Questions to Ask Your Web Developer

Interviewing Web Designers

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Questions to ask before hiring a web developer. 

SEOmoz recently posted some questions that they would ask when interviewing web developers. Figured I'd have a go at the questions and let you know where I stand:

  1. What Industry sites and blogs do you read regularly? I consistently read Matt Cutts, Jim Boykin , and Brue Clay . I also have some other favorites like Shoemoney , 9-rules (Design) , Aaron Wall , SEOmoz , Devlounge , and Stuntdubl .
  2. Do you prefer to work alone or on a team? Alone, unless I can find a competent team. I've known too many "experts" that couldn't code their way out of a wet paper bag.
  3. How comfortable are you with writing HTML entirely by hand? What, you mean people don't normally do that? We do everything by hand because of the control it gives over the code.
  4. What is the w3c? World Wide Web Consortium. They are the group that is trying to bring standards to the web (although there are way too many that don't listen.)
  5. Can you write table-less XHTML? Do you validate your code? Yes. and Yes to a point. If we don't put an alt tag on every image, we are still good people.
  6. What are a few of your favorite development tools and why? I like Textpad for coding, Photoshop for image editing, and HeidiSQL for database interaction.
  7. Describe/demonstrate your level of competence in a *nix shell environment. (not really necessary in my opinion, SQL knowledge would be a bigger requirement)
    % If I had a ( for every $ Congress spent, what would I have?
    Too many ('s.
  8. What skills and technologies are you the most interested in improving upon or learning? Right now I'm looking more at DOM scripting. With AJAX going mainstream and more and more UI's expecting more dynamic interaction, I expect to learn even more about javascript (DOM) and CSS interaction.
  9. Show me your portfolio. OK. Take a look at my portfolio .
  10. What size websites have you worked on in the past? Everything from one pagers to 100% user defined dynamic websites with hundreds of pages.
  11. Show me your code. OK. Right click, view source.
  12. What are a few sites you admire and why? 2Advanced. They have amazing flash design. 9rules. Great community. Good Organization. Nice clean straightforward look.
  13. Fix this code, please. Haven't I already told you about all the "expert web developers" I've interacted with (or that my previous clients had interacted with before they found me.) Been there, fixed that.
  14. I just pulled up a website you built and the browser is displaying a blank page. Walk me through the steps you'd take to troubleshoot the problem.
    1. Did you type the URL correctly?
    2. Do other pages from the same site show up?
    3. Are other site that are on the same machine available?
    4. Does it show up in a different browser?
    5. Can you view the source?
  15. What is your favorite development language and why? PHP. Open source. Simple, yet powerful. Good documentation.
  16. Do you find any particular languages or technologies intimidating? I never really cared for C (I liked C++ much better). I'm quite interested in what the "up and coming" technology is. I just find there isn't as much time to explore all of them to figure out which one is going to be beneficial.
  17. HTML, CSS, WYSIWYG? Hyper Text Markup Language. Cascading Style Sheet, What you see is what you get (plus normally a lot more code than you wanted)
  18. What web browser do you use? Firefox 2.0 for normal browsing. IE 6, IE 7, and Firefox for most testing.
  19. What are a few personal web projects you've got going on? Constantly updating, tweaking, and improving the websites I oversee.

Wow.... that was quite the list.