How to hire the best Frontend developers in 2022

There are multiple ways to look for frontend developers, and none of them are wrong. However, some are more “right” than others. Learn the best ways to find frontend developers to avoid unnecessary headaches down the road.

Adrijan Arsovski

Adrijan Arsovski

How to hire the best Frontend developers in 2022

The demand for frontend developers has drastically spiked in recent years, simply because there are too many people that want a website, but not too many skilled people that can create a website on their own.

But, what exactly is frontend development and why should we pay attention to it?

What is frontend development?

When someone says “frontend dev”, what they usually mean is frontend web development or app development, which mainly focuses on the part of the website/application that users see on their end (also known as client-side).

Basically, a frontend web developer transforms the backend code into a graphical interface that users can see, use, and interact with without breaking the backend architecture of the application.

For a more detailed description, check out our ultimate guide on frontend development languages and how they differ from one another.

As I stated, frontend development is becoming increasingly popular in recent years all across the world.

However, to truly understand its impact and importance, we have to take a look at the most popular individual languages and frameworks and treat them like elements contained within the huge set that is frontend software development.

JavaScript is cruising along

Despite being a relatively old scripting language, JavaScript is constantly being upgraded (and repurposed), with new, faster, and more reliable frameworks “bursting” out from the JavaScript paradigm at a pace that hardly anyone can keep track of lately.

Staggeringly, JavaScript is the most commonly used programming language for nine years in a row. Take note, however, that for most developers, programming is considered web programming and vice versa.

Angular, React.js, and Vue.js are the top 3

JavaScript also has its fair share of frameworks to pick from. Heavy-hitters like Angular, Vue.js, and React.js are among some of the most demanded frameworks by developers worldwide.

Out of the ultimate JavaScript trifecta, it seems like React.js is taking the top spot by winning the hearts and minds of the development teams back over at WhatsApp, BBC, Pinterest, and more multi-billion dollar corporations.

The “D'Artagnan of JavaScript”, Vue 3, is also taking a swing and has been trying to vie for the top three spots as well. Whether it’ll succeed remains to be seen.

Typescript is the future

Of course, you can’t mention JavaScript without Typescript: it’s become like peanut butter and jelly at this point. Since its launch back in 2012, Typescript is now the number one language that developers want to work the most with if they aren’t using it already.

According to the same survey, Typescript is also the seventh most popular language among all respondents and the fifth most popular language among professional developers. In that light, it has earned a sizable chunk of the popularity of 30.19% and 36.42% out of 83.052 and 58.031 respondents respectively.

Svelte starts to gain popularity

Finally, a component-based JS framework dubbed Svelte is also gaining traction and starting to make its name in town.

Code generated in Svelte can manipulate the DOM, thereby improving performance on all fronts and bumping JavaScript even higher in terms of its popularity among professional frontend engineers.

Be on the lookout for Svelte developers if you aren’t monitoring these emerging frontend trends already.

Where to find quality frontend developers

Here are some of the most reliable places where you can find and hire a freelance frontend developer:

  • Hired: A reliable website to find frontend, backend, and full-stack developers
  • Upwork: Freelance talent coming from a variety of backgrounds and experiences
  • Dice: A dedicated tech board with over 3M professionals on the platform
  • Gun.io: A very unique and quirky resource to find developers for your projects
  • Proxify: This is us! We offer elite, vetted, and pre-screened professional developers available in mere days
  • X-team: Offers on-demand developers to complete a variety of different projects

Other online resources where you can find quality developers include StackOverflow, GitHub, Reddit (with some persistence), and even tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush (performing keyword research, something like “find frontend developers near me”) if you’re proficient enough in SEO.

How to interview frontend developers

A long time ago, the duties and responsibilities of frontend devs would have looked something like this: being able to translate the static design into functional websites or apps using HTML/CSS, JavaScript, and other tools and frameworks.

