Where to Find a Seasoned JavaScript Developer in Chicago

From geolocation-based applications to cool interface elements on websites, JavaScript powers both front-end and back-end of some of the most popular high-performance web services and mobile applications. As a result, there are masses of JavaScript developers out there, but finding seasoned veterans can be a problem regardless of where you’re located.

It’s one of the most popular (if not the most popular) programming languages with thousands of repositories on GitHub. The massive resources that are available can give startups and enterprise HR departments an idea of the scale of talent they have to weed through to find the right match.

Top talent won’t come cheap, so if you’re just starting out, paying a developer over 100k and then some can be an overwhelming thought. But there are third-party staffing options that can get you access to the skills you need at a lower cost. Or you can look to Eastern Europe, South Asia, or even the vibrant city of Vancouver to outsource (or poach) the talent you need.

But if you want someone to work for you on the ground in the windy city, how do you go about finding them?

1. Try the Traditional Approach

The traditional approach still works, but you should have a plan of attack to foolproof the hiring process. To hire a JavaScript expert, you have to first create a job description and place an advertisement where they’ll see it (you can even place an ad in the Chicago Tribune).

Not only should it address what you’re looking for, but you should also communicate your company’s culture, benefits, and the perks of working there. But what kind of skills and expertise should a seasoned JS veteran have?

An expert in the field will have significant experience using all or most of the following:

  • AngularJS
  • Angular3
  • Electron
  • ES7
  • Meteor
  • nw.js
  • React + Redux
  • RxJS
  • Scala

Because of the sheer number of JavaScript developers in the marketplace, finding one is easy. But finding a good one, let alone a senior developer can be a massive challenge. So it’s best to plan the interview funnel well in advance.

Asking the right questions during an interview will help weed out unsuitable candidates. Further, if you ask questions that are irrelevant to the job, you will probably turn off most outstanding developers.

So it’s always better to carefully tread through an interview with a combination of tricky general intelligence questions along with ones about JavaScript.

2. Look for the Right Candidates where they are

You don’t really have to try hard to find suitable candidates if you know where to look. You can find them on platforms like Reddit, but you really have to approach this in a different manner.

If you want to attract the attention of a high caliber JavaScript developer, you have to first develop a rapport with them. You can do this by getting involved in discussions, but make sure that your comments are intelligent and relevant. This can help drive attention to your advertisement on the platform. 

Quora is another great platform to identify elite developers that can be highly suitable for your organization. Alternatively, there’s always the professional social networking platform, Linkedin.

But what about professionals that already reside in Chicago? How do you connect with them?

Events like conferences, courses, and workshops are a good place to network and identify seasoned JavaScript developers. Further, these events can even be virtual, so there are plenty of options that can suit the hiring style of your business. It’s also worth checking out Chicago Jobs Meetup to find the right talent.

3. IT Staffing Providers

No matter what you think about them, they're going to chase you right after you've placed your first job ad in a local resource. Yet, hiring a professional service provider with own internal pool of readily available candidates can significant shorten your time to hire and your time to market, accordingly. However, be ready to confront extra costs when partnering with a staffing agency. A typical recruiting fee in Chicago is 20% off a candidate's successful first year of permanent employment. Some agencies also charge a GST on top of that 20%. So, if you're looking to hire a senior JavaScript developer for $83,000 per annum, be ready to pay $16,600 as a recruitment fee for this resource, not to mention other overheads pertaining to employee onboarding and team orientation, retention, etc.

Yet, today's staffing agencies offer various engagement models, so if permanent placement is too expensive for you, you can use contract to hire (try before buy), contract resources (T&M resources billed on an hourly / monthly / spring basis) or ad-hoc resources, which will help you lower down your overall cost of resources and allow team scaling and overall resource planning flexibility.

Check out how to choose between permanent placement and contract resources models.

How do you know that you’ve hired the Right JavaScript Developer?

Once you have FOUND the right person for the job and hired them, how do you know that you’ve made the right choice? One way to do this is to keep an eye on them to see if they make any common JavaScript mistakes.

Further, you can also see if they adhere to JavaScrip best practices. Although JavaScript may be an easy language for a beginner to learn, it is also highly complex. So you can be sure that only an amateur would underestimate its power. 

Hiring the wrong candidate can be a serious problem because debugging the code can set your project back by weeks or even months. So make sure that they are held accountable to the quality of their code.

If they don’t know the toolset really well and they’re making common mistakes, it’s time to go back to the drawing board because you have made a mistake.

The best JavaScript developers will have an extensive proficiency for the language and its leading frameworks. Further, they will also be highly passionate about it and have a deep knowledge of its subtleties.

No matter what situation may arise, a seasoned developer will be able to demonstrate outstanding problem-solving skills and the ability to communicate complex ideas in a simple way. So it’s a good idea to invest in the hiring process to ensure that you get the right individual for the job.

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Andrew Zola is a freelance writer, designer, and artist working in branding and marketing for over ten years. He is a contributor to various publications with a focus on new technology and marketing.

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