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Best approach to hiring a programmer for a web application?

csabacsaba subscriber Posts: 3
Dear All,
This is my first post, I`m new here.
I have an idea for a "killer" web application. It seems pretty straightforward to me, so I searched the internet to find out if it exists already. I haven`t found anything similar or offering as much functionality as my idea.
I know that ideas themselves are not worth a penny, so I`d like to find a programmer to get up a working prototype site for me. Although I`m not a programmer myself, I beleive that the idea does not need that much programming in light of the potential gains.
I can fund up to 10,000 dollars of development costs out of pocket. At this initial stage I do not think I would be willing to give up equity for sweat capital.
So the big question is: what`s the best approach to hiring a programmer?
- Posting ads at the local tech university? (I`m based in Budapest, Hungary)
- Posting ads on local tech/programmers sites?
- Hiring a local professional company?
- Posting ads on international tech sites?
- Hiring an international professional company?
I guess university students may be cheaper, but probably they cannot dedicate all their time to the project. A professional company may be more expensive, but probably faster (and offering more reliable programming?)
Local vs international? (how important is face-to-face contact?)
Given the nature of the idea, I think the web app can be functional in 3-4 months at a relatively low cost. To make it successful, very strong marketing will be required on two sides. First, getting a large amount of content on the site (from a relatively small number of providers, say, thousands), second, directing users to the site, generating traffic (millions).
I`d appreciate your insights.
Csaba (Hungary)


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    stonesledgestonesledge subscriber Posts: 608 Silver Level Member
    Hi Csaba,
    I whatever method you use, be sure to reseacrh the company you plan to use. DUE diligence is key. I would check every reference and client, especially their most recent clients. Local is great b/c you can vist the folk`s on site. Remote is fine if ther are reputable and you have a project management system in place. I would make certain they are aware of your deadlines and agree to abide by them and if not there should be consequences for this.. money off the payment usually is a good incentive. I would check every module as it is built and be sure that they themselves are not using a subcontracor or if so, you get the info on their performance. There are some folks here that are in the tech service arena, including myself. We are currrently not accepting work at this time but the vendors in the SUN marketplace may be, and they are reputable. Good Luck and let us know how it goes and what you choose.
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    VideographyVideography subscriber Posts: 401 Silver Level Member
    Go to the MarketPlace on StartupNation and look for a web designer there.  Then come back here to the "Website Critique" forum for an honest discussion of what`s right or wrong with the site.
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    csabacsaba subscriber Posts: 3
    Thank you for your ideas so far.
    I placed an ad at a local programmers` site, with a few guys responding. Now I`m waiting for their references to see what they`ve done so far. If at least one of them seems professional enough, I may go with that guy. If  I cannot find any reliable one, I`ll try my next round with local small web developer firms.
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    infiltainfilta subscriber Posts: 8
    Hi Csaba,
    What kind of scale of the application are you talking about? Is it something strictly web or can this be adapted for mobile devices such as iPhone?
    Let me know (PM), maybe I could help.
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    csabacsaba subscriber Posts: 3
    First I hope to develop a successful (and commercially viable) web application, then perhaps I can expand into mobile applications. But that`s really a distant dream...
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    pk98pk98 subscriber Posts: 1
    You can also go to www.getafreelancer.com to hire programmers from all over the world. Been doing this for over 3 years.  Never had a problem.
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    wuzzupwuzzup subscriber Posts: 0
    Having done contract programming work myself here is my take. I would recommend looking for a shop that can do both programming and graphics design. Since those skills are often mutually exclusive in a single person. It does not matter where they are from so long as you can verify their work (portfolio) and you can properly communicate with them.
    I have seen it so many times where somebody wants a feature and what the programmer delivered was a fuzzy pink elephant (something the customer didn`t want). Due to mis-communication. The scope phase (where you tell the programmer what you want and you verify they understand you) of the programming project is going to be the most important phase.
    I recommend looking around the web and finding examples of the kinds of features, design and logic that you want as words don`t always work. This will help you communicate your needs.
    Lastly ensure that the vendor takes an interest in designing your application with security in mind, especially if the content you are talking about is sensitive in any way. If they don`t, find a new vendor. Once you application is finished I recommend that you get an independent security assessment of the application. Use this to your advantage in your marketing. Building trust on the web is difficult, using security assessments and results can be an easy way. If you need more direction on this please feel free to contact me. Helping people through custom solutions is what we do.
    I just about forgot maintenance. Software has bugs. Negotiate in (you may have to pay for it) a maintenance agreement for bug fixes and new feature requests. Don`t expect them to fix the bugs for free once they are done.
    Adam Baldwin
    Co-Founder / Principal Consultant
    nGenuity Information Services

    Mr. Baldwin, I want to thank you for your comments.  These are words from someone with much experience. 
    I am working on a project and looking for someone to assist me in building my site.  My budget is small so I`m proactively gathering all deliverables, now, to make the engagement as manageable as possible for my collaborator. 
    I looking for a highly motivated individual, maybe with limited experience, but is willing to work hard for the next 6 months for a piece of the action...Revenue from the service will have to incrementally drive the development of this project but once the contractor sees the demand, they will clearly see where this rabbit hole goes.
    The service is for the Autistic Spectrum Disorder community so maybe someone very familiar with the needs of parents with kids on the spectrum will respond to this post.  This service I am building is for them.
    After reading your comments, I realize there are people out there that really understand the challenges of building highly functional, user friendly, content driven sites that look to serve a specific niche market...
    Now, if I can only find one or two of them!  Thanks AD!
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