How to Select a Developer

How to Select a Developer

by Garth Koyle

We recommend considering the following factors when selecting a developer to assist you with your website development project. This is not a complete list of what should be considered, but if this is your first time working with a third-party developer then these are good things to consider.

  • Scope (Determine Your Needs) – Any successful website development project begins with a little planning on your part. Before any developer can give you a solid quote about your project you need to know:
    • Scope – What do you need and want your website/application to function? What are the things you MUST have and what are the things you’d like to have? The more specific you are the better your quote from a developer and the better the project will turn out.
    • Timeline – When do you need this completed?
    • Budget – What resources do you have to invest. Do you want a fixed-fee quote, or to have someone work by the hour? Are you focused on low hourly rates or a total amount or to just get the job done?
  • Reputation – Search on the internet to see if any good/bad feedback about a developer exists.  You might ask the developer for past references who can verify their reputation, whether they have a personal website or GitHub account, will they complete an audition project first, etc. Realize that not everything you read is true, so “trust but verify”.
  • Experience – Decide whether the developer have enough experience with the type of development you require to do good work. You may need to ask for examples of their work.
  • Billing Rate – Billing rates vary widely but you should always ask specifically what their hourly rate is in the case that your project scope expands.
  • Technology – What technology does the developer use to facilitate projects. Do they have a project management software for organizing the project, tasks, files, communication, invoices, etc.
  • Contract – Does the developer have a thorough contracting process? Are there deadlines for certain milestones and are invoices/fees tied to completing those milestones. A contract should specify what both parties agree to abide by.
  • Ownership – You should strongly suggest that you license your code GPL so that others people can detect errors if they exist, others will have an opportunity to improve and give feedback, and the code may get integrated into Event Espresso so that it’s more update-safe.

Other suggestions? We haven’t covered everything that’s important, so please leave a comment below about any additional things to consider or comments on the list above.

Infographic – How to Hire a Great Developer

How to Hire a Great Developer


Image courtesy of iStockphotonullplus, Infographic courtesy of General Assembly

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