How To Find and Hire A Programmer To Build Your Startup Idea or App

This article about how to find and hire a programmer to build your startup idea or app.  After reading this you will better understand how to approach things whether you are an expert or this is your first time around the block.  If you have ever been serious about founding a startup company you are probably, like many other founders, most frustrated by this challenge. These days sales, marketing and PR people seem to grow on trees. If you post up an ad to an online job board asking for someone to join your very high risk early stage startup company the odds of getting someone decent are slim to none. Get your pen and paper, or iPad ready and take a few notes because I have been through this repeatedly and talk to people who have on a very regular basis.

The first part is the hardest part: hunting for a programmer. If you have a friend who is a recruiter then ask them to tell you what they recommend that will not cost anything. Be sure to post your opportunity here on the SocialMatchbox.com Job Board.  Also check out my recommended recruiting tools page for tools I use, build and recommend.

How To Look For A Programmer

One of the more obvious things that you should can take advantage of is LinkedIn.  In addition, if you know any developers you should ask them where to post your project or job up and where they recommend you go to meet other developers.

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How To Prepare For Your Conversations

Before you go you start talking to programmers and developers you should read up on the basics of the language that you need a programmer in. For the tech savvy this might include reading an intro book on programming. For the less tech savvy check for a summary and history of the programming language on Wikipedia at the very least.  There are plenty of online courses and tutorials on how to program that you can take for free as well. You might not be aiming to become a programmer, but if you take the time to learn some basics then you might have a better comprehension of the subject matter.  Some programmers will even appreciate that you have taken some time to learn about what is involved on a deeper level.  Check out Coursera, Udacity and CodeAcademy for some courses like this one for Ruby o n Rails.  As an added bonus, when you go to a meetup for programmers you will have something to talk about.

Understanding Motivation Is Critical

As you start hunting for programmers you need to be thinking several steps ahead.  This will help you to find both the right person and someone who isn’t going to over charge you. This means you have to get inside the head of a programmer who might want to work for your startup. Consider what the opportunity cost for working on a high risk venture is relative to other projects that might pay as well or more.  What other  uses of their free time will have to be sacrificed if they work with you for sweat equity or cash plus equity or just cash?.  they can spend their time on. It is very possible that someone will be interested in your project because they want to learn how to do something new, to get experience, to have something new in their project portfolio, or to gain insights that they may use for their own startup.

You can usually get a preview of someone’s motivation by asking them what they charge by the hour. If they charge well above the market average then they are usually either greedy or motivated to do something on their own that you are basically funding.  These days the market’s going rate is $100 per hour.  You should not expect to have to pay this, but you should be prepared to hear it and not be intimidated.

You are probably wondering how do I know if they are asking for more than the market rate or not? You only know what the programmers you have spoken to have told you, right?  You have come to the right place. The answer to this requires a small amount of research.  Also, don’t forget that just because can ask you to pay a certain rate it does not mean that they can get anyone to pay that  rate. More importantly, rate is only one aspect of considering your project as I have stated above.

How To Calculate Whether A Freelance Web Application Programmer Is Asking For Too Much

Step 1: Use the Indeed.com Salary Tool to Search for Their Job Title By Salary Level.

In a search done when this post was created a web developer in Washington, DC should make anywhere from $70,000 to $120,000 per year.  This rate will change so be sure to check current figures using the Indeed.com Salary Tool.  Don’t be too specific – you do not need to include the programming language, etc. at this stage. (See Footnotes for Updated Information)


So $70,000 -$120,000 per year is your wage range for both the market and for this type of job. $70,000 is a bit higher than the entry level wage for a web developer who is also a programmer with a computer science degree from a decent school these days which can range from $50,000-$75,000 here in the Washington, DC area.  In San Francisco or Manhattan add $10,000-$20,000 on top of that.  For cities like Austin or Denver subtract around $5,000-$10,000 for the entry level programmer job.  Don’t forget that people might move.  I hired an entry level programmer  a few years ago for $50,000 with very generous equity compensation and two years later he was getting job offers starting in the $95,000 range.  He started out at $14/hour working for me as an intern.  At the same time I had intern candidates who were asking for $17 and $21 per hour who were nowhere near as good of a fit or as good of a programmer.

Step 2. Adjust the annual wage average to what it should be on an hourly basis.

The generally accepted hourly wage calculation used by the staffing/consulting industry is Annual Salary divided by 2000 Hours. This includes 40 hours  (1 week) of paid time off so keep that in mind.  So for someone making $70k that comes out to around $35/hr. For someone making $120,000 that comes out to around $60/hr. You now have an hourly rate range to work with. (See Footnotes for Updated Information)

Step 3. Consider the burden (costs) carried by this individual who may or may not (usually not) have a company of their own to bill you with.

We are going to consider this person to be an individual who has their own LLC or S Corp (either should be fine – ask a CPA and a business attorney for details) set up for our purposes here.  That will make them a Corp to Corp consultant.  To do this will cost them $150-300 to set up a company and up that same amount annually to maintain their registration.  They will have to file an business tax return, but if they are consulting already they should be set up to to this already. If they are not then the tax savings alone will make it worth their while to do so.  Please note that an someone who is an “Independent Contractor” acting as a “1099” is NOT the same thing as an LLC.

Be sure you know the difference between a w2 and a 1099/independent contractor and a consultant who is corp to corp (has their own company or one that can bill them to you).  According to the IRS website:

“You are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and how it will be done). This applies even if you are given freedom of action. What matters is that the employer has the legal right to control the details of how the services are performed.”   

You do not want to mess around with 1099/independent contractor/1099 stuff. There are strict rules about this stuff and you could face all kinds tax and labor law repercussions down the road if you do not follow the letter of the law here.  You should not be intimidated by it, but you should be aware.  When in doubt, consult your attorney and your CPA.

If the person you are working with hires an accountant to help prepare and file their taxes that may cost around $500-$750 annually. If they own a Mac Book Pro that may cost around $1,800 bucks (new) (update: this is more like $2,500 now, but some might use a PC Laptop or a Mac Book Air which is a lot cheaper). If you sum up these costs and divide them by 2000 Hours then you are looking at $1.15 per hour worth of burden associated with their doing work for you. Add in another $6/hr to cover $12,000 worth of developer conferences and related travel expenses just to be nice. Now you have your burden: $7.15/hr.  There are other costs including software licenses (i.e. Photoshop or Pixelmator, Github, Omnigraffle), conferences and travel so do not forget to consider these.  A full stack programmer is probably not going to use Photoshop.

