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Meet our Web App Developer community

Braintrust is a user-owned talent platform created by and for the world’s top talent. This includes a talented network of experienced Web App Developers available for hire.

Looking for Work

David Kaufman

David Kaufman

Software Engineer
Boston, MA, USA
  • Web
  • Cloud Engineering

Looking for Work

Terri Hawes

Terri Hawes

Experience Designer
Santa Cruz, CA, USA
  • Web
  • Creative Direction

Looking for Work

Shuhan Yu

Shuhan Yu

UX/UI Designer
Vienna, VA, USA
  • Mobile
  • User Experience

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How to hire Top Web App Developers


Hiring a web app developer or development team is a multifaceted process, encompassing everything from identifying the required skills and expertise, to evaluating potential candidates, and choosing the right employment model for your project and business needs.

Whether you're a startup or a larger company can greatly influence the hiring process and the kind of developer you're seeking. In a startup environment, you might look for a developer with a wide range of skills who can handle various tasks and rapidly adapt to changing requirements. This might involve full-stack development, working on both the front and back end of the application, or even deviating from pure development tasks to handle issues like server configuration or database optimization. On the other hand, a larger company might be looking for a developer with a more specific skill set, focusing on a particular aspect of web app development. This could be a front-end developer specialized in a specific JavaScript framework, or a back-end developer proficient in scalable architecture design.

The decision between hiring a full-time developer or opting for hourly contract work depends on your specific needs and circumstances. A full-time developer may be more suited for long-term projects where there's a need for someone who can deeply understand the product, contribute to its evolution, and be a consistent part of the team. Full-time developers are also more likely to be available during your company's standard operating hours, which can facilitate communication and collaboration.

Conversely, hiring an hourly contractor can provide greater flexibility. This can be a viable option if the project is short-term, has clearly defined deliverables, or requires a specialized skill set that might not be needed after the project's completion. However, managing contractors often requires a more structured approach to task and time tracking.

In both scenarios, it's crucial to assess not just the candidates' technical skills and experience, but also their problem-solving abilities, understanding of web security, soft skills, and previous work. A comprehensive portfolio and positive references can provide a wealth of information about a candidate's capabilities and working style.

Remember, the process of hiring a web app developer doesn't end with making a job offer. Once they join your team, they'll need appropriate support and resources to carry out their tasks effectively. A good onboarding process, clear communication, and a positive work environment are key factors for success.

Technical Proficiency

Web application development requires a strong understanding of the core web technologies - HTML (HyperText Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and JavaScript. These are the building blocks of any high-quality web page or app. HTML structures the content, CSS styles it, and JavaScript adds interactivity. Furthermore, depending on your project's needs, the developer might need proficiency in server-side languages like Python, Java, .NET, PHP, or Ruby. Database management skills, often using SQL or NoSQL databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, or Firebase, are also crucial. For creating dynamic and interactive user experiences, AJAX could be required. Knowledge of RESTful API design and JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) for data interchange is often necessary. Familiarity with content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress or similar web services, can also be beneficial. Finally, understanding browser compatibility issues and how to troubleshoot them is important.

Experience with Frameworks and Libraries

Today's web development processes often utilize various frameworks and libraries to expedite and simplify software development. These tools abstract away much of the complex code, allowing developers to focus more on the application's unique features. For frontend development, frameworks such as React.js, Angular.js, and Vue.js are commonly used. These tools help manage the user interface and handle user interactions. On the backend, Node.js (with Express.js), Django, and Ruby on Rails are popular for building servers and managing data transactions. These frameworks provide a structure for server-side code and simplify many common tasks, like routing requests and interfacing with databases.

Understanding of User Interface and Experience Design (UI/UX)

The user's experience and interaction with a web app is just as important as its functionality. Good web app developers need a solid understanding of web design or UI/UX principles to ensure that the app is user-friendly and intuitive. This involves an understanding of design principles and aesthetics, such as color theory, typography, and layout design, as well as technical skills like responsive design for different screen sizes and device types. Proficiency in tools such as Sketch, Figma, or Adobe XD for prototyping and wireframing can also be beneficial. Furthermore, developers should know how to implement accessibility standards to make the app usable for all users, including those with disabilities.

Knowledge of Version Control/Git

Version control is essential in modern web development project workflows. It allows multiple developers to work on the same codebase simultaneously without overwriting each other's changes, and it provides a record of changes made to the code over time. Git is the most commonly used version control system, and proficiency in using it is often required for web app developers. They should be comfortable with common Git commands for committing changes, creating and merging branches, and resolving merge conflicts. They should also be familiar with platforms like GitHub or Bitbucket, which provide hosting for Git repositories and additional features like pull requests and code reviews. Understanding of concepts like Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) is also beneficial, as these are often used in conjunction with version control to automate parts of the development process.

Problem Solving Skills

An effective web app developer must have excellent problem-solving skills. The ability to diagnose, troubleshoot, and solve complex issues is central to the role. Developers often encounter novel problems that require innovative solutions, and bugs can arise from many different sources, from syntax errors to logical flaws to unforeseen edge cases. This requires a strong analytical ability and a solid understanding of the underlying principles of computer science and software engineering. Developers should be proficient with debugging tools for their chosen languages and platforms. For JavaScript, for example, this might include using the browser's developer console or tools like Firebug. They should also understand unit testing and test-driven development, as writing tests can be a useful tool for diagnosing and preventing issues.

