Hiring an App Developer?

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by Sdevante, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. Sdevante macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2008
    I have what I think is a pretty good idea for an app or suite of apps. However, I have no desire to learn programming so I was curious if it is possible to hire a developer?

    If so, how does that usually work? Pay per hour? Split profits?

    Thanks for any insights.
  2. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    It's a jungle.

    Anything from low-ball $100 offers on Rent a Coder to $100/hr+ for local developers.

    For $100 on Rent-a-coder you'll still get offers, some from flakes, some from overseas mills that don't even bother to read your specs. If you get something that works, it's likely to be fraught with intellectual-property problems.

    Frankly, you need to know what you are doing, and if you are serious, you need to be prepared to spend some real bucks.

    If you're serious - that is, serious, serious - then investigate firms that have produced major successful apps for others.

    It "works" whatever way you work it out with the developer. Frankly, I'd be suspicious of any developer who is willing to work for a split of profits for an unknown publisher. They're likely inexperienced.

    Good luck! You'll need it!
  3. RACNicole macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2010
    Hi jtara, this is Nicole from vWorker (formerly known as Rentacoder).

    It's important to understand that although a small amount of money paid for work may be small to you, that same amount is often much larger to the Worker who receives it, and therefore, doesn't necessarily indicate poor quality work. $100 to the U.S. could be $1,000 to a foreign Worker who is subsequently certainly willing to do a good job for it.

    To help ensure quality, we provide many helpful tools that can help buyers hire a competent worker. Some of those tools are our ExpertRating program, our Expert Guarantee program, our Ratings and Feedback system, and more. Other supportive tools include a money-back guarantee, a completely free arbitration process on all types of projects, and a seven-day-a-week phone support system.

    Sdevante, we have a safe (arbitration protected) pay-for-deliverables model and a (time verified) pay-for-time model. Both models are designed to guarantee your money so there's no risk in trying us.

    If you have any questions, please let me know. You can also call in to talk to a facilitator 7 days a week, or email us (see http://www.vWorker.com/RentACoder/misc/Feedback.asp).

  4. phoneXcessories macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2010
    I would avoid "rev-share" partnerships mainly because the money isn't guaranteed for the developer you are working with. They become unreliable due to other guaranteed obligations. I would recommend going offshore if you don't want to pay the $100-$120/hr rate that's offered here.

    I've created some successful apps that are still generating good residual income to this day with some good dev teams overseas. If you need a referral, let me know.

  5. Cagle macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2009
    Try http://www.freelancer.com/

    I've just posted a project on there and got a good response, went with a developer in eastern Europe, 1k to develop a Facebook game. I'll let you know if I get ripped off :eek:
  6. jtara macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    Good to hear from the vWorker (why the name change?) Reputation Defense Team! ;)

    I don't, however, have any particular bone to pick with Rent-A.... er, vWorker, nor direct experience with them. I have (though not recently) looked over listings there, and was particularly dismayed by the large number of responses from firms (not individuals) saying no more than "we can do this" and quoting a low-ball figure, totally ignoring bid requirements. I looked at the responses from those firms, and they were all similar terse "we can do this" and there were hundreds of them. Yes, I refer to these firms as "mills". Maybe this has been improved. If not, who wants to sort through all this?

    Just pointing out that in order to effectively use such services, you must have good software project-management skills and experience. If you don't have that, it is going to be a jungle. You'd really be in no position to evaluate candidates or write specifications. And I would generally caution against handing over just an "idea" to a developer and having them do both design and coding.

    Really, there are several roles that need to be filled to develop a typical app. Functional design, UI design, look-and-feel, graphic design, technical architecture/design (object model, database model if applicable, tools & libraries, etc.), coding and test. It's a tall order to expect any one person to do all of this, unless they are VERY experienced. And some of this is very difficult to farm out to remote workers.

    This is why I say that "if you know what you are doing", yes, you can effectively use these services. Feedback/rating/reputation systems, escrow and arbitration services certainly can help. But if you don't have software project management experience it is going to be very tough. You need to have somebody permanently attached to the team that you can trust. And best if it's YOU.

    It's best, as well, (IMO) to break a project into parts to minimize the risk of your work being re-sold elsewhere. It's better if the developer(s) don't know the big picture, or even what the app does.

    Now, I have that experience, but I am still reluctant to use such services. That is just my opinion based on my own experience.

    I have worked with overseas developers, though not through these services. Yes, they can produce great work (or awful). Language can be a significant barrier. I worked with a Russian developer on a high-frequency-trading application. I know it's a stereotype, but Russian developers are among the best - and very hot-headed and stubborn! In this particular case, the developer had to translate emails. He was fine as long as you gave him time to translate and were willing to re-explain fine points. In an emergency, we arranged a telephone conference, and there was no point to it - it didn't accomplish anything. The language barrier was simply too great - he just didn't have the conversational English skills to carry on an effective technical discussion. What that meant is that it just wasn't possible to get a quick response to a problem, and it required a lot of back-and-forth emails and IMs.

    Certainly, if you are skilled in a foreign language, that gives you a great leg up if you can hire programmers that speak that language. It removes one of the significant problems of this development approach.

    I think the best bet for someone with an app idea and no project management experience and a limited budget is to try to groom contacts at local colleges. Do an internship and/or a class project. This will insure that there are at least SOME project-management skills on-board, as the instructor will help keep things on-track. (Though many instructors will themselves lack these skills. But if they teach "project" courses regularly, they probably will.) You'd have an entire team, and the instructor has probably done this 10 times before. Sometimes these class will have multiple small teams, either working on seperate projects, sub-projects, or duplicate projects in other cases it may be the entire class - depending on class size and scope of project.

    A good example of course taught in this vein (though not particularly applicable to iOS apps) are the Compiler Development and Large Scale Software Development courses I had in college. The entire class acted as a team and we all got the same grade. Get your project assigned to such a class, and you stand a pretty good chance of success.
  7. RACNicole macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2010
    Hi jtara. Great project management advice! To add, we also encourage the use of our worker search engine which allows you to filter out workers that don't meet your requirements. The search engine allows you to query workers by:

    • Coder rating. Work with a select group of coders within a specific rate range.
    • Completed job number. Find coders who’ve completed a minimum number of jobs.
    • Last log in date. Make sure you solicit coders who’ve recently checked into the RentACoder website.
    • Top coder status. Work with the best of the best.
    • Expert Rating status. Locate coders who demonstrate a preferred intellect.
    • Country. Limit your work force to individuals in a specific location.
    • Time zone. Avoid delays by soliciting coders in your own area.
    • City. Find coders in a specific city. This is a great option should there be a need to physically meet somewhere.

    Pretty cool -- and it can help eliminate some of the problems you introduced. In regards to our name change, check out http://blog.vworker.com/2010/04/about-our-name-change-from-rent-coder.html

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