We can compare a website or mobile app without a back-end part to a fashion car without an engine – looks great yet won’t start. So software developers try each and every tool to ‘start the car’ and make their products not only good-looking but well-running too.
In this article, we’re reviewing one of the most popular back-end platforms – Node.js and finding out how to hire qualified developers that are capable of writing back-end parts of your product.
Roles and Responsibilities of Node.js Programmers
Mainly, Node.js devs are responsible for managing the interchange of data between users and the server. Moreover, they work on creating logic behind apps, establish their close to perfect performance and ensure that users’ requests are processed by the system.
Actually, Node.js development is a combination of front-end and back-end. Thus, if you’re looking for a Node.js dev, make sure they have a basic understanding of the user-part of the apps and are willing to work with front-end elements.
Software engineers usually have lots of responsibilities, the same for Node.js developers. Mostly, they include:
a) Knowledge of Agile methods
The agile development approach is very popular in the IT-sphere due to its democratic ways. Node.js devs should have knowledge of these methods and follow them during the development process.
The agile approach helps to organize planning, designing, and testing during the development lifecycle. And that makes the whole process a lot easier.
b) Front-end development
That’s right – Node.js is rather a back-end technology. Still, front-end developers have to deal with it too. Besides, we can’t imagine a product created without Node.js tools.
This technology is used for NMP scripts, Gulp tasks, etc. And the salary of full-stack Node.js devs is higher than the pay of back-end developers.
c) Creating a clear code
Writing an understandable and clear code is the exact thing that defines senior devs among juniors. The code created by experienced developers is laconic, reusable and easy-readable.
Besides, senior devs follow the uniform code format, are aware of main design patterns, have a practice of object-oriented programming, etc.
d) Implementing security features
There’s no such thing as too much security. And it sure is not something you’d want devs to overlook. In Node.js, there’s a number of security options like HTTP response adjustment, avoiding module loading, and so on.
Moreover, devs often work with personal and payment details and should be aware of GDPR terms. This helps to create a completely secured product and eliminate hacking attempts.
e) Detecting bugs
As mentioned, it’s very important that the code should be clear and easy-readable. Here’s another reason why. QA engineers check the product on each stage of its development, detecting bugs and other issues. So if any issue appears on testing stage, devs should be capable of fixing them, and quickly. And the code is not always written by the developer responsible for its fixing.
f) Integration of third-party services
Complex applications rarely work without any third-party services, for example, payment systems. Node.js works great for integrating complex environments as the platform allows to simplify the process due to ready-made modules created by other devs. These modules reduce the development time and, thus, its cost.
g) Working with databases
Developers use Node.js and databases to configure data storing process in applications. Databases usually have drivers needed for Node.js and libraries in NPM that help to speed the process up.
h) Staying up-to-date
Node.js updates are released a few times per year bringing new features, improvements and security updates. And the team should be able to switch to its latest version every moment.
Skills of Node.js Developers
According to Node.js devs’ skills, we can define three levels of software engineers – junior, middle and senior. Some companies may want to hire top-level – senior – devs. However, in some cases, middle developers may work with the same good quality and show great results. So let’s check what skills juniors and their senior colleagues require.
Junior Node.js developers should have the following skills:
- Knowledge of Node.js basics
- Knowledge of popular Node.js frameworks (Express.js, Sails.js, Koa2)
- Database basics
Middle/senior programmers should have experience in:
- HighLoad projects
- Architectural patterns
- Microservices architecture
- Performance optimization
Finally, it would be unfair not to mention the soft skills of devs, so here they are:
- Active learning
- Engineering thinking
- Eagerness to work as part of the team
- Good knowledge of English
Whether you’re looking for a whole team or would prefer to hire 1-2 devs only, you’ll have to choose one of the three options. So let’s check them and their peculiarities to find out which option works best for you.
Turning to freelance developers often seems to be the best option in the matter of cost-effectiveness.
But there’s always a catch. Freelancers work for themselves and there indeed are lots of true professionals among them. Still, you cannot say for sure that all the details featuring on their pages are 100% true. That’s why we suggest asking freelance devs for help only when you need to make minor changes in already existing app, or for working on a short-term project.
Besides, one Node.js developer is not enough to bring an app or website to life. You’ll rather need to hire a dedicated team than to look for each specialist (front and back-end devs, QA testers, designers, etc.) one by one.
Now, let’s sum all the points up.
The benefits of working with freelancers include wide range of developers, comparatively low service cost.
As for the challenges, they are possible deadline failure, no signed contract, language barrier, management complexities.
ii) Local developers
In-house developers will be working in your office after passing the interview. This option is great for working on the project you’re counting on – that means full support, maintenance, and updates.
By choosing this approach, you’ll be able to control every staff member and closely monitor their performance.
Although this option seems to work in any case, there’s one problem – cost. Mind that you’ll have to rent an office, pay monthly wages, provide software and hardware, etc.
Thus, the pros include effective collaboration, full control of the process and no communication issues, while cons are – office rent and taxes, software and hardware expenses, competitive salaries provision.
iii) Outsourcing teams
Finally, we’re moving to the last option which is hiring an offshore team of developers. This works for both small and large-sized projects and does not require high budgets. The reason’s quite simple – the total cost is usually much lower than the one of hiring a team of in-house devs.
Outsourcing companies value their reputation and thus monitor customers’ feedback. In addition to that, you’ll have a contract signed, a qualified team dedicated to your project, and a project manager to control the process.
What are the cons?
Possible language barrier and different time zones (but remember that you’ll have a PM responsible for building a communication channel).
Pros? Comparatively low production cost, no extra-costs to bear, the general experience of the team and a quality product in the end.
Hourly Rates of Node.js Devs
Now, we know where to look for Node.js devs and what to expect from them. So it’s the right time to start planning the budget. Here comes the estimation of average hourly rates and annual salaries of Node.js programmers based on Codementor, GoodFirms and Clutch research.
Let’s start with freelancers and their average rates per hour (by region):
- North America – $75
- Western Europe – $80
- Australia – $80
- Eastern Europe – $55
- Asia – $60
- India – $20
Now’s the turn of outsourcing teams (per hour):
- North America – $120-180
- Australia – $100-180
- Western Europe – $51-100
- Asia – $30-42
- Eastern Europe – $25-50
- India – $18-40
Finally, it’s time to find out what Node.js developer annual salaries are:
- North America – $74,081
- Western Europe – $51,551
- Eastern Europe – $24,200
- Australia – $90,000
- Asia – $48,948
- India – $20,000
Finally, I’d like to say that before contacting software developers directly, it’s better to check (and double-check) their skills. Another important thing is working conditions and, of course, hourly rates or annual salaries.
But the most important thing of all is to define your requirements beforehand, create a list of important features, and clearly understand what users’ pains your product solves. This will help you not only to cooperate with your future dream-team but to find the best specialists and do it fast.
Also, check out another post from the author in this series:
- A Complete Guide to Hiring Front-End Developers: Rates, Skills, and Hourly Rates
- A Complete Guide to Hiring AngularJS Developers: Roles, Skills, and More
- A Complete Guide to Hiring Dedicated Developers