Front-End

Hire the Top 3% of Freelance Front-End Developers

Toptal is a marketplace for top Front-end developers and coders. CEOs, CTOs, and management at top companies and start-ups work with Toptal Front-end freelancers to augment their development teams for Front-end development, app development, web development, and other software development projects to achieve their business needs.

No-Risk Trial, Pay Only If Satisfied.

Clients Rate Toptal Front-End Developers4.4 / 5.0on average across 136 reviews as of Oct 21, 2020

Hire Freelance Front-End Developers

Johnathan Hebert

Freelance Front-End Developer

United StatesToptal Member Since December 13, 2016

Johnathan has 15 years of experience writing web apps that span consumer productivity software to mission-critical financial trading platforms. He has extensive knowledge of front-end JavaScript and browser APIs as well as significant experience with popular frameworks and libraries like React and Redux. Johnathan's deep full-stack experience includes Node.js and Express, MongoDB as well as more traditional technologies like PHP, ASP.NET, and MySQL.

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Isa Noguchi

Freelance Front-End Developer

JapanToptal Member Since September 18, 2018

As a full-stack developer, Isa has an abundance of experience in web development with a focus on JavaScript. Recently, he's been collaborating with a variety of companies including small startups and big communities—making him intimately familiar with all the stages of the web life cycle from the initial architecture to final deployment. He's also not new to the remote freelancing scene so he's extremely flexible with his working hours.

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Ugljesa Pantic

Freelance Front-End Developer

SerbiaToptal Member Since February 14, 2017

Ugljesa is a passionate software engineer who started programming in grade school. After getting his bachelor's degree in computer science, he worked for two large international companies–developing mostly web applications for several years. He is accustomed to a distributed environment and working with remote clients using agile methodologies.

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Carlos Ramirez III

Freelance Front-End Developer

United StatesToptal Member Since October 29, 2014

Carlos is a professional software engineer and full-stack web developer specializing in the Ruby on Rails framework. He has worked with tech companies for over a decade, helping to build technology-based businesses from the ground up. He has a bachelor's degree in computer science from Williams College.

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Prashant Singh

Freelance Front-End Developer

United KingdomToptal Member Since December 3, 2018

Prashant is a full-stack developer with a broad and versatile coding skill set. He quickly helps startups and enterprises with prototypes and ideas by efficiently building those things into reality. His expertise lies in building MVPs, apps, enterprise software, scalable microservices, web crawlers, REST and Socket APIs, infrastructure modeling, AWS, and deployments. Prashant is the go-to guy for any of your development needs.

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Andrei Matveev

Freelance Front-End Developer

SingaporeToptal Member Since July 28, 2016

Andrei is an experienced full-stack web developer with almost a decade of experience working with a large variety of technologies—over half of that working remotely. He is equally comfortable collaborating with a team of developers or flying solo. He has worked with satisfied clients from the US, Australia, Kuwait, and Russia.

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Alexander Makeev

Freelance Front-End Developer

RussiaToptal Member Since December 22, 2014

Alexander carries multiple technical degrees in Nuclear Physics and worked at CERN as a Python developer implementing dynamic performance optimizations for complex web applications. He excels at rapidly integrating reliable web technologies and achieving flexible software architecture designs. His strong theoretical and practical background in IT, business consulting, and project management makes him extremely capable on projects of any size.

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Eric W. Greene

Freelance Front-End Developer

United StatesToptal Member Since November 16, 2013

Eric loves to write code in a high-paced and challenging environment with an emphasis on using best practices to develop high quality software that meets project requirements, budget, and schedule. He enjoys learning new technologies and sharing findings with his colleagues.

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A Hiring Guide

Guide to Hiring a Great Front-End Developer

Front-end developers are experts in the practice of creating HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and more for a website or web application while keeping an eye on UI and UX. The questions presented in this guide help identify those front-end developers with the experience to produce masterful results.

Read Hiring Guide
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Despite accelerating demand for coders, Toptal prides itself on almost Ivy League-level vetting.

