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Do Your Research Before Hiring!
by Princeton
22 Apr 2006 23:25

Not sure who you're listening to but money doesn't grow on trees!
You work hard for your money. So, why in the world are you throwing money away?

If you want to hire a programmer[1], do not hire based on "lowest bid" only. If you do, you'll end up with a product that has not been thoroughly tested, optimized, or worst--the program does not do what you want it to do.

Just like everyday life - you need to do some research before you act. Only after you have completed your research should you hire.

Below is a guideline of what you should do when making a request and what you should expect.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN MAKING A REQUEST
  • If it's a large project do not expect it to be finished in a couple of weeks. A good programmer will take the necessary time to test the product before adding it on a LIVE site. Testing a large project could take weeks even months.
  • Experienced programmers are usually busy ... if you place a request for something that needs to be done right away ... you will most likely be declined or ignored due to time constraints. A good programmer thinks about the business at hand not the business that could be.
  • It's always best to pay per project not per hour. For example, a large project could take up to 100 hours or more. The hourly pay for a good programmer averages $65-$150 per hour. Do you still want to pay per hour?
  • An individual creating and releasing a popular modification here in vb.org does not mean they are an "expert" in the field.
  • Do not base your choice on the "usertitles" that are found here. These titles are set automatically by the system and are based on "install counts". In my opinion, if you base your choice in "usertitle" you will most likely come out losing.
WHAT YOU SHOULD INCLUDE WHEN MAKING A SERVICE REQUEST

The more details you offer the better chances of getting a response.
  • Budget - If it's a large project add your budget. You're only wasting your time if you don't
  • Mockups[2] - Provide mockups of how you envision your project ... the more mockups you provide the better the estimate. In some cases, it will lower the estimate. For example, a programmer could be thinking something more complex when you want something simple. NOTE: A mockup can be done on your favorite HTML editor, graphic editor, or pencil and paper. It doesn't matter ... the goal is to give the programmer something to visualize so that they can base their estimate on what you want NOT on what they think you want.
  • Expect to pay a deposit of at least 50% down. Only when the "Trust Factor" exists should you consider paying 100% upfront.
  • Provide a full description, goals, bulleted list of features, examples, mockups, and screenshots of what you are requesting. Everything should be written down ... there should be no question as to what it is that you want.
  • Get everything in writing ... The best option is to have all communications via email or a "customer help desk w/email capabilities". This will provide all parties a copy of past and present communications.
  • Do NOT include the time that YOU think the project can be completed in. For example, I have seen statements in the following manner .. "it will take an experienced programmer 30 minutes top". If you do something like this you will most likely be ignored by the best of programmers.
PROJECT COST

Factors that determines project estimate:
  • Complexity of project
  • Time to complete project
  • Requests for "Exclusive Ownership Rights" (Some programmers, like myself, will not grant "exclusive ownership rights". Others will just increase project cost by a few $1,000's.)
High demand for a programmer usually means ... more experience, less risk, and a higher trust factor. With this in mind, expect to pay more for programmers who are in demand.

TRUST FACTOR

Do not trust anyone.

However, there are things that you can look for to build credibility and trust.
  1. Take a look at current work the programmer has done.
  2. Take a look at the programmer's responses to questions. This will give you a good indication of what "type" of person they are.
    • Does the programmer belittle people if they lack the proper knowledge?
    • Is the programmer "negative" in their tone of voice?
      • Negative responses are a big flag. All responses should be positive regardless of how the programmer feels about the communication at hand.
  3. How long has the individual been a vb.org member? You don't want to hire someone who just became a member last month. Most of the "new members", are the ones that usually end up ripping people off.
  4. Ask for full name and address ... you don't want to refer to someone by their WEB nick. For example, "iMuRfaTHeR is doing the work for me", "iMuRfaTHeR has ripped me off!". My response to you is ... Huh? Who is iMuRfaTHeR? Just think for a moment ... this person could leave and come back with a different nick. Guess what? YOU might hire them again. I don't think you want that. Do you?
  5. Minimize risk by hiring people locally ... (hired in the following order)
    • City
    • County
    • State
    • Country Only hire outside when you can verify their credentials.
  6. Hire only those that you can verify ... if in doubt, do not hire.
  7. Ask for a telephone number (very important - you can verify address / locality of person with a phone number)
  8. Try to find people that have a good understanding of all aspects of vbulletin ... this includes: PHP, MYSQL, XHTML, JS, GRAPHICS ... reading their comments found here in vb.org will help you to determine "what they know".
DISCLAIMER

