Ihor
Feoktistov
CTO at Relevant

How to Hire a Full-Stack Developer for a React.js/Node.js Project: a Full Guide

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Known for bringing prime video content directly into people’s homes, Netflix has another thing to be proud of — a fabulous web app with an intuitive UI and the capability to deliver 10 billion hours of content to 190 million users every single day. 

Fascinating, isn’t it? 

Perhaps the most amazing thing is that you, too, can achieve that level of performance and scalability by combining React.js and Node.js. But first, you’ll need to hire a full-stack developer who suits your needs.

In this article, we’ll explain why you should consider using both Node.js and React.js on a single project, why hiring a React.js/Node.js full-stack developer may be better than having two separate experts, and we’ll share some tips to help you find the best candidate. 

Who is a full-stack developer? 

Every web or mobile application consists of two parts: the front end (client-side) and the back end (server-side). The former is what a user actually sees and interacts with. The latter is a combination of behind-the-scenes elements that power the user-facing side of the app. The back end consists of a server, an application, and a database. Together, these three enable the visible part of an app to exist.

Front-end and back-end developers each have the skills to build only one of the two sides. A full-stack developer handles both. This means they are proficient in the entire tech stack — the complete set of development tools needed to build an application. Yet, the professional shouldn’t master every tool and technology. 

Full-stack developers are expected to translate user requirements into the overall architecture and work on both sides of an application.

Why combine React.js and Node.js?

React.js + Node.js developer hiring

Created by Facebook, React.js is an open-source JavaScript library used to develop the front end of highly scalable applications with changing states, like dynamic inputs, buttons, and more. With React.js, you can build an application where users can chat while the newsfeed updates, for example. 

Some of the main advantages of React.js include:

  • easy maintenance thanks to reusable components
  • virtual DOM that allows for high performance
  • code stability
  • TypeScript support

While React.js handles the front end, Node.js is an open-source JavaScript server-side framework. 

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Key features of Node.js include: 

  • excellent performance
  • built-in APIs
  • unit testing tools that allow testing of ready code on the go
  • impressive scalability
  • JavaScript or TypeScript support

Combining both technologies offers all these advantages, but the key benefit is that you can develop both the front end and back end using JavaScript. In addition, by using React.js together with Node.js, you can scale your project to a much greater extent.

Skills required for a full-stack (React.js/Node.js) developer

Skills required for a full-stack (React.js/Node.js) developer

Coding clean and efficient code, coordinating other developers, and troubleshooting issues are just a few examples of what a full-stack React.js/Node.js developer should do. What skills do these functions require? Below is the list of the core competencies. 

  • Front-end technologies. Building a functional, responsive, and dynamic web product is impossible without the classic skill trio: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Of course, proficiency in the React.js library is also a must for a React.js/Node.js developer. 
  • Back end technologies. Certainly, you’ve heard about various back end technologies and frameworks. But when hiring a React.js/Node.js developer, the first thing you want to see is proven expertise in Node.js development.
  • Databases. All applications need a database for data storing, so a proficient full-stack developer should be adept in various SQL and NoSQL databases.
  • Version control system (VCS). Every full-stack developer should use a VCS like Git — an open-source VCS that allows tracking changes in the source code during software development. 
  • Communication protocols.  HTTP is a transport protocol for communication between an application and a client (e.g., web browser). REST is a set of rules for building API — a bridge between front end and back end. A full-stack developer must master both. Some projects also might require the knowledge of WebSockets, GraphQL, the communication between FE and BE, and beyond.
  • Web architecture. Because the primary responsibility of a full-stack developer is to build applications from scratch, they must know how to structure code, data in storage, categorize files, and more. 
  • Soft skills. An ideal full-stack developer for hire needs more than just rock-solid tech mastery; they should also possess a perfect balance of hard and soft skills. An engineering mindset, curiosity, good time management, and attention to detail are critical. 

But how do these requirements translate into a job description to attract the most suitable candidates? Here’s how. 

An example of a full-stack developer job description

Below is a sample full-stack React.js/Node.js developer job description that you can customize according to your needs.

  • About us
    First, write about your company. Be brief yet informative. Indicate who you are looking for. Be specific. For example: 
    We are a software development company looking for a senior full-stack React.js/Node.js developer to join our team and work on [insert a brief project description here].
  • Our project
    Share the core idea of your project.
  • Required skills and expertise
    List the skills and expertise required for this project. You can incorporate the οnes from the previous subsection.
  • Your tasks and responsibilities
    These will vary based on the project. For example: 
    • Develop new products and services
    • Optimize and support current projects
    • Build reusable code and libraries for future use
    • Collaborate with other team members and stakeholders
  • English proficiency 
    B1-B2 will suffice.
  • Work conditions
    These might include working hours, remote options, salaries, sick days, possible bonuses, etc. 

You may find interesting a guide on finding remote software programmers.

Interview questions to ask a full-stack React.js/Node.js developer

A full-stack developer is a nuanced role. Since it requires expertise in several different aspects of software development, the interview cannot be conducted by just anyone. If you, personally, do not have the necessary scope of tech knowledge, having a tech-savvy person to help you prepare before and during your “day X” is not just a great idea, it’s a necessity. 

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When choosing tech interview questions for your prospects, keep in mind that there are no “equal” full-stack developers. In most cases, a full-stacker is either a former front-end developer or a back-end developer, meaning that they are more proficient in one set of technologies than the other.