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Testimonials

Tripcents wouldn't exist without Toptal. Toptal Projects enabled us to rapidly develop our foundation with a product manager, lead developer, and senior designer. In just over 60 days we went from concept to Alpha. The speed, knowledge, expertise, and flexibility is second to none. The Toptal team were as part of tripcents as any in-house team member of tripcents. They contributed and took ownership of the development just like everyone else. We will continue to use Toptal. As a start up, they are our secret weapon.

Brantley Pace, CEO & Co-Founder

Tripcents

In addition to sharp technical skills, Faruk had a great attitude and is a really exceptional communicator. He always let us know where he was with his work, thoroughly and reliably. That's not always the case, and it made working remotely considerably easier. He was an easy integration into the team.

Leif Abraham, Co-Founder

AND CO Ventures Inc

I am more than pleased with our experience with Toptal. The professional I got to work with was on the phone with me within a couple of hours. I knew after discussing my project with him that he was the candidate I wanted. I hired him immediately and he wasted no time in getting to my project, even going the extra mile by adding some great design elements that enhanced our overall look.

Paul Fenley, Director

K Dunn & Associates

The developers I was paired with were incredible -- smart, driven, and responsive. It used to be hard to find quality engineers and consultants. Now it isn't.

Ryan Rockefeller, CEO

Radeeus

Toptal understood our project needs immediately. We were matched with an exceptional freelancer from Argentina who, from Day 1, immersed himself in our industry, blended seamlessly with our team, understood our vision, and produced top-notch results. Toptal makes connecting with superior developers and programmers very easy.

Jason Kulik, Co-Founder

ProHatch

As a small company with limited resources we can't afford to make expensive mistakes. Toptal provided us with an experienced programmer who was able to hit the ground running and begin contributing immediately. It has been a great experience and one we'd repeat again in a heartbeat.

Stuart Pocknee , Principal

Site Specific Software Solutions

We used Toptal to hire a developer with extensive Amazon Web Services experience. We interviewed four candidates, one of which turned out to be a great fit for our requirements. The process was quick and effective.

Abner Guzmán Rivera, CTO and Chief Scientist

Photo Kharma

Sergio was an awesome developer to work with. Top notch, responsive, and got the work done efficiently.

Dennis Baldwin, Chief Technologist and Co-Founder

PriceBlink

Working with Marcin is a joy. He is competent, professional, flexible, and extremely quick to understand what is required and how to implement it.

André Fischer, CTO

POSTIFY

We needed a expert engineer who could start on our project immediately. Simanas exceeded our expectations with his work. Not having to interview and chase down an expert developer was an excellent time-saver and made everyone feel more comfortable with our choice to switch platforms to utilize a more robust language. Toptal made the process easy and convenient. Toptal is now the first place we look for expert-level help.

Derek Minor, Senior VP of Web Development

Networld Media Group

Toptal's developers and architects have been both very professional and easy to work with. The solution they produced was fairly priced and top quality, reducing our time to launch. Thanks again, Toptal.

Jeremy Wessels, CEO

Kognosi

We had a great experience with Toptal. They paired us with the perfect developer for our application and made the process very easy. It was also easy to extend beyond the initial time frame, and we were able to keep the same contractor throughout our project. We definitely recommend Toptal for finding high quality talent quickly and seamlessly.

Ryan Morrissey, CTO

Applied Business Technologies, LLC

I'm incredibly impressed with Toptal. Our developer communicates with me every day, and is a very powerful coder. He's a true professional and his work is just excellent. 5 stars for Toptal.

Pietro Casoar, CEO

Ronin Play Pty Ltd

Working with Toptal has been a great experience. Prior to using them, I had spent quite some time interviewing other freelancers and wasn't finding what I needed. After engaging with Toptal, they matched me up with the perfect developer in a matter of days. The developer I'm working with not only delivers quality code, but he also makes suggestions on things that I hadn't thought of. It's clear to me that Amaury knows what he is doing. Highly recommended!

George Cheng, CEO

Bulavard, Inc.

