How to Hire the Best Node.js Developers in 2019: The Ultimate Guide

The technology world has witnessed an insane Node.js boom during the past years. In 2018 and 2017, Node.js took first place as the most commonly used technology in the “Frameworks, Libraries, and Tools” category in the Stack Overflow survey and is still on the run in 2019.

With it comes the rise in Node.js developer demand. According to Indeed’s hiring lab, job searches for Node.js rose 57% over the past year, putting the runtime environment among the top 10 tech skill searches.

node.js job search growth
Source: Indeed’s Hiring 

Furthermore, the salary offered to NodeJS developers is quite high, which averages at around $105,000 as reported by Gooroo. This is a pretty high rate compared to some other server environment developers, such as PHP’s which is recorded at only more than $85,000.

So what do those numbers indicate actually? Logically put, they imply that the demand for Node.js developers is currently higher than the supply, pushing recruiters to raise the offer in order to acquire talents for their projects.

In fact, a HackerRank survey on technology skills shows that demand for Node.js expertise is met only half of the time.

10 frameworks hiring managers need vs. students know
Top 10 frameworks hiring managers need vs. students know | Source: HackerRank.

Therefore, the hiring NodeJS developer game is longer a piece of cake. Many companies and individual clients nowadays are struggling to find the best fishes in a “fishless” lake, not knowing how to set the right requirements for developer recruiting campaigns while the supply is already rather narrow.

But no worries. We are here to help you hack the game.

How to Hire the Best Node.js Developers in 2019: The Ultimate Guide

Node.js Developer Roles and Responsibilities

Roles of Node.js Developers

Generally speaking, the work scope of a Node.js specialist revolves around managing the data interchange between users and the server. As any platform is created based on a set of complex codes and processing information, developers must also work on issues such as creating logic behind applications, establishing close to perfect performance and making sure that user requests are thoroughly processed by the system.

It’s also worth mentioning that because Node.js development services include both front-end and back-end, a back-end Node.js developer should still have a basic understanding of the user-facing part of the application and be ready to work with front-end elements created by their colleagues and vice versa.

Additionally, as third-party tools are used during any app development, Node.js roles include the integration of various tools into applications.

Responsibilities of Node.js Developers

Any software developers is a multi-tasker, and Node.js developer is no exception.

A Node.js developer must be proficient with many techniques and therefore must take on lots of responsibility, which includes but not limited to:

Responsibilities of Node.js developers
(Source: Cleveroad)
  • Adhering to Agile methods: Following the escalating importance of Agile in today’s tech, Node.js developers should be familiar with Agile development methods to make product development easier to swallow. 
  • Clear code writing: The code written shall be reusable, laconic and readable in order to improve comprehension among team members and help to boost the quality of the software.
  • Front-end development: Even a back-end developer has to deal with front-end development quite frequently, so being a full-stack developer will definitely make you a rock star.
  • Security implementation: Needless to mention the ultimate importance of security in this data generation. Knowing which options play the most effective role and understanding how to adapt it into the product will help developers to secure the product much better the public’s muse.
  • Detecting performance issues: Although bug detection falls within the work scope of a QA/tester, it’s still better if you have a knack for error identification and correct it in a timely fashion. It not only shortens the time period for a project but also shows that you are a wonderful team player.
  • Third-party services integration: Nowadays we can barely see any software or application running without the participation of “a third wheel”, for example, Paypal, Google or Facebook. As a Node.js developer, you can’t escape from integrating various complicated environments. The job then is to simplify and minimise the code lines for time and cost-efficiency.
  • Database configuration: Database is the heart of an app/software, especially when you are going to deliver personalised content. Having knowledge in using different database management systems such as MongoDB is really necessary to take the product to the next level.
  • Staying up-to-date: Node.js updates are actively developed and released a few times a year, so the development team should be ready to switch to the latest version with a lot of improvements, security updates, and new features.

Node.js Developers Skills

Being a Node.js Developer involves a spectrum of knowledge in a variety of areas.

