Paul Azorin

Paul Azorín is the Founder and Chief Technology Officer at BairesDev.

The Top Essential Skills for JavaScript Developers

JavaScript reigns supreme. The flexible programming language is currently ranked as the most commonly used programming language in the world by GitHub. It is also instrumental in web development--an estimated 95% of websites utilize the language in some way. 
Programmers prize JavaScript software development because it enables them to build highly interactive websites that customers love. They accomplish this by coding useful features, like puckerfish and hover menus, animations, videos, slideshows, and more.
The best JavaScript developers will know the language in-and-out. Hiring managers should ensure that candidates have a strong grasp of the following topics and can explain them in layman's terms. 
Control Flow
Control flow is a vital concept for JavaScript developers. It defines the order in which a computer completes a set of statements. 
Traditionally, code is read in order: from top to bottom. However, some scripts utilize a conditional structure that changes the order in which code is executed. JavaScript developers can build these scripts into their webpages to make it more responsive and to eliminate wasteful communication.
For example, most major companies today only accept job applications and resumes through online portals. A job applicant selects their desired position, uploads their resume, and fills out a series of boxes detailing their contact information and work experience.
JavaScript developers can make the website more responsive and prevent wasted time by writing a script that alerts the user that a specific field is empty while refusing to submit the form.
The applicant can quickly go to the empty box (which conveniently has a bright red note sitting underneath), complete the information, and resubmit the form.
The addition of a simple script provides the candidate with real-time feedback and prevents both the candidate and human resources professional from wasting time trying to track down this information. 
Experienced developers should be able to explain the benefits of a conditional structure and detail how they would code such a script into a webpage.
Error Handling
Mistakes happen. This is especially true in the software development field, where even the most experienced and well-respected programmers sometimes make crucial errors.
Research estimates that software engineers make, on average, “about 15-50 errors per 1,000 lines of delivered code.” 
The best developers will understand that mistakes are an inevitability and will know how to identify and fix them. Ask them to describe a past error in the work and how they went about finding a solution to learn more about their approach to problem-solving. 
Functions
Perhaps the most important distinction between JavaScript and other popular programming languages, such as Java and Python, is its approach to functions. JavaScript is unique because it allows programmers to create a function as just a stand-alone in code.
This makes programming a much easier undertaking because it allows developers to create shorter, more readable code.
In addition, because JavaScript treats functions like basic objects, engineers can create a higher-order function, which is simply a function passed into another function as a parameter. By doing so, programmers can increase the complexity of applications without writing much more code.
Scope
A solid understanding of how scope functions in JavaScript will help engineers write more readable code and decrease the number of errors in their work. 
JavaScript has two types of scope: global and local. Global scope is a term used to refer to variables that can be read and edited from anywhere in the code, no matter where the variable is located.
Local scope, on the other hand, describes variables that can only be changed from within the function. JavaScript developers who possess a solid understanding of these terms can write code that is protected from human error through stringent access levels.
Before extending an offer to a candidate or signing a contract with a JavaScript development company, managers must ensure that developers have a solid understanding of scope and how it increases the quality of the final software. 
Software Security 
Data privacy is one of the most important challenges facing the tech industry. The number of data breaches continues to increase every year --with research estimating that hackers attempt to break into a new computer “every 39 seconds on average.” 
Many companies choose to work with offshore JavaScript development firms in order to find security experts for their web development projects. However, every member of the in-house development team should ideally take responsibility for software security.
The best engineers will have a solid grasp of the most important software security methodologies used today and will be able to articulate the advantages and disadvantages of each approach clearly. 
Hiring managers should also ask candidates to explain their approach to software security and detail how they have helped ensure data privacy in past projects. 
User Design
User design is an essential skill for any software developer. This is especially true for JavaScript developers, who are responsible for building beautiful, highly-functional websites that must look and feel right in order to resonate with consumers.
While user interface and experience design was once viewed as the purview of specialists alone, modern software development demands that end-user considerations be integrated into every step of the development lifecycle. 
High-quality programmers will be able to conduct basic market research to understand their target customer, stay up-to-date on the latest user design trends, and be able to show how past projects successfully created an intuitive and aesthetically-pleasing final product. 
In Summary
JavaScript is essential for modern web development. It allows programmers to quickly build highly interactive websites, web applications, and mobile apps with ease.
However, not all developer teams are created equally. If companies intend to hire in-house, rather than outsource JavaScript development, hiring managers must be able to filter candidates according to knowledge and skillset.
Executives can increase the odds of success in their next development initiative by thoroughly vetting JavaScript developers for their language-specific knowledge, relevant experience, and willingness to pursue continuing education.

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