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Table of Contents

Node.js developers are sort of a rising star in the tech world. Demand for tech roles is soaring all over the globe, and positions for Node.js are among the most sought after.

In the U.S. alone, Node.js developers will see a growth of 13% in the ten years from 2018 to 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Alongside other web development roles, the prospects for Node.js developers average 8% higher than any other position in the country. Of course, if you were to look at the U.S.’ top ten tech jobs, it would also be crystal clear how in-demand the role was — it was the first place in its category in 2018, after all.

Research from Indeed indicated that queries for Node.js developer roles grew by 57% over the last few years. You can expect it to retain or even exceed its current popularity. That’s why this guide is meant to show you the fundamentals of hiring Node.js developers, one of the most in-demand tech roles today.

What Is Node.js and Why Is it in Demand?

Node.js is a run-time environment that lets you run programs written in Javascript. It’s an open-source, cross-platform, single-threaded runtime environment that is meant to facilitate the building of scalable and fast networking and server-side applications. It’s memory efficient and suitable for real-time applications because it’s supported by the V8 Javascript runtime engine and uses non-blocking, event-driven I/O architecture.

Essentially, its asynchronous programming handles real-time processes better, actually giving users the illusion that it can dovetail. For instance, a common web server running on ASP or PHP would typically open a file and show its contents through a simple sequence: send the requested task to the file system, wait for the file system to process the file, then return it to the user. After that, it’s ready to do the next task.

Node.js sends the same task to the file system but doesn’t wait for it, and it's already set to handle the next task. When the file system finishes the first request, the server will go and do the rest of the steps, which is to show the content to the user.

Additionally, Javascript itself is the single most popular programming language in the world with an estimated 16.5 million users globally. This undoubtedly positively impacts demand for Node.js developers in some way.

What Is a Node.js Developer?

The traditional framework of most web applications follows a three-tier stack:

  • A presentation tier, or front end, that's user-facing, meaning it contains the user interface that communicates with the user.
  • An application tier, or back end, that supports the presentation tier as the logic or middle tier responsible for processing the tasks required by users.
  • A data tier, or database layer, where data is accessed, analyzed, and stored.

A full stack developer would have roles in all three layers of the stack. Node.js developers are typically active in the back end, developing components that connect applications with each other or to third-party web services, and generally supporting front-end developers through the integration of their work with the Node.js application.

What Does a Node.js Developer Do?

In more technical terms, Node.js developers write server-side web application logic via Javascript or its variants like CoffeeScript. Of course, they're also usually responsible for the deployment and maintenance of network applications, as well as handling data interchange between users and systems.

Generally, Node.js developers:

  • Write efficient code that is testable and reusable
  • Integrate presentation tier elements from front-end developers with server-side logic
  • Design and implement performant applications that are both low-latency and high-availability
  • Implement data protection and security
  • Integrate data storage solutions that may include databases, blob stores, and key-value stores, among others

How Much Are Node.js Developers Paid?

According to Talent.com, the average salary for a Node.js developer in the U.S. is $120,000 annually. Web3, an active job board and data aggregator for tech roles, lists the spectrum for Node.js salaries to range from $60,000 to $400,000 a year, averaging at around $100,000. In addition, they list the following average salary ranges for the listed regions:

  • North America: $122,000 to $250,000 per year
  • Oceania: $110,000 to $120,000 per year
  • Europe: $80,000 to $200,000 per year
  • South America: $75,000 to $100,000 per year
  • Asia: $72,000 to $384,000 per year
  • Africa: $67,000 to $100,000 per year

Additionally, Node.js developers working from remote locations can earn from $100,000 to $433,000 per year according to the same source.

Entry Level Node Developer Roles and Responsibilities

Delving a bit more into the roles and responsibilities of Node.js developers, their professional obligations get a bit more nuanced than what can be illustrated by the general concepts listed above.

Node.js devs are mainly responsible for the creation and maintenance of server-side application logic (back end), which essentially means they code scripts on a web server in order to produce specific responses for each user request on a web application or site. They maintain existing applications while keeping everything up to date and user-friendly.

Of course, like their fellow developers in other roles, Node.js are expected to program in high-quality, readable, and testable code. This is to ensure that testing can be done automatically and quickly. They also need to fix errors immediately should any tests fail.

They need to ensure that the applications they design are high performance, which means low latency and high availability. They should also be always looking for ways to enhance existing applications.

Though the implementation of security and data protection is not technically inherent in their job function and is a shared responsibility across software engineers, such is also expected to be their responsibility given the scope of their capabilities. Node.js developers are expected to implement data protection and security measures to ensure any malicious or unintentional actions do not affect their data. This means Node.js developers should be well-versed in data encryption and masking. They should also follow best practices when it comes to data resilience and sanitization.

Another critical role that Node.js developers need to handle is the storage of electronic data in a machine-readable format that's easy to access and always reliable.

Because they don’t work alone in a tech stack, they also need the team skills to smoothly work with software developers and other roles within their project. As such, they also need to be well-versed in the different development methodologies that may be used by their team, such as Agile, Waterfall, or rapid application development, among others.