With this you have a new rate range for a Washington, DC based programmer of web applications: $42.15-$67.15 per hour. (Remember to check current market rates, do not assume this number is current or right for where you are located).

Step 4: Calculate the difference in rate.

For example: if the developer tells you that their rate is $100/hr they are asking you to pay them $40/hr more than the highest wage paid to programmers in the Washington, DC market. Again, take into account that they should have around $7.15 in burden – provided they go to conferences, use their own laptop (not their laptop from their day job), attend software engineering conferences, have to maintain software licenses, and are incorporated and pay an accountant too).

The reality is that there is no good reason for a developer to charge more than the market rate provided they are not in business for themselves full time. This is true in most, but not all cases.  What is often the justification that independent and freelance programmers make when they stop to think about it is that they have to spend time doing sales and marketing for their services and that they will have down time between projects.  Most programmers are not great sales or marketing people.  You should not be punished for their lack of ability in these areas and you should not be expected to subsidize their down time.

It is because of this that I would prioritize hiring someone who has a full time job over hiring someone that is a full time freelancer or independent developer. I am not saying don’t consider a a full time freelancer or independent developer, just that they are likely to require that you pay them at a rate that includes their down time and that helps support their burden.  If you get someone who already has a job then the burden (cost) assumptions from above are pretty much already covered.  Hence they do not have a justification for charging you much higher rates than you should prefer to pay.

Step 5: Consider the challenge or relative level of difficulty (you may have no idea and that is ok).
Consider whether or not the programming challenge your company is going to tackle involves some special emerging technology that requires a specialized skill or experience set or one that is extremely rare. If this is the case then all bets are off because the market rate or the rate you can get is higher because a programmer will have a steep learning curve or be in demand based on their rare capabilities and experience.  If this is the case, you should probably read my post discussing how much it will cost to build your MVP (minimum viable product) which could help you with very important some pre-product  considerations.  But then again, you may be better of going out and getting an investor to help you fund your even higher risk venture if you are working on something that is on the bleeding edge of technology.

Sweat Equity or Not?

Another option is sweat equity. You must realize that people who are willing to work for sweat equity are not a) the best, b) in demand, and c) going to put their heart and soul into your project.

A programmer’s motivation to work for sweat equity is something else that founders tend to take for granted. Sweat equity is usually best applied in the case where you are working with someone you know who already trusts you and who you know will put up a solid effort.  Someone who you have worked with before in other words, not just a “friend”.  Sweat equity is also applicable for someone who is very interested in the subject that you are working on.

What sweat equity is not good for is for people who you don’t know at all. You should avoid spending your time here and instead focus on finding a way to generate revenue or to attract investors so that you can afford to hire someone.

If you absolutely must involve sweat equity here is what you need to know:
1. Hire an experienced business lawyer who routinely works with software startup business to make sure you are doing things correct.  Do not assume that a first or second year associate at a large law firm will get the job done. Do not assume that doc stock will get the job done.  Each state is different and each company is different.  There are a lot of things that can go really wrong if you make amateur mistakes with this stuff.
2. Go half and half.  Pay the person 50% cash and 50% equity.  Remember that equity should be based on project completion, not on how many hours = how many dollars.  Your attorney can explain why this matters.
3. Make sure you have a vesting schedule.
4. Do not give up more than 10-20% of your company, ever.  If you raise a series A that will be around 39-40% (standard) of your company in the controlling hands of others.  If you keep 51%, you will have 9-10% equity left.  You will probably not have 51% after your Series B if you get there, but up until that point you should want to maintain control of your business.  I have seen founders have to shut things down because they had a 1/3 + 1/3 + 1/3 split of equity with no vesting schedule.  They could not agree so they had to pull plug.
5. Make sure you have a vesting schedule.  If someone backs out in week two they should not be a full owner.  Your attorney can help you with this stuff.
6. Give yourself room to reward good work – don’t give away as much at the beginning.  Since sweat equity is not cash and high risk people tend to flake out.  You need to be able to provide additional incentives over time for people who stick around and do good work.

 

Location, Location, Location

Also: elance, odesk and freelancer.com are not alternatives to doing recruiting and going to meetups. I know good people who are on these site that are programmers.  For example: Owen Byrne who built the original Digg.com was hired for $12/hr on odesk many years ago. He had a job at a Newspaper at the time.  So in addition to what I said before (people with full time jobs should be your first preference), people who are local and easy to meet up with are the easies to collaborate with.  It just really helps when you have people who are local.  Remote isn’t bad, but it does require a learning curve.  As an early stage founder you do not have time to master too many things so keep it local if you can.

A lot of people I know think that because they are going to get someone offshore that they are going to get cheaper labor. I am not going to get into this here, but know that cheap isn’t always what you think it is. There are really awesome local students that you can hire and put under a lead developer for a lot less than offshore developers.  Either way, just remember that you should not hire people on elance, odesk or freelancer.com who reside in embargoed countries if you are based in the US or other countries that care about this stuff.

 

How To Get Smart About Recruiting

Do not rely on your gmail account or a spreadsheet when what you really need is a recruiting tool like the ones I recommend on the recommended recruiting tools page.  If you are building a software product company you are in it for more than today’s inbox snapshot.  You and your present or future co-founder(s) should be able to easily collaborate, decide who to interview quickly, keep track of who you liked or didn’t so you will not forget six months or two years from now, and to keep track of the ones that you could not get this time around for one reason or another.

Do not assume that you need a job board account.

Do not pay $300-$400 to post a job ad on TechCrunch or Github or Mashable.  These sites have lots of readers, but their ads are priced at an absurd level that does not come with any guarantees. I have advised and recruited for dozens of startups over more than a decade.  Someone always comes along that believes his job is different somehow and that he will net some great candidates.  For $400 how could he not, right? Wrong! These ads never pay off.  You will get the same people by posting a free, $25, or $75 ad to Craigslist.

If you want to reach people who are not looking consider attending local meetups and posting targeted ads on Facebook instead.

Get smart about searching the web.  If you learn a few things about how to use boolean search strings to find people on sites like Github, Stack Overflow, Bitbucket, LinkedIn, etc. that will help you find people who are capable of working with the tech stack you have in mind or that you are working on.  Do not take the bait and post an ad on Stack Overflow.  These guys will spam your job ad if they can find your email address on your website or in your job ad and offer you a 10% discount.  You can get the same people using Google’s boolean search methods.  On top of that, people on stack overflow are not exactly there to be recruited.  Stack Overflow is a good place to find answers to questions about technical programming and other topics, but it is not a job board despite attempts to sell it as one to the unsuspecting people out there who need to hire programmers.  The same is true for LinkedIn – it is a terrible place to post a programmer job, but a potentially a great place to post a sales or recruiter job ad.

