Make it easy for developers to fully profit from their passion with pairdesk.com
You have an exciting new app idea, so let's make it happen! Hiring a developer can be a difficult task for someone with a non-technical background, especially if they have no plan with which to form their ideas into reality.
I have been working as a contracting developer for five years and have helped many start-ups to develop their early products. This inspired me to create my own contracting network pairdesk.com. Our mission is to bring software projects to fruition and to help both entrepreneurs and contractors to empower themselves.
We decided to make Pairdesk the first commission-free contracting network that allows entrepreneurs to hire passionate developers. We connect entrepreneurs with the right developers for them without any mark-up fees, freeing up more money for both ends to spend on other aspects of their ambitions.
When we talk about applications, we are talking about custom software designed for high-level interaction with an end user. It can be a mobile application, web application, desktop application or even a multiplatform application. Often, these custom applications will require technical skills to produce.
As a non-technical person, it is still, however, possible to create an application. There are two main options that you have: you can take a few months to learn how to code and do it yourself or you can also hire a developer and outsource the development of your application. Today, talented developers all around the world can work on your application for a decent price.
This option requires a full description of your project, as explicit as you can make it. Once you can precisely set out your requirements, you will obtain an accurate estimation of the costs involved, and you will be able to hire the best developer for your needs.
The best part is, that outsourcing will give you time during the development of your application to focus on other aspects of your project, such as marketing or business development. In this article, we will guide you, step by step, through the process of hiring a developer, from your first idea to obtaining a finished product.
Begin by defining your minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP is the first version of a product that has just enough features to satisfy your early users. This will allow your application to enter the market quickly, enabling you to reach your market faster and receive the necessary feedback to grow bigger and better.
Starting off with an MVP is often less expensive than developing an application with more extensive features. At this stage, it is vital that you avoid spending a lot of time and money on the complex software that may enter the market at an unfortunately late time.
It is most desirable to create an MVP at a minimal price and face the market faster. The feedback of its early users will help you to improve your software and add interesting features based on their real needs.
Many start-ups that you have never heard about failed due to over-investing in their first version, basing their ideas solely on guesswork or gut instinct. Standout Job, after investing a great deal of time and money on a project, launched a product late in the market; so late that no one needed or wanted it.
On the other hand, a good example of a successful start-up that began with an MVP is Twitter. Their first version was small and buggy. The original Twitter prototype was a podcasting site with SMS services.
They received precious user feedback quickly and were able to make many pivotal changes and improvements until they become the social network that we all know today.
Once you define your MVP, design a clickable prototype, or at least draw mock-ups of your application. There are many tools with which you can draw clickable prototypes online like uxpin or figma. Don't spend a lot of time on basic elements like login pages or terms & policy views.
Focus on the core views where the user will spend 80% of his or her time, and where the essential features appear. Yes, this sounds like a lot of work, but doing this exercise will force you to consider all the interactions that will be made on your application and obtain a full understanding of the complexity of your project.
Once done, your developer will have a very concise idea of exactly what you want to build, and will be able to give you a more accurate estimation of the cost of your project.
Even outsourcing the development of your application requires some basic knowledge of software development. You don’t need to become a software developer and learn how to code, but knowing a few basic concepts such as the difference between a front-end and a back-end, and the purpose of a database, will allow you to understand the structure of software development and understand your developer’s insights and planned work.
This understanding will lead you to choose a tech stack for your application. At first, it can be hard to choose, as most developers still argue about tech stacks to this day.
However, it will define your application at its core. You don’t need to learn all of them, you only need to know which technologies apply to your application’s context. We encourage you to select trendy technologies with a considerable amount of community support and usage.
Such technologies will make it easy for you to find someone with a sufficient amount of knowledge and will make sure that your application can scale up, continuously improve and be supported.
Here is an article about today’s most popular technology stacks for start-ups. If you have a friend working in this industry, you could ask him or her which tech stack is the best for your application. If not, you can always ask on relevant blogs.
At the time that I am writing this article, we are facing a global pandemic that is forcing many of us to stay at home. So, going to events to meet developers is impossible for most of us.
Fortunately, there are many online solutions that specialise in providing talented developers all around the world, such as arc.dev, malt.com, and especially ourselves at pairdesk.com!
When you have the ideal technologies, you have the mock-ups and you have a solid idea of what you want your application to be and to look like, it will now be much easier to find a developer!
On some contracting networks like ours, developers are the ones offering their services for your submitted contracts. You can post a description of your project and interested developers will apply and bid on it.
Afterwards, you will be able to communicate with them and select the perfect candidate for your project.
Make sure to check their profile, experience, and portfolio of applications in case they have already worked successfully on finished products. Make sure that your developer has the right skill-set for the tech stack that you have chosen, and that he or she is a Full-Stack developer.
A Full-Stack developer is someone who is able to create applications from end-to-end, and will be able to drive your project to its completion.
Based on my experience, here are some rules of thumb that will enable you to make a good selection. A common mistake is to hire the cheapest developer available.
There is often someone that will bid extremely low, and that will undercut the competition. Sadly enough, people with unrealistic estimations of their skill-set, or of your project, will not do you any favours.
Often enough, the right estimate is close to the average of all the received bids. When discussing things with a developer, avoid those who overestimate their capabilities.
These people are often inexperienced developers who are ready to tell you whatever you want to hear in order to convince you to engage with them. An experienced developer will ask you questions and will evaluate the complexity of your project in order to give you a realistic budget and timescale.
Once you select your developer, you will have to define a contract. Avoid upfront payments, when you have no guarantee that the developer will actually deliver something.
Instead, use escrow solutions. An escrow is an arrangement in which a third party securely receives and disburses money for the client and the contractor. There are many solutions on the market, such as escrow.com or pioneer.com.
Some contracting platforms like us at pairdesk.com have an escrow system already integrated into their website to simplify the process. Our secure payment solution will give you peace of mind.
Set milestones for your project and divide your payments for consistent impact, not just for the final delivery. Your money will be transferred to the developer once you approve his or her work for a given milestone. If, at a certain stage, you are not satisfied with the developer, you can take the work and hire a different developer to complete the project.
Once the job is completed, make sure that the developer gives you the entire source code and access to your application (e.g.: hosting servers), along with technical documentation presenting an overview of the application and how to deploy it.
This will help you to troubleshoot any issues and reassure you as you take your project into the future. It will also help you if you want to hire a new developer to add new features, or to modify existing ones. You can also negotiate a plan for support.
When your MVP is deployed, your users will probably discover some bugs that did not reveal themselves throughout the development process. Stay in touch with your developer as he or she is the best person to fix your bugs quickly and add new features.
Developing an application is a challenging journey on both sides, and a relationship based on trust. Continuous progress will ensure that your application will go far, and the developer that assisted you at the beginning of this journey will also be best-suited to help your project evolve into the future.
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