Ihor
Feoktistov
CTO at Relevant

How to Hire Node.js Developers: Job Description, Interview Questions, Salaries, etc.

#Dedicated teams

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 it’s quite challenging to hire Node.js developers. There are just too many available offers and nowhere near enough specialists to take on them, which makes the hiring process of Node.js developers feel like a labour of Hercules.

However, what if there was a large pool of competent Node.js developers, available at reasonable prices? Moreover, dedicated Node.js developers 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. If you need a dedicated team with extensive expertise in software development, don’t hesitate to pick up a one from Ukraine.

Please note that the salaries and hourly rates mentioned in this article don’t equal the cost of hiring offshore software developers through outsourcing companies. Read more about how offshore software development cost is formed in another article.

Node.js in App Development: a Brief Overview

Before we go any further, let’s take a closer look at why using Node.js is so popular and what makes dedicated Node.js developers such a highly sought workforce.

Microsoft, IBM, Netflix, PayPal are just a couple of business giants using Node.js development services. Node.js is a quite comfortable framework to use for application development. Node.js developers can build and execute the code on a server side, which means a faster development process.

Basically, Node.js is a runtime environment, an open-source JavaScript for creating apps. Node.js unifies app development, eliminating the need for different languages. It is mostly employed for building web applications in real-time. Still, mobile app development is also possible, due to the entire Node.js ecosystem and its package manager. What’s more, with Node.js developers can use the code that was written in other languages.

In essence, when it comes to using Node.js for web development, whopping  51% developers take advantage of it because of speed and multi-user proficiency. Node.js is a combination of library, framework, and other app development tools that streamlines the development of web applications and allows for effortless app development.

Well, if you don’t have any experience of using Node.js, these everyday Node.js app examples will speak better than a thousand words. To start off, did you know that PayPal is a Node.js app?  What about LinkedIn? And Uber? At Netflix, they also use Node.js in application development. To top it off, Ebay is a Node.js app as well. The list is long and it contains multiple Node.js mobile and web applications. Admittedly, Node.js has a perfect reputation in the app development arena, and most software development companies have included Node.js into their development services.

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.
  • Understand the major principles of API development; 
  • Spot and fix issues in the process of app development.
  • Apart from having technical skills, dedicated Node.js developers should be team players.

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 a must for top Node.js developers. It’s 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.

Why Node.js Projects Need Team Players

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);
  • JavaScript, HTML DOM and events;
  • HTML5 and CSS3;

Most importantly, your Juniors Node.js developers 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 Node.js development 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;

Senior Node.js developers 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.

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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:


UkraineUnited StatesWestern Europe
The average annual salary for a Node.js developer, USD12 00071 00052 000
* Note that the salaries mentioned above don’t equal the cost of hiring software developers through Relevant. Read more about offshore software development costs in our article.

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.

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. More and more American companies hire Node.js developers from Ukraine. And once you get to know them, you realize that they are Node.js app development wizards and a great asset for outsourcing. 

Here are some reasons why you should hire Node.js developers from Ukraine:

  • 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.
  • Education. Lately, Ukraine has been experiencing a major boom in IT education, with dozens of “academies” offering courses in JavaScript, Angular, and Node.js. The pool of application development specialists is rapidly growing, including Node.js developers. Their output varies, but most graduates have a good grasp of the material thus making committed and dedicated Node.js developers. In addition, Ukrainians are always learning, visiting various tech events and courses to improve their skills.
  • 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. So if you make a decision to hire Node.js developers from Ukraine, communication won’t be an issue.

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.

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.

Responsibilities

  • 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.

Requirements

  • 5+ years of programming experience;
  • 3+ years of JavaScript and Node.js 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?
    • ESLint and Standard are great tools to enforce JavaScript Clean Coding principles in the project.
  • 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 software development 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 have any experience of using Node.js, 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?;
  • What does ‘a dedicated Node.js developer’ mean, from your point of view? 
  • What could be your personal role in building a dedicated team?

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.

Options of Hiring Node.js Developers

There is more than one way to hire Node.js developers, and in this respect, start by analyzing your project and its specifics. It can give you some clues as to which model you should apply to efficiently address your business needs and achieve the best results.

