Everything You Need to Know About Hiring Node.js Developers

Dedicated Development Team July 20, 2021
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Everything You Need to Know About Hiring Node.js Developers

With tech giants like Walmart, LinkedIn, eBay, GoDaddy, and many others adding Node.js to their tech stack, choosing it to build your server-side applications is undoubtedly a wise decision. But have you ever wondered what makes Node.js a preferred choice for 10+ years?

Is it the capacity to decrease the average response time that once PayPal achieved with it or the speed and flexibility of the framework that Amazon witnessed?

We found that a prime reason for its immense popularity among developers is its low entry threshold, enabling beginners to adopt this technology without bending over backward.

Of course, it’s a promising technology for developers due to its handiness. But as a CTO hiring Node.js developers, you may want to pay extra attention to what skills a Node.js developer requires to make this robust technology work for you.
For instance, a developer with good knowledge of JavaScript but might lack skills for asynchronous programming. At the same time, database management, error handling, streamlining code, and other skills are equally crucial for a Node.js developer. Therefore, it is imperative to look for skills that prove to be a valuable addition that brings life to your development project.

The question is, how can you determine the right skill set for a Node.js developer?
This blog aims to act as a template for your organization to hire individuals who nail programming and building web apps in Node.js.

Also, this is paired with a bonus — an infographic highlighting the most important interview questions to give you a headstart in your hiring process.

Responsibilities of Node.js developers

Before proceeding to different factors that determine the suitable skill set of a Node.js developer, let’s get an idea of the duties and responsibilities of a developer while working on a Node.js app development project.

  • Facilitate the exchange of data between the servers and the users.
  • Development of server-side logic and maintenance of the central database.
  • Ensure high responsiveness to requests from the front end.
  • Enable application security and data protection on priority.
  • Solve database queries and record front-end transactions.

9 facts you must know before hiring Node.js developers

Roadmap to hiring node.js devs

  • Are they skilled in using Application Monitoring Tools?

APM tools keep you up to date with all the necessary data to prevent service downtimes, reduce performance bottlenecks, or resolve memory leaks. Hence, having the right set of APM tools is essential for your Node.js project. In addition, it comes with necessary insights about how your Node.js application behaves at any particular time.

Node.js developers, experienced in working with multiple APM tools, help you make an informed decision depending on the project size and requirements. Furthermore, selecting the right tools seeks to experience and knowledge about their functionalities since there are endless options available in the market with the widespread use of microservices architecture.

Some top choices of APM tools made by expert developers-

  1. The ELK Stack – Comprises three open-source projects —Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. It is a simple and robust solution for log analysis and providing insights on app performances. The stack is primarily used for collecting and analyzing logs from applications, enabling faster troubleshooting, acquiring security analytics, and more.
  2. Prometheus is an open-source monitoring and alerting solution developed by SoundCloud. It provides multi-dimensional data collection & data queuing and recording real-time metrics in a time series database.
  3. Grafana is another open-source analytics software that allows developers to time-series databases into easily understandable graphs and visualizations. Over the years, Grafana and Prometheus have become a preferred monitoring stack for DevOps teams. While Prometheus provides a storage backend, Grafana acts as an interface for analysis and visualization.
  • Do they have a basic understanding of the Front-end stack?

Although Node.js developer’s role is to handle the backend of your application, elementary knowledge of frontend technologies comprehends their skillset. If backend developers know how backend components power the UI to provide a consistent user experience, they can modify the code accordingly and meet user expectations. Moreover, it improves team collaboration since they have a mutual understanding of their roles.

When interviewing candidates, you can discuss their knowledge of HTML, JavaScript, CSS, AJAX, frontend frameworks like Angular and Vue, and libraries such as React and JQuery. Additionally, you can ask about the compatibility of frontend technologies that are an excellent fit for Node.js applications to gauge their frontend understanding.

  • Can they work with different Test Runners and Tools?

As Node.js is popular among most developers worldwide, newer testing tools and frameworks are developed, keeping the Node.js applications in mind.

But choosing the right testing tool requires understanding the suitability of tools based on the project type, complexities, requirements, and many other factors. An experienced developer maps out all the gaps and potential risks in the code and suggests a testing strategy that yields better results in your deployments.

Testing tools recommended by developers to help you assess a candidate’s expertise in testing Node.js apps –

  1. Mocha – An open-source JS testing framework running on Node.js. It is simple, fast, and extensible and runs asynchronous tests on Node.js applications. In addition, Mocha is highly compatible with Chai, an assertion library for JS frameworks. Both Mocha and Chai support the Behavior Driven Development (BDD)/Test Driven Development (TDD) approach.
  2. Jasmine – Another BDD framework for JavaScript that does not depend on any other JS frameworks or DOM manipulation. It has a clean syntax that makes writing tests easier for developers.
  3. Jest – A JS testing framework and assertion library for Node.js applications. One of the key features in this framework is its functionality to run previously failed tests and organize test runs based on the time taken to test files.
  4. Ava – A test-runner for Node.js with simple syntax and the ability to run fast and concurrent tests. It comes with a concise API, detailed error output, and eliminates the use of globals.
  • Do they have experience working with alternative Package Managers?

Node.js uses well-tested and open-source packages that eliminate the need to rewrite code and promote faster development. Developers use package managers to handle these packages. Check if the candidate you’re going to hire has in-depth knowledge of npm—default package manager for Node.js. One way to check how well-versed a developer is is to ask them about the different alternatives to npm packages they use to get better results.

For instance, Yarn is the best-known alternative package manager for Node.js applications. It installs packages faster than npm and uses the local cache memory instead of waiting for the downloading process to complete. Additionally, it installs packages parallelly and arranges network requests in a queue to optimize the network altogether.

