Node.js programmers are in high demand these days and they know it. If you look around for the devs in your city, you will probably find out that getting a new team member on-board is both costly and time-consuming. There are just too many available offers and nowhere near enough specialists to take on them.
However, what if there was a large pool of competent Node.js developers, available at reasonable prices? Moreover, they are experienced with both starting development from scratch and reinforcing the existing development to crunch the deadline.
The only catch is that these teams are located in Ukraine. But believe it or not, that’s a good thing.
Are Ukrainian developers any different than others?
For the last couple of years, Ukrainian developers have built a good reputation for themselves in the US. And once you get to know them, you realize that they are very capable and a great asset for outsourcing.
Mentality. Ukrainians are hardworking, which may sound generic. However, you will often be surprised by the level of dedication these people bring to the team.
Creativity. Most Slavic people are known for humorous out-of-the-box thinking and Ukrainians are no exception. If you want an issue solved, they will always have an interesting perspective you might not have thought about before.
Work ethic. Ukrainians care about the end result of their work and are unlikely to hide any issues the product may have. If you want an honest opinion, they are the people to ask.
Communication. According to DOU.ua, over 70% of Ukrainian developers are proficient in English, with more than half of them being above the Intermediate level. Granted, nice pronunciation may be harder to come by, but you won’t have any issues communicating in written form.
Another thing to note is that Ukraine programmers are used to limited communication. Which is perfect, since holding regular conference calls with the US might be an issue due to the time zones. However, if you want to keep a hand on the pulse of the project, most developers will appreciate the input.
Node.js Developer Responsibilities
Node.js is most commonly used for large-scale applications that directly exchange information between the user and the server. Therefore, you should hire Node.js developers who can:
Understand the Agile development methods;
Understand the front-end and be able to work with it;
Deliver streamlined, readable, and well-documented code;
Work with databases and cloud platforms.
Be a team player.
Why Agile is Necessary for Node.js
Node.js is commonly chosen for projects with dozens, if not hundreds of developers on deck. And when you get to teams of this size, Agile methodology becomes mandatory to deliver a product in any reasonable timeframe.
Why Node.js Projects Need to Have Smooth UI
UI is squarely a front-end problem, but you need a well-performing back-end to make it really smooth and painless. On customer-facing projects, developers need to prioritize and optimize calls from the front-end — which often requires understanding the basic UI/UX principles.
Why Good Node.js Developers Should Write Readable Code
Writing well-formatted and documented code is considered a sign of good manners for any programmer, but when it comes to large-scale projects, it’s a necessity. Reading some obfuscated code that seemingly works on black magic wastes valuable development time and kills team morale.
Node.js projects are, for the most part, large-scale and longlasting. And while the team might be willing to handle an exceptional programmer with a “rock star” attitude for a month, working with them for a year becomes a drain on morale. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to pick more humble, inoffensive developers that will not spoil the atmosphere in the workroom.
Skills Required for a Junior Node.js Developer
Junior developers are generally recent graduates from an IT college or an academy. You can’t expect much experience from them but they should know the basics, such as:
Node.js (including Express.js or another popular framework);
HTML5 and CSS3;
Most importantly, your Juniors should be willing to learn more. It would be a good idea to assign them to a more competent Middle-level developer to curate this learning.
Skills Required for a Middle Node.js Developer
Middle developers are the backbone of the team. They are competent to work without oversight and will generally be able to solve any common issue without escalating it. Therefore, this position calls for slightly more experienced programmers. In addition to Junior skills, good Middle Node.js developers should have:
Understanding of the REST paradigm on an abstract level;
2+ years of working experience with Node.js;
Knowledge of at least 1 programming language other than JS (C, PHP, Ruby, etc.);
Basic knowledge of TypeScript/CoffeeScript and desire to learn more;
Understand MySQL/PostgreSQL, Docker, AWS, and other common tools that are used for development and deployment.
Ideally, Middle developers should also be willing to tutor Juniors and help them advance. If you plan to employ the team long-term, it would be a good idea to have a reward program that encourages sharing knowledge and helps Juniors advance to the Middle tier.
