What does it take to call yourself a WebRTC Developer? Or, if you’re looking to hire or contract a WebRTC Developer, what exactly does that mean?
The term WebRTC Developer can actually be a pretty broad term. It’s best to know what you need before hiring anyone who uses that title. In my experience, there are five different types of WebRTC Developers:
- Mobile Video Developer
- Open Source Media Server Developer
- DevOps Scaler
- WebRTC Protocol Engineer
All of these are valuable roles, but most teams don’t need all of them. You may need just one or you may need many, based on your specific application architecture.
Understanding the distinction between these roles is important in any of the following scenarios:
- Individuals seeking employment as a WebRTC Developer (We’re training and we’re hiring!)
- Companies looking to hire a WebRTC Developer full-time
- Companies looking to contract out a WebRTC project to experienced developers (Contact us for a quote!)
I’ll cover each of these types of WebRTC developers in turn below.
I use the “integrator” distinction here to indicate that these developers are most likely working with a commercial WebRTC media server. We typically refer to this as a CPaaS, which stands for Communications Platform as a Service. These services include companies like Vonage, Twilio, daily.co, and many others.
The Mobile Video Developer
The Open Source Media Server Developer
There are many open source media servers used in WebRTC applications, such as Janus, Jitsi, and the more outdated Kurento. As is typically the case with an open source library vs a commercial API, these open source media servers offer much more flexibility and capability than commercial APIs. But they require more technical expertise to integrate into your application.
An open source media server needs to be deployed to a cloud environment and managed. This is opposed to a commercial API that does all the scaling behind the scenes for you (for a price). This means that an Open Source Media Server Developer should be someone who has experience with open source projects, understands details of WebRTC like the signaling process, and has enough cloud deployment experience to set up the infrastructure.
The DevOps Scaler
The DevOps Scaler is a role that overlaps somewhat with the previously described Open Source Media Server Developer. The distinction I’m drawing here is that building a highly scalable video application on your own cloud infrastructure is no small task.
Even leveraging the built in features of cloud providers like AWS and Google Cloud does not do all the lifting that a video application will need. The DevOps Scaler is likely building their own Docker images based on what the Open Source Media Server Developer has specified, and implementing Kubernetes and auto-scaling tools.
In addition, the DevOps Scaler is going to put in monitoring and testing solutions that are standard to any highly available web application, or others specific to video applications (such as testRTC.com.)
This combination of video knowledge, network and cloud debugging, and cloud experience is not easy to find and takes time to learn. We have multiple people on our team who can do it, but only our more advanced clients need these roles. If you’re just building your first prototype and gathering investor funding, you may not be ready for this role yet (even though we will still want your application architecture to take future scaling needs into consideration!)
The WebRTC Protocol Engineer
If you love counting individual packets, working with complicated build systems, analyzing network traffic, writing C or C++ code, and debating the finer points of video and audio compression protocols, then this is the job for you.
The WebRTC Protocol Engineer is the most low level of the WebRTC Developers. This is the most rare person to find with experience, and luckily is also the least likely role you need. Most of what a WebRTC Protocol Engineer would do for you is already built into the commercial and open source APIs. However, this person is still very valuable in certain use cases. If you need to do some very unique implementations or even make your own customized version of WebRTC (Danger!), this is the person you need to find.
In a competitive economy, finding the right technical talent is never easy. Finding tech talent with niche knowledge or experience such as WebRTC is even more difficult! That’s why we train and hire the best WebRTC Developers — of all kinds. Leverage our team of experienced professionals for your video application – contact us for a quote!