Things To Keep In Mind

Founders seem to take for granted exactly how in demand a good AND bad programmers are.  There is a huge demand for programmers in America – good and bad. Knowing this is half the battle. The old rules of supply and demand should apply in this case, but they don’t.

If you talk to enough programmers you start to figure out that they are talking to each other or working off the same set of rules. One will ask for what they know another asks for. This should not stop you from negotiating a reasonable price. Also, remember that a programmer’s experience and skill level should be in line with their price.

Get Help

If you know a recruiter you should talk to them and find out what books on the subject they recommend. Take the time to figure out whether the programmer is truly in demand, truly good, or just asking for what they have heard that they can get.  The most effective way to do this if you are a non-technical person is to find someone who can help you evaluate  and interview prospects.  This could be a friend, or it could be someone you hire.  Ideally this is an advisor who is a software engineer or manager of software engineers that can help you interview and evaluate things more clearly.

As you consider people who could help or be a technical advisor, ask them what methods for interviewing or evaluating people that they recommend.  You should also ask them about development methodologies and about process while you are at it.  This will be a good subject to cover with programmers you interview as well.  You do not want someone who is a big company thinker guiding or advising you on how to build an early product.  It should be someone who is familiar with early product development, early customer research, lean startup principles, and ideally someone who has built at least one minimum viable product (MVP) before that takes this stuff into account.  This is a tall order, but so is building a successful startup.

Ask your technical advisor to help you come up with a very simple project that would take no more than 2-3 hours to complete for the average programmer. Each programmer should do this with you and potentially your developer friend present to see how they work and to see how they work with you. This last part is optional, but is probably the best predictor of success.  I also like to have someone show me that they know how to use CSS and HTML.  A quick, 10-15 minute exercise with Firebug or Google Developer Tools (right click in your browser  if you are using Chrome and select inspect element to see what I am talking about) is how I usually get an initial impression.  You would be amazed at how often people have gaping holes in their experience or knowledge.  Hiring a “full stack” programmer who can’t or doesn’t want to use CSS could be a disaster waiting to happen assuming you are not building a mobile app.

 

Check References

After you get through all of this you should ask for direct technical supervisor and direct technical peer references and check them. People often skip this step because the project isn’t full time but that is a huge mistake.  It isn’t like you are hiring someone who you have worked with before, right?  Do not skip this step and do not apologize for asking for references from a professional programmer who will be working for you and getting paid by you.

If you have questions, insights , experiences, etc. please post a comment.  Also, please take a few minutes to complete the founder survey below.  

Need Help With Recruiting or Candidate Sourcing?

Check out my Startup Recruiting Packages (HERE).

You can also Email Me (contact@socialmatchbox.com) or reach me using the Chat button in the lower right corner of the screen if I am online.

A 30 minute free initial consultation is usually sufficient, but if you feel like that is not enough then I do consult. I can often point someone to a good developer who I have worked with or who someone I know has worked with.

Updates:

August 5, 2014 – Updates that address changes, questions, etc.
The cost of hiring developers has increased.  If you do a search for “Web Developer” using Indeed.com’s salary tool, the range hasn’t changed.  However, if you do a search  for “JavaScript Developer”, there has been a huge spike since October 2013.  It is a good idea to sample using both JavaScript and the language that you plan to work with. If you don’t have one in mind, then sample using the languages preferred by whoever you are talking to.  Step 2 is still essentially true, but the baseline has shifted upwards considerably.  If you ask most Sr. developers who do freelance work, they will tell you $100-$150.  This rate is a lot like a water cooler discussion price.  One person figures out they can ask for it and get and others quickly follow suit.  Some software development agencies charge as much as $300-400/hr.  I have been doing consulting work and advising larger firms for nearly a decade now.  One thing that I can tell you is that the $150-$400/hr that larger firms charge comes with a hell of a lot that an individual doesn’t come with.  There are margins for the business with a larger firm, but there also architects, user experience designers, testers, and a lot more group experience that is packed in to ensure better outcomes.  IMHO if you are paying $150+/hr you had better have raised a good sized Series A in which case you should probably have enough money a full time dedicated team of your own.  If you are paying $300+/hr you had better be a publicly traded company that is raking in money and has a billion dollar line of credit because if you don’t you are headed for a world of pain.

For an individual working as a w2 or 1099 who is not incorporated (LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp) this is insane.  If someone is charging you more than $5k then they should be incorporated and you should insist that they get incorporated. Enforcement of w2 employee and 1099 laws can come when you least expect it and enforcement is different in every state.  You can do your own payroll, I did because I have a lot of experience with doing it for teams, but it is much easier and much better if you can just have someone send you an invoice that you pay when it is due than to have to worry about how to calculate employment withholdings, whether or not you have the right labor law posters, whether or not you have filed your federal 940 and 941 returns, made your federal payments, and done essentially the same thing for the state or states you have employees in.  One of my biggest pain pain points with this stuff was that I hired an intern who lived in Pennsylvania who was living in Maryland for the summer.  I also had some people working for me who lived in DC, MD and VA.  Each state has its own rules, labor requirements, registration gauntlet and reporting requirements.  Don’t assume you know what you are doing when it comes to this stuff – this is why you need to have a lawyer and why it is easier to have the individual or group you are working with incorporate. An LLC or S-Corp is very easy and inexpensive to set up, provides favorable tax treatments, and limits your liability – there is almost no reason not to do it aside from the fact that you might prefer to have a CPA help around tax time and need a copy of QuickBooks, Peachtree (Sage) or a license for FreshBooks.

One commenter said that my formula for calculating the hourly wage was wrong: I said that the industry standard is [Annual Salary/2000 Hours].  He said it is /1000 Hours.  I have extensively investigated this and I can say with 100% confidence that this commenter is wrong.  Here is how this works: there are 160 Hours in a full time schedule per month.  6.67 hours are added on to that when you assume 2000 Hours per year which adds up to 80 hours per year of paid time off (2 weeks).  Any additional burden from health care, equipment, software licenses, etc. is addressed in Step 3 above.