Skills Required for a Senior Node.js Developer
Seniors are the driving force of the team. They handle the hardest issues and help the Product Owner to guide the project. Their job is very important and their responsibilities are vast. Therefore, a proper Senior developer should be prepared for absolutely everything. And this calls for a very flexible skillset:
5+ years of working experience with Node.js;
Proficiency in TypeScript/CoffeeScript;
Experience with Angular, React and other JS frameworks;
Understanding of the SOLID principles and GOF patterns;
Mastery of another programming language;
Deep understanding of REST and experience with creating RESTful APIs;
Knowledge of OAuth and security requirements for an internet-facing service;
A senior should also excel at architectural design patterns, since they commonly lead the project development and dictate how exactly it is going to be built. And most importantly, a Senior developer should be willing to keep their skills relevant and regularly study other tools.
Node.js Developers’ Salaries in Ukraine vs Other Countries
Due to the lower cost-of-living and significantly lower average income, you can hire Node.js developers full time in Ukraine much cheaper than their US or European colleagues without loss of quality. According to Payscale:
The average annual salary for a Node.js developer, USD
NOTE: This table doesn’t take the seniority level into account. In fact, you may be able to hire Junior developers for as low as 8 000 USD/year. However, keep in mind that some seniors can come as expensive as 40 000 USD/year and be worth their money.
Job Description Example for a Senior Node.js Developer
We are looking for a Node.js developer for a client-server project. You will be developing the server side of the application, designing the application logic and maintain the databases. You will strive to achieve and maintain high performance and responsiveness, prioritizing the responsiveness to request from the front-end above all else.
While the front-end elements will be developed by your coworkers from another team, you will be responsible for their integration into the overall project. Therefore, you need to have a basic understanding of front-end technologies.
Develop the back-end software, maintain and update the existing code;
Follow the Scrum workflow and complete tasks from the team backlog;
Assist with creation and development of feature requirements;
Report issues with the code and improve upon them.
5+ years of programming experience;
Experience with REST, WebSocket, MySQL/PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Redis;
Experience with Docker and AWS Infrastructure;
Understanding of asynchronous development and data security principles;
Ability to write readable, well-documented code;
Self-motivation, goal-oriented approach;
Intermediate (or higher) English skills.
Interview Questions for a Node.js Developer
As established earlier, there are two kinds of skills you are looking for in your Node.js developer — the actual development skills and the skills that define their personality. They are commonly defined as hard skills and soft skills.
Questions to Determine a Node.js Developer’s Hard Skills
What is an error-first callback?
Error-first callbacks are used to parse for errors. They are created by introducing error as the first parameter;
How can you avoid callback hells?
There are many ways to do so. One is breaking callbacks into independent functions or using a control flow library. Alternatively, you could use promises and async/await ;
What are Promises?
Promises represent the result of an asynchronous operation.
What tools can be used to assure consistent style?
What’s a stub? Name a use case.
Stubs are testing instruments that provide canned answers to calls from other parts of the code. They are used in place of not-yet-developed parts of the program.
What’s a test pyramid? Give an example.
Test pyramid refers to a number of tests you need to do on the project: the most common should be unit tests, then come rarer integration tests, and the end-to-end tests should account for the smallest number.
Keep in mind that Node.js is very flexible and answers that do not directly correlate with the given examples can be right too. If you are not a professional yourself, make sure to have a Middle-grade developer (or even Senior) to help with the review.
Questions to Determine a Node.js Developer’s Soft Skills
How would you describe yourself in 2 sentences?;
Could you describe what you do to a tech-illiterate person?;
Do you want to be managed extensively or prefer to have somewhat a free reign of your tasks?
Do you consider yourself a team-player or would you rather work alone?;
How would you handle a situation when the manager is wrong and doesn’t listen to your reasoning?
What is your reaction to overtime? How often would you prefer to stay? What about crunch hours necessary to hit the deadline?;
Can you stay motivated during routine work or would you require regular new challenges?;
What is the hardest problem you have ever solved? How about ones you could not solve?;
Which answers to these questions are right or wrong is completely up to you. They exist just to let you understand what kind of person you are inviting to your team and whether or not you should do so.
At first glance, freelancers are by far the most attractive option: they have experience with multiple projects, are used to different workflows, and you don’t have to pay recruiters in order to employ them.