Today, however, that definition has clearly broadened to the dismay of few and jubilance of many. The modern duties, responsibilities, and expectations from a contemporary skilled frontend web engineer are as follows:

  • Build, maintain and debug websites and web applications while following web design best practices
  • Transform designs and application blueprints into frontend code using HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and its many frameworks and libraries (React.js, Angular, Vue.js)
  • Work together with backend developers to help integrate user interface elements with databases and APIs
  • Be familiar with on-site search engine optimization (SEO), including the ability to optimize a website/app for performance and speed
  • Write quality code, document accordingly and perform routine checks and test to ensure a smooth flow of operations inside the website/application
  • Have the drive to constantly improve their existing skill set (including soft skills) and learn new ones accordingly

Interview questions + their expected answers

For Juniors

  1. What skills does a front-end developer need?

Expected answer: A front-end developer must know HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They also need to be familiar with responsive design and web development best practices.

  1. Define HTML meta tags.

Expected answer: Meta tags are HTML elements that contain information about the page, including the page's name, description, keywords, author, and more. They are often used by search engines to help them determine how to categorize your site.

  1. Describe the advantages of REST web services?

Expected answer: REST stands for Representational State Transfer. It's an architectural style for building Web services over HTTP. REST web services make it easier for clients to access data across multiple platforms and devices (for example: mobile phones).

  1. What is a Grid system in CSS?

Expected answer: A grid system is a set of tools for creating layouts using CSS. It is often used to create a consistent layout that can be reused across multiple pages, but it can also be used to make a single page look better.

  1. Explain user-centered design?

Expected answer: A user-centered design focuses on the needs and desires of your users, rather than just trying to make your product look nice. User-centered design helps you understand what your users want and need so that they can use your product more effectively and enjoyably.

  1. Tell me when and why should I make use of Webpack?

Expected answer: Webpack is an open source module bundler for JavaScript applications. It bundles together all of your files into one file called a "bundle." This means that instead of having to load each individual file separately (like CSS, HTML and JavaScript), WebPack bundles them into one file that loads quickly and efficiently—so your website loads faster!

You should use Webpack when you want to bundle multiple JavaScript files together into one file, and load them all at once in the browser.

  1. Mention three ways to decrease page load time.

Expected answer:

  • Keep the number of HTTP requests to a minimum by combining multiple files into one.

  • Reduce the size of each asset by compressing images, and minifying HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files.

  • Minimize the distance between the server and end user by using a CDN (Content Delivery Network).

For experienced developers

  1. What is stringify?

Expected answer: Stringify is an online tool that helps you convert plain text into rich snippets in HTML and JSON formats. It works on plain text documents, extracts metadata from them and converts them into JSON or HTML code with formatting and style information. There are many developers who use Stringify to create rich snippets for their web pages as well as their websites so that Google can better understand what their website is about and rank it higher in search results pages.

  1. State all the elements of the CSS Box Model.

Expected answer: The Box Model is made up of four elements: margin, padding, border and content width. These all come together to create a box around your content on the screen.

  1. In an image tag, what is the benefit of the srcset attribute?

Expected answer: The srcset attribute allows you to specify multiple images that can be loaded depending on the device and screen size. This makes it possible to provide users with a better experience when they're browsing your site on mobile devices.

  1. Explain the Difference Between Git Pull and Git Fetch.

Expected answer: Git Pull and Git Fetch are two different commands that both fetch new code from a remote repository and merge it into your local working copy. Git Pull fetches new code from a remote repository, merges it into your local working copy, then stops. Git Fetch is similar to Git Pull, except it does not stop after merging; instead it continues on with any additional commands you've given (like git checkout).

  1. What is Semantic HTML? How does it work?

Expected answer: Semantic HTML is when you use HTML tags that are relevant to the content on your website, such as paragraphs for text and lists for lists. Semantic HTML helps search engines understand what your website is about so they can provide better results for users browsing the web with those search engines.

  1. Define the Anonymous function in JS?

Expected answer: The anonymous function in JavaScript is used when you don’t want to explicitly define a function name, but want to execute some code in its place.