August 5, 2014 – Since I started to update this post I realized how much has changed and how many things I would do differently.  This ranges from how I would approach the idea to minimum viable product (MVP) at the beginning to how I would look for and evaluate potential contributors to how I would compensate people.  The recommendations in this post are still reliable, but I believe in sharpening my game and I really hope to share some of my insights and lessons learned in a new series of posts.

Since I wrote this post I have also personally built and launched a SaaS product that is now profitable after several key pivots.  I have also mentored and advised quite a few startups who launched products including a really impressive real time location based mobile app for iOS.  I have also worked with a few product teams following mergers and acquisitions  as well as with some companies that made some really bad early product decisions to help turn things around after they found themselves facing stiffer competition and technical debt nightmares later in the game. I hope to share some insights that reflect the later stage challenges related to early stage product planning and decisions in this new series as well.

Last, but not least, I have received flood of requests from people who read this post and reached out to me by email or in person both here in DC and out in the valley.  I have a lot of new data about the challenges that people  face.  I hope to answer this question and related questions in a new series of posts. In the new series of posts.  Who knows where this will go, but yesterday someone even approached me about creating a course for founders.

Recommended Resources:
Post a FREE Job Ad (Founders Wanted and RFP’s Welcome Too).
How Much Will It Cost To Build My Startup MVP: Part 1: What Is An MVP? by Bob N.
Find A Programmer To Build Your Startup Idea by Bob N.
Quick Scale Your Funded Startup’s Hiring
Find Interns For My Startup by Bob N.
Find A Startup Co-Founder
Pick Starters For Your Startup Team by Bob N.
Build An A+ Advisory Board by Bob N.
Take this free online Human Computer Interaction Course

Part 2: Coming Soon…Follow @socialmatchbox to get updates.

  

33 Responses to “How To Find and Hire A Programmer To Build Your Startup Idea or App”

  1. romomo

    Senior level Freelance programmer here. While I understand this information is quite old, it’s important to note that it’s also quite incorrect. The rates you’re suggesting will get you an ametuer developer at best. Depending on the length of a project, expect to pay between $80-$200/hour for professional work. There are several other factors to consider: benefits (or rather, lack there of), consulting, time betwern projects, software licensing fees for professional tools, and the fact that you likely are not paying a single person. You are asking another organization to save you the trouble of hunting for, recruiting, screaning, hiring, pat ing benefits to, and managing a professional developer. If you want shoddy work from a broke college student who will copy-paste from google, then by all means, use this formula. If you want professional and managed development from a professional, then you better hit the books and do a bit more homework.

    Reply
    • SocialMatchbox

      Thanks for your comment. You bring up some good points that were addressed in original post.

      I am going to start by pointing out that I AM NOT suggesting that the founder(s) outsource hunting for or recruiting or hiring. The same is generally true for sales. Some people need help, if they do…that is something I help people with. I AM saying that someone who is not an engineer/developer SHOULD get a stand in Software Architect/CTO/Engineer who can be their coach/mentor/help when it comes to screening, making the hiring decision(s) and architectural decisions. This person serves as something like a translator. That might cost more because this is someone is more senior and who is going to get fewer hours or it might just be a friend who volunteers to help or who helps for equity (.0x-.xx% range for helping with setup, probably the lower end of the range or maybe $100-150/hr) if it is just a few hours or more like $85-120/hr if it is more like 10+hours.

      I’m going to break out college student rates. If you are a founder and you can’t find college student who are willing to work for $12-14/hr then you are going to have a really tough time when it comes to sales. There are some great ones out there who I would pit against a lot of Sr. developers and professional freelancers. Finding them…that is a different story. It takes time and a good strategy and a lot of tenacity to find good people at any level. More importantly, this is only a reasonable idea if you have a stand in Software Architect/CTO/Engineer who can do architecture, mentoring, paired programming at times, code reviews, etc. Otherwise your app will be on the fast track to failure.

      Next, you say that someone can’t get a good developer if they don’t pay the highest possible rates. If, by amateur, you mean someone who is not charging mercenary rates then fine. Look, I have been talking to developers about startup product development and build outs for a hell of a long time and one thing is certain: if you want to pay more there will always be an option for that. Because someone charges less than the user group beer discussion rate or less than a full service development firm charges does not make them less professional. Higher rates do not equal better developer. Part of the problem here is that people all generally try to charge the same rate – good or bad. A founder’s job is to find someone who is good, honest, easy enough to work with, and interested in their effort. This is a tall order. Someone asking for $150-200/hr (an individual) to build an MVP is a mercenary. To your rate level information, I just made an update to reflect inflation and am working on a new series of posts that will address this subject in more detail as well as update the economics consideration.

      Note that benefits and other costs including software licensing fees + software tools are considered in the post. Unless you are talking about a license for Oracle or SQL Server or something on par with that kind of stuff in which case we are talking about different things.

      For your comments about time between projects, I think that is a valid point. It is really difficult to be a full time freelance developer and do business development at the same time. One developer I know created http://www.bustaname.com to help with lead generation. A lot of developers I know hang out at co-working spaces and go to a bunch of networking and user group type events to trawl for leads. They also partner with people. Nobody ever said that building a lead/work pipeline was easy. BUT, nobody (e.g. the idea guy or gal) should be punished because the developer is a trench fighter who is struggling to find work or projects. If that is the case then said developer should get a job at an agency like Intridea.com where they can focus on what they are best at.

      Additionally, full time freelancers are NOT the only option/route to take. There are plenty of great developers, designers, etc. who have full time jobs and are willing to take on ONE (not many) project. For someone trying to build an MVP this is probably a bit more ideal than hiring a full time freelancer. REASON? Simple: you might actually have a chance of converting that person who has a day job and no other projects into a co-founder. Remember, we are talking about startup product development and MVP’s here not sub work for creative agencies that pays top dollar. Another reason is going to be covered in more detail in my upcoming series of posts – what goes into an MVP is not a fully specced out product complete with a Scrum Master and user stories. It is a lot more of a growth hacker. Hiring someone to primarily help build out a product comes later. I’m not saying that you (for example) could not, just that you can’t always generalize when it comes to who is right for an early stage person.