Information found on this article is provided for information purposes only. It's recommended that you hire a local attorney for legal advice.

[1] Programmer - in this article, we are using the term "programmer" in a general sense ... a programmer could be anyone who modifies or adds to an application in any form (eg. php, mysql, html, graphics, etc)
[2] Mockups - A usually full-sized scale model of a structure, used for demonstration, study, or testing.


Questions? Contact Joe @ http://vbulletin.org.
No reprints of this article is allowed.

swa 22 Apr 2006 23:35

good tips...shouldn't this be in the service request section?

Princeton 22 Apr 2006 23:41

I posted it here so that it can get exposure.
And, I'm hoping that members will offer their own advice ... the Service Request doesn't allow comments.

Paul M 22 Apr 2006 23:43

Mostly good tips, not that I agree with all of them. I won't give my address or phone number to anyone, they are private for family & friends only, not someone I'm doing a bit of programming work for.

Blam Forumz 23 Apr 2006 01:34

I agree with Paul M, though most of your tips are good, the locality one, not so much for us UKers or people in smaller countries who wish to fulfil service requests, you know.

TruthElixirX 23 Apr 2006 01:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blam Forumz
I agree with Paul M, though most of your tips are good, the locality one, not so much for us UKers or people in smaller countries who wish to fulfil service requests, you know.

Yeah, if I could hire local people, the need for the internet would be a lot less.

Tony G 23 Apr 2006 02:18

You could luck out on vB.org and find someone local. :p

Scrolls 23 Apr 2006 03:58

ive been screwed once on here. but, i talked to the guy i just hired for a bit. seems very trustworthy. good advice. i wouldnt give my number out either, nor wouldnt ask. lol. my opinion....but, nice advice man.

PennylessZ28 23 Apr 2006 04:40

good tips and advice

Princeton 23 Apr 2006 13:42

This article is intended for "buyers" not programmers.

The safest route a "buyer" could take is to ensure that they know "all about the programmer".

Having an address and telephone number is just another means in minimizing the risk.

I will say that I do not freely give out my TOLL-FREE number to anyone.
However, there are circumstances that I do give out my number without hesitation.
  • If communication is ongoing and "buyer" requests to talk via phone.
  • If large deposit is required ... $1,000+.
  • If it's a repeat customer.
I have added this article to the SERVICE REQUEST forum.

kriscad 29 Apr 2006 04:37

good post...
maybe you could list "certified" programmers that you know can do the job... you get people like me who would hire someone from here if we knew they were credible.

Blam Forumz 29 Apr 2006 09:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by kriscad
good post...
maybe you could list "certified" programmers that you know can do the job... you get people like me who would hire someone from here if we knew they were credible.


I think that's a great idea.

I also think that some sort of system is in place, say, once sign up for a job, the buyer could perhaps fill out a little form, or tick a box saying that they're trustworthy?

peterska2 01 May 2006 21:24

On the other side of the coin, if you are considering applying to do one of the service requests, check out the poster first. Some of them are less than trustworthy too.

Blam Forumz 01 May 2006 21:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by peterska2
On the other side of the coin, if you are considering applying to do one of the service requests, check out the poster first. Some of them are less than trustworthy too.