Additionally, keep in mind that it’s critical to ask a mix of questions of varying complexity. When interviewing an aspiring full-stack React.js/Node.js developer, for example, you can ask the following: 

  • What’s the difference between functional and object-oriented programming?
  • What does “favor object composition over class inheritance” mean?
  • What’s event-driven programming?
  • What is asynchronous programming?
  • How does Node.js work?
  • What is an event loop in Node.js and how does it work?
  • How does middleware in Node.js work?
  • What’s EventEmitter in terms of Node.js?
  • How can you explain a callback in terms of Node.js?
  • What is React.createClass?
  • What’s the difference between a class component and a functional component?
  • What is Redux?
  • How is VirtualDOM more efficient than dirty checking?
  • What’s the difference between SQL and NoSQL?
  • What is a message broker?
  • What are the types of NoSQL databases?
  • How do unit testing and E2E testing differ? Explain it with an example.
  • What are the types of web services?
  • What’s REST, and how is it different from SOAP?
  • What is localStorage in HTML 5, and how is it different from cookies and session storage?
  • What are two-way data binding and one-way data flow, and how are they different?
  • What are the pros and cons of monolithic vs. microservice architectures?
  • What is data structure?
  • What is a queue?
  • What is a stack?
  • What is a design pattern, and what are the three standard categories?
  • What is REST API?
  • What is GraphQL?

Along with technical proficiency, you’ll also need to assess the candidate’s personality and work ethic. Luckily, there are multiple suggestions that can be found at Indeed. You can also supplement this list with questions geared toward situations faced by your team on a frequent basis. 

Full-stack developer salaries in different countries 

Able to work on various domains and fulfill multiple roles, a competent full-stack developer can manage and understand every single aspect of a project. But that’s not the only reason to hire a full-stack JavaScript developer. The fact is that having one on your team is much more cost-effective than hiring separate people for every part of the project. 

Even with that built-in efficiency, hiring a local talent can cost you a fortune. Luckily, salaries vary from country to country. Below, we compare average full-stack developer hourly salaries in the US, United Kingdom, and Ukraine based on the data provided by Payscale and DOU

FromMedianUp to
USA$26$37,5$55
UK$15,5$22$37,5
Ukraine $11*$13*$16*
* Note that the salaries mentioned above don’t equal the cost of hiring software developers through Relevant. Read more about how offshore software development cost is formed in our article.

Clearly, outsourcing React.js/Node.js development to a full-stacker from Ukraine will result in significant cost savings without compromising quality. It is no wonder that IBM, Skype, Boeing, Siemens, and other tech giants have chosen to work with Ukrainian developers.

Hiring React.js/Node.js developers at Relevant

According to the latest available numbers, there are 200K developers and 4K+ tech companies in Ukraine. With numbers that large, how can you find a real gem or even a team of gems? The answer: choose from the best of the best. Let’s take Relevant, for example.

Since 2013, we’ve been boosting the skillset and enhancing the productivity of companies around the globe with superior software development expertise. Not only do we consistently deliver high-quality work on time and on budget, we genuinely care about your product. If you are looking for React.js/Node.js talent that will not only promise but deliver, rest assured — our onboarding process is seamless and hassle-free:

  1. Respecting requirements. First, we listen to you. What’s your idea? How many experts do you need? What’s your budget and time frames? You name it, we make it happen. 
  2. Assembling a team. Once the necessary experts are selected, they can start working immediately. If we don’t have suitable talent at hand, we’ll be happy to engage in additional hiring, which can take from a few days to a month based on urgency. When it comes to talent selection, you can leave it to us or choose experts on your own. 
  3. Integration. This step is known to be painful and frustrating, but not at Relevant — we’ll smoothly integrate the selected talent into your ongoing team. It’s also recommended to meet your newly assembled team in person, if possible. 
  4. Result. While we handle all non-business tasks, your newly-assembled team is entirely under your control. So you and your experts can focus exclusively on your project without distractions.

Over seven years of dedicated work, we’ve successfully completed 200+ projects in various niches. Below are just a few examples: 

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Airthings 

Airthings is a Norway-based provider of indoor radon monitoring products. Thanks to our JavaScript developers, they now have a solution that displays air quality data around the globe. 

FirstHomeCoach 

FirstHomeCoach guides UK users through a complex property-buying process and connects them with trusted advisors to handle all the legalese. To make this project a reality, we selected a tech stack (React, Node.js, Redux, TypeScript, Postgres, and WordPress) and provided developers accordingly. That’s why FirstHomeCoach is now a robust app with a security-driven architecture.

Sensor Innovation 

Sensor innovation informs users about issues (e.g., water leaks) at both industrial and residential sites based on the influence of weather on sensor data. Though the client already had a tool for doing so, it required an update and a “facelift.” With the help of our developers (including those with Node.js and React skills), we delivered a product with an improved UI and extended functionality.

Do you want to see more of our projects? You can find all of them here.  Read also about Relevant’s experience in React.js development consulting.

Summary

Whereas Node.js is widely recognized as an ideal tool for creating sophisticated and scalable server-side web applications, React.js allows developers to build high-performance solutions with changing states. Hiring a full-stack React.js/Node.js developer allows you to fully capitalize on the benefits of both technologies.

With more than 200K developers in Ukraine alone, finding a suitable candidate can be quite an arduous task. That task can be made much less daunting if you use our recommendations for your full-stack developer job description and interview questions. 

Working with software development vendors, like Relevant, is another potentially game-changing option, one that allows you to focus on important work progress instead of being slowed down by administrative processes. If you have an idea that requires React.js/Node.js expertise, just drop us a line! We’re here for you. 

Written by
Ihor Feoktistov
CTO at Relevant
I make sure our clients get the highest code quality and the best tech talent on the market. I am also a Software Engineering Advisor for startups. Let's connect.

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