Senior Node.js Developer Roles and Responsibilities

Senior Node.js developers perform all of the above. In addition, they need more well-rounded, leadership-suited skill sets, such as:

  • Software design
  • Software architecture
  • Network design and implementation
  • Presenting technical information
  • Web programming
  • Project and team management
  • Developing and managing budgets

How Do You Find the Right Node.js Engineers?

There are certain qualities you want to see in the best Node.js developers that indicate they’re the top candidates:

  • Experience in designing object-oriented Javascript code.
  • Comprehensive working knowledge of Node.js.
  • Full working knowledge of web libraries and frameworks such as AngularJS and ClosureJS.
  • Robust problem-solving and analytical skills that help them better collect and analyze data as well as deal with the challenges they’re expected to face on the job regularly.
  • Attention to detail — this might sound too general, but attention to detail goes hand in hand with problem-solving skills.
  • Solid understanding of server-side templating languages like Jade, PHP, and others that might be employed in specific tech stacks.
  • Working know-how in creating Node.js applications and familiarity with IoT, Complex-Single Page Applications, Real-Time Chats, and Microservices Architecture.
  • Good grasp of code versioning tools such as CVS, GIT, SVN, Bazaar, and Mercurial.

Node.js Developer Skills and Experience

When hiring for tech roles, it’s ideal that you list down what specific skills, languages, and other relevant keywords you need to highlight to attract the right talent. Tech jobs are complex and overlapping, and the right Node.js developers won’t be able to reach you if you don’t show them that you’re looking for what they got.

As you're crafting your job description, make sure to state that you're looking for skills and expertise in these areas:

  • Working knowledge of Node.js and available frameworks like Express or StrongLoop. It's best to discuss the specific terminology and keywords to include with a knowledgeable project manager or CTO.
  • Asynchronous programming, including its workarounds and quirks. How they can prove this should be discussed with a project manager or CTO as it might depend on project requirements.
  • Proven proficiency with Javascript and variants like CoffeeScript or IcedCoffeeScript. Discuss with key stakeholders in your tech stack to identify specific ones you need.
  • Server-side templating languages like Jade and EJS. Same here: know which keywords and terminology to use.
  • Server-side CSS preprocessors, e.g. Stylus or Less.
  • The front-end technologies they are supporting, like HTML5, and CSS3. A better understanding of the front end means better cooperation with developers in the presentation tier.
  • Accessibility and security compliance. This is especially serious as a compliance concern depending on your project or where you are. Highlight specific data protection laws with which they need to be familiar.
  • Authorization and user authentication between multiple servers, systems, and environments.
  • Proven experience or working knowledge of integrating multiple data sources and databases into a single system.
  • Experience or working knowledge of creating database schemas representing and supporting business processes.
  • A solid grasp of basic design principles of a scalable application.
  • The differences between multiple delivery platforms, e.g. desktop versus mobile, and how to optimize output to match.
  • Knowledge of the implementation of automated testing platforms and unit tests.
  • Proficiency in code versioning tools. Here, too, mention the specific ones you want, e.g. Git.

You want to be as specific as possible in the tools, frameworks, and methodologies you use in your specific tech stack to get good matches.

Node Developer Certifications and Degrees

Node.js developers typically have a computer science or engineering background, or even an IT degree bolstered by development courses focusing on analytics, algorithms, data structures, and computer organizations. A couple of certifications are highly sought after:

  • OpenJSNode.Js Application Developer ( JSNAD)
  • OpenJsNode.js Services Developer ( JSNSD)

Node.js Interview and Evaluation Methods Like Paid Programming

When hiring Node.js developers, there's no better alternative to a well-executed interview where you can really tell a candidate is good at their job and not just good at selling themselves. Ideally, interviewers should ask about previous projects and hands-on experience, motivating them to share specific experience in the same frameworks, tools, and practices used in the tech stack for which they’re applying.

You can also ask for a code review of work that's verifiably theirs. An expert senior developer can tell a lot from written code. Finally, as Node.js developers are expected to work with others in the tech stack, spend some time talking to references and others the candidate has worked with in the past.

While a good interview process with a recruitment ask (the code review) goes a long way, you can always try other efficient methods, such as a paid programming Node.js development task. Paid programming involves two developers working at the same time where one codes and the other reviews line by line. They also switch places to undertake the other’s role. It better simulates real-time actions and skills as well as the ability to handle pressure, but these same factors may lead to poor results in otherwise great candidates, so tread with caution.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a free trial period for hiring
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Yes, if for any reason you find the developer you hire isn't a good fit within the first 14 days - you pay nothing or we can find you a replacement at no additional cost.

How are Revelo
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Revelo offers full-time remote
developers who share or highly overlap with your work day. You get world-class
developers in Latin America who speak English and are vetted on soft and technical skills. All developers live in the same time zones as the US or adjacent due to our talent base being exclusively in Latin America.
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