How To Hire & Communicate With Developers Without Going Clinically Insane

Developers Are From Mars, You Are From Venus.

Posted on October 15, 2021 by Amanda

How To Hire & Communicate With Developers Without Going Clinically Insane

How To Hire & Communicate With Developers Without Going Clinically Insane

If you have a great relationship with your developer, can communicate flawlessly and always get what you want you first time around, this post isn’t for you. You may as well stop reading now.

OK, so I imagine everyone’s still with me? Then here we go.

First, remember that you can build amazing websites just using WordPress, a decent theme and a good plugin – without needing a developer at all.

If you’re bootstrapping your online business, I recommend you do that because hiring a web developer adds an extra level of cost and complexity. A better plan is usually to get a basic version of your idea online as soon as possible – using WordPress plugins – so you can test audience reaction to it.

You can then get fancy if the idea has legs.

Classifieds sites, ecommerce stores are all technically complex websites but now they can be created with a plugin rather than a developer or also there a bunch of SaaS options where can you can start your business without any development costs.

That said, there are times when you will need to hire a web developer. That could be because you need a specialist feature not available in an off-the-shelf solution or because you’re in need a custom software where existing open source software or other software as a service solutions doesn’t fit for you.

How to choose a developer

As a developer myself, let me give you the skinny from this side of the desk.

1. Choose someone who speaks your language

I’m not being metaphorical here – if you speak English, make sure your developer is also a native speaker or speaks it exceptionally fluently.

If you’re using Upwork or another international job board for hiring, it’s particularly important. And here’s why.

For your project to stay on track, it’s vital you can understand one another in video calls and emails. That’s especially true if you’re a non-technical type who prefers concepts explained in plain English rather than punctuated with phrases like, “Serverless Functions” and “NoSQL Databases”.

If the person you hire doesn’t have sufficiently good language and communication skills to do that, you’ll be stumbling around for unnecessary (and billable) hours.

2. Choose someone in, or near, your timezone

I’m living in London and most of the clients I’ve had over the years have been in the U.S. Since New York is four hours behind London, half of the normal working day for those clients is “common time”. That makes it easy to swap emails back and forth quickly and to speak on a call.

No one yet has complained about the time difference, though many have suggested meetings are held at my house.

The further your hired help is from you, the slower and more difficult the communication usually becomes.

3. Interview your developer before hiring them

Well, even you are a technical person it would still be very challenging and time consuming process to interview someone. Still there are a few options to make this process smooth.

  • Check the linkedin profile of the developer. Details and activities on linkedin account shows the developer’s skills and areas of interest.

  • Have a quick phone screening with the developer to check his/her enthusiasm, attitude and level of communication skills.

  • Run a technical interview if you already have some other developers or anyone with technical skills in your team or network.

4. Choosing a developer is different from choosing a designer

It’s hard to judge the quality of a developer’s work, mainly because it’s invisible.

A portfolio of applications they’ve developed is largely useless because

  • These apps are mostly created by a team, not by a single developer
  • The developer didn’t create the design or any visual part such as the user interface.
  • Developers don’t have the rights to share the previous work with you due to ownership of intellectual property.

Still there are options to validate a developers skills, but again if you’re a non-techie you may need to ask for help from anyone with technical skills in your team or network. So the options are:

  • Checking the github profile of the developer. Contribution to open source projects is a big commitment and a developer’s contributions tells much more about his/her skills.

  • Requesting a small sized coding assesment which won’t take more than 2 hours. - You may need to pay for this code assignment if you are hiring from a freelancer portal. - This will also be a small demo of working together.

5. Make sure they have the technical skills you need

Needs vary from application to application, but if you already have choosen a tech stack you need someone used to working with that platform as a minimum.

If not, you may end up financing their learning curve.

6. Hire by personal recommendation

If at all possible, hire someone recommended by a trusted contact. It’s the safest way. If no one you know can help, ask for help from people you trust on LinkedIn or Quora.

7. Go hassle free, hire by Tigillo

Just to make it more complicated, hiring a developer can turn into a sharp pain in the head easily and also software development is usually a team work rather than a single developer one where mostly skills of different areas are required.

Working with professionals would save both your valuable time and money. Tigillo helps you to build your projects around motivated and talented individuals for your tech startup for finding the chemistry that makes a team able to do the improbable. Contact us for discovering your needs and hiring perfect team members for you. So you can save the time and energy needed to grow your digital business!

How you can help your developer

Don’t say things like, “This is probably really easy to…”. It usually isn’t. Just describe what you want and ask for a quote.

Use the collaboration tools such as Jira, Slack and communicate directly where possible. Sometimes one sentence in a call can prevent 28 emails that veer off in the wrong direction because you said you wanted a menu in Java when what you meant was Javascript (despite the names there’s no similarity at all). You and developers must work together daily throughout the project so would say having daily calls is a must.

Finally, the Agile Methodologies are the current standard for developing working softwares now. So if you are not familiar with Agile yet, have a research before starting to work with a developer.

# insights # startup # hiring

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