As a Toptal qualified front-end developer, I also run my own consulting practice. When clients come to me for help filling key roles on their team, Toptal is the only place I feel comfortable recommending. Toptal's entire candidate pool is the best of the best. Toptal is the best value for money I've found in nearly half a decade of professional online work.

Ethan Brooks, CTO

Langlotz Patent & Trademark Works, Inc.

In Higgle's early days, we needed the best-in-class developers, at affordable rates, in a timely fashion. Toptal delivered!

Lara Aldag, CEO

Higgle

Toptal makes finding a candidate extremely easy and gives you peace-of-mind that they have the skills to deliver. I would definitely recommend their services to anyone looking for highly-skilled developers.

Michael Gluckman, Data Manager

Mxit

Toptal’s ability to rapidly match our project with the best developers was just superb. The developers have become part of our team, and I’m amazed at the level of professional commitment each of them has demonstrated. For those looking to work remotely with the best engineers, look no further than Toptal.

Laurent Alis, Founder

Livepress

Toptal makes finding qualified engineers a breeze. We needed an experienced ASP.NET MVC architect to guide the development of our start-up app, and Toptal had three great candidates for us in less than a week. After making our selection, the engineer was online immediately and hit the ground running. It was so much faster and easier than having to discover and vet candidates ourselves.

Jeff Kelly, Co-Founder

Concerted Solutions

We needed some short-term work in Scala, and Toptal found us a great developer within 24 hours. This simply would not have been possible via any other platform.

Franco Arda, Co-Founder

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How to Hire Front-End Developers through Toptal

1

Talk to One of Our Industry Experts

A Toptal director of engineering will work with you to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics.
2

Work With Hand-Selected Talent

Within days, we'll introduce you to the right front-end developer for your project. Average time to match is under 24 hours.
3

The Right Fit, Guaranteed

Work with your new front-end developer for a trial period (pay only if satisfied), ensuring they're the right fit before starting the engagement.

FAQs

  • How are Toptal front-end developers different?

    At Toptal, we thoroughly screen our front-end developers to ensure we only match you with talent of the highest caliber. Of the more than 100,000 people who apply to join the Toptal network each year, fewer than 3% make the cut. You'll work with engineering experts (never generalized recruiters or HR reps) to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics. The end result: expert vetted talent from our network, custom matched to fit your business needs. Start now.

  • Can I hire front-end developers in less than 48 hours through Toptal?

    Depending on availability and how fast you can progress, you could start working with a front-end developer within 48 hours of signing up. Start now.

  • What is the no-risk trial period for Toptal front-end developers?

    We make sure that each engagement between you and your front-end developer begins with a trial period of up to two weeks. This means that you have time to confirm the engagement will be successful. If you're completely satisfied with the results, we'll bill you for the time and continue the engagement for as long as you'd like. If you're not completely satisfied, you won't be billed. From there, we can either part ways, or we can provide you with another expert who may be a better fit and with whom we will begin a second, no-risk trial. Start now.

  • What type of talent does Toptal have?

    Our platform hosts a very diverse range of skill sets, experiences, and backgrounds. Our freelancers range from software engineers, user experience designers, project management experts, and product managers to finance experts who have worked at leading companies such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and many more. Our software developers are front-end engineers who are highly skilled in programming languages such as Javascript frameworks, Python, or PHP. They also have years of experience in cross-platform projects in Android, iOS, Wordpress, and others, building high quality mobile applications, e-commerce stores, and SaaS and web applications.

  • What other services does Toptal provide?

    Besides our talent matching services, we also provide web and application development services like a development company. Through our Toptal Projects team, we assemble cross-functional teams of senior project managers, web developers, app developers, user interface designers, and other technical skills. Our team members follow a well-defined development process to build a fully functional solution.

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Front-End

How to Hire a Front-end Developer

Front-end developers are responsible for building the parts of applications that users see and interact with. (In most cases, front-end development refers particularly to web applications as interpreted by a user’s browser.)

If we want to provide an engaging experience to our users, hiring good front-end developers is key.

Over time, web user interfaces (UIs) have become more interactive. They have also spread to new contexts, like mobile, wearables, and cars.

