Monday, March 28, 2011
During the last year I've embarked on a number of web based projects. Catch phrases like, "spreading yourself too thin", "biting off more than you can chew", and dozens of others come to min - but I'm not here to talk to you about my work habits. What I can tell you is that managing multiple projects simultaneously helps you appreciate quality programmers. I define a quality programmer as:
--Someone who anticipates your needs. They don't wait to be micromanaged. Rather, these programmers cover all the details so you don't have to.
--Someone who is more than a programmer - they are capable of wearing the user's shoes. When programming they aren't about simply following your instructions. Instead they think about how users will interact with the site and make the appropriate design/programming choices.
--Someone who takes feedback and applies it across the site. Often changes are asked for but not applied throughout.
I know these descriptions of the ideal programmer may seem obvious, but finding a programmer that exhibits these characteristics is easier said than done.
How do you find the right programmer?
Unfortunately, finding the right programmer isn't all that easy. Trust me, I've gone through dozens. But I have learned how to improve my chances of finding a programmer who will get the job done.
A good place to start is to ask, when you post a job or search for a programmer, for the above characteristics. Even if the response is, "yeah, sure," you know they are aware of your expectations and what type of resource you are looking for. It's always good to place your expectations out there from day one!
The next step is to keep trying new providers until you find one or two you can depend on. Working with the same providers over and over can build trust and mutual respect. To be successful, reward your best programmers with additional work when possible.