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July 21, 2014

6 Qualities a Great JavaScript Programmer Should Have

Are you looking to update the user experience of your web app?

Do you want to take advantage of modern dynamic user interface capabilities that will make your software extremely easy to use? All it takes is a little programming in JavaScript!

Here are six qualities of a JavaScript programmer you should look for to ensure you’re finding someone that will not just code but also innovate.

It’s important to find the right developer who has the technical knowledge to complete the project without having to learn on the job.

1. Expert

There are several JavaScript frameworks and tools to make a JavaScript programmer’s work easier and more productive.  JavaScript programmers you hire should be experienced with one or more frameworks like Ember, Angular, Knockout, Backbone and/or others. A good JavaScript programmer will also be using other popular tools and techniques such as JSON, jQuery, Handlebars and many others. Of course your overriding goal is to find JavaScript developers dedicated to creating interactive web applications. Not just any interactive web application though, but the best interface possible. These people won’t just know and use the different JavaScript libraries out there but will be able to make them sing and create dynamic UIs in a responsive design.

2. Responsive Design

Why responsive web design (RWD)? RWD requires one to think simply with a mobile-first approach, and building up applications for richer and richer environments. This is the opposite approach of building a full-blown desktop app and figuring out how to dumb it down for the mobile smartphone world. If the developer understands this approach, they’ll have a leg up over someone who doesn’t.

3. Passionate

Beyond the technical skills, you need to find someone passionate about what they are doing. They need to care about what they are doing and not just feel they’re in the middle of the daily grind, showing up to work just to collect a paycheck. Instead, they’ll have a passion for excellence and customer/client satisfaction. They want to excel at what they are doing not just get things.

4. Learning

Passion goes beyond just getting things done right. They should have a passion for learning. You’ll want someone who actively hunts out the next big thing they can learn about, whether through classroom training, conferences, or seminars. Someone willing to mentor others to share their knowledge shows that passion, too. Being able to teach someone else what they know shows their skill level is beyond just the basics.

5. Communication

Another important attribute of a successful developer is being able to teach. This shows that they’re an effective communicator. Communication isn’t just a one-way street. It also involves being an active listener and being emotionally aware of not just what is being said, but how. This includes managing stress to help you perform under pressure without being overwhelmed. With all that is said and done, nonverbal communication can’t be understated, where the end goal being is to save time and make sure the speaker is heard and understood.

6. Standards

A final skill for the prospective JavaScript developer to have is the ability to follow standards. While good strong programmers can solve problems well, they must follow coding standards and still be effective. Can they write those unit tests, follow those QA standards, or just format the code properly? You don’t want a JavaScript programmer who is going to spend more time arguing about where to place the parenthesis in a statement than to just do it.

Some of these characteristics may be difficult to tell from just reading a resume. But, if you’re able to find someone with the necessary skillsets, that person should help you jumpstart the whole team into the newer development approach.


Andy Hilliard

As CEO, Andy leads and advocates for the globalization and collaboration of great software teams with companies in search of talent, innovation and a globally-distributed extension of their engineering function and culture. Andy founded the ground-breaking nearshore software development services company, Isthmus Costa...

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