Here’s a list of essential skills that are sure to make you an expert in Node.js:

  • A basic understanding of front-end technologies such as HTML5 and CSS3
  • Knowledge of Node.js and other frameworks such as Express, StrongLoop, etc.
  • Understanding what asynchronous programming is all about and its workarounds.
  • Excellent understanding of server-side templating languages such as Jade, EJS, etc.
  • Good knowledge of server-side CSS preprocessors such as Stylus.
  • Working knowledge in user authentication and authorization between multiple systems, servers, and environments.
  • Ability to integrate multiple data sources and databases into one system.
  • Understanding fundamental design principles behind a scalable application.
  • Knowing the differences between multiple delivery platforms and optimizing their output.
  • Implementing automated testing platforms and unit tests.
  • Expert understanding of code versioning tools, such as Git.
  • Hands-on experience working on Node.js development tools like npm, grunt, gulp, brunch, broccoli, etc.
  • Error handling is a crucial part of the application to get right: knowing when to crash, or simply just log the error and continue/retry can be hard.
  • The Twelve-Factor application manifesto describes best practices on how web applications should be written.
  • Good knowledge of Semantic Versioning.
  • Add more skills related to Node.js, like AngularJS, PHP, jQuery, CSS3, etc.

Those are one hell of skill sets to master, especially when you are aiming at being a senior dev. However, if we seek more details, the skills required will vary depending on your title as a junior or a senior Node.js developer.

According to Cleveroad, skills of a junior Node.js developer include:

skills of a junior Node.js developer
(Source: Cleveroad)
  • Understanding of Node.js basics (Event Loop, libuv, asynchronous programming, etc.)
  • JavaScript knowledge
  • Knowledge of popular Node.js frameworks (Express.js)
  • Database basics (relational or non-relational databases)

As for senior experts, except for the basic understanding as juniors’, they should also be proficient with:

Middle/Senior Node.js Dev Skills
(Source: Cleveroad)
  • HighLoad projects experience
  • Architectural patterns
  • Microservices architecture
  • Performance optimization

Finally, we would also like to mention the required soft skills:

  • Active learning
  • Commitment
  • Resilience
  • Engineering thinking
  • Analytical ability
  • Result-oriented attitude
  • Ability to work individually and as part of the team
  • Decent English proficiency

Node.js Developer Interview Questions

Preparing a recruitment scheme is more than setting prerequisite and job posting. In order to find the right piece to your team, a set of good interview questions must be proposed.

Here we’ve collected some decent examples, just in case you want to save some time for researching. 

Hard Skills Questions

One can’t develop a product without knowing how to. A recruiter, before asking for anything other skill, will pay attention to the academic and professional foundation. A top-of-mind, a quality control stamps to make sure the candidate has the right capability to do the work.

This is a list of questions you can use to check interviewees hard skills, and sample answers for references.

  1. What is NPM?

NPM stands for Node Package Manager. It is used for command-line environment applied to install and manage Node.js Packages and repositories. 

  1. What is Closures?

Closure is a first-class function which is defined within another scope that has access to all the variables within the outer scope. Global variables can be made private with closures. 

  1. Explain Modules in Node.js?

Modules are simple or complex functionalities in JavaScript files which can be reused throughout the Node.js platform. Each module in Node.js can be placed in a .js file in a separate folder. Also, Node.js modules have their own context, so it cannot interfere with others.

  1. Explain V8 Engine?

V8 is an open-source JavaScript engine. It was developed by Google and is now used in Google Chrome, Node.js Couchbase, and MongoDB. The engine compiles JavaScript to machine code before executing it, instead of most other techniques. The compiled code is further optimized dynamically at runtime, based on heuristics of the code’s execution profile. 

  1. Explain what is libuv in Node.js?

libuv in Node.js is a cross-platform I/O abstraction library, written in C. It supports Windows IOCP, epoll(4), kqueue(2), and Solaris event ports. libUV library is used for the following: – cross-platform I / O operations, working with files, network – main Node.js event loop support.

  1. Why Node.js is single-threaded?

As single thread operations run better than multi-threaded ones, it is done in order to improve Node.js general performance.

  1. Explain the difference between readFile and createReadStream in Node.js?

readFile loads the whole file into the memory you selected, and fs.createReadStream reads the entire file in specified chunks of sizes. Using createReadStream, the client receives the data faster since it is sent in chunks while it’s being read. readFile though reads the whole file first before sending it to the client. 