      Reply
      • Mario

        Hi, I just wanted to add regarding the translator (or a mentor) person which would help you with recruitment process, is this necessary?
        I mean if I do not have any technically educated acquaintances then hiring a help would be blind conjecture.
        An approach that works for me, also mentioned by you in How To Prepare For Your Conversations, is to learn some basics for better comprehension of my requirements. With few projects up my sleeve I’m confident enough to say that I know a thing or two about web development and I rely on that. Also I always look for a full stack developers and my approach is the following:
        1. Interview
        2. Small project or tests (for example I started using some of the tests from this site: TestDome)
        3. Follow-up interview

        Higher rates do not equal better developer.
        I couldn’t agree more with you, but great developers know that they have quite a lot of options so the point is why they would settle for less. My philosophy is motivation and interest, if they find your subject, idea, interesting or challenging then they are more likely to accept your offer.

        There are some great ones out there who I would pit against a lot of Sr. developers and professional freelancers. Finding them… that is a different story.
        I must admit I never hired a student, but if you could elaborate a bit your approach with them I could reconsider. The problem I see is their lack of experience which can result in their incapability to adjust to some changes, and there always will be changes, it is a common thing in development process.

        To romomo:
        If you want shoddy work from a broke college student who will copy-paste from Google, then by all means, use this formula.
        Ok I’m not a professional, but I can say for certain that great number (if not all) of professional developers use google at some point. If faced with some specific problem, for me looking for an existing solution is much better approach then reinventing a wheel. Problem solving is one of the key skills I look in the developers and I do not pay much attention on resources that he uses, I just focus on the result.

        Reply
        • Bob Neelbauer

          To answer your first question, my answer is emphatically yes. Some people are more tech savvy than others. If you do not have someone to be your tech advisor/mentor then you could easily get taken for a ride. This could very well be someone in that $100-$150/hr price range that could provide you with advice, coaching, architecture level help, interviewing and potentially even with code reviews. Many founders simply can’t afford to pay someone many times what they get paid and that should not be a barrier to getting started.

          Regarding testing, there are lots of testing options that exist but there are so many things that you can’t test for. For example: how will you know if someone did good on one test, but would have done poorly on 20 others? An experienced engineer or manager of engineers will be able to spot weaknesses that the casual founder with no software engineering experience would be completely oblivious too. There are things you notice and then drill down on.

          For example:
          Do you test for object oriented programming, ruby on rails, javascript, AJAX, CSS3, HTML5, MySQL, BDD/testing, server administration, Bash, vi, shell scripting, Apache, etc.? If so, how many of these things could you possibly test for? How would you even know if the test is effective? How would you know if the developer in question actually took the test and did not have someone else take it? How would you know if the test was any good?

          Regarding the site you mentioned, that is not a reliable option. They are effectively a job board/candidate placement service which dilutes the value of their service and their focus on the quality of the tests. Their claims are also over the top – Facebook would not use that site and even if they did it would be a one off situation where maybe one person would. That one person would be a recruiter who needs a crutch. In addition, people share tests online and this test is un-proctored so there is no way to know that someone isn’t grabbing answers from the web before or during the test. There are lots of sites that have come before this one and there will be ones that follow it.

          You just can’t substitute a script graded test for a paired coding exercise combined with a solid technical discussion or two. Things reveal themselves in ways that tests can’t detect, both good and bad. Coursera is using webcams to proctor certain certified courses and keystroke algorithms to detect freak variations in typing. These can’t tell you if the person is going to be a productive coder or not.

          Regarding students, one of the reasons you get a technical advisor early is so that you are not simply guessing who is good or assuming things. If have said this before, but there are plenty of students who can run circles around senior developers. One advantage to students is that they are not going to have pre-formed conclusions about things. They are also not going to have a notion that you have to build an enterprise class application that requires 100% of everything you could do done. For an early startup this is important. You are not hiring an IBM developer to build a startup app. You are hiring someone to help you build a minimum viable product – something that will help you find and lock in on your product-market fit.

          It is hard for first time and even quite a few second and third time founders to differentiate between building their MVP and building their final product. If you try to build a final product then you are practically betting on failure because you will just not be able to afford to do it, much less afford to sustain it after it gets to a certain point. So by the time you are ready to hire mid and senior developers you should have found your product-market fit, established some early customers willing to pay cash money (or consumers who are conclusive evidence of your scalability), and raised a seed or angel round of funding to pay for some full timers. If you hired well in the early stages then this might even include some cash + equity people and a student or two who can hit the ground running. Better yet, maybe even that technical advisor you were working with could turn into your initial Lead Developer or CTO. By this time they are proven and you can run fast with them.

          One final thought. Professionals don’t use Google at some point, they use Google constantly. This is for a really good reason: there are problems that have been solved already with open source code so they don’t want to spend a ton of time solving a problem that they can just plug in. And you should not want them to. There is nothing wrong with copying and pasting as long as it gets the job done and respects licensing rules without putting your project at risk in some way or another.

          Reply
          • Mario

            Thank you for the reply and for the great information.
            Sidenote regarding the Google, yes I agree with you, that is what I meant with not reinventing a wheel ;).

    • Daniel

      It should be noted that “professional” wouldn’t spell screening “screaning”, and shit out the following sentence: “if you want professional and managed development from a professional”.

      But….Yeah.

      Reply
  2. Mona

    There is a company called 99designs that would create your web design for just 300 dollars. Another option is Thumbtack which would allow you to look for professionals (web designers including) around your zip code and they would submit competing bids.

    Reply
  3. Jon

    Way wrong on those salary vs hourly rate figures.

    Check out the contract employees handbook – google it….

    Rule of thumb : annual salary / 1000 = hourly rate….

    Reply
    • socialmatchbox

      The point of this thread is to educate founders about what the market cost of labor is if they hire someone full time vs. freelance so that they understand the difference in cost so I am glad you threw out salary/1000 = yearly rate as a scenario.

      Here is how your formula adds up in comparison:

      If you hire a regular full time employee (FTE) at a salary of around $85,000/yr (before benefits) there are 1920 hours in a year (assuming that you work 160 hour work weeks) + 30 hours of full time paid time off that can be used for whatever). If you add in the burden (health insurance/401k/etc. on top of that and don’t count the paid time off as part of the employee burden) that adds up to 1950 hours per year of paid employee time. A lot of people round that number up to 2000 to keep things simple (I’ll skip that).

      The FTE cost to a startup or company is $43.59/hr w2 before burden and $50.74/hr w2 fully loaded (with burden (benefits)).

      In your formula, the same worker quits their day job and goes out on their own working as a freelancer for $85,000, but charges the employer $85/hr. At this rate, the founder or employer will have to pay the freelancer $165,750 for the same amount of hours.