Opt for in-house if:

  • You are planning to develop your own product requiring ongoing update and maintenance
  • You are about to start a large and complex project that may need post-launch maintenance and support
  • You are going to kick off one or several long term projects
  • You need professional advice on how to begin developing your project (the plan, the technology stack, the integrations)

Some of the best developers prefer freelancing to working in a team. It’s a good idea to hire freelance developers if:

  • You have a particular task to be performed that can be assigned to a freelance developer
  • Your project is not too large and requires little ongoing maintenance
  • You need a software developer with a specific skill that will not be required for any other projects

Hire Node.js developers from development agency if:

  • You have a small development team or no team at all and need to fill several positions simultaneously
  • You need a coordinated team with own management
  • You have a relatively large multi-sided project with future support and maintenance

When you want to hire Node.js developers, consider the cost you’re about to spend. In short, hiring freelancers is going to be the most cost-effective solution, while the in-house developers will be the most expensive. The cooperation with a development agency combines the advantages of both models – their rates are usually lower than the salaries of in-house developers while their availability and professional expertise are the same or higher. You can find more speculations on the different hiring models here.

After you have determined the most optimal approach to putting together your team, let’s see where you can find Node.js developers for your project.

In-house developers

If your project requires hiring an in-house team, there are several ways to hire professional Node.js developers:

1. Word of mouth

One of the most straightforward ways to find and hire the best Node.js programmers is to ask your team whether they know somebody with great Node.js skills who may be willing to join your project. A good practice is to offer referral bonuses to your colleagues for recommending good candidates. This hiring method has advantages both for the company and for the developer. The company can rely on the references by the colleague that can be trusted, and the developer joining your team will know what the company looks like “from the inside”. Besides, people are generally more comfortable to work together with their friends, therefore, this way of hiring Node.js developers is likely to improve the overall climate of your team.

2. Node.js meetups

These offline gatherings give an excellent opportunity to meet top Node.js developers and talk to them in person. The meetups are designed to bring together people sharing the same interests and skills, thus following Node.js meetups’ announcements in your area and making sure to attend. If you look for candidates online, you first see their resume or a social network profile, and only after that you get to meet them in person. At a meetup, you proceed to personal communication immediately and see whether any rapport is established. Besides, meetups are a great place to find Node.js developers willing to join your project for the interesting challenges it offers, even if at a somewhat lower rate.

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3. Job postings on local job portals or in social media

Professional developers looking for jobs or new opportunities often monitor dedicated platforms where startups and companies post their vacancies. If you are looking for a full-time in-house Node.js developer, make sure you state it clearly in your post. Such method of hiring, naturally, requires continuous monitoring of your company’s inbox or other communication channels that you mentioned. A good practice is to create an account in a professional network, such as LinkedIn, and actively contact Node.js developers with your offer.

The most effective strategy will be using all methods simultaneously. Listen to what your colleagues say about their friends, attend professional events while posting your job openings on the job portals and in the social networks.

Freelance developers

If you have a relatively small project that you are planning to complete within a short time (up to two months), hiring freelance Node.js developers can be a good idea.

Of course, the same techniques that we mentioned while discussing the strategies of hiring in-house developers can also be used to find freelancers. In addition, there are multiple platforms where you can post your offers of freelance Node.js jobs as well as browse the profiles of freelance developers offering their services.

1. Upwork

This is, probably the first name that comes to mind when you think of freelance jobs. Upwork is a giant global marketplace where employees meet their employers. On Upwork, the freelancers’ profiles can contain quite extensive information – their skills, portfolios, past projects, customer reviews, test results. The freelancers get their ratings in accordance with their project performance, so it’s simple to spot the top Node.js developers. With the freelancer base of about 12 million, Upwork is a place where you are sure to find the right person for your project. At the same time, you will need to commit some time to careful searching, profile analyzing and interviewing the candidates.

Another method is posting your Node.js developer job on Upwork for the freelancers to bid for it. This way, you may get some truly attractive rates, however, you should try to find the balance between the rate and the skill level, so that not to sacrifice the development quality for the budget.

On Upwork, you can find both independent freelancers and agencies. The latter may be a good option if you need to find candidates for several positions and not to worry about the project management.

Image credit: Upwork

On Upwork, you can find both independent freelancers and agencies. The latter may be a good option if you need to find candidates for several positions and not to worry about the project management.

