Tips on Hiring a Perfect React Developer for Startup

March 23, 2023 • 188 Views • 15 min read

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Bohdan Vasylkiv

CEO & Co-Founder

So, you have your own startup project and are looking for a React developer as a team extension service? Frankly speaking, it seems to be an easy task, if we will include the fact, that the React developers community is one of the biggest in the software development market, i.e. there is a wide range of skilled React software engineers with different levels of expertise.

Thus, why do you even need to read this article? Actually, the answer is extremely easy. We always have to understand that quantity is not equal to quality. To rephrase it, it is hard to argue with the fact, that the number of developers is surprisingly big. And your perfect ReactJS developer match is somewhere among them. Yet, it is time to ask yourself another question: How can I find one?

Fortunately, we have an answer, even if it is not a precise guide on hiring a dedicated React.js developer, but rather a set of useful tips and advice. Yet, before actually getting down to business, we have to understand what and who we are going to deal with.

React Essentials

First things first, let’s figure out why you need React. What benefits can it bring you, and what are the most suited conditions for React adoption?

As we mentioned before, React.js is by far the most popular front-end software development library. Additionally, it is based on the JavaScript programming language, which lately became the most popular programming language, according to Statista.

As a result, the first conclusion that we can make is that React.js is a library, which can be reinforced with the use of various third-party software solutions, based on JavaScript. Consequently, we can also say that React is very flexible and be adjusted in order to meet your requirements.

Talking about the most suited use cases for React, we have to admit it is a popular library for web application development only, i.e. can be used in web-only applications. Yet, this is a powerful tool, which allows the creation of fast and user-friendly web pages, still being very easy to learn, compared to the competitors. The reason why React-based apps are so fast lies in the fact that this library supports single-page applications, also known as SPA.

Still, despite all the advantages of this technology, it has some drawbacks as well. First of all, it is not the best solution in cases when you require great and easy search engine optimization(SEO). In such a scenario, it may be preferable for you to choose Next.js over React, which was designed to overcome this specific drawback.

Another arguable aspect is the fact, that React is constantly updated. On the one hand, it seems to be a great feature, because it constantly brings new functionality and results in software optimization. On the flip side, it also means that the development environment also constantly changes, forcing React developers to constantly learn new development specifics. It may actually be not the easiest task though: because of constant changes, the library documentation is surprisingly poor, especially for such a popular software solution.

Why Hire Dedicated React.js Developers?

All the foregoing brings us to the potential issue with the reasons for hiring developers with React skills.

Undoubtedly, it is a powerful instrument, which gives a chance to create great and very fast web applications, with user-friendly interfaces. However, the need for constant upgrades, as was mentioned before, may be an issue during app development and maintenance. Frankly speaking, there are no actual arguments, which can make you choose it over the alternatives. Still, probably if everything was so bad with this technology, it would not be so popular, would it?

Answering the question about the reasons to hire a dedicated React developer, though, is obvious - to have someone, who will be able to actually develop your app. Instead, we can give a few arguments on why should you really consider a dedicated team or team extension rather than having an in-house team. To make it short, there are two main statements:

  • Niche-experienced developers, who can significantly upscale your product, using their knowledge of the industry, you are working in. Additionally, the development team extension service, as well as other outsourcing approaches, gives you access to the global market, increasing the number of potential employees with React developers skills to choose from.
  • It is cheaper and faster to find outsourced developers, no matter whether you are looking for an individual specialist or a full-fledged team.

Essential Developer’s React.js Skills

Obviously, before actually conducting the software developer interview, you have to make sure, you are aware of, at least, basic requirements and specifics of the technology, you are looking expert in.

Once again, one of the major React features is its unpredictable nature. In other words, it is very hard to make a React checklist, which will be suited for all the possible use cases. All previously mentioned pros and cons of React are leading to unobvious circumstances. Two main aspects, you should always have in mind are the facts:

  1. React is constantly upgrading and each such upgrade can significantly change some of the working aspects.
  2. React is only an open-source JavaScript library, which is highly dependent on various third-party add-ons, frameworks, other libraries, etc.

Therefore, the first and main requirements for your potential React developers are to be able to learn fast and to know other developer tools and software, compatible with React. To put it bluntly, you don’t need a front-end developer who has only React skills but doesn’t know how to deal with other instruments. Additionally, employers regularly underestimate the role of soft skills. Yet, they have crucial importance, especially, when it comes to React, as we can see above.