Front-end developers once easily mastered the three main technologies: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. At that point, JavaScript represented a set of basic functions for real-time web page modifications, allowing for animating UI elements and making them more interactive.

But now JavaScript, development is more complex. It’s used in multiple programming paradigms and represents its own specialization of front-end development, separate from HTML and CSS.

Within that, there are many more specific specializations, and new ones are appearing all the time. The general knowledge and skill set has also broadened, with many technologies being used across specializations.

So how can you know what’s important when it comes to hiring front-end developers?

Based on the project and what kind of user interface you want to provide, we can split up the front-end development skill set into two main areas: UI and front-end JavaScript.

UI Development

The simpler and older of the two styles, this is used in apps like Gmail’s “Basic HTML” version and in most traditional web forums.

Such sites are still made of web pages that can contain animations and many graphic elements, but there is far less (custom) JavaScript normally involved. For this category of web applications, front-end developers need to know:

HTML and CSS. All front-end developers have to understand web markup (HTML) and cascading style sheets (CSS). These are the standard building blocks that web browsers interpret and present as visual UI elements. Front-end developers should know HTML5 and CSS3—which have been the standard versions for a while now—and know when to use their more recent features.

JavaScript basics. Use of the JavaScript language is fundamental for all front-end developers in order to make web pages interactive.

Front-end developers often use JavaScript libraries to develop UI widgets, components, and effects in the form of plugins.

There isn’t always a need for adding JavaScript libraries to projects. However, candidates should know how to use additional JavaScript libraries such as jQuery or Ext JS. This shows they generally know how to use UI frameworks and reuse UI elements.

Cross-browser compatibility. There are myriad web browsers and versions of them, and each supports different features and versions of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. UI developers should know how to avoid and solve compatibility issues across web browsers.

Responsive design. If we want to allow using web applications in mobile devices, the UI should adapt to mobile device environments. (Even if you don’t, your users may try it anyway.) Front-end developers need to know how to build and optimize web applications for so they are flexible when it comes to screen sizes, ratios, and orientations.

UI frameworks. Many times, front-end developers don’t need to build UI elements from scratch. UI frameworks allow for reusing already-created UI elements with defined style guides, compatible with desktop browsers and mobile devices.

Developers can use lightweight UI frameworks for setting up a grid system for the whole layout or more robust frameworks for including various UI elements.

A good front-end developer will know when to use UI frameworks, which are helpful especially for rapid prototyping.

CSS-transforming tools. Front-end developers should also know how to create valid cross-browser and mobile compatible style sheets effectively. This can avoid issues in production.

CSS by itself has limited capabilities for creating optimized style sheets, but CSS preprocessors such as LESS, Sass/SCSS, or Stylus provide a more advanced way of writing style sheets and compiling them into CSS.

Another category of CSS transforming tools are those like PostCSS. Its plugins allow the use of CSS preprocessors along with other task runners for analyzing and optimizing style sheets. While experience isn’t strictly required, it does indicate that a developer is staying current in ways that boost their productivity.

If the front-end developer you’re considering doesn’t know how to use CSS transforming tools, you can expect bloated style sheets with compatibility issues that take longer to fix.

2D and 3D graphics. UIs can contain dynamic and interactive graphics and visualizations, sometimes even in three dimensions.

Creating graphics can overlap with computer graphics and design specializations, but front-end developers should know suitable ways to implement visualizations and dashboards by using SVG or JavaScript libraries. If your project specifically requires 3D graphics, they should probably be comfortable using X3D or a similar library.

Accessibility. People with certain disabilities sometimes have very limited ways in which they can interact with devices.

Hire a front-end developer who can remove disability barriers and extend UIs using ARIA accessibility attributes. They will be able to make your site much more usable via text-to-speech software, text-to-Braille hardware, and potentially other specific modifications.

Graphic design and typography. Web designers are responsible for choosing and creating visuals for web applications.

Front-end developers are responsible for ensuring that the whole design is working in web browsers. They should understand basics of graphic design and typography for digital products.