      Considering that the freelancer is going to eat $7.15 per hour of burden which adds up to $13,942 per year that is quite a markup. Even if you add in the cost of a nice co-working space membership ($4,200/yr) and private health insurance ($6,000/yr), the freelancer is still only seeing a cost to themselves of $24,142.50 per year. They get to keep the knowledge they got from conferences and the Mac Book Pro that they bought to make things work.

      The profit that someone using your formula would make under this model is roughly $24,142.50. Not bad.

      The only problem with your model is that it essentially doubles the cost of hiring a developer for a startup founder. This is the kind of thing that makes founders look to offshore firms and inexperienced talent to build their products. It is worth pointing out that many solutions shops charge around $150k for a prototype app that heavily leverages open source code, but that comes with design help.

      In other words, there is no way that your formula benefits the founder. It drives their cost up and makes it so that they will probably not have enough money to get the job done.

      Don’t get me wrong, there are companies out there who will pay top dollar for work to be done by programmers. I know some people in the DOD community and in the Ad Agency world who will pay top dollar for a shampoo or diaper app or website to be developed. I know a lot of developers who don’t mind working on that stuff too. However, there are plenty of people who enjoy working on cutting edge and interesting stuff.

      When the price of labor goes up just because there are people who will pay it then founders need to consider the source of the labor. There are plenty of founders who hire some full time employees and pass on others because of the motivations of the potential employees. I don’t know everything that there is to know, but the odds work in favor of the founders out there who can discern the motivation at work in the heads of their team members. Teams that are working toward the same objectives for a little below the market rate, even at well funded startups, have a much better track record. I think there is a strong correlation between perceived value of equity (e.g. stock options) in those cases. There is some good discussion about the perception of stock options in Douglas Edwards’s book ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ that would be good reading for any founder in search of more data.

      Reply
  4. Brett Miller

    Finding a well qualified developer can be quite tough, but I have a simple answer…Get a Referral!!nnI actually know many talented (and affordable) software developers. I’d be happy to provide an introduction if anyone has a project they need assistance on.u00a0nnThanks,nnBrettnhttp://www.customsoftwarebypreston.comndev@cspreston.com

    Reply
  5. Paulbain

    From the article:n=========================n There is a huge demand for programmers in America u2013 good and bad.n========================= nnBullcrap. The federal government has flooded America with cheap, immigrant labor that has resulted in an enormous glut of IT talent, including software developers. And that is why the USA has a 22% unemployment rate as of late 2011. Believe me, I know. As of November, 2011, I have been unemployed for 37 out of the last 41 months despite the fact that I have an encyclopedic knowledge of open source software.nn– Paul D. Bainnpaulbain@@pobox:disqus .comn

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but that doesn’t make it right.u00a0 Quantity doesn’t have anything to do with quality.u00a0 Software startup companies insist on people who can sit down, productively write code (just knowing about open source isn’t the same as productively writing code), and get along well with a team.u00a0 There are plenty of companies that hire anyone off the street with the philosophy being that they can micromanage them to the point of being productive programmers.u00a0 If they can do it and get the job done that is great.u00a0 You are welcome to create a Job seeker profile here on Social Matchbox and then send me a note – I’ll take a look at your experience and skill set and see if there is anything I can recommend.u00a0

      Reply
  6. Paulbain

    u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0 This article is completely asinine. The author does not consider the fact that, among IT professionals (including developers), there is an _ENORMOUS_ range in ability and intelligence. The best developers are not _slightly_ better than the average developer — they stand head-&-shoulders above the average developer. Hence, you should be willing to pay them more. Far more. And that is why they usually charge far more, too.nnu00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0 Here is another way to consider the advice in this article. Substitute the term “lawyer” for every instance of the term “developer” or “programmer” in the article. And then ask yourself whether, after such substitution, the article makes any sense at all. Folks, senior partners (sometimes called “rain-makers”) at the most prestigious law firms earn many, many times _more_ than the average lawyer. And there is a reason for that.nnu00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0u00a0 FWIW, I am a lawyer as well as an IT professional.nn– Paul D. Bainnpaulbain@38a4a244ce6c2c767a4ddf69e3e4787c:disqus pobox.comn

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      This IS the author, and the author completely considers that there is an _ENORMOUS_ range in ability and intelligence.u00a0 The best people do get paid better, but the reality is that some of the best and brightest people in the world are not looking for the best pay.u00a0 Consider that some people join the peace corps, work for activist organizations, take jobs working as teachers, etc. while others take jobs working in the war zones as consultants, work for hedge funds, and for large multi-national companies that are not exactly doing nice things to people all the time.u00a0 Everyone isu00a0entitled to making their own choices aboutu00a0what they do with their own time so long as their actions do not infringe on the rights of others.u00a0 More for the sake of more isn’t good for programmers.u00a0 In your previous comment you talk about “cheap, immigrant” labor”.u00a0u00a0There is a point where the rate of au00a0certainu00a0category of labor reaches where it is not reasonable.u00a0 If an entire communityu00a0of programmers start charging at au00a0rate that is not reasonable thenu00a0companies will look for alternatives to that community.u00a0 Sites like Freelancer.com, odesk, and othersu00a0often enter the picture butu00a0so do offshore development shops.u00a0 As a lawyer you are probably aware of immigrant visas.u00a0 There areu00a0plenty of people who are willing to worku00a0hard and learn skills.u00a0u00a0Modern day America was builtu00a0by immigrants – it isn’t a stretch to imagine modern day softwareu00a0in America being built by the descendants of them along with new immigrants.u00a0nRegarding substitution for lawyers at top firms, sure, there are lots of lawyers out there.u00a0 Some are productive, some are not.u00a0 If you have some valid statistics on how many lawyers there are vs. how many programmers there are I would be interested in taking a look at them.u00a0 I would bet on there being a shortage of productive java, ruby (on rails), php (zend or symphony) and python (Django) programmers that is off the charts when compared to any such shortage of lawyers.u00a0 The same problem exists.u00a0 There are lots of lawyers, but not as many who are specialists who are productive and affordable. One major difference though – law schools are having trouble finding jobs for their graduates while computer science grad programs are not.u00a0 I know because I talk to both.u00a0u00a0

