How To Hire The Best Web Developers For Startups?

Thinking of turning a new original idea into reality each of us understands that the startup implementation process may develop in the most unpredictable manner. And in many respects the success of such a project will depend on the professional competence of the developers team we will work with.

The main goal of any startup is to enter the market as soon as possible and try out a new product. That is why it is necessary to find a team that has enough experience to work quickly and efficiently under constantly changing conditions.

Umbrella company is specialized in developing web apps and sometimes we involve third-party developers to implement our internal projects.

So, we are periodically faced with such a situation of choice both as contractor and client. In this article we are ready to share with you our experience and knowledge.

We will tell you about the key aspects you should pay attention to when looking for professional web developers.

WHERE CAN WE FIND WEB DEVELOPERS?

web development

Fortunately, today we have numerous ways to find experts in one or another field at our disposal, and apps development is not an exception.

You can search for your dream team as follows:

  • Recommendations of your friends and acquaintances

The easiest and fastest way: just find out whether there is anyone in your environment who has launched startup, and invite to share impressions, experience, and developers’ contact data.

  • Posts in social networks for communication (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)  you may anytime check statistics for the most popular networks.

This is another quite a simple but effective way. On your social network pages place posts telling that you are looking for a team of professionals to develop your startup, and ask your friends to repost.

Of course, not everyone has friends among IT expert, so, it is also recommended to look for IT forums: search through their posts and place your post in such groups.

Professional resources to find professionals and agencies for your work:

These resources give an opportunity to get acquainted with the portfolio of professional companies and freelancers, as well as with feedbacks on their work by clients.

Sign up as a client who is going to hire a web developer for startup, and you will be able to look through the information about the companies you are interested in, and contact them in order to discuss the prospects of your cooperation.

  • Social network for searching for business contacts ( LinkedIn)

Use a professional social network to find and establish business contacts with the web developers for hire.

Due to a convenient search system you can filter the applicants by certain criteria or keywords and view their profiles and contact information.

  • Search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.) – you always have a chance to use statistics to select the most effective one.

You can use search engines as traditional way to search for any information in the web when you are looking for the developers team. Enter some keywords and then follow the offered links. To a great extent the outcome of this search will depend on the search wording. For example:

If you input the “Development of Startups” phrase in the search line, as a result you will get links to several teams of developers.

Then you can add more details (the subject of the startup, the region). And it is very likely that as a result you will find the website of the very team you are looking for.

As you see, there are more than enough sources of information prompting how to find a web developer. But unfortunately, the number of company-developers will not always be proportional to the quality of the services offered by them.

If you have no idea of details of implementation process for web app development projects, or this will be your first experience of such a collaboration, Umbrella company is ready to help and recommend the way to make the choice so that you will never regret it.

WHAT TEAM SHALL WE CHOOSE?

team

Facing the variety of various offers, you should be careful and firm in you idea, how you are going to find a web developer for your startup.

We recommend the following criteria to be used when choosing potential candidates:

  • Team working experience

Take into the consideration the experience gained by the team. Very often young and small teams are not able to meet all the requirements of the client because they lack experience, teamwork skills or qualification. In this case the risk is rather high that all this will negatively affect the quality and terms of project.

Therefore we recommend choosing the teams where 80% of experts have more than 3 years work experience on commercial products.

  • Number of team members

Proceeding from our own experience, we recommend you to search for a team, which has at least 15 members of the staff. In this case you will not have to be considerate of the fact that at any moment the work may stop because some specialist is absent in the workplace for one or another reason. With such a staff the replacement can always be found and the deadlines will be met.

  • Portfolio

Study thoroughly the previous projects of the team: whether they have carried out similar orders and whether they were successful.

Carefully view the portfolio to understand whether the logic and working methods of the team  are similar with yours  and understandable for you. But don’t forget to consider the technical features as well, in order to assess the quality of the work done.

  • Feedbacks by clients

In spite of general skepticism about feedbacks, which can be found in the Internet, it will be useful for you to look through the feedbacks about the team of web developers made by clients on the website: whether these are feedbacks left by real people, what they write about, whether positive or negative opinions prevail.

Along with the website such assessments of the team’s work can be found on other resources, where specialists offer their services. More details we have already given above.

  • Website

Simple and easy-to-use own website reflects the general approach of the team to the development. Use the website not only as a direct information source about the company, about implemented projects, plans and prospects but also as an opportunity to assess the motivation of the team, its focus on the success and transparency of its activities.

So, based on these simple criteria you should select 3-4 companies in the shortlist.

 Umbrella recommends you limiting to this small number because in case of more candidates, you will simply lack time to carefully study the information and assess the potential of each of them. And as a result you will have to make a nearly “blind” decision based on incomplete information. And this will hardly help you to find the proper web developers for your startup.

WHAT SHALL WE ASK IN THE COURSE OF THE FIRST NEGOTIATIONS?

