Hiring a developer in-house or outsourced can be one of the most difficult tasks when getting into the tech industry. As someone that has no tech background, I have made my share of mistakes that have cost me dearly. Here are four big things to look out for when hiring a developer.
Not Skilled Enough
Many developers seem to think they can do everything and anything. I have rarely heard a developer tell me that they don’t think they can accomplish a task. Given unlimited time, they may be right, but if you have hopes of seeing your project completed anytime soon, then this can be a problem.
Make sure when hiring a programmer, that they have done a similar project. You can even take it a step further and ask for a recommendation from that former client and see if they dealt with any problems.
Not Fast Enough
A chief technology officer (CTO) for one of my past companies said it best: “When managing developers, your job is to have a number that sits above each developers head. That number is a multiple. If they say the project will take a certain amount of time, you need to multiply it by the number above their head.”
When working with any developer, understand that their time frame is rarely accurate. It is hard to know what that multiplier is, but assume there is one and always assume the project will take significantly longer than you have been told and allow for that when planning your timeline.
This is a developer, not usually a businessperson. Never assume that a developer understands the logic of what you are trying to do. You need to hammer out every little detail of the project. Get as basic as mentioning that the “Home Button” actually links to your “Home Page.” Do not leave anything left to assumption, that is where you don’t get what you want, and your bill starts to increase.
I have heard MANY horror stories about programmers when there wasn’t transparency. Recently, I had a company approach me who had a developer “working” for two months and then quit. It turns out they had done nothing, and now their hopeful launch date was a month out with no development work done.
To avoid this situation, when you hire a developer, take the opportunity to learn a little and ask for them to use project management software and monitor what they are doing along the way. It may take a little time, but you will save a TON of potential headaches later.