Understanding of Web Security Best Practices

Security is a crucial aspect of web app development. A developer should understand potential security risks and how to mitigate them. They should be familiar with concepts like SQL injection, where malicious SQL code is inserted into a query, and Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), where an attacker injects malicious scripts into webpages viewed by other users. Other important considerations include Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), where an attacker tricks a user into performing actions on their behalf, and ensuring secure data transmission by using HTTPS. Tools and practices such as input validation, output encoding, using security headers, and proper error handling are also critical. Knowledge of security standards like OWASP Top 10 can be beneficial.

Soft Skills

While technical skills are important, web app developers also need strong soft skills. Communication skills are likewise crucial, as they need to effectively discuss project specifications, share ideas, and explain technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders. Teamwork is another important soft skill, especially if they'll be working in a team environment. They need to collaborate well with others, including the project manager, respecting and building on each other's ideas. Time management is essential, too, as web app development often involves meeting tight deadlines. They should be able to prioritize tasks effectively, estimate the time required for different tasks, and work efficiently.

Portfolio and/or References

Reviewing a candidate's portfolio is one of the best ways to evaluate their skills and capabilities. Look for examples of web apps they've developed, paying attention to both the functionality and design. This will give you a sense of their problem-solving abilities, creativity, and attention to detail. It's also helpful to see if they've worked on web projects similar to yours. References from previous employers or clients can provide valuable insight into the developer's work ethic, reliability, and interpersonal skills. Open-source contributions can also be an indicator of their skill and dedication to the craft. These contributions demonstrate their ability to work collaboratively and show that they're staying up-to-date with the latest technology trends and development services’ best practices.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to hire a Web App Developer?

The cost of hiring a web app developer can vary greatly depending on factors such as the complexity of the project, the developer's level or years of experience, and the geographic location. In the US, the average salary for a top web developer is approximately $75,000 per year, though it can go up to $100,000 or more for experienced developers or those with specialized skills. For contract or freelance work, the cost to hire web developers can range from $30 to $150 per hour or more.

Where can I hire a Web App Developer?

You can hire freelance web app developers through several channels. Job posting sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor are good places to start. You can also use dedicated tech job boards like Stack Overflow Jobs or GitHub Jobs. Freelance marketplaces like Braintrust, a service where you can post a job for free and get matched with vetted candidates within 48 hours, can be useful if you're looking for contract work. Networking can also be beneficial, whether that's at industry events, through online communities, or via personal contacts in the tech industry.

How do I recruit a Web App Developer?

Recruiting a web app developer starts with a clear understanding of your project's needs. This allows you to create a comprehensive job description outlining the necessary skills, experience, and responsibilities. Once the job is posted, you can use various methods to attract candidates, such as promoting the job on social media, leveraging your professional network, or using recruitment agencies. Screening resumes, conducting interviews, and assigning technical tests can help assess the candidates. Don't forget to check references or review their portfolio to get a sense of their previous work.

How much does a Web App Developer charge per hour?

The hourly rate for a web app developer can vary greatly, largely depending on their experience, expertise, and location. Rates can range from $30 per hour for a junior developer to over $150 per hour for a highly experienced developer or a specialist. Factors such as the complexity of the project, the duration of the contract, and the market demand for certain skills can also influence rates. Rates may also be higher for developers in regions with a high cost of living.

What does a web app developer do?

A web app developer is responsible for designing, building, and maintaining web applications for both mobile (Android and iOS) and desktop devices. They use programming languages like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS for frontend (client-side) development to create the user interface and enhance user interaction. They might also work on backend (server-side) development, using languages like Python, Java, or Ruby to create the server logic that processes user requests and manages data. Web app developers also ensure that the applications they create are secure and optimized for performance, including implementing SEO best practices. They troubleshoot and resolve issues, work collaboratively with other team members, and often communicate with stakeholders to understand requirements and provide updates.

What do I need to become a web app developer?

To become a web app developer, you need to learn key web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Understanding how to work with APIs and databases is also essential. Depending on the specifics of your role, you might need to learn a server-side language like Python, Java, or Ruby. Familiarity with web development frameworks and libraries, like Laravel, jQuery, React, or Django, can be beneficial. Other important skills include problem-solving, understanding of web security best practices, and version control (usually Git). Formal education in website development or computer science can be helpful, but many successful freelance web developers are self-taught or have completed coding bootcamps.

What are web app developers called?

Web app developers may go by several names depending on their specific roles or the technologies they work with. They can be called Frontend Developers, Backend Developers, or Full Stack Web Developers if they work on both frontend and backend. They may also be named after the specific technologies they specialize in, like JavaScript Developer, Python Developer, or React Developer. In some cases, they may be referred to as Software Engineers, particularly if they work extensively with complex server-side logic.

Is web app Development easy?

Web app development can be complex and challenging, but it can also be rewarding and exciting. It requires a strong understanding of multiple programming languages and technologies, as well as problem-solving skills. Developers must be able to think logically and analytically to create effective solutions. However, with a systematic approach to learning and plenty of practice, it's possible to acquire the necessary skills. The availability of online resources, tutorials, and communities also makes it easier for individuals to learn web development. It's important to remember that learning is an ongoing process in web development due to the constantly evolving technology landscape.

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