Another alternative is pnpm. Developers hail it for solving the NPM doppelganger issues, i.e., pnpm installs one copy of all the required packages on the disk, and a hard link to the node modules directory is available for installation. This feature saves disk space to a great extent.

  • Are they experienced in working with various ORM tools for databases?

You will require an ORM (Object Relational Mapping) library to facilitate mapping between objects and relational databases while kickstarting a medium/large scale project. Since different database systems access data in various ways, ORM helps you maintain the objects even if the sources or apps they access might change over time.
The bottom line is, ORM enables you to streamline the migration process between different databases. Therefore, consider them an asset if the candidate has a good command over ORM tools.

ORM tools favored by experienced developers –

  1. Sequelize – It is a popular, stable, and well-documented ORM for Node.js that supports databases like MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, and SQLite.
  2. Bookshelf – It is one of the oldest ORM JS libraries for Node.js with a concise codebase. Bookshelf comes with traditional callback interfaces, superior transaction support, and polymorphic associations.
  3. Mongoose – Best suited for MongoDB, it is one of the most popular ORMs, facilitating query building and built-in typecasting. Moreover, it is sponsored by the Tidelift platform, which means the security issues are identified and resolved in time.
  • Are they well-versed with popular Cloud platforms?

The multiple benefits of deploying web applications on the Cloud cannot be overstated, and therefore, seek for talents with prior experience working with the top cloud platforms.

Commonly used cloud platforms with Node.js applications –

  1. Amazon Web Services (AWS) with Elastic Beanstalk for deploying, managing scaling the application, and Lambda for serverless hosting; it can’t get any easier to deploy your application.
  2. Microsoft Azure is the next big thing on the list of cloud platforms. Its fully managed App Service for building, deploying, and scaling applications is one of today’s most efficient services.
  3. Google Cloud offers a low latency network, its PaaS solution ‘App Engine,’ and ‘Kubernetes Engine’ to run a Node.js application in a container.
  4. Heroku offers free Node.js hosting, seamless 3rd party integrations, and detailed documentation for beginners to get started without any blockers.
  5. Netlify is a developer-friendly cloud platform that allows developers to import components directly from the Git repositories and offers a “drag and drop” functionality for faster deployments.
  • Are they experienced in working with Node.js Template engines?

A template engine creates HTML templates with minimal code and significantly improves the application performance. A wide variety of template engines are available for Node.js applications, including Mustache, Pug, Nunjucks, Swig, and many more.
However, Marko and Handlebars are developers’ preferred choices for simple and user-friendly features that they bring along.

Marko is a straightforward and fast template library for JS, and a good understanding of CSS, HTML, and JS is all it takes for a developer to start using it. Developers can declaratively build an application by describing how the view modifies over time and responds to various user actions. Most importantly, it offers progressive rendering that allows developers to load HTML, assets, and images as soon as they are ready without waiting for client-side JS rendering.

On the other hand, Handlebars is compatible with Mustache, and developers can simply replace it with Mustache templates and continue working on the application. Moreover, it compiles templates into JS functions for faster template execution.
One way to check a candidate’s development style is by asking them to describe why they prefer certain templating engines; their answers would say a lot about their development approach. Then, see and compare if it matches your organization’s standards to make the right decision.

  • Do they have a profound knowledge of Node.js User Authentication?

User authentication and authorization is a crucial function for any web application. Therefore, a sound knowledge of the user authenticating process is a must-have skill for a developer.

Opportunely, with third-party services like Passport.js, the authentication process is much less complicated than doing it from scratch. Though Passport describes itself as “simple and unobtrusive” with high flexibility, it demands considerable efforts from the developers to implement it in production based on the application’s needs.

Bcrypt, a third-party password-hashing library, builds a password security platform that keeps the hackers at bay from cracking passwords and putting user information at risk.

  • How flexible is their learning curve?

Node.js has an easy learning curve for developers with a good grasp of server-side fundamentals of Javascript. Look for developers who have experimented with Node.js in diverse ways and have experience working with coding and testing.

Although developers frequently add new courses to their profile from the pool of online tutorials and courses, look for developers with practical experience in coding and testing Node.js applications since that’s all that matters in the end.

One way to master this assessment is to ask them to show a diverse portfolio of their work in Node.js; it can be the projects they worked on for clients, open-source contributions, or small demonstrations.

We have included an infographic discussing a set of interview questions to help you gauge the right skills of Node.js developers:-

Interview questions for Node.js devs

Why choose Simform?

By hiring expert and qualified Node.js developers from Simform, you can build a robust backend for your application. We can help you –

  • Develop and integrate customized Node.js API
  • Upgrade existing applications and improve app performance
  • Build and deploy cross-platform mobile applications
  • Migrate your current web application to Node.js
  • Create Node.js Plugins to add new functionalities to your application

We organize a detailed consultation with our clients to grasp their tech goals, development styles, and communication channels. Thereafter, we begin selecting candidates that fit perfectly within any organization. To achieve efficiency in our selection process, we encourage complete information about the project and provide Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) to maintain the confidentiality of shared knowledge.

Our Node.js developers,

  • Follow agile development methodology, including sprint planning, standups, and weekly demos to stay on the right track.
  • Maintain regular communication with your team via Slack, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc., to always keep you updated on the progress.
  • Adhere to industry best practices to help you build your project and scale it without affecting the application performance.

If you have any questions about hiring Node.js developers, feel free to contact us. We are always happy to help you!

Working from last 8 years into consumer and enterprise mobility, Hardik leads large scale mobility programs covering platforms, solutions, governance, standardization and best practices.

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