Tech Hiring Guide: Web Developer

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Web Developer

WebDeveloperAlso sometimes called a User Interface (UI) developer or User Interface (UI) engineer in larger teams, the primary focus of this role is often the front-end part of a website. In smaller teams or simple applications, the role can encompass all aspects of the website (including responsibilities that might otherwise fall to back-end or middle-tier roles).  Generally though, this role is focused on making a website look and behave as dictated by the design.

People in this role typically have a handle on client-side technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The role can also include other presentation layer technologies such as Ruby (usually Rails, which is a framework built using the programming language Ruby), Django, and PHP.  Many web developers have light graphic design skills and are more than capable of manipulating images and graphics using tools like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.

It is possible to encounter web developers that don’t work in the details of the presentation layer, or are less skilled in layout (such as HTML and CSS).  In that case, they would have a strong grasp of other client-side technologies, like JavaScript, as well as strong middle-tier engineer skills.

Questions for Web Developers:

  • Q: Can you describe your workflow when you create a web page?
    A: When it comes to creating webpages, most developers break things up into pieces.  They should be able to tell you how much “design” they need to get started (comps, wireframes, etc.) but mostly you are listening for thoughtful reasoning and planning.
  • Q: What is responsive design, and have you ever implemented any mobile specific layouts?
    A: Responsive design is about creating sites to provide an optimal viewing experience depending on the client. All web developer candidates should understand the concept, although not all will have utilized it.  For those who have experience with responsive design, ask about the techniques they have used. It is likely they will mention flexible or fluid grids, media queries, or flexible images.  Another great follow-up is to ask about the challenges with responsive images, since there is no “right” way and there are some good pros and cons with each.

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