      Reply
  7. jb

    I understand that you’re mainly speaking of programmers that are working for the startup after hours and weekends. It’s important to make that distinction in rates if you’re looking for a developer though. I know very few full-time contract developers that charge the rates you mention in the D.C. area.nnIt’s all a matter of competing with what they can get in a full-time salaried position. If you can’t offer 401k matching, vacation time, sick leave, a *good* health plan, and an office and everything that goes with it (business class internet, furniture, coffee, etc.) then you have to make up for it with cash.nnThat’s not as important if they’re working for you in their free time, of course, but transferring those burdens to their full-time employer and paying them less accordingly doesn’t always fly with the person you’re trying to hire.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Agreed.u00a0 The problem is whenu00a0developers talk after user group sessions, in DC that means somewhere with a long list of beers in many cases, or wherever, and figure out what the highest rate someone ever got was and then start asking for it.u00a0 Just because they ask doesn’t mean that they get those rates, but the fact that they try is a bit frustrating for everyone who has to talk to them.u00a0

      Reply
    • Bob

      There are too many who do. Not everyone is the right person for your startup.u00a0 The point is that a bootstrapping startup founder should not be asked to pay the highest rate that a freelancer has ever heard of. It isn’t in the best interest of the freelancer to charge such a high rate that it makes progress or project success a guaranteed failure.u00a0 They should know that if they charge a reasonable rate that they will help the founder succeed and by doing so they will get more steady and long term business as opposed to a founder who is constantly checking over their shoulder because they feel that the freelancer is taking advantage of them.u00a0 nnAs far as cost comparisons are concerned, you make a good point.u00a0 However, I know from extensive (I’m not kidding) interviews of freelance developers, designers, etc. that they are not in a bind over the cost of office furniture.u00a0 A desk from Ikea (often preferred) costs under $200 and a chair is usually under $150.u00a0 Internet costs around $50/mo and a data hotspot plan on a mobile device is around $20/mo. These are all costs they would have regardless of whether they were freelancing or not – most people have desks, chairs, and cell phones, and most geeks have aggressive data plans for their phones and mobile devices.u00a0 Coffee?u00a0 Sure, maybe, but that doesn’t account for a major difference.u00a0 You are right about the health plans and retirement savings.u00a0 Those can be expensive and if someone is freelancing full time I’ve seen plans from $150-850/mo.u00a0 At the high end of the range that is $5 and change per hour added on.u00a0 The real cost is largely lifestyle choices – someone choosing to live downtown in an expensive place and who buys expensive things frequently vs. someone who isn’t spending wildly.u00a0 The fact that there are some people who live more expensively and charge accordingly should not be an influence of the market rate for everyone else.u00a0 This is a drawback to the increased flow if information, especially in major cities.nnA bigger issue here is that founders need to get savvier about telling the difference from a gold digger and a person who is a quality person who is good at what they need to get done.u00a0 There are too many people who are slick sales types who will promise that they can do anything, or they will promise they will do something and then farm it out to others – founders should be wary of them.u00a0

      Reply
      • jb

        It’s certainly difficult to determine whether someone can deliver what they’re offering or whether they’ll wilt when faced with the actual work. That’s a tough analysis to make, especially for someone who isn’t that experienced in tech matters. I think good references are probably the safest indicator.nnI’m an experienced developer and here’s my thought process when someone approaches me to work on a startup:nnFirst off, I assume that their startup will fail. The vast majority do, often for reasons outside of the founders’ control. I don’t know of many that fail for technical reasons. Ideally you would want to hire someone that shares your total belief in the startup but finding that coupled with strong technical skill is a rarity. You should be looking for someone who can deliver what you need – if they love your idea that’s a bonus.u00a0nnSince I’m assuming that the startup will fail I treat it as a professional transaction and not something that I’m going to get heavily emotionally invested in. That means I’m charging market rates. It doesn’t matter what calculations you’ve done because the market doesn’t normally care about that. Unfortunately I think ignorance of market rates is a sign that someone isn’t an savvy developer so it might be difficult finding a suitable candidate that will accept less. No one ever argues that Kobe’s Bryant’s salary is ridiculous compares to what he needs to live on. You pay what it takes to get someone to work for you.

        Reply
        • Bob

          If a founder can interview effectively then they are going to fail.u00a0 In that case they should do their homework or hire someone to be their technical interviewer who can help.u00a0 I know some people that do this on a by the interview basis with potential finalists.u00a0 The bottom line is that some things should not be attempted by people – if it is a small project with low costs and low risks then that is different than a big project with high costs and high risk.nnIn my experience, and I’ve checked a LOT (in the hundreds) of references, the references only round out the picture and confirm suspicions or add new ones.u00a0 Occasionally a reference changes things positively, but more often than not they are just validation.u00a0 More often than not the references provided are either biased, very biased, or lacking – e.g. not a direct supervisor, not a direct peer.u00a0 An inexperienced founder isn’t going to be very good at interviewing much less in reference checking, especially not at something very specialized that they know very little about – this adds to the challenge.nnI agree with you about the assumption that a startup will fail.u00a0 However, there are predictors of failure and success and as a developer or freelancer you are just as responsible for doing due diligence on your prospective client or founder as they are on you.u00a0 Let’s distinguish between technical co-founder, early employee, and freelancer though.u00a0 As a freelancer things are different.u00a0 If they are moved by what you are doing that may make them more passionate, but that should not change what they are charging.u00a0 Charity isn’t and shouldn’t be thought of as a motivator.u00a0 There are a lot of freelancers who end up being very loyal to startups and the two can co-exist and support each other along the way.u00a0 I’ve been a beneficiary and party to this and seen it with a lot of others.u00a0 This is awesome when it happens and both benefit tremendously.u00a0 On the other hand, technical co-founder and early employee considerations are different.u00a0 You can find someone interested, but that alone isn’t good enough.u00a0 I run into people all the time that bond over open source projects, friendships, etc., but in a startup (a for profit one anyway) that stuff is not what should be the basis for the work alone – those things are a nice bonus.u00a0 What is crucial is that the founder and the co-founder(s) and/or employees take the time to sort out what is important and what will be sufficient motivation.u00a0 Sweat equity is a dumb idea in most cases simply because the value of it is constantly in question when the startup has a bad day, week, month, year, etc.u00a0 Startups have a lot of tough times and this will crush an employee’s motivation.u00a0 Sweat equity is much better when it is a true co-founder and not someone who came on later, after the idea was in progress.u00a0 Early equity can be a nice bonus to cash though.u00a0 Cash is typically going to be the best and most consistent motivator.u00a0 Again, I’m talking from experience here too.u00a0 You need steady motivation from your team, not on and off motivation – cash has that and equity alone does not. For employees, you have to make absolute certain that your employees are in it for the equity.u00a0 I know a lot of people who treat equity as a non-motivator or joke altogether.u00a0 They want the same pay they would get anywhere, regardless of the equity.u00a0 These types of people are not right for an early stage startup – no amount of equity will change that for them.nnRegarding your point about Pro-NBA players, I think you are right.u00a0 Even still, someone like Sean Parker or Max Levchin won’t come work for you because the pay is there.u00a0u00a0 There are Pro-NBA players who will take cash to play an exhibition that they might not otherwise do.u00a0 Founders who encounter freelancers who think of themselves in that sort of way should keep looking – they will be better off.u00a0 There are plenty of people out there – he low hanging fruit (the people who have put themselves out there in the most prolific way and who charge through the roof rates) isn’t the best..

