Outsourced developers

I really feel I am getting a hang of the tricky challenge of hiring outsourced developers. And it really is tricky. There are a bunch of tools to make the choice easier like ratings, what they’ve done, testimonials and stuff, but the truth is w

hen you start working with a person you don’t have a clue of what it will be to work together.

Back in 2004 I was so thrilled when I first got a guy in India to solve a problem that had puzzled me a week. He solved it in 1 day, and I paid 24 dollars. It’s easy to understand what an eye-opener this was. A week later I had a guy working full time for $ 1.200 a month. Amazing. Yeah, the price. Not the coding. I don’t work with Indian developers any more.

That’ not entirely true. The problem is they are so many. And so many are bad. (Puneet and Raise Solutions; you guys are exceptions.) But more than anything they can’t say no. Can you do this? Yes we can. And then they can’t. Why do they say yes?

– Don’t you understand it is impossible for me to know if you are capable if you just answer yes?

– Yes

(Sigh)

Now I don’t want to say that the country they come from determines their skills, but I gotta say that Eastern European developers are fantastic coders. My main goal is that they outsmart me, and the guys I am working with now do it all the time (Emre, Lubo & Denis, I hope you guys are listening)

If I had only had a team in Sweden the office would have been busy between 9am-5pm. But as I now have developers from Xian, China to Indiana, USA there is always someone awake that can help me out with urgent issues. That in itself is a reason to get good people from all around the world. But the coolest thing is the feeling of finding a guy in Istanbul, who becomes a core asset of your business. And we’ve never even met. Not in person. So cool.

My main team is now located in Bulgaria, Turkey, China, India, Pakistan and USA. So how did I meet up with these brilliant people. Mostly it’s a matter of trial and error. I have tested so many developers in different projects. And the ones that do great work, I stick with. But the trick is to find out at an early stage if they are worth spending time one.

Here’s my little guide for all of you looking to hire outsourced developers.

1. Always start with a small project. If you have a big project, break it down into pieces. Never involve an unknown developer/team that you haven’t tested. Sure “They have built tons of similar sites” and show all these mockups of sites they made. But was it him? You don’t have a clue.

2. If they want payment up front – forget about them. The main problem is that you want to prove you didn’t make a mistake so you keep trying to make up for lost money. It’s impossible.

3. Trust your very first impression. If something feels wrong – it probably is.

4. If you are using a freelancing site. Don’t just look at the rating. Look for returning clients. I often rate 10 just because I don’t want to hear their wining about it. I know it’s “wrong”, but is that really my problem?

5. And finally of course. Contact us. We’ll help you find the perfect guy at a reasonable markup.

Good luck.

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