Fantastic developers and where to find them

I'm not a technical guy. Sure, i'd go toe to toe with you on a medical related topic. But when it comes to app development and app developers, i'm the guy who will stare blankly back at you, feigning knowledge and experience. 

Turns out STAMP needs a UI/UX techie. Someone who can put a nice skin on our app and at least attempt to make it a satisfying user experience. Theres five of us in the STAMP team, and yet none of us possess this skill set...annoyingly. 

And so we had to source this talent from an alternative pool. We had to resort to *gulp*, the internet. 

In all seriousness though, if you're doing your own app, website, software sort of thing, but lack some technical expertise, go check out Upwork. Its a great website that connects tech-noobs like myself with the real deals. Within literally minutes of posting our job spec on the site, we had people responding wanting to do the work. 

When we finally got round to sifting through the applications three days later, there were 79 in total. Sigh. Thus began the long process of application sifting as sort to build a shortlist. Buckle in for my unofficial guide to 'Finding Your Developer'!

Step 1 - Do you have a budget? Then immediately chuck those tech-lovers that cost more than you can afford straight in a bin. Sure the guys from the US/UK and Western Europe look great, but Sven from Norway ain't gonna come cheap (please ignore my casual stereotyping). 

Step 2 - Make sure they've racked up those hours. Its always going to be a bit of risk if you go for an Upwork newbie, even if they are a solid developer. Therefore the safe option is to go for someone with a solid amount of work behind them through the site. There is one caveat though. Some newcomers might offer you a better deal so they can get their foot in the door and some work done. Your choice. 

Step 3 - Job success. Don't settle for anything under 90%. I base this number on absolutely nothing. I just feel that i'd want a developer who is doing a decent job nine times out of ten. Is that unreasonable? You want a decent working relationship with this person. So from the outset, it's important you're sure they will deliver and produce some solid work for you. 

Step 4 - Why not invite some people to this application party? Go have a browse of the people who fit your spec. If you find some good people, and they've not already shown interest in your job, then get them involved. Invite them to view and hopefully you'll be welcoming on board a developer you picked out yourself. (Then you only have yourself to blame when its goes tits up). 

Step 5 - Question their credentials. Sure, people normally have solid resumes on Upwork but maybe theres a specific aspect of your job that you want to make sure they're qualified for. Ask away. Anyone keen and decent will get back to you and then you have even more information to make a reasoned decision. 

And thats that. Two pints and and as many hours later, we'd sorted the wheat from the chaff and sent some questions to our favourite candidates. No doubt when their responses come in, we'll be ready to set on a kickass developer. 

Tune in to next weeks blog where i'll be discussing how to deal with difficult freelance developers...

Until next time,

S x

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