  1. Provide the steps for setting up an Express.js application?
  • Create a folder with the same name as the project is called.
  • Add package.json file to the folder.
  • Run “npm install” command to install all the libraries from package.json. 
  • Create a file named ‘server.js’. 
  • Create a “router” file inside the package consisting of a folder named index.js. 
  • To the package consisting of index.html file add “App” one. 
  1. How does Node.js support multi-processor platforms, and does it fully utilize all processor resources?

Since Node.js is by default a single thread application, it will run on a single processor core and will not take full advantage of multiple core resources. However, Node.js provides support for deployment on multiple-core systems, to take greater advantage of the hardware. The Cluster module is one of the core Node.js modules and it allows running multiple Node.js worker processes that will share the same port.

  1. What is typically the first argument passed to a Node.js callback handler?

Node.js core modules, as well as most of the community-published ones, follow a pattern whereby the first argument to any callback handler is an optional error object. If there is no error, the argument will be null or undefined.

A typical callback handler could, therefore, perform error handling as follows:

function callback(err, results) {
// usually we'll check for the error before handling results
if(err) {
// handle error somehow and return
}
// no error, perform standard callback handling
}

At Savvycom you can find a range of experienced Node.js developers that will be glad to help you with interviewing process. Drop us a line and we will contact you back!

Soft Skills Questions

As the world is growing, not just revolving around professional ability but demanding other combinations of attitude and social, emotional intelligence, soft skills become critically important – especially when you want to hire Node.js developers for long-time projects.

This is a list of potential soft skill questions, as suggested by Linked.in:

  1. Tell me about a time when you were asked to do something you have never done before. How did you react? What did you learn? (Adaptability)
  2. What are the three things that are most important to you in a job? (Cultural fit)
  3. Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. How did you handle interactions with that person? (Collaboration)
  4. Tell me about the last time something significant didn’t go according to plan at work. What was your role? What was the outcome? (Leadership)
  5. Recall a time when your manager was unavailable when a problem arose. How did you handle the situation? With whom did you consult? (Growth potential)
  6. Tell me about a time when you had to juggle several projects at the same time. How did you organize your time? What was the result? (Prioritisation)

Hiring Options

Hiring Node.JS Developers Options

Freelancers

Pros

  • Cost

According to Recruiterbox, a company will save up about 20% or 30% when hiring an independent contractor. Those ratios come from the elimination of benefits coverage such as health insurance, retirement insurance, social insurance, etc.

  • Risk reduction

Freelancers are not really part of the company structure, so if they commit any fraud or crimes, your company will find it easier to get away with it. No attorney fee, no extra PR cost. No brand image destruction. No customer loyalty lost. It is also easier to terminate and replace freelancers in case they don’t work out. 

  • Global reach

Want to diversify your company culture? Find freelancers would be an easy approach since they are accessible and more willing to work remotely. Foreign freelancers can also be beneficial when you are planning for market expansion. The natives are always better than you at understanding their home country’s economy. 

Cons

  • Supervision

Most freelancers work from their home, and wireless network (internet, mobile phones, etc) is often the only means to get access to them. This makes the process harder to monitor and manage. Once they are off the network, you basically have no choice but to wait for them to appear. This can be a nuisance in case of emergency as well.

  • Dedication

Freelancers indeed work for you, but they also work for a bunch of other people. Their dedication can be much lower than in-house employees, who have a close relationship in the cooperative environment and understand the company well and therefore feel more motivated to add value to the bottom-line.

  • Security

If you have a clear security protocol with the freelancers, that’s OK, you’re welcome to skip this part. However, a minor mistake in the contract regarding project confidentiality can cause you a life. Since freelancers don’t really commit to any place, the possibility that they accidentally (or intentionally) expose your company is worth considering. 

Where to hire

In-house Employees

Pros

  • Planning

If you already have the employees under your (and even other department managers’) supervision, you can build a profile of them and use it for the project development plan. In this way, the whole project team can work in a harmonious way and you can take full advantage of their competency.

