How to Hire a Great HTML Developer

When looking for an HTML developer, know what skills to look for.

For some web design projects, a dedicated HTML developer can put the organization on a better path to success.

This is especially true for organizations that want to implement HTML5, an alternative to native app development that offers more interoperable web design. No doubt you’re aware, but it bears repeating, that the realities of today’s enterprises make a strong case for moving to HTML5. Environments in which every user utilizes the same version of the same device are becoming increasingly rare. At the same time, digital tools are essential to most business-critical tasks. An organization can save itself a lot of headaches by investing in a more adaptable markup language. And dedicated HTML developers can help to make this transition seamless. Gartner recently included HTML5 on its list of “Top 10 Mobile Technologies and Capabilities for 2015 and 2016.” HTML5 is intended to improve the integration of multimedia that have emerged since HTML4’s 1997 creation (like video, music and, yes, cat GIFs) while improving computers’ ability to read it. Its inclusion was part of Gartner’s focus on application development tools that optimize multiplatform design and improve the user experience.

What to Look for When Hiring an HTML Developer

A strong base of front-end development skills and battle-tested design techniques is a must for web developers, but personality is also important. That’s because an HTML developer working with HTML5 will likely have to interact closely with business leaders and eventual app users — whether the person is a full-time employee or a project professional. Asking questions geared toward the candidate’s approach and ability to problem-solve can be more illuminating than simply confirming he or she is technically adept. When it comes to technical skills, Drupal’s website offers a nice list of some qualifications a strong HTML developer candidate should possess, such as:

  • Familiarity with HTML syntax for multiple specifications, including HTML5
  • Knowledge of the semantic meaning of all HTML elements
  • Familiarity with the semantic markup for display of lists, tabular data, forms, articles, etc.
  • Knowledge of markup used for layout such as sections
  • Ability to hand-code markup
  • Understanding of how to integrate media and images

From a Good Interview Process to a Great One

The ideal interview will help you evaluate both sides of the equation: a developer’s know-how and personality fit with your organizational quirks and way of working. One forward-thinking way to accomplish this is to “train” candidates during the hiring process, writes XHTMLized contributor Lubos Kmetko. Asking an HTML developer who has passed an initial interview to complete a PSD to HTML conversion test, for example, enables you to evaluate his or her technical chops. At the same time, the candidate works in an environment that emulates the company’s actual structure and coding standards. As a bonus, this test could allow the person to onboard and get up to speed that much more quickly if hired. If you’re not sure whether you want to make such an elaborate test part of your interview process, or are concerned about the costs and logistics, consider augmenting your interview with an online test that evaluates a candidate’s skills in real time. Check out the Robert Half Technology website for other ways to improve and streamline the technology hiring process