However, on second glance, things aren’t quite as they seem:
Freelancers come without management. This becomes particularly painful on the large-scale projects, with many developers involved. You can bring your own, but managing an unfamiliar team may become an exercise in frustration.
Freelancers could be unreliable. Since they are not tied to you with contracts, prepare for your developers to disappear, miss deadlines or prioritize other aspects of their life.
Establishing an active office in Ukraine and recruiting your own dedicated software development team is a great thing to strive for. It brings you several important advantages over freelance:
In-house developers communicate better. Since everyone is under the same roof, they can discuss ideas freely and without delays;
In-house developers hold roughly the same schedule. Which means that you won’t have to spend hours setting up a conference call;
Of course, it’s not all that great:
You have to pay for office expenses. Rent is relatively cheap in Ukraine, but it’s still a rather hefty amount, especially if your team is large;
You have to account for sick days and leave. This means that you need to overstaff or bring freelancers if you want a continuous development pace.
Ukranian recruiting agencies can be found on Google. The first-page offerings are generally reliable and not outstandingly expensive.
Hiring Node.js Developers Through Ukrainian IT Staff Augmentation companies
Staff augmentation is a common practice of hiring employees in a different country through a mediating company. Unlike outsourcing, with staff augmentation, you do not delegate management and business processes — just recruiting and office expenses. Staff augmentation companies commonly have multiple clients and shuffle workers among them whenever needed.
How to Increase the Performance of Your Remote Tech Team
Staff augmentation combines the best parts of using freelancers and in-house teams:
You don’t have to bear additional expenses. Office tools, rent, software licenses, and other expenses are covered by the staff augmentation company.
You get experienced managers. Product managers at the staff augmentation companies have worked on multiple projects in the past and often come with their own development teams. This helps them deliver better results and hit deadlines.
Your project can handle sick days and leave. Whenever needed, the staff augmentation company can replace the missing workers so that the project keeps pace.
On the downside… actually, there is no downside, as long as the staff augmentation company is up to their job and sets the team up properly. Here’s an example.
How Relevant Software Augments Node.js Teams
Relevant Software is a top-notch software development company that provides development teams for all kinds of projects. We treat each customer with the utmost care and take time to select the best team for the job.
Here’s how we do it:
Establishing requirements. We will need to know exactly what your project is, how large of a team you want to hire, what is their specification, how experienced they should be, and which workflow suits you best.
Assembling the team. Most of the time we have unoccupied specialists in-house and they can start immediately. However, if your project needs a large team or very specific expertise, it may take up to 1 month to hire experts from our talent pool.
Interviews and selection. Our HR team will screen the available candidates and select ones that suit your tasks the best — reviewing their development and language skills in the process. We will then send you their CVs and accolades and help you coordinate the final interview.
Team Integration. We will learn your workflows and suggest the best way to integrate our team into your project. You get the final decision on the management approach and tools. If you want to meet the team in person, we can get them to your office or offer you an invitation to ours.
If you choose Relevant Software, you will outsource your Node.js development to the experienced programmers at reasonable prices. Moreover, your developers will remain under your complete control, yet without any administration hassles and unnecessary expenses.
How We Help Companies to Get Node.js Developers Onboard
Node.js can be used to create a wide variety of web applications — video-streaming services, collaboration tools, online stores, etc.
Here are several examples from the Relevant Software portfolio:
Airthings. This application tracks indoor air quality using the Airthings devices using an interactive map. Node.js powers the back-end of its internal dashboard.
Biderator. Biderator is an auction platform for construction work that connects contractors and clients to provide them with a transparent bidding process.
FirstHomeCoach. This platform navigates buyers through purchasing a property and connects them with trusted advisors to help them secure a mortgage, get insurance, and handle all the legal paperwork.
Conclusion, or Why You Should Hire Ukrainian Node.js Developers
Ukrainian Node.js developers provide a great opportunity to cut the development costs without the quality taking the hit. They are more than reliable and incredibly hardworking. And they are even more attractive over the developers from other regions due to lower language barrier.
It doesn’t matter if you want to start a new project or just extend Node.js expertise to your current one — Ukrainian developers have got your back. And if you choose to go with Relevant Software, you will get an all-inclusive deal with senior-level Node.js developers that will make the development of your project smooth and on-time.
Right tech talent for your product
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