Are you in the phase of the business where you need to hire a developer? This step is key and people tend to just go with the most affordable freelancer, it is a mistake in my opinion.
The development is the core foundation of your product, it has to be well structured and well designed. If this is not taken seriously, your business will face very expensive technical debts when the product needs to grow and scale.
First thing you should do is ask your CTO whether or not he has good recommendations that could match your budget. If he is used to working with that developer, things would be even more efficient.
Otherwise, you’ll have to find the developer by yourself. Once again, you could probably delegate this task to your CTO, but you can handle it yourself and save his time, thus save your money. If the CTO is also an associate, obviously let him do the job.
Just ask your CTO the following information:
- The technical stacks required for the project
- The estimated duration of the project
- The minimum years of experience the developer must have
- The availability of the developer, full-time or part-time
Then, you need an Non Disclosure Agreement document (NDA). The NDA has two purposes. It makes sure that your business idea does not get disclosed, even though we know that an idea alone cannot go very far without good execution. But what if one of your competitors finds out about your killer feature? We want to avoid that at all cost. The second purpose is to set the tone to show the developer that you are really serious about the project.
Download my NDA template here.
First thing you should do is ask within your own network whether or not they can recommend a developer who could match your budget requirement.
If there’s no available developer from your network, you can start using the platforms on the Internet. In 2018, the most famous and used platform is still Upwork.
Be very careful when using platforms like Upwork.com because you will find tons of developers who lack work ethic. On that platform, I have found many Indian developers who were “disguised” as Westerners to win a deal. Obviously, you’ll have to avoid people you cannot trust.
For such an important job, you really need to find a decent developer who can code well.
Let me share one simple, yet powerful trick that I use to test the work ethic of my candidates when they are found online. When making the first contact with them, you will tell them that your project requires a specific technical stack that is not in their skill sets but that is actually not required by your project either.
For example, if your project requires the Laravel Framework, you’ll find a Laravel developer and ask him if he can work on a project that requires Zend Framework. If he says yes to your offer, that probably means that he is ready to work with a technical stack that he doesn’t even master; that alone is not good work ethic, in my humble opinion.
If he declines the offer because he is not comfortable with working on Zend Framework, then he probably is the right person and you should at least try to talk to him and give it a try. Working with an honest developer who you can trust is invaluable.
During your discovery call with the developer, make sure to let him know that he will be directly working with the CTO.
If the interview goes well and you feel like that both the CTO and the developer can get along well, you can submit the resume of the developer to the CTO, for validation.
Ask for quotes
After the interview, ask for a quote and submit it to the CTO. This alone will tell the CTO whether or not the developer has overestimated or underestimated some tasks. When that happens, it usually means that some features have not been explained well enough, leading to confusion. You need to make sure to clarify that on your specs document and get back to the developer with the clarification.
Overall, the quote should be aligned with the CTO’s initial estimation in terms of duration.
It is definitely not easy to hire a developer as he has to meet the technical requirements and also he has to get along well with you or the CTO. And you also have to make sure that he fits in your budget.
Did you recently have to hire a developer? How did the interview go? Tell us more in the comments section below!