The first thing clients see when they visit a website is its user interface. A well-made and engaging UI makes a product look more trustworthy and shows the brand’s individuality.
And to create a high-end user interface, you need to hire front-end developers. So, as we know for good what are the common pains of this uneasy process, we’ve created this guide that helps to deal with all the questions.
The Seniority of Front-End Developers
Usually, developers are divided into three categories – junior, middle, and senior engineers.
All according to their skills. So let’s check them in more detail and find out which one you better hire and not to overpay.
a) Junior devs
Junior developers are often familiar with just one programming language or framework. That’s why they are capable of solving a limited number of tasks. In a perfect world, juniors can build a stable app that carries out most of the functions it should.
Experience: 0-1 years
b) Middle & senior devs
As developers gain seniority, they become more skilled in building apps and tailoring them to specific business logic. They examine business aims and allocated budget and choose suitable tools to make the most of it. A highly-skilled developer can offer a few ways of solving an issue and explain the benefits of each approach.
Experience: 3-5+ years
c) But which one you need to hire?
You may already want to go only for top-skilled senior devs, but mind that you can’t count talent in years. Some juniors can have all the skills needed for your project, despite their lack of experience.
But the best way to find out if they are capable of delivering your product is to find someone with a tech background to interview the candidates.
Responsibilities of Front-End Developers
Before you start looking for the best candidates, it’s better to learn what responsibilities they bear.
Here are the main of them:
- Create a layout of an app (HTML+CSS) to deliver a pixel-perfect design;
- Build the client-side of the app: user interactions, animations, responses to a server;
- Write clean code;
- Optimize apps;
- Collaborate with other team members.
In two words, a front-end developer is a designer and accurate programmer – all in one.
What Skills Should Front-End Developers Have?
But there are lots of other tools and technologies front-end devs should know how to work with.
Here’s just a basic list:
- Responsive design;
- Preprocessors for CSS like Sass and SCSS;
- Frameworks like Angular, React, Vue, or others;
- Backbone.js or jQuery;
- CSS frameworks like Foundation or Bootstrap;
- Browser dev tools;
- Module bundlers like Webpack;
- Version control systems like Git.
Sure, experienced front-end developers are more skilled. For instance, senior devs often work with back-end languages and frameworks (Node.js, Python, PHP) or tech stacks like the LAMP or MEAN.
How to Hire Frond-End Developers: Main Options
There are quite a few ways of hiring web developers. Still, the most popular channels are outsourcing companies listings, freelance platforms, and job boards. And each option comes with its benefits and drawbacks.
So, before checking through the candidates, you should figure out what works best for you – freelancers, in-house workers or remote devs. And we’ll help to figure that out.
Hiring a freelance developer is the cheapest and thus the most attractive option. Besides, there’s a wide range of specialists available. But in the real world the more freelancers you hire, the more issues you’ll face – starting from communication. And I don’t even mention a much slower development process and more bugs in the end product.
Pros of working with freelancers:
- Relatively low price;
- Wide range of available specialists;
- No worries about sick leaves, vacations, etc.
- Great for small-scale projects.
Cons of hiring freelance devs:
- Low dependability;
- Different time zones;
- Difficult to control;
- May leave the project anytime.
ii) In-house teams
In-house devs are much more interested in positive project results and are less likely to leave, unlike freelancers. They will also work from your office, thus you’ll have full control of the team and can delegate additional tasks to the employees. But first, you’ll have to find an office, furnish it, get hardware and software, and, finally, convince the devs to work for you.
- Great for long-term projects delivery;
- Work longer and often become well-cooperated team players;
- Urgent tech tasks will be handled quickly.
- High salaries;
- Hard to find (especially in a small city);
- Expenses on software, hardware, office rent, taxes, etc.
- Takes time to interview and onboard in-house devs.
iii) Outsourced developers
Now, lots of companies choose to outsource website development to offshore IT firms.
Let’s see how it works. You hire front-end devs in an offshore firm from any country you like (and can afford). And they work remotely, from their company’s office in that country. This means there would be no pays for office rent, taxes, sick days/vacations, etc. Besides, you don’t have to look for each and every member. The team often includes business analysts, designers, QA engineers, a project manager and developers of different seniority.
- No additional expenses;
- A flexible team that adapts to your project requirements;
- High level of cooperation.
- The price is slightly higher compared to freelance development;
- Different time zones.
Summing up, I’d like to say that it’s much better to create an in-house team or work with an outsourced team than entrust your project to freelancers’ hands. But it’s up to you to decide which of these two options is best for your business.
What to Mind Before Hiring Front-End Developers?
I’d like to mention just a few points you need to know before you hire front-end specialists.
a) Set clear requirements
It’s one of the most important issues – to set clear requirements for a project.
Remember that any misunderstandings between customers and developers may lead to time and money loses. But making a project specification is a quite complex task, so outsourcing companies often help with carrying it out.
b) Sign the contract
Working without a contract means working with unpredicted risks behind your back. So it’s always better to protect yourself and add every rule to the documents that help to regular your working relationship.
The most important points are the terms and money expenses. Besides, you might not want to disclose any details until the product gets released. In this case, there’s a solution – signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
c) Work in sprints
The Agile approach offers to divide a project into small springs and receive deliverables by specified deadlines. The major benefit is the ability to track progress and avoid setbacks. But that’s what devs and project managers take care of.
Average Hourly Rates
Now, time to take a look at front-end dev rates by countries and hiring options.
i) Freelance rates
According to Codementor study (in which 5,302 freelance devs took part), the highest average rates are in the USA and Australia.
The max difference between these regions is 40%.
And here’s a list of more affordable countries that allow you to save up to 40%.
As you see, junior devs are willing to work for $41-60/h, and middle devs charge $61-80/h. And as for senior devs, they rates vary from $101-120 (North America) to $81-101 (Africa).
ii) In-house devs’ salaries
If you hire developers to work full-time from your office, you’ll be more interested in their annual payments. According to PayScale, the average salary of in-house devs starts at $6,206 (India) and goes up to $68,600 (North America).
Here are the most popular regions and annual salaries offered there.
As you see, the most expensive regions predictably are the USA, Australia, and Western Europe.
iii) Outsourced developers rates
As for front-end outsourcing rates, they seem to follow the same pattern.
The most expensive regions are North America and Australia and the cheapest – Asia and Eastern Europe.
In conclusion, I’d like to say that hiring a front-end devs may seem a bit overwhelming. There are too many options available, too many specialists, and too many points to keep in mind.
Still, the main trick is understanding your project requirements and looking for a team that works best for you – whether it’s freelance devs, in-house teams, or outsourced front-end engineers.
Also, check out another post from the author in this series:
- A Complete Guide to Hiring Node.js Developers: Roles, Skills, and Hourly Rates
- A Complete Guide to Hiring AngularJS Developers: Roles, Skills, and More
- A Complete Guide to Hiring Dedicated Developers