After having selected several teams, start more detailed discussion of the upcoming project. Suggest the applicants to contact by phone, in Skype, Whatsapp, Hangouts. Visit their offices, if possible, or invite them to visit yours.

negotiations

Put questions, which will help you form a general idea of the way the work on future project will be organized:

  • Will the free predevelopment be performed and what does it include?

Predevelopment is the stage of planning and assessment of the project prior to starting the works.

       Predevelopment may include:

  • collecting information on client’s requirements (various methods including functional cards, questioning, interview, technical tasks);
  • project assessment (including the project launching costs and anything related to it);
  • prototype of the interface (wireframe),
  • scripts of user interaction with the application (use cases);
  • data charts for complex applications with a lot of information;
  • development of technological roadmap (methods, approaches, ways to achieve the goals of the project).
  • How are the duties distributed among the team members?
  • a person shall be assigned, who will manage the project in general, will be in charge for coordination of the complete team work, and ensuring achievement of the goal

The presence of the Project Manager (PM) in the team is necessary to organize clearly the development process, and set priorities. It is this expert, who is responsible for making decisions on the project.

  • whether there is person in the team, who will manage directly the group of developers and will be responsible for technical issues

Teamlead (Team Leader) is in charge for carrying out the tasks set before the team, and distributes how and who will perform these tasks. As a rule, this role is performed by experienced specialists, who know the whole development process and are able to arrange it in a correct way.

  • Any team shall have a tester (Quality Assurance)

Naturally, they may assure you that this role is perfectly managed by the web developers but you keep in mind that every developer first of all performs the immediate duties, while the testing process requires separate attention and time.

  • There shall be one responsible contact person appointed – 1 point of contact

Of course, you can communicate directly with the web developer. But in case several developers are involved in your project, the communication can become challenging.

In any case you need one coordinator. This function can be carried out by the project manager or team leader. The main factor is that this person shall be always available for you and shall be authorized to make decisions.

  • In what way the working process will be organized and controlled? Please, note the following:
  • The project shall be divided into short phases. The process, which is divided into small stages is easier to be controlled. In addition assessing the results of each phase in series gives opportunity promptly to introduce corrections into working process;
  • Project documentation shall be properly kept: the documents shall be updated regularly, the documentation management structure shall be clear, the client shall be provided with the access – thus, the transparency of the process is ensured and the interaction between the client and performer is facilitated;
  • You shall be submitted regular reports: detailed reports shall be sent, at least, weekly, and, in the best case, every day. This facilitates tracking and control of the work progress and gives opportunity to correct the processes and deadlines in time;
  • Control of the work process: special tools shall be used to monitor tasks and their distribution (for example, TaskTracker).

If the financial relationships between the developer and the client are established based on the Time & Material  principle, clear out, whether any time control tools are available, so that you will be able to control the man hours paid by you;

  • Usage of version control systems (for example, based on GIT): the tools, which are used to record changes in different revisions, and which give an opportunity to return to previous revisions. If the developer does not use any systems of the kind – pause to think: in case of any problem with the application, you will not be able to go back to the previous stable revision.
  • What is the price for each development stage and in what way payment will be performed?
  • Agree upon payment basis: by hourly rates or fixed price;

From the financial point of view the relationships between the contracting team and the client can be built based on Fixed Price or Time & Material model.

 

In the first case the agreement fixes the cost of the certain scope of work, which must be paid regardless of the actual costs of the contractor.

While “Paid-on-Delivery” agreements provide for the reimbursement of all expenses at prices agreed upon by the parties, that is: the developer team receives payment for the complete time spent on the work at a fixed rate.

  • Agree upon frequency and terms of payment
  • Agree upon penalties, if applicable
  • What are the key points of the contractual relationships?
  • Clarify separately the obligatory issue of transferring to you all the rights including the rights to the source code;
  • discuss in details which documentation will be provided to the client;
  • clarify whether a non-disclosure agreement will be signed (NDA).

contract

HOW SHALL WE MAKE THE FINAL CHOICE?

After you have discussed the details of cooperation with the candidates you will only need to make a final decision.

  • Analyze the accuracy and completeness of answers to your questions, which you got from each team, and whether they meet all your requirements.
  • Pay attention not only to the content of the answers but also to the feedback speed of the candidate team. If the answer is delayed for several days, you should think about the reasons (whether they are interested in the project, whether they are overloaded with orders, whether the work inside of the team is well-organized). We also advise you to have a closer look at the applicants that offer options for implementation of your project, and thinks in advance of any eventual trouble points and controversial issues.
  • Additionally, take into consideration that the communication with the team of developers should be convenient for both parties. In case the parties initially fail to be on the same wavelength, the risk is high that the finished product will not meet your expectations.

enjoy success

So, you have succeeded in finding among the potential candidates a company which you have practically no more questions to ask (or the open questions don’t cause any serious doubts), then do not hesitate and start working on turning your idea into reality!

You are welcome to contact us with any further questions! Umbrella team will be happy to help you!

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