This article will be based on my own experience, that is why a few words about me. I’m a WordPress (WooCommerce) developer and the owner of the developing websites on WordPress agency Seattleby. As a freelancer and as an agency I work on the freelance market Upwork, but the half of my orders, if not the majority of them, I (we) make working directly with the customer. Obviously, I have to work with developers freelancers and to hire them full time. As a developer, who works with developers I can name the exact mistakes that customers make while looking for programmers, hiring and working with them.
Choosing a developer looking on the price
I know it for sure, that, for example, 1 from 5 Upwork developers, who respond to job messages can do their job at least not bad.That is why it’s worth keeping in mind, that the quality of their results depends on the price, but not proportionally. Most likely, a good programmer will not appreciate himself/herself cheap, on the other hand not a professional programmer can appreciate himself/herself expensive. I would pay more attention on developer’s knowledge and experience.
Choosing a developer who can get to work right now
Believe me, a professional developer doesn’t suffer from the lack of work and such developers would very rarely sit and wait for a client to write them. It means that they have enough work to do and they can let themselves plan their work, take orders, working on which they will start in some time. Therefore, when choosing an applicant, who is ready to work right now, you are unlikely to choose the most professional developer.
Important to know if the development is the applicant’s main field of activity
I myself some time ago combined website development with my main job. Such business approach is wrong and not serious from developer’s side. As a customer, I would not use such developer’s service. People, who have been doing one and the same business for a couple of years, even if they are not talented, have a good body of knowledge and skills accumulated, which a person, who doesn’t have website development as a main business will not have.
Search for the developer with a big list of skills, especially if these are different skills
We are to understand that if a person knows everything and is able to do everything, he is unlikely to know and do anything. It means that when looking for a frontend and backend developer with designer and marketer skills you are likely to find no one or you will find the one who will not live up to your expectations. Not in vain, some employers prefer narrow specialists. You are to search for a developer for specific tasks, otherwise you won’t get certain results.
Hiring a developer without discussing the time frames of making the project and the budget.
The advice seems to be obvious, but many customers either don’t write the terms and budget, which they have for the project to be made, or just give unreasonable budget and time frames for performing their tasks.
A good and successful deal for me is the one as a result of which both sides will be satisfied. That is why the price and the terms should be reasonable and should satisfy both sides and the results are going to be good.
A desire to hear the exact terms and price is also going to be a mistake.
If the project is huge and many questions on it haven’t been decided yet or they are going to be decided and changed during the work, and if the customer doesn’t give the full information on the project, it’s very silly of him to expect concrete time frames and price from a freelancer. In that case usually we should mostly count on a time range (a fork) and price range (from and to).
In this case a good decisions is the division of a project on stages, milestones and the estimation of stages with formation of the tasks on each of the stages.
I have come across such an incident, when the customer doesn’t care much about the time frames but desires to hear the price for the services provided.
I will probably open someone’s eyes, but practically in every sphere, and especially in the sphere of software development, the price for the services is obtained from the multiplication of the time spent in hours by the developer’s rate per hour. It means that the price of the website support per month depends on how much time should be spend on it and on the price of this service per hour.
A grave mistake is the absence of the task management system
It is necessary to manage tasks on the project, otherwise the tasks can be forgotten, can be left unfinished or can be done incorrectly, the same concerns the payment for the management of this tasks. For task management, for their distribution between developers and for monitoring the status of each task we use our service dondrag.com (anyone willing is free to use it). The working process that we use most often is the following. Ideas (backlog) -> getting to work (to do) -> at work (in progress) -> manager review -> customer review -> done -> paid.
A very serious mistake is frequent change of a developer in a project
Even a professional developer will need time to delve into the project and get to work, sometimes a lot of time will be needed. It should be taken into consideration. Some time will also be spent on making backups, installing a project on developer’s computer or setting up the version for developing the project.
If there were a lot of developers working at a project or the developers were low skilled, they have surely lain the wrong and bad foundation at a project, a lot of grave mistakes have been made. For example, if we are talking about WordPress development, the developers do not very often use project builders, git, the work is done in the original theme and many more. When, finally, the customer hires a good programmer, it’s easier for the developer to do everything from the beginning. In reality, in big projects, we are to work with something we have, we are to correct someone’s mistakes and a lot of time is wasted for that. Redoing something is always more complicated, more boring and more expensive, rather than doing it from the very beginning. I know it for sure. With the absence of regular good developers at project it turns into mush. Keep it in mind.
Choose good and tested programmers and gain good result. Take care of your nerves, money and time.
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