How To Find A Good Developer

There are thousands of web developers and software integrators to choose from, but which one is right for you?  While there may be many developers out there, they have different areas of expertise, and it’s important to pick the right developer for your situation.

An easy start in your developer search is to differentiate by the size of their organizations. Developers often fall into three different category types; Sole Proprietors, Small Firms, and Large Agencies. All the organizations will specialize in certain programming languages, application stacks, software applications and web design/user interface. 

The best choice of developer will be one that can deliver on the budget and capabilities you need, in the time frame you need it.  For that you need to find the right combination.  Here are the benefits on some of the different types of developers.

Developers, and Scope Of Operations
Sole Proprietors

Services Offered: They provide freelance work and customized solutions to meet your need.

Cost: Very Cost Effective

Challenge: The challenge with hiring freelancers is making sure to find one that is reliable and will be available to do work for you again in the future when you need to update your web applications.  Sole proprietors are individuals, so your continued support from them will depend on that individual continuing to make their services available the way they do when you start the project.  You are also depending on the talents of one person, and few people are good web design, user interface and programming, for example.  If you find a great freelancer, it can be an excellent solution.

Small Firms

Service: As a small team, they can have strong players in areas like design, user interface and programming without having to charge as much as a large agency.

Cost: Small firms may offer a nice combination of rates and expertise

Challenge: One of the challenges smaller firms can face is that they do not have a lot of depth, so if clients are taxing one of these resources heavily is greater than with a large firm.

Large Agencies

Services: Larger agencies have a depth of employees with specialized skills, so the chances that they’ll have the expertise you need in house is greater.  Some large agencies can really bring different resources together for a top-notch result.

Cost: Larger agencies carry more overhead then freelancers and small firms, so their rates will be higher than freelancers and small firms.

Challenge:  However as a larger company, they may have some flagship clients and you want to make sure that you are not going to get lost in the shuffle.  Whereas you might be the most important thing you freelancer has going on, you could be a small fish in a big pond with a larger agency, depending on how big your project is relative to what they are used to working on.

So which is right for you?  If you have a small budget and small project, a good freelancer is going to be a solid option.  If you work for a large company and have a large scale project, a large agency is likely to have the types of resources you need.  Something in the middle can be a good fit for a small firm.

Understand Their Specialty

In addition to the size of their firm, you are going to want to look at their specialties as well.  For example, if you are going to build an e-commerce site, then you want to consider firms that have experience doing just that for clients.  These days most e-commerce sites are not built from the ground up due to the complex features demanded by shoppers these days.  There’s little purpose in re-inventing the wheel.  So developers tend to start with an e-commerce platform and customize it to your needs.  We have a separate article on selecting the right e-commerce platform.

Finding a developer with an expertise in an e-commerce platform that fits your goals is a great idea when building an e-commerce site, such as a Magento developers and ATG integrators.  Same goes for Content Management Systems.  We have an article on how to choose the right CMS for your project as well.  Once you narrow it down, you’ll want to pick a developer with expertise in the CMS that fits your needs, such as a SiteCore developer or an Ektron integrator.  Whatever the technology is that you are looking to use, find a developer that has good experience with that.

Like Anyone You Hire, Check Their Background

Of course, the basics of finding any service apply when shopping for developers as well.  You want to check references to confirm what that your prospective developers deliver on what they say.  You should make sure you are clear to them about what your requirements are up front, and confirm that they feel they can deliver.  You want to make sure that you have documented this in writing, and that you can sign a contract that makes clear that you will get you what pay for, and what the remedies are if you don’t.

Find Your Developer

These guidelines should help you find a developer that will meet the objectives of your project.  On this site you can narrow down a short list from the thousands of developers that are out there.  Get started by filling out one of our forms and describe the developer that you feel fits your project.  Then screen your developer to make sure you feel like it is a good fit.  Good luck in your search for a developer, and with your project!

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