Indeed, for example, I did some work for "alloutvb", he sent me a small cut of the money first ($10 out of $50), after I completed the work, he broke contact, and I haven't been able to get in touch of him here, on his sites, or even through the contact information that I yielded from whois results for his domains :(

Princeton 10 May 2006 12:52

please keep discussion on subject

SaN-DeeP 11 May 2006 01:45

thanks for your time princeton
nice article for beginners and experienced as well :)

Regards,

MissKalunji 12 May 2006 19:27

Very good tip! hopefully other ppl wont get screwed up anymore

Kenyon 28 May 2006 16:47

A good and accurate list. I sometimes have had clients who hired someone for the first time. I had to explain quite a few things beforehand. Now I can just forward them to your post. :)

projectego 01 Jun 2006 11:15

Some interesting tips and well documented advice, Princeton. Thanks very much. :)

letsjoy 08 Jan 2007 20:04

nice tips

Justice 04 Jun 2007 19:48

Good read. I especially like...
Quote:

Originally Posted by Princeton (Post 957437)


TRUST FACTOR

Do not trust anyone.

:D :up:

SCRIPT3R 01 Sep 2007 02:27

suprised that this isn't read as much around here by all the noobs being taken advantage of.

notrious 16 Jan 2008 22:48

thanks bosss great info

NAZIA 11 Jun 2008 16:26

nice article it is..

pspmaster93 19 Jul 2008 22:12

Quote:

Do not base your choice on the "usertitles" that are found here. These titles are set automatically by the system and are based on "install counts". In my opinion, if you base your choice in "usertitle" you will most likely come out loosing.
you spelt losing "loosing" u noob lol

--------------- Added 19 Jul 2008 at 22:14 ---------------

o crap lol i didnt realize who wrote this :eek: NVM YOUR NO NOOB LOL

Princeton 20 Jul 2008 17:06

LOL, I reviewed the article and made some changes ... if you find other errors please let me know.

pspmaster93 20 Jul 2008 18:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by Princeton (Post 1579909)
LOL, I reviewed the article and made some changes ... if you find other errors please let me know.

lol okay

webuser99 28 Jul 2008 00:21

ty much

Carnage 29 Jul 2008 18:58

As a suggestion, theres a site that i often do work on that has a very good system for ensuring that both the programmer and the client are satisfied with a deal (essentially an escrow service and the option to have one of the sites staff arbitrate any dispute). Would i be allowed to link to it (its not my site, nor will i get any referal bonus for anyone who choses to look into it)

Alfa1 29 Jul 2008 19:53

There are a few of such sites. I think the vb community and vb.org would greatly benefit if people would know about them.

chick 21 Oct 2008 00:02

Good tips, I wish I had read them before a member here ripped me off for $150.

again thanks for the tips, they make sense and I will bookmark this one.

wlid123 19 Mar 2009 05:06

good post...
maybe you could list "certified" programmers that you know can do the job... you get people like me who would hire someone from here if we knew they were credible.
Reply With Quote

STOP I"M TOP 25 May 2009 22:48

good post

BusinessCoach 29 May 2009 16:09

If someone won't give a phone number and address, they better not expect to be paid anything up front...you make yourself out to be a total stranger.

Also, I wish there was some sort of itrader, reputation/feedback system here on VB...would save a lot of people from being ripped off.

You have people like my last coder, who apparently likes alcohol (according to his myspace) which would explain why he can do a job once, then freak out for no reason and disappear with your money on the next. Later Mr CompleteGfx.com was banned from VB. We buyers can HELP each other, but there is no way to really communicate about programmers.

Same way, I know there are programmers who have been burned by BUYERS...I understand vb wanting to be neutral, but peer-to-peer feedback would be SOOOO helpful to the entire community.

DivineMessenger 16 Jul 2009 03:42

Easy tip. Pay with paypal and say pay for a "good" not a "service". If they rip you off request a tracking number for shipment and they obviously wont be able to provide one and paypal will give your money back. Works every time.

