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JavaScript Developers

The Job

JavaScript is one of the most-popular programming languages. It’s used extensively in Web site and mobile application development, as well as for browser-based applications (when used with other software building tools). JavaScript is used to create Google search boxes, videos recapping the news at the Web site of USA Today, interactive forms, animated page menus, interactive maps, and autocomplete features.

Every employer has its own definition of the job duties, required skills, and educational background of its JavaScript developers, but most developers commonly follow a process known as the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), which contains five stages: analysis/plan, design/prototyping, development/testing, deployment, and documentation/evaluation. The number of stages and their names vary by company. Companies that use the SDLC—or another software development lifecycle—aim to reduce the cost of software development while also cutting production timelines and improving quality.

  • Analysis/Plan: The developer assesses the existing software or talks with customers, company executives, and other stakeholders about the features of the new software that they will design. The development team then determines the costs, time requirements, and required resources that will be needed to complete the work, as well as potential roadblocks that might slow or halt the development process. These issues are discussed with stakeholders until all agree on the re-design or new design approach.
  • Design: Developers convert the software specifications into a design plan called the design specification, stakeholders review the plan and provide feedback, and the developers make changes as needed. The design specification covers issues such as IT architecture, user interface, platforms, application communication methods, and security concerns.
  • Development/Testing: The developers begin writing the code. One or two developers often work on a small project, while larger projects require bigger teams that focus on specific components of an application or Web site. Extensive testing is conducted before the product is released to users. For example, developers test code for bugs and implement improvements and fixes. Some testing—such as security testing—is automated, while other testing must be done by a developer or software tester.
  • Deployment: The revised or new product is made available to users. This process can be automated (i.e., a user is given a link to download and install the new app) or hands-on when updated software for a complex, company-wide database must be installed. Developers address any performance or security issues that users identify.
  • Documentation/Evaluation: Developers complete technical documentation that summarizes their work on the project and details any major issues that arose during the process and what they did to fix them. For some products, developers create user manuals. Developers also use this time to evaluate the final product and clean up any issues that they or users have identified.
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