Despite all the inconveniences, React is easy to learn. Yet, to learn it, you need a motivated software engineer. At the same time, talking about software, which can be combined with React, there are also two sides to the coin: there is a wide range of different technologies, which you can use with React.

Best React.js Stacks

So, the best way to find the best React specialist for your software project development is to make sure your applicant has experience in working with various third-party solutions, which can be combined with React. Clearly, React software engineers can be aware of other technologies like Node.js, CSS, and HTML. These are probably the most basic such React “extensions”.

Apart from them, there are also different tech stacks, which are basically predefined combinations of different technologies, which are capable of performing the best results. So, when conducting a software developer interview, ask software engineers, which React stacks they know.

It can be the MERN stack, which stands for MongoDB, Express.js, React, and Node.js, or the PERN, which is similar to the previous one, yet instead of Mongo database it uses PostgreSQL. Clearly, the ideal React software engineer has to know also how to work with all the technologies, used in these stacks. However, if developers are not familiar with any of the foregoing stacks or technologies, it doesn’t mean they are not suited for your job. Try to ask them about their experience instead, let them explain what technologies and projects they worked with, etc.

Nevertheless, software engineer interview varies, depending on the expertise level of a developer. There are 3 main levels, which can be also divided into different sublevels:

junior middle, and senior

.

Clearly, the difference in these experience levels means that basic requirements will also vary. Judging from our experience, the more experienced developer is, the less technical interview will be due to the fact, that seniors are mainly defined by their soft skills and talents, which are related more to problem-solving and management rather than simply coding. So, if you ask us to generalize the main aspects to consider, regarding the developers’ experience, then they will look like this:

  • Junior React software engineer obviously has to know the React basics. Pay attention to different React concepts such as

    components, props, state, the virtual dom, and JSX syntax

    . Ask them how these components work, why and when they are used, how exactly to work with them, do these software engineers are familiar with these concepts and have experience in working with them.

Yet, their knowledge must not be limited only to React. So, additionally ask about the awareness and experience in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which are must-have programming languages to work with React. Talking about the technical aspect, check their ability to create reusable components, which is one of the most basic technical skills, required to work with React library.

  • Middle React developers' skills must allow them to work with third-party software, and perform some more complex tasks like performance optimization. For instance, they have to know

    how to resolve performance issues.

Additionally, mid React engineers should be able to use libraries like Redux, React Router, and Jest to perform general assignments on the project. Knowing what to do with the patterns is also a priority.

  • The list of React skills of a senior developer is not much bigger than the Middle’s. Among the new skills, there are experience and skills in working with server-side rendering, code splitting, the capability of designing and implementing lazy loading, serverless architecture, and microservices.

Additionally, this type of React creator should manage to architect large-scale React applications and be a true master of React, its associated libraries, and tools, i.e. know almost everything about these technologies, how to use them, etc.

React Software Developer Interview in Incora

Talking about the approaches to hiring a React software specialist, here, in Incora, we have our own perspective on how to do so. Clearly, we are interviewing react.js developers for hire, learning their expertise, and trying to find out their previous experience with the technologies, we are interested in. Frankly, if we will consider generally the developer interview, there are unique specifics, this whole process was already standardized a lot, and the basic approach is working fine, giving no need to reinvent the wheel. Still, it does not mean, that there are no other specifics of interviewing.

For instance, as probably everyone else, we are requiring applicants to perform a tech task, yet we don’t consider it as the main aspect. Instead, we prefer to pay more attention to personal attitude and experience. Let’s be honest, sometimes some developers are not experienced enough for the position, they are applying for, still being very responsible specialists with the potential to grow. Thus, in some cases, we can make an exception and hire such dedicated react developers on the condition that they will do their best to cover the gap. This is especially useful when it comes to such technologies as Python or React, which are relatively easy to learn.

As a matter of fact, in such a scenario, soft skills like problem-solving, communication skills, motivation, and others, can make a real difference and, sometimes, it is better to choose a highly motivated and proactive candidate, who is eager to learn new things, instead of a more experienced one, who is hard to communicate with and is not interested in anything except for paycheck. Eventually, as our case studies and insights show, it is not so hard to teach developers new tech but may be impossible to make them better and more motivated people.

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