The output of web design can be modified in graphic editor software, and front-end developers should know how to use the output to make basic edits in graphic editor software, or better yet, using a browser’s developer tab to show changes exactly as they would appear.

UI and UX. UI and UX designers ensure that a user’s interaction with a product’s UI is simple, usable, and feasible in terms of web browser rendering capabilities.

Front-end developers are responsible for implementing UI and UX designers’ work. They should be familiar with user interface design best practices and know how to use the output of wireframing and mockup tools like Sketch and Balsamiq.

Search engine optimization (SEO.) If you want to address a wide or target audience, developers can use SEO techniques to make it easier to find your site when searching.

Front-end developers should know how to involve SEO principles in web markup to make web pages visible in search result lists.

Web template systems. Content management systems (CMSes) and web publishing platforms offer many built-in features for web applications. This invariably includes a web template system.

Front-end developers can use a template for the automatic generation of UI elements. If your project runs on a platform or CMS, front-end developers who are familiar with that platform and templating system have a big advantage, because they can develop your project’s UI faster and with less hassle.

Code versioning tools. Nowadays, it’s a given that your project will use a tool like Git or Mercurial to track the history of your project’s code.

Even if you don’t use code versioning tools—yet—you’ll want to find a front-end developer who is comfortable setting that up for you and implementing versioning best practices.

Without these tools, you will quickly hit a point in your project where developers need to see file history and the reason behind a change—but can’t.

Also, there’s a difference between making simple commits while working alone and knowing how to integrate changes in the context of a fast-paced development team. When you hire a front-end developer, more experience with source control—especially the flavor you intend to use—will allow them to integrate into a team much more easily.

Front-end Web Developer Interview Questions

These front-end developer interview questions will help you evaluate your candidate’s experience if you’re looking for a simpler infrastructure without much custom JavaScript development.

What were the biggest compatibility issues you had to solve?

This gives the developer a chance to show their level of experience in the industry. If front-end developers have developed applications for a wider audience or for many years, they should come across compatibility issues among different web browsers.

The answer can also include development of responsive design for mobile devices.

What do you think is the best way for rapid prototyping and development when it comes to web applications?

A good opportunity to let them explain their favourite frameworks and tools. Developers can introduce UI frameworks as well as CSS-transforming and other tools that help them to streamline software development processes.

What are the main goals and motivations for using the latest standards of HTML5 and CSS3?

UI developers should know that new standard versions were designed to deliver media content (video, audio, interactive graphics) without additional plugins such as Flash, provide better cross-platform support for various devices, and implement semantic support for web pages, which has a significant impact on SEO.


Front-end JavaScript Development

In contrast to UI development, front-end JavaScript is more important in so-called rich web applications, e.g., single-page applications like Gmail or dashboard applications like Google Analytics.

This category requires wider knowledge of JavaScript:

JavaScript advanced knowledge. UI developers need to use JavaScript for manipulating a page in real time and reusing UI elements.

Front-end JavaScript developers need to have deeper knowledge of JavaScript in terms of frameworks and libraries because they are responsible for designing and implementing front-end architecture and analyzing dependencies among user interactions. They should know how to use various JavaScript frameworks and libraries in a single project while avoiding compatibility conflicts.

Programming paradigms. Event-driven programming is not enough for designing and implementing complex front-end architecture. Front-end JavaScript developers should know other programming paradigms such as MVC, OOP, and functional programming, which support programming concepts that help create reusable and readable front-end code.

Single-page applications (SPAs). If you want to provide a better user experience, SPAs may be one way to do it. SPAs let user actions trigger re-rendering (redrawing) processes on other UI elements without reloading the whole page. Almost all JavaScript frameworks or libraries for implementing front-end architecture support the SPA concept.

Web applications can also use a multiple-page approach or a hybrid of the two. Based on the project, front-end developers should know which approach is appropriate for the project and how to implement it.

Networking protocols. An application’s front-end receives data from its back-end using networking protocols. Front-end developers need to understand the REST architectural style and standard networking protocols designed for web application environments.

Most web applications use the HTTP and/or HTTPS protocols and Ajax, and applications’ back-ends usually provide data through a REST API.