  • Management

In-house employers are always required to be available at the company, so you can keep track of their progress and give them advice in real-time. You can also motivate them to work right at the moment you sense them being discouraged to make sure the project finishes successfully.

  • Commitment

In-house employees have a thing freelancers don’t have: corporation culture. Being part of something can develop a sense of motivation and therefore encourage stakeholders to stay and contribute more to the company. 

Cons

  • Cost

The cost of hiring an in-house employer is high, accumulating from the cost of recruitment to the cost of employees’ retirement and resignation. There are lots of benefits to cover, for example, different types of insurances and incentives (learning subsidiary, bonding budget, etc), which might increase overhead.

  • Risk

The face of your employees is basically the face of your company. Once they make any mistake, commit any crime or get involved in any scandal, chances are your brand image suffers. If you don’t manage the crisis well, you’ll likely to lose your pie in the market. There are other risks regarding retirement, resignation and even legal matters.

  • Flexibility

It’s harder to replace or annul a contract with an in-house employee. Therefore, if any problem bursts out, such as a constant lack of skill or an employee-centred controversy, you are stuck with it. Before entering a room, think about your way out they say. 

Where to hire

Outsourcing Company

Pros

  • Talent accessibility

It’s often pretty hard to access to experts and professionals, even when you have a good network. If you conduct a recruitment campaign yourself, chances are it will cost you lots of blood, sweat and tears to find the right piece for the puzzle. Plus, the harder it takes to recruit a capable one, the longer the time frame be extended. However, with outsourcing companies, you will be connected to quality talent pools of high-level experiences and professionality effortlessly in no time.

  • Cost

Similar to that of hiring freelancers, using services from outsourcing is cost-efficient. Outsourcing companies are basically a headquarter for a bunch of freelancers after all. There will be a cut down on overheads. However, these companies have a competitive advantage compared to individual freelancers, which will be described in the next bullet point.

  • Quality

For freelancers, their abilities are hardly guaranteed. However, with employees from outsourcing companies, the quality is reserved since there’s an involvement of contract These companies can warranty the competency of the engineers handed over to you: regarding both hard skills and soft skills. If you don’t feel like into the employee they recommended, you can always ask them to replace him with another person until you’re satisfied.

Cons

  • Language barrier

Same as freelancers, you can always employ an outsourcing company overseas. If that’s the case, it will be quite challenging in terms of teamwork and departmental synergy. The solution shall be holding training sessions on foreign languages so that everyone has “a voice” in common.

  • Financial relationship

Hiring an outsourcing company means you are turning over parts of the company operations of your business to another party. There will be mutual influence over each other, and you are technically tied to the health of the outsourcing company. The worst scenario would be the outsourcing company goes bankrupt and seeks protection from its creditors.

Where to hire

You can check out the reputable outsourcing firms on GoodFirms or Clutch. The lists are quite trustworthy, including customer reviews and rates. It’s an honour for Savvycom to be featured twice on Clutch, one as the “Top 30 global developer”, the other as #6 Leading B2B Companies in Asia in 2018 and is currently awarded as the “Most trusted App Developer & Tech partner” with 4.8/5 stars on the website.


Node.js Developer Hourly Rate

As hiring options have already been proposed, here comes the rate per each approach so that you’ll have more input for a precise decision.

Let’s start with freelance developers hourly rates (according to Codementor platform).

Junior, middle/senior Node.js developer rates are described in the table below:

Region Hourly Rate, $ (Junior) Hourly Rate, $ (Middle/Senior)
North America 41 – 60 80 – 120
Western Europe 61 – 80 81 – 100
Australia 61 – 80 81 – 100
Eastern Europe 41 – 60 41 – 80
Asia 41 – 60 61 – 80
India 15 – 25 15 – 25

However, hourly rates of outsourcing companies differ as each day passes, so checking the following estimation based on GoodFirms and Clutch for more accurate research is never a waste.

Hourly rates of outsourcing teams are:

Region Hourly Rate ($)
North America 120 – 180
Australia 100 – 180
Western Europe 51 – 100
Asia 30 – 42
Eastern Europe  25 – 50
India 18 – 40

Here is the rough estimation of average Node.js developer salary in different regions according to PayScale.Finally, the annual pay of in-house developers! 

