4 Tips for Finding the Right Developer

Thomas Grasty is Co-Founder of Stroome (http://www.stroome.com/). In this video he shares 4 tips for finding the right developer.

  • Recognize their worth, not their rate
  • Work for specific milestones
  • Make them part of the team
  • Let them contribute & make a difference

Most of the startup we start off with two to three founders. The issue is that if one of those founders is not a tech founder, then hiring a developer is really important. Here are a couple of things that you might want to look for if you have to hire a developer.

The first is that money really is not the only motivator. In fact, it’s rarely the main motivator. What you really need to do is you need to recognize the developer’s worth. The last thing you want to do is try to negotiate the down on their rate out of the gate. Acknowledge the rate, acknowledge it. Pay it. If you can’t pay it all upfront then just simply maybe offer to pay it on deferment or give them piece of the business. If they don’t want equity, that’s okay, you can still work with them. Maybe they just don’t see your complete vision yet.

Second point is to work towards milestones. There’s a real tendency when you’re working with someone for the first time to try to verify what they’re doing and the way that most people do that is to ask for a timesheet. Well, that’s really a recipe for disaster. First of all, you can’t validate how many hours some will work anyway. So rather than do that, what I would suggest is that you work towards deadlines or milestones. First of all, it’ll keep the project on track. It’ll keep the developer from feeling as if you’re looking over his or her shoulder every 5 minutes.

Third is to make them feel like they’re part of the team. I mean, at this point, they probably beginning to buy a division. It’s not about the money. It’s about, really about the prestige and about the product. So when you go out and talk about your successes as a founder and as a company, talk about your developer. I mean, attribute that to them as well because they’ve played a major part in it.

Fourth, let them make a difference. Here’s the irony of the whole thing that I discovered is that most developers they really aren’t technicians. They’re problem solvers. And you probably had a pretty big problem if you had to go outside and hire somebody. So let them tackle that problem. Let them do the job that you’ve hired them to do and give them the latitude and the leverage to be able to do it.

So, I mean, when you’re trying to hire a developer, the main thing that I would like to leave you with is the notion of if you’re going to make a difference with them, let them make a contribution. And when you hire a developer, think about it like you’re hiring a team member because if it works out, you just might be doing that.