Sometimes, projects will require high interaction between the back-end and front-end—e.g., interactive games or dynamic media streams—and in these cases, your front-end developer will need to be comfortable working with more advanced protocols such as web sockets.

Security. Front-end developers should be familiar with web security concepts and how to integrate user authentication and authorization into an application’s front-end.

JavaScript frameworks already prevent most security vulnerabilities, but front-end developers should be familiar with the HTTPS protocol, know how to avoid cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, and have experience implementing user session management and token-based authentication and authorization.

Package managers. Complex web applications contain a lot of JavaScript dependencies and maintaining them without a package manager can significantly slow down the front-end development process.

Package managers let front-end JavaScript developers manage JavaScript library dependencies and avoid version collisions.

JavaScript bundlers and task runners. JavaScript bundlers allow developers to capitalize on the concept of modularization, which is an inherent part of most modern programming languages and especially single-page applications.

JavaScript bundlers and task runners process front-end source code, which includes tasks for managing and optimizing source code and dependencies. They allow the automation of repetitive tasks in front-end development without additional tools. If we want to use test-driven development or behavior-driven development, JavaScript task runners with package managers allow us to set up projects to make applications front-end testable.

JavaScript developers need to know how to use these tools; otherwise, they won’t be able to develop SPAs effectively.

Advanced optimization. Complex front-end architectures can contain a lot of source code with redundant dependencies, a situation which requires additional optimization.

JavaScript bundlers and task runners contain plugins for optimizing redundant dependencies, but front-end JavaScript developers should also know how to implement the lazy-loading technique, where content is downloaded invisibly as a user browses or scrolls web pages.

Back-end development. Front-end JavaScript developers often work closely with back-end developers in order to design API calls which define communication between an application’s front-end and back-end.

It can also happen that front-end developers have to start building front-end architecture without any support or data from an application’s back-end. In this case, they need to know how to design and develop their own API calls to mock (fake) the data that will later be provided from the back-end.

If this is true about your project, you may need to lean towards a full-stack developer, or at least one who has worked with a variety of web APIs and has a good sense of their best practices.

Front-end Engineer Interview Questions

Here are some important front-end developer interview questions for when you need someone with more of a JavaScript focus within this field:

What is the difference between single-page and multi-page applications? Which approach would you suggest for my project?

SPAs are able to redraw any part of the UI even with new data, without the need to reload all of the UI content. Multiple-page applications redraw the whole UI with every user action that submits or requests new data. Front-end developers should understand this concept and be able to explain to you which approach is suitable for the project and why.

Which JavaScript frameworks or libraries would you suggest for my project?

A good opportunity to let them show their knowledge about JavaScript frameworks and libraries and when and how they should be used. There is no universal framework or method when it comes to developing front-end architecture, and the right way depends on the project and team.

Let them explain what approaches are used in JavaScript frameworks and libraries and if they prefer a certain approach. If the front-end developers don’t know JavaScript frameworks and what they were designed for, don’t even think about hiring them.

How would you speed up and secure a single-page application?

This question gives the developer the chance to show their experience with developing SPAs. If a developer knows advanced optimization techniques such as preloading content or lazy loading, it means that they have experience with developing robust SPAs.

If they know how to secure SPAs, they should know how to develop an application’s front-end with multiple permissions and different user roles. This experience could be shown by a short previous project demonstration.

“Needle in a Haystack” No More

In this article, we described front-end developers’ responsibilities in a web application context. We divided front-end development work into two categories–UI and JavaScript development, where each category requires specific knowledge and a specific skill set.

But many times, projects require an intersection of the two categories.

It can be very hard for someone who hasn’t been involved in software development to recognize what sort of developer experience is required for the project. But by using the Q&A in the article above, you will be able to recognize if a front-end developer understands and is able to communicate about fundamental concepts effectively.

You have your project’s requirements. Now you also know what skill set and knowledge you should focus on. It’s time to find your ideal front-end developer!

Featured Toptal Front-End Publications

Top Front-End Developers are in High Demand.

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