Region Annual Salary ($)
North America 74,081
Western Europe 51,551
Eastern Europe 24,200
Australia 90,000
Asia  48,948
India 20,000

Don’t Make These Mistakes While Hiring Node.js Developers

Don’t make these mistakes while hiring Node.js developers

Vague Hiring Process

“Well begun is half done”, they say. A clear recruitment process will increase the understandings among stakeholders, boosting potential candidate targeting and scanning as well as guaranteeing the whole process is held smoothly and successfully. 

Especially, in terms of outsourcing, it’s better to start the hiring process from identifying your project requirements, define the target audience and, of course, understand what MPV features should be implemented. No matter how you see it, criteria remain its role as the key to success.

Underestimate Reports

Reading reports from previous recruitment campaigns is an act of learning. Reports include all the relevant information related to candidates, company expectations, processes from A-Z and the results of all those. They are biographies of your company’s recruitment since its birth showing you what has gone well and what can be improved so that you can take your own lessons and apply them to the next recruitment for better efficiency.

“Sugarcoating” the Jobs

Many companies tend to employ a syrup singing voice to lure candidates into a seemingly appealing job, just to leave them disenchanted in the end. Being honest is always the best way to get closer to someone, especially when you expect high commitment, dedication contribution from the other.

Moreover, once you speak the truth to your candidates, they will have a heads up over what they are about to face and be more prepared for the position and decide for themselves right away if they are really a good fit for the job. At this point, the effort you spent on scanning CVs would be less of a burden.

Overlooking Employee Referrals

When your employees refer someone, they are risking their trust and reputation to guarantee the success of the employees as a way of contributing to your company. Any attempt shall be recognised, not to mention that acknowledging their effort would be a good encouragement and motivation for them to commit and engage in the operations. 

Who knows, maybe you can find perfect matches even before you launch tiring job postings just with a single word of your employees? Surprises do happen every day.

Do NO Research

You never really know anything before you get to know it – and researching is the most effective means to learn something. Since holding a recruitment process is complex, you must be well-aware of what’s happening in order to understand what you are missing, what is suitable for your own good as well as to propose a set of reasonable offers to the job market. Failing to understand the market and ignoring the power of references would possibly drive you to a dead-end – which you won’t ever buy.


How We Use Node.js at Savvycom

As an Agile development company, we try to simplify every process by taking advantages of Node.js. Thanks to its characteristics, Node.js is frequently used in real-time application or any application that includes real-time updates. It is often seen in third-party integration and database management as well.

Understanding the strength of Node.js and the many perks it brings up to life, Savvycom applies it to Helo, a live-streaming mobile application. 

Helo was born with a vision to collaborate and create the first-ever live media streaming application that will enable people to showcase their gifted abilities and get easier notices from their respective industries. With Helo, each and every single individual can become a key opinion leader – as long as they have the skills to be loved by and the platform to do so.

Helo provides the right tools for talents from every walk of life to be discovered.

In other words, it is an app that runs on the “real-time” principles, requiring social network integration (e.g facebook, twitter, etc) for easy register as well as good database management to store user info and documents – a perfect fit for Node.js. However, we are not that dull using only Node.js throughout the development processes – other ones such as MySQL, MongoDB, Angular, PHP 7, Laravel 5, etc are also brought into this product in order to ensure the highest level of adaptation, easy update, and error limitation. 

The whole project takes roughly 7 months to finish, with lots of twists and turns regarding Node.js. However, with a strong team of Node.js developers who are 100% proficient at solving crises and working as a team, we made it through the down phases and finally successfully hand in the best product to our customers in the possibly shortest period of time.


Conclusion

At the end of the day, whether or not you can have a great Node.js developer on your team depends greatly on how you prepare for it. It’s always better to check and double-check your candidate skills, define your requirements, find out if Node.js developers’ hourly rates are affordable for you and many other important aspects we’ve covered. 

If you have any questions regarding the topic we didn’t include in our hiring guide, feel free to contact us by these following address and phone numbers:

  • Phone: +84 24 3202 9222
  • Hotline: +84326752886
  • Email: contact@savvycomsoftware.com

Let’s Start A Project Together!