Hiring A Web Developer?

G’Day Fellas,

Sometime back A friend of mine asked me if I could help him to hire a Web Developer, the one who can manage his business sites. I told him that it is quite a job to get a right man or woman to do the job you are offering.

Anyway I created content for Job to be published and him being a native English speaker corrected all the grammar mistakes in my write-up.

We end up publishing that job on couple of Job Websites Its kinda expensive to publish one, you know 🙂

Nightmare started in couple of minutes, Job agencies offering right candidates tailor made just to do this job. Interesting! Good cooks (I am serious) applying for this Job didn’t make any sense. Same person applying with two totally different resumes? whoa! thats a little bit too much just to get a job.

Anyway I shortlisted few applicants and in the end shortlisted 3 after phone conversations and stuff.

I then gave them an assignment to do so  that I can decide on which one will fit in nicely based on their style of coding, approach they took, creativity, design, execution and used technologies

We were successful in finding The One I was glad that in the end it was not just the face value shown in resumes that we counted on, rather it was more rigorous approach. My friend being a part technical brain would like to explain things in plain English and would expect the same in return, rather than a developer explaining in var $myVar = “IDontKnowHowToExplain” language

This post is not about how to hire but rather about what 15 signs you look for if you want to avoid hiring a wrong Web Developer.

Lets check them out and please add to this list if you would like to add

  1. Responsive Design: If your prospective employee knows nothing about Responsiveness, that will put you in a lot a trouble or may lay a death bed for you to be launched website pretty soon. On the other hand those who thinks that responsive design can only be achieved by Twitter Bootstrap, hmm.. You should think again.
  2.  Framework Gurus: When you check some resumes and get an Indication that this guy is “Expert” in ExtJS, jQuery, MooTools, AngularJS, Dojo, YUI and a few others, I won’t buy that for a tick (there are many bright brains though but there are not many), Knowing traditional JavaScript is most important and understanding core JavaScript concepts is mostly important. Knowing multiple Frameworks is always a good things but if it’s too good to be true then it probably is. I would check if this guy is including unwanted libraries in one single page when they are not even required. BAD!
  3. All HTML versions: Whats the point of mentioning “I know HTML4, HTML4.1 and HTML5” Am I the only one or they are trying to put their case forward too hard?
  4. SQL Injections (Sanitizing user input): If person you are interviewing does not know or unable to explain what SQL Injections are and how to prevent them, you are just going to hire a time boomb that is set to explode in near future.
  5. Web Services: If person does not know anything about SOAP, XML-RPC or JSONP, that will set my alarm bells ringing. I think web services were and will be most important things in web development in years to come unless Google develops computer telepathy.
  6. Page Speed: If they think page load of over 10 seconds is good enough speed for most, I would give these type of candidates a second thought. They should know how to speed up page loads. This includes knowledge on caching, compression, loading resource intensive parts using AJAX, not loading any unnecessary libraries etc. You should be aware that Page Speed is not only important for user who lands on your site but also for search engines who will love your site.
  7. Regular Expressions: Technically a good web developer should know Regular Expressions, if they don’t then that defines their quality anyway.
  8. Basic SEO: Nowadays content is king and publishing unique content is utmost importance. I am not sure when Matrix will run out of combinations but that day is quite far at this stage. A web developer should know what tags to use where, they should understand value of metas, h1’s etc
  9. Cross Browser development: This one is very important, if one say that he is only comfortable with Chrome, I would say that’s not the way web works sunshine. harden up and test more across other browsers.
  10. Version Control: Yes! it is good to know subversion or mercurial. If one thinks that its not that important, it means they are not important for your organization either.
  11. Apache Rewriting: I am getting very specific here but if your web server is Apache or URL rewritting is supported by your server then it is very important for a web developer to know how rewrites works.
  12. Image Processing: Last but not the least, optimizing images for web is very important. You don’t want your web developer to include 10MB images on your web pages? right! Atleast they should know how to reduce Image size and convert a full image to thumbnails etc.
  13. Payment Gateways: Web guy you are going to hire, he/she should know about integrating your website with Gateways such as Paypal etc. It can be very important to your business. If you already have a team that does this sort of stuff and the prospective staff don’t but they are good in other above mentioned traits I guess they will learn quite quickly but then at the end of the day you will have to decide on that.
  14. Debugging: If they don’t know about things like Firebug, Chrome developer tools etc or other tools that helps debugging server side code, I wonder how can they claim to be an expert.
  15. SSL: Candidate should know why encryption is required when it comes to privacy and protecting important information travelling across internet.

That’s was my experience, but as you know a lot can be added to the above but core expectations will not change for a new to hired web guy (I guess guy can be used for Girls too :)). I would just look for the above and I wouldn’t have known some when I started because Web changes so quickly and only Oracle knows what will be the next big thing on web.

I hope that you like this article. In case you did give it a +1 as a support gesture.





  1. Rashad Bailey says

    This is very talkative blogs which talks about some very important need to remember by and web development company to before hiring any developer for web development.

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