          Reply
  8. willstepp

    I am a professional programmer and found this advice to be quite good, particularly the part about doing a very small project to test whether the developer can do what he claims. There are definitely some programmers out there who can talk the talk but can’t walk the walk.

    Reply
  9. Bob

    Rocky,nnThat is a great question. Taxes are a part of doing business. A startup founder paying a freelancer should be concerned with making sure that the freelancer they are working with is someone who is fully eligible to work without restrictions and request a W9 (if the person is not incorporated and acting as an independent contractor) or their EIN. Check with your attorney and CPA for the right answer for you. The freelancer pays their own taxes just like they would pay income taxes if they were an employee. Individual health plans are a cost of doing business just like a laptop and an office. Maybe I will do a follow-up post about health care options for freelancers and small business owners. If someone is going into business for themselves as a freelancer and they feel that they must include their health insurance cost in their burden calculation then they should make sure they don’t pass off a disproportionate % of that cost on to the startup. The more important consideration here is that the kind of freelancer that most startup founders is going to want to hire already has a day job that comes with health insurance. You can go with a full time freelancer, but that is not something that I would recommend unless they are substantially committed to your project. As for insurance, you can go on InsuranceNoodle.com or find a broker that works with small businesses and get a policy for under $500/yr which comes out to less than $1/hr more. This is a marginal cost that would blend into the $1.15/hr more that I pointed out as being necessary after the purchase of a new MacBook Pro laptop and accounting services. After the initial purchase of the new laptop you won’t have that cost again for 2-3 years so the difference isn’t really one at all.nnWhen you get right down to it, someone who is willing to work as a freelancer is probably the same sort of person who will eventually set up their own consulting practice or work for a boutique software consulting practice. I have found that these shops tend to pay well below market rates for their people because they offer up good experience or insights into how to set up your own shop. Much like the mercenary rates out there, these boutique shops charge a high margin that isn’t something in line with what a smart startup founder should be willing to pay. worse, these shops often hire the same people who a startup company could or would hire and drive the price of labor up in their market by creating a shortage. They bill their people out to the highest bidder wherever that bidder is, ultimately hurting hurting local companies. nnA startup founder faced with the choice of paying mercenary prices or boutique software consulting firm prices should opt for non of the above. It is a matter of patience, tenacity, and talking to the right people. If you are not finding something in line with the established market rates that is when you should be talking to an expert recruiter. Just to re-iterate this, I’m happy to get someone in touch with the right recruiter or user group to talk to for networking purposes if nothing else.

    Reply
    • Mike

      Thanks for the article Bob.u00a0 Would you have user groupu00a0ideas for me?u00a0 I need a programmer to build a social networking platform that can handle 25,000+ networks ..most networks will have between 1,000 – 5,000 members.u00a0 I expect 5,000 – 30,000 page views per month, per network, depending on how often I broadcast messages to membership.nnI really need to know which questions to ask.u00a0 I need to make sure that the monthly site maintance is affordable and that I can admin the site myself (I am not a programmer)nnI prefer to not have cofounders though, unless there was a programmer that would be a good fit …but that seems unlikely.u00a0u00a0Ideally, I’ll hire au00a0programmer that can build the site the way I need it and also be available for maintenance.u00a0 Any usergroup suggestions, websites or articles would be appreciated.u00a0 Thanks.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        It sounds like you have a very specific end point in mind.u00a0 Software projects like the one you are describing rarely end up exactly like you have envisioned that they will.u00a0 Without knowing a lot more about what you are trying to do it is really hard to say.u00a0 If you want something that conforms to a tighter budget and isn’t going to have a lot of loops and curves to go through along the way then you might (I hate saying this) want to consider looking at Drupal or a similar open source content mangament system with social network capabilities already developed.u00a0 There are a lot of customization options with it and you could end up with something very custom as far as your end goals are concerned.u00a0 More importantly, you should consider that building a social network is not a small undertaking.u00a0 One developer probably is not going to be enough.u00a0 Even the smart, agile, experienced developers who are working on new projects tend to prefer to start with something smaller that fitsu00a0a need but that can be scaled gradually.u00a0 Twitter is a good example of that.u00a0 Another example might be taking something like Drupal or even an app that hooks into the Facebook API (for example) or that uses Facebook connect to build some of what you want.u00a0 nnStarting with something smaller has other advantages too.u00a0 You can work with a developer and figure out if you and he or she get along well, they are productive, etc. without as much risk initially.u00a0 Planning and staging foru00a0a major project can take time and resources too.nnAs far as user groups go, I would recommend finding something that is close enough to you to get there early and stay late. Something that you won’t mind making it out to for 5-6 evenings, maybe more.u00a0 With that in mind, and depending on where you are (ping me by email and we can discuss more – contact@socialmatchbox.com) I’d check out the Ruby on Rails, Python (Django) or PHP (Zend or Symphony – but not if they are talking a lot about Drupal and/or Joomla at that particular meetup, unless you want to go that route).u00a0 Rails people tend to be hard to get and expensive, Python people tend to be more prolific in some towns over others and at universities, PHP people are everywhere (see notes above).u00a0 Anyone you talk to should have solid command of CSS, HTML, and JavaScript (they should know JQuery – not optional). n

        Reply
  10. Rockymehta

    Hey Bob, great article. One question about overhead is what about taxes, insurance, health insurance?

    Reply
  11. Rockymehta

    Hey Bob, great article. One question about overhead is what about taxes, insurance, health insurance?

    Reply
    • socialmatchbox

      Great question. Step 3 covers this, but does not mention health insurance, taxes or insurance specifically. I am planning to create an updated and adjusted for inflation version of this post sometime in the near future and will address those topics in more detail then.

      Reply

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