find how to extend your Node.js team, planning on creating a team with Node.js developers, or even looking for the C-level Node.js guide to hiring IT specialists - this is it.

Best practices in software development

First, let’s consider the best practices among software developers in general; practices that help these people create innovative and user-friendly software. Want to know the key habits of these professionals?

A successful and respected developer will:

  • Keep code clean, as well as create maintainable and scalable code.
  • Be up-to-date with technologies; have knowledge of cutting-edge and bleeding-edge technologies, with the ability to pick the right tool to use for a given task.
  • Cultivate team-leading and project management skills.
  • Look out for innovation in software development.
  • Read source code - not only their own, but others as well. While it’s not like reading a great novel, to be fluent in writing code, developers need to read other people’s code, too. This encourages learning new ways of doing things and spotting both good and bad coding practices.
  • Test - everything, always, almost all the time. Without testing, you can’t assure anyone that code in any of your applications, web or mobile, will work properly. Testing will provide developers with feedback about their job, showing what needs to improve, what’s missing, and what’s perfectly fine and can be further developed or re-used.
  • Be attentive with safety measures; keep all data and credentials safe, create backups, and never share passwords.
  • Keep docs and tools up to date - so that any newcomer to the project is on the same page from the beginning. They will use tools that are practical, fast, reliable as well as have all their docs at hand in case they’re needed during work.
  • Care about good and constant cooperation with QA specialists.
  • Demonstrate a high velocity of thought processes while developing.
  • Create high-availability solutions.
  • Design robust APIs.

Apart from all this, an exemplary developer is eager to learn new things, precise and attentive in his or her work, and exceptional in self-organizing, especially if they are working remotely. An outstanding developer pays attention to details, has a problem-solving attitude and is goal-oriented. In terms of experience, he or she should have hands-on practice in the field with design patterns and creating robust, stable, efficient, understandable and long-lasting software architecture. A deep understanding of common and lesser well-known software mechanisms or paradigms is another highly desirable attribute.

As a bit of an aside, while interviewing a candidate for a job position, ask him or her about their career plan. We recommend hiring someone who knows what they want to achieve in their career and someone who has, more or less, a specified strategy to get there.

Node.js best programming practices

So now we know what qualities to look for when hiring a software developer generally, so let’s move on to looking at tips for hiring Node.js developers specifically.

When it comes to the best practices and habits of excellent or aspiring-to-be-excellent Node.js software engineers, you should check that they:

1. Are fluent in JavaScript first. Since Node.js is a JavaScript runtime, being quite familiar with this language, helps to write flexible and understandable code.

2. Handle errors correctly. With an unresolved error, Node.js can crash - just like any programming language, framework or IT environment. A good developer will keep in mind that things can break from time to time and so will always think about possible failures while writing a piece of code.

3. Monitor all actions in an application and will be the first to know something is wrong.

4. Use Yarn or NPM (Node Package Manager) version >= 5 for managing project dependencies. Both are deterministic in terms of package versions (NPM before version 5 didn’t have the `package-lock` file), which is crucial for deployment.

5. Use Promises, which are concurrency primitives for asynchronous operations in the JavaScript world.

6. Use environmental variables instead of hard coding configuration values in source files, to make sure sensitive data won’t leak and to have a properly-built codebase from the beginning.

7. Use existing library functions such as underscore.js, which is very useful. They will never reinvent the wheel, but will be pragmatic about how many libraries are included in a project, so as not to lead to overuse. They will audit the code before bringing a new dependency to the project.

8. Always try to split up code by making granular modules whenever possible, to fulfill the rule of single responsibility principle. The single responsibility principle says that each component in a system should only be responsible for just one thing and that it should be loosely coupled code; meaning each of its components has little or no knowledge of the definitions of other separate components.

9. Have scaling up in mind from the very beginning - as they’ll be thinking about clustering the app and having stateless services.

10. Use an existing style guide - instead of reinventing the wheel and coming up with their own rules. They’ll stick to an existing set of rules and guidelines so that all projects are consistent and also easy to pick up by another team of programmers.

11. Have localization in mind - as translating apps that have been built without thinking about it is tedious and error-prone.

Node.js experts: how to hire

Of course, these are just what we have picked up about the best practices of programmers and Node.js developers in particular. It is by no means an exhaustive list, and to be honest, each Node.js developer probably has their own views on the topic. It’s important to look for a specialist that is aware of the complexity of the Node.js environment, has a wide range of experience in working with Node-based projects and creating Node-based applications, and is a quick-learner that digs for all the possible options to make their coding better.

Finding your ideal candidate is a bit like searching for a diamond in the rough. Whether you are conducting recruitment yourself, or you’re enlisting a recruitment agency to help with the process, it can often take an extended period of time and resources. Many software houses will either end up choosing a candidate “that’ll do” due to not being able to find an expert, or they will put off hiring for some time. It can save time and money enlisting an outsourcing company to provide a ready-to-go expert instead - like right here at iRonin.

iRonin to the Node.js rescue!

Wondering how on Earth you’re going to find someone that fits the description after all that? Well if you don’t want to look any further, just ask at iRonin! We already have a team of experts, with specialists in Node.js, that we can outsource for your services. Contact us for more information.

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