OR pay with a credit card and if you get screwed over contact your credit card provider and report them as fraudulent and they will take your money back.

Ohh and NEVER pay upfront. Why would you? Always someone willing to do it first OR for larger jobs pay in increments and you see progress being made.

Most online financial systems are there to benefit buyers not sellers and if you know how it all works its easy to be safe. I order everything online and I have a stack of broken iPods and outdated nutrition products that were all free because people tried to rip me off and messed with the wrong person =]

SamirDarji 26 Aug 2009 14:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by Carnage- (Post 1586824)
As a suggestion, theres a site that i often do work on that has a very good system for ensuring that both the programmer and the client are satisfied with a deal (essentially an escrow service and the option to have one of the sites staff arbitrate any dispute). Would i be allowed to link to it (its not my site, nor will i get any referal bonus for anyone who choses to look into it)

I'm interested in seeing this site.

hoj 03 Sep 2009 17:31

As a new member here, I'd like to know if there are any success stories to learn and benefit from.

Other than the "Request for Paid service" forum, are there any other places to screen programmers/coders?

Are there any companies in the US that you have had good experience with vB development on your sites?

Any directions would be greatly appreciated.

msryat 14 Nov 2009 03:22

good post

carelate 23 Feb 2010 20:16

Can someone direct me to a qualified programmer to do full vbulletin community development?

Must be qualified and professional to deal with on a good sized project.

SamirDarji 08 Mar 2011 19:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by carelate (Post 1989864)
Can someone direct me to a qualified programmer to do full vbulletin community development?

Must be qualified and professional to deal with on a good sized project.

If you find this golden goose, please share. I've needed this for a decade.

Shabcool 01 Jan 2012 16:57

good tips

thank you
by massrealtorpro
07 Feb 2012 23:08

this may have just saved me, I am now going to take my time now and reevaluate how i handle the desperate help i require.

manchu39 16 Jan 2014 21:16

I think we have just become a victim of this very post. We are trying desperately to find someone to complete our site. Anyone interested or know somebody? Really appreciate any/all feedback.

Thank you

ozzy47 16 Jan 2014 21:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by manchu39 (Post 2474729)
I think we have just become a victim of this very post. We are trying desperately to find someone to complete our site. Anyone interested or know somebody? Really appreciate any/all feedback.

Thank you

Your best bet would be to post in the paid requests section, http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=30

Describe what it is you are looking to have done, so potential hires know what is needed.

manchu39 16 Jan 2014 21:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by ozzy47 (Post 2474730)
Your best bet would be to post in the paid requests section, http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=30

Describe what it is you are looking to have done, so potential hires know what is needed.

Thank you very much Ozzy47

SaN-DeeP 26 May 2015 20:24

Sorry to bump an old topic again, but this kind of stuff is required every month (updated though ;))
Quote:

Experienced programmers are usually busy ... if you place a request for something that needs to be done right away ... you will most likely be declined or ignored due to time constraints. A good programmer thinks about the business at hand not the business that could be.
This is the best thing.. in case of some complex programming for sure..

Can some programmers confirm the hourly rates present (its been 7-8 years now)
65 - 150 US$ in past compared to present rates ?

Thank You.

TheLastSuperman 25 Jun 2015 06:10

I can, my base rate is $75/hr and when working on hacked sites since I'm taking a risk I charge $150/hr. Others vary and it truly depends on a number of factors including location/experience/history(portfolio or similar) and I've seen some fantastic coders who work for under $25 some so low as $10-$15/hr although that's usually from folks located overseas and NO, just because someone does not speak perfect English does not mean that they do not understand code (php/html etc) I've been privileged to work with many who I could tell by their work was on par (how they coded was great, unlike other horse hockey I've seen) despite the language barrier.

I know a few more skilled than myself who charge less, differences-a-plenty though so can't truly compare its best to do research and pick the programmer who suites your needs and your budget.


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