When it comes to JavaScript libraries, jQuery is generally considered as the most widely utilized around the world today. It is no wonder then that a large number of companies are deciding to hire a jQuery developer, a person that specializes in deploying this free and open-source cross-platform software. If you count yourself as one of those who need the skills of a jQuery specialist for your web project or business, here’s what you need to know.

Why jQuery is important

First of all, jQuery is a type of JavaScript library that facilitates the simplification of the front-end (or client-side) scripting of HTML. We now live in a world where offering an awesome user experience is always a given, and when it comes to user interfaces on websites or web applications, creating a totally smooth front-end environment is now an increasing priority for any business.

jQuery has also proven to be very flexible. Web browsers typically have different rules and behaviors when it comes to the proper rendering of content (documents, images and graphics, multimedia), but due to jQuery’s cross-platform nature and simplified coding, its elements can still be displayed correctly, even if JavaScript is disabled. jQuery can also work with different mobile devices (smartphones and tablets), and even work on Apple machines (Macs, iPhones, iPads).

Apart from its flexibility, jQuery is capable of combining various markup-based languages together seamlessly. For instance, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and AJAX do not usually work well combined, but the use of jQuery allows them to be utilized strategically. And by being paired with HTML5, jQuery can even produce cool animated Flash-like effects.

jQuery also happens to make web pages load quicker. The basic logic is that the more complex code you write, the more instructions the web browser has to follow in rendering a page. jQuery, however, simplifies the code, essentially making the process of web rendering from code much more efficient.

And because Google pretty much rules nowadays, business owners now have to worry about search engine optimization in any web project. Thankfully, jQuery is designed to be SEO-friendly, too. It even allows graphics or animations to be assigned with certain keywords, which can be detected by the search engines’ algorithms.

What a jQuery developer does

The basic role of the jQuery developer is to utilize the jQuery platform according to the needs of a web project or web app. And because using jQuery mainly involves taking care of the front-end aspects of web development, it is the responsibility of the jQuery developer to build user interfaces (UIs).

Of course, no two UIs are ever the same, and it is the job of the jQuery developer to figure out how he can develop front-end elements, and he does this by introducing new code, reusing existing ones, or taking full advantage of available libraries. He might also be tasked to optimize certain web elements in order to ensure stable performance and fast loading speeds.

The scope of a jQuery developer’s work may also vary depending on the nature of the web project. It is quite possible that he will brought in from the start (design and development stages), or he could be asked to focus on implementation, deployment, improvement, and optimization. It goes without saying that he will likely coordinate with another jQuery guy, or join forces with other team members.

Qualifications of a good jQuery developer

Strong programming fundamentals. The three most basic web development programming languages are JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Those who specialize in front-end development are generally considered experts (or at least, very knowledgeable) in these three languages, and because a jQuery developer’s job involves the client-side, he is expected to be quite versed in these languages, too.

Familiarity with using jQuery features. jQuery comes with its own utility functions, features, plug-ins, effects/animations, and events, among many others. A developer that specializes in using jQuery must know how these features work, and more importantly, know how they can be applied to suit the needs of a web project. As mentioned before, the ultimate objective is to create a hassle-free experience for the end user.

Understanding of cross-platform and cross-browser compatibility. While it is true that operating systems and web browsers behave in different ways, a good jQuery developer also knows that things are constantly changing in the digital age. Thus, he must continuously update himself with regards to the latest trends when it comes compatibility. It may not be easy, especially when you have to take into account the behavior of the end users themselves (like how good they are when it comes to updating their OS or upgrading their device). This is why the jQuery developer has to balance things out.

Knowledge of UI/UX design. Nowadays, web design is no longer about pure aesthetics. Indeed, interactive and immersive designs have increasingly become important among today’s audiences, and software programmers, including jQuery developers, must know how to marry good-looking design with optimum functionality.

Communication skills. During the course of a web project, a jQuery developer will likely coordinate with the business owner or other team members (a project lead or other developers). Thus, to be extra effective, a jQuery developer also must be able to articulate his ideas properly, and at the same time be able to process information, feedback, and even criticism.

Hiring a jQuery developer

Web programmers, including jQuery developers, generally command pretty high salaries, especially if they are based in the United States. And the usual expectation is that the more experience a jQuery developer has, the higher his full-time rate is.

Of course, if you are in dire need of a jQuery developer, you can always explore freelance options. Freelancers typically offer their services for a specific fee, although the rate may vary according to the project’s needs, and the developer’s country (US-based programmers tend to ask for higher rates compared to those from Europe and most especially from Asian regions).

However, freelance talent often work on a part-time basis only, so if you’re looking for a dedicated jQuery developer for your project who does not cost as much, you might want to try offshoring. For those not familiar with offshore software development, it simply means hiring a programmer full-time but having that guy operate in a country with cheaper overhead costs. Just to be clear, the jQuery developer you hire will be working as an employee of your company, and not on a freelance basis.

If you are willing to partner with us, we can take care of your offshore software development needs. We will handle the process of hiring a jQuery developer for you, and then set up your offshore employee in the Philippines where labor and other operating costs are less expensive. Contact us anytime to know more.