I’m going to give you a fictional scenario Isn’t that nice? Hehe
Whatever situation you are currently in and whatever position you hold I want you to pretend that you are given the task of hiring a Front-End Web Developer. YOU are the one who decides what they do, what skills / experience they should have, and what questions to ask them in an interview to determine whether they are worthy or not. It’s all up to you!
You’ll need to write up a Complete Job Description and also write up some Interview Questions for candidates good enough for an interview. Write up the:
First and foremost, only put down what you know for a fact what the candidate will be doing. Never put down what you might like the candidate to do someday–this often never happens for one reason or another. The candidate may be interested in the “someday” stuff, but not the actual core portion of the job you’re actually hiring for.
There’s no way I’m writing a full job description (i.e. doing your job for you), but I will say this.
In this day and age I’d expect both designers and developers to be able to code HTML sufficiently. For me this blurs the requirement for designers and developers. In an ideal world I’d hire a full-time designer with great design skills and the ability to code their designs into a working HTML document. I’d then have a developer that handles the back-end stuff. This way the work is distributed evenly and both sides always have enough work to do. This goes with Force Flow’s point that the candidate should have a clear role, and not to ask them to do things they might need to do.
As a result, I’d hire based on the quality of their portfolio, and then as a test give them a pre-made template and tell them to code it up. Let them use any resource they wish, but tell them that their history will be read after so not to go on anything weird or ask for help online. Whatever you do, don’t ask trivia questions during an interview, because it’s something you either know or you don’t; the kind of stuff any sane person could find out given a few seconds and Google.
Let me clear something up here that everyone might have misunderstood about this thread - I am not asking anyone to do my job for me. I don’t have -this- job to do. I made the thread so I could find out from professionals in the industry what sort of experience, skills, duties, responsibilities, and knowledge would be required of a Front-End Web Developer in the “real World” of work.
I have already produced my own, which is also what semi-inspired me to create this thread in addition to the reason I state above. My original plan was to let other members posts theirs up and then when the thread got a bit stale I would add my version to the thread to bump it back into life again. Unfortunately you’ve kind of ruined that plan now Never mind. I still hope this thread receives some good replies that I can benefit from and others can too.
Job Description: Front-End Web Developer
Slice Adobe Photoshop .PSD’s into various graphical image files for use on a Website.
Develop the search engine and performance optimised front-end (HTML, CSS, and JS) for business and eCommerce Websites.
Carry out W3C validation, accessibility and usability audits and tests, debugging, and Website maintenance / support.
Responsible for the quality of the front-end code for each Website you develop.
3 Years of commercial and / or non-commercial work or a very strong portfolio.
Strong hand-coding of both semantic, efficient, standards-compliant HTML 4.01 Strict markup and CSS 2.1 code.
Possesss a keen eye regarding a high level of detail and strive for pixel-perfect design across different Web browsers.
A solid foundation in the use of Adobe Photoshop CS and basic graphic design principles including colour theory.
A solid understanding of Web design, accessibility (WCAG 2.0), usability, search engine optimization and information architecture.
Strong communications skills including detailed documentation writing, polite telephone manners and confident face-to-face communication abilities.
Accustomed to working on multiple projects simultaneously to a high standard.
Absolute passion for the Internet, World Wide Web and Web Design / Development. Must be passionate about the technology industry.
Self taught designers / developers have as much chance as someone with a degree - both must have a strong portfolio.
Job Interview: Front-End Web Developer
What (if any) Web related information resources do you keep up with? (Blogs, Websites, Magazines, etc.)
What on the World Wide Web are you most passionate about?
Can you hand-code a HTML and CSS - 3 column layout on paper? (Practical Test)
What is your favourite Web technology at the moment?
Where do you see yourself within 10 years time?
Where do you see the World Wide Web within 10 years time?
Have you ever done any volunteering? If yes - What?
Give me an example of when you struggled to find a solution to a troublesome piece of code. And how did you solve it?
Am I wrong to expect such things from a Front-End Web Developer? If I matched that job description profile, would I be employable as a Front-End Web Developer, or is there an important skill I’m missing out that I need to learn / develop?
Hopefully other people will join in now!
[P.S. I wouldn’t have anyone on the SitePoint Forums do my work for me. I’m above that. I’m offended that you or anyone else would think that I would come on here asking people to do my work for me.]
Maybe I was a bit too harsh on your request, and for that I apologise. The main reason I thought you wanted us to write a full specification was because you had a full template written up, and to be frank it wouldn’t be the first time someone posted their work on a public forum and subliminally asked someone to do it for them,.
All things you’d expect a front-end person to do, although unless you’ve got a lot of work to do this may be a bit limited. I’ve known entry-level designers come in, design a site and code it ready for back-end development within the space of two days.
This is why I’m always inclined towards hiring a designer rather than a developer, one that can create the design itself in Photoshop and then code it.
I would probably change this to show that the developer would follow a company-set quality standard, because at the end of the day whoever you hire will be doing important work for the company and their manager needs to have some form of input on the work.
I’m always a bit iffy when it comes to asking for n years experience. I would probably change this to say that previous development experience, with a portfolio of work for clients or for themselves is essential. It’s important to stress that the developers skills will be judged on the quality of their portfolio, so that great designers with little experience aren’t discouraged.
If I were you I’d scrap the jargon and simply say that you require someone to write semantic, standards-compliant front-end code and someone proficient in user-interface design using graphics tools like Photoshop. Leave the interviewee to tell you what they think standards-compliance is and you’ll have a better idea of whether you’d want that person working with you.
The last thing you need is some bozo to read your job description, pick up enough to get through the interview and drag your business down.
I’d probably include some stuff on source control (something everyone should have).
Honestly, how much information do you believe you’ll get from the answers to these questions? If someone doesn’t follow any blogs or resources does that make them a poor developer? Do you really care where they see themselves in ten years?
If I were you I’d keep it short and sweet by just having a general conversation about the work they’ve done. If they’ve used a lot of jQuery press them on that. If they’ve been between jobs for a while ask them if they’ve read up on much web stuff since they last worked, etc. You’ll learn a lot more by going through the candidates previous experience and picking holes in it.
Absolutely not. If anything, I’d expect them to be designing the websites themselves, and be open to the idea of learning source control for their projects.
Looks good–except I might leave out the questions about “where will you be in x years” and “predict what will happen in x years”. Both are quite subjective and very open to interpretation which don’t have much to do with the job itself. As both an interviewer and interviewee, I’ve disliked those types of questions.
A better question might be to ask about the individual’s rate of adoption on new technologies–are they more of an early adopter or someone tends to wait for a technology to mature a bit before implementing it?