Top technical skills frontend developers should have

As a quick side note, some companies would require a Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field in order to apply for a job as a developer (in any capacity). Some companies don’t require anything else except raw coding skills and problem-solving abilities, but having some kind of a developer-related certification is always a plus.

Here are some of the most important qualifications expected from a knowledgeable frontend developer:

  • Multiple years of experience (2+) developing modern, fast and responsible websites with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • In-depth knowledge of the most popular JavaScript frameworks such as React.js, Angular and Vue.js
  • Great understanding and ample experience working with JavaScript libraries such as Bootstrap and jQuery
  • Good understanding of SEO principles and on-site practices
  • Great proficiency with semantic HTML5 elements, WAI-ARIA, and microformats
  • Great proficiency with CSS preprocessors (Sass, Less, or Stylus)
  • Ample experience with cross-browser testing and compatibility

Naturally, I wanted to clear up some misconceptions about the frontend development service (and frontend development in general), so I reached out to the Proxify network of developers with a couple of questions which they happily answered.

My first question was more of an ice-breaker than anything, but I think it helped set the tone of the conversation nicely:

  1. What is the main difference between a frontend and a backend developer?

Armen Nersisyan, an HTML, CSS, and JavaScript expert, quickly mustered an answer:

“Frontend developers are people who are working on user-facing details, or in other words, everything we see (client-side) such as application colors, animations, and lots more. All of this is done by frontend developers. On the other hand, backend engineers are working on stuff which is not visible for the users such as authentication, working with databases, and more things like that.”

author Armen Nersisyan

Another developer, part of the elite Proxify team of devs, also offered his take. Ardit Maloku has vast experience in a variety of frontend and backend projects, with the main emphasis on PHP, Laravel, and JavaScript as his preferred languages:

“Frontend development is programming that focuses on the visual elements of a website or app that a user will interact with. Meanwhile, backend development focuses on the side of a website users can't see.”

author Ardit Maloku

My second question was aimed more toward managers, clients, and other coworkers that don’t necessarily come from a tech background.

  1. What is the one thing that non-tech people often get confused about frontend developers?

Armen was straightforward in his answer:

“Frontend development is often confused with UI development, and sometimes people think that frontend developers are just doing a painting. But, nowadays, apart from UI and painting, there are also a lot of logical parts that need to be completed specifically by frontend developers.”

author Armen Nersisyan

Ardit came in with a nice analogy:

“Everyone likes cars, or at least some of us do, haha. If we look at the website as we look at the cars we can see all the things they have in common. So, the frontend is the interior & exterior of a car while the backend is the engine of it. The user on the website is the driver of the car, so the driver still needs to push the pedals in order to drive the car. That's what frontend does for the website, it makes that engine (backend) run and operates from the perspective of the end-user.”

author Ardit Maloku

He continued: “With all that being said, frontend makes the data interact with the user; it creates automated actions that make it easier for the person who uses the website. Also, so we don’t forget, frontend development takes care of how the website (or web page) will look like.”

My third and final question was as follows:

  1. What are frontend developers mainly responsible for in the development process of a (web) application?

Armen’s last answer was short and applicable:

“The two main things frontend developers are responsible for are UI/UX and page speed performance.”

author Armen Nersisyan

Ardit concluded in a concise manner:

“Frontend developers should be responsible for building pixel-perfect websites, keep users up to date with everything that happens on the website and give opinions on how to improve the user experience.”

author Ardit Maloku

How to test a frontend developer’s technical skills and eye for design

There are a number of technical questions that you can ask frontend devs to make sure they are skilled, proficient, and reliable developers. Here are several.

(1) How do you make sure that your website or application is accessible, user-friendly, and up to all the latest web development standards and best practices?

Expected answer: “I always make sure to test my websites and apps on all major browsers, devices and configurations to ensure the user experience is up to par on all of them. I employ the help of screen readers and other solutions to make sure my applications are accessible to all users. I stay up to date with all web dev best practices and use the latest language versions to reduce and eventually eliminate any room for error in my code. I use test-driven development regularly and often.”