2. Freelancer  

This marketplace works according to the same principles as Upwork – you can either search for freelance developers by setting the criteria, such as the rating, hourly rate, required skills, or post your projects and review the bids. The principles of Freelancer are the same as those of Upwork – you can either search by the freelance developers’ profiles or post your project to see the freelancers’ bids which are called “Contests” in this platform.

Image credit: Freelancer

3. Toptal 

While Upwork and Freelancer are marketplaces where the matching is done by the developer and the customer with the platform only providing a convenient environment for them to meet and evaluate each other (at a fee, by the way!), Toptal takes an active part in searching and selecting candidates for projects.

The platform proudly states that it works with the top 3% of the freelance community rejecting the rest of the applications. Before a freelancer is accepted, they go through a 5-stage screening where their skills, expertise, and command of English are evaluated, and their performance of a test task is reviewed.
Toptal can select developers that will organically blend with your team and contribute to your project. If you are looking for Node.js developers, Toptal has a separate section where you can browse profiles of the best professionals in this category.

Image credit: Toptal

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.

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.

Another way of finding Node.js development agencies is searching the dedicated platforms that are, to a certain extent, similar to freelance marketplaces but are focused on B2B cooperation. If you don’t want to dig into a ton of companies and just want a reliable vendor, contacts us now.

1. Clutch

According to their own statement, Clutch helps you get in touch with “firms that deliver”. On this platform, you are sure to find agencies and companies specializing in all sorts of software development tasks and the “Web Development Companies” category will be the place to look for Node.js professionals. The profiles of the development agencies contain quite extensive information on their expertise – their primary technologies, the industry focus, the applications and frameworks they use. Of course, you will also find verified customer reviews, Clutch ratings and other useful data that can help you make the choice.

Image credit: Clutch

3. GoodFirms

This is another marketplace to find development companies of various size and specialization. You can filter the list of companies according to the location and technology and see the company data, hourly rates, and reviews of their previous customers.

Image credit: GoodFirms

2. Wadline

WAD stands for Web and App Development, thus you can guess that this is another place to find Node.js developer companies. Here, you can also look at the companies’ profiles to see their portfolios, the preferred technologies, the customer reviews. The platform immediately provides links to the websites and other contact information, thus you will waste no time getting in touch with the agency.

Image credit: Wadline

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 of Node.js developers 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 the best Node.js programmers that will most accurately 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.

How to choose the best Node.js developer for your project?

OK, so you have defined the hiring model, browsed the resources, posted vacancies and now have several candidates lined up for the interview. Let us give you a couple of recommendations on preparing for the interview and interviewing the candidate.

  • Define what kind of software engineer you really need so that this person best matches your goals.
  • Look up the candidate’s GitHub portfolio. It can give you an idea of the developer’s coding style and the personal characteristics. If the projects have clear and accurate Readme’s, for example, you will easily understand what your prospective colleague was working on. Ask the developers of your team to review the candidate’s projects and give their opinion.
  • Discuss the candidate with the team lead. The team lead will be the one to work next to the developer and to be responsible for both the success and failure. The team lead should give a general approval of the candidate.
  • Evaluate the Node.js developer skills. Hold an interview dedicated to the knowledge and proficiency of Node.js asking specific questions that can show how well the person knows their technology. Such interviews are especially effective in hiring remote developers that will be working with no supervision.
  • Include a practical test. Ask your candidate to complete a small coding task to see how well they use their knowledge of Node.js to achieve particular results.
  • During the interview, make sure that the candidate understands you, your goals, and your expectations.
  • If that’s not enough for you, check your potential employees for their skills. For this, you might involve them in an ongoing long term project. Alternatively, you can assign a mini-project to the candidates. As a result, you’ll get valuable insights on how they work, and, which is no less essential, if they can handle tight deadlines.
  • Let’s say you’re short of time and it’s impossible to test your candidate’s practical skills. In this case, you can introduce a problem that has been resolved earlier to a Node.js programmer. You’ll find out how the candidate would approach it, which will greatly facilitate the process of making your final decision.

Conclusion, or Why You Should Hire Ukrainian Node.js Developers

In essence, you’ll gain a considerable advantage if you hire Node.js developers from Ukraine. 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.

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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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