(2) What are your favorite (and/or most used) HTML features, and how have you used them in your projects?

Expected answer: “I really appreciate how HTML5 handles multimedia support as opposed to its previous iterations. I often use this feature to craft an interesting, visually-appealing and responsive design that uses audio and video elements as a crucial part of the overarching website experience. It allows me to build freely without having to worry about bugs during loading time or encountering conflicts with other elements on the web page.”

(3) How do you adapt your CSS so other developers can easily work with your code?

Expected answer: “I arrange my stylesheets in sections, pairing each section with a corresponding component on the site. Plus, each section has comments, so when other developers are working on the code, they can easily change it, add to it, or scale it.”

(4) What are your favorite resources for adapting to the latest trends in frontend development and design?

Expected answer: I regularly participate in discussions on the StackOverflow forums. These resources help me immensely to learn and adapt to the latest trends in frontend development and design.

(5) What is a CSS float? Can you share some examples of how it's used?

Expected answer: The CSS float property puts an element on the right or left side of its container, thereby allowing inline elements (and text) to wrap around it without causing conflicts with other elements on the page. I often use floats when I’m working on a page that dynamically resizes based on the resolution of the user’s device.”

Why should you hire a frontend developer?

There is so much more to frontend development than simply HTML, CSS, or JavaScript code. Frontend engineers can help provide efficient solutions to the following challenges:

Website accessibility: Accessibility challenges are something that frontend developers are trained and know how to solve. It’s relatively easy to create a website that can be accessed by most users. But, how about creating one that can be accessed by all users regardless of their circumstances? Frontend devs are the best person for the job, as they are directly responsible for writing the parts of the website that users access and interact with in any conceivable capacity.

Website performance: According to website performance expert Steve Souders, between 80% and 90% of the user response time is allocated to the frontend. This means that only 10-20% of the website’s performance is reliant on the backend (server-side). If the web performance is slow and unreliable, users will quickly abandon the website and try other alternatives. That’s why it’s crucial to have good web performance, paired with a stellar UI (user experience), which inevitably leads to more traffic and, ultimately, improved revenue in the long run.

Web design: A quality frontend developer is a “hybrid” between a software engineer and an interface designer. They are able to take a raw graphical design pattern and translate it into a visually lustrous HTML experience that offers: accessibility, reliable web performance, easy maintenance, cross-device compatibility and responsive web design.

Three steps to your perfect Front-end developer

  • Step 1

    Tell us about your needs

    Talk to a technical manager about your requirements and goals for your product or project.

  • Step 2

    Get matched to the perfect developer

    Within days, a hand-picked and fully-vetted developer will be presented to you.

  • Step 3

    Begin working together (risk-free)

    Work begins. Completely risk-free for a week. You only pay if happy.

Find a Front-end developer

What’s frontend development?

Frontend development is the process of creating websites, graphical interfaces for web apps, or entire web apps running in web browsers.

  • What is the frontend?

    Frontend refers to the part of a website or web app functionality that is visible and accessible to users. The frontend usually includes HTML pages that display static content and JavaScrip code that generates dynamic content and powers animated UI elements.

  • What are the frontend languages?

    A standard toolset of a frontend developer includes the HTML markup language, CSS style sheet language, and JavaScript programming language. For faster development of dynamic interfaces for web apps, developers use JavaScript frameworks and libraries, such as Angular, Vue.js, or React.js.

  • What is the difference between frontend and backend web development?

    Frontend and backend web development deal with different layers of web apps. The code that frontend developers write runs in users’ browsers. The code produced by backend developers runs on servers. In complex projects, frontend developers are responsible for user interfaces only. However, when it comes to building small projects, they can build the entire app. For example, a frontend developer can create a web app that doesn’t need a server and a database but have all its code running in the browser.

  • How do frontend and backend connect?

    The frontend of an app or website can interact with its backend by sending HTTP or AJAX requests. In response, it can receive HTML and other static files or data in XML or JSON format.

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