5 Replies - 309 Views - Last Post: 18 March 2019 - 10:08 PM

#1 Yogont   User is offline

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As a developer—should I outsource development?

Posted 18 March 2019 - 06:56 AM

I'm a skilled developer who works a full-time job at a tech company, earning pretty good money. I also have a side-project that isn't moving along as quickly as me or my prospective customers would like it to.

It hit me that I have the option to hire someone to do development. Naturally, anyone who is a developer doesn't consider paying someone else to do the work.

I have about $1000 to spare. I imagine I'd be spending more time doing customer development, design and the other parts of my side-project if I outsourced the technical implementation.

(I enjoy the development a lot, and if I had more time to spare I'd do it all myself.)

Does anyone of you have experience with this?

What do you believe I have to consider if I choose to do this?

Is $1000 a month way too little to find a decent developer?

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#2 modi123_1   User is online

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Re: As a developer—should I outsource development?

Posted 18 March 2019 - 07:01 AM

If you want to get your project done then sure.. go nuts.. hire folk.

Quote

Does anyone of you have experience with this?

Been on the other end.

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What do you believe I have to consider if I choose to do this?

I don't follow.

Quote

Is $1000 a month way too little to find a decent developer?

Depends on the work.
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#3 Martyr2   User is offline

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Re: As a developer—should I outsource development?

Posted 18 March 2019 - 09:57 AM

If it is work for a company that you are working for or have some kind of obligation to, you might want to make sure nothing you share with the outsourced developer is sensitive or you will be liable for it. You might want to make sure you have some non-disclosure agreement in place as well as a clause that says that the outsourced developer can't go to your employer directly or share any of their info with them.

But if your project is all yours and not related to the company you work for, there is no real problem. I would still get them to sign an NDA if think you have some pretty solid intellectual property tied up in your project. Also that any of the work they do and their ideas are your property as well (this typically goes unsaid, but should be spelled out). But other than that, it is your typical outsourcing scenario. You have a project, you hire an outside developer to help, they work for what you pay and all is a done deal.

:)
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#4 Salem_c   User is offline

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Re: As a developer—should I outsource development?

Posted 18 March 2019 - 10:25 AM

> What do you believe I have to consider if I choose to do this?
You'll need the following IMO (in no particular order).

1. A solid specification of the work you want done.
2. A test suite to determine your acceptance of the work done.
3. An escrow service agreed by both parties where you can lodge the funds prior to delivery.
4. An NDA to ensure your intellectual property isn't stolen. Though how effective that would be is another matter.
5. A clear statement that you'll own all rights to the s/w once it's produced.
6. An agreed budget for the work.
7. An agreement for who pays for failures - you for errors in the spec, them for failures in the implementation.
8. Plan for how you're going to manage disputes. Pick an escrow agent that knows what software is.

> I'm a skilled developer who works a full-time job at a tech company, earning pretty good money.
> I have about $1000 to spare.
Take your gross annual salary.
Multiply by 1.5 to 2.0 (depends on jurisdiction). These are all the overhead costs of employing you, through various employment taxes, providing your office equipment, desk, chair, heat, light. Other employee benefits like pension, health, gym, car, training etc.
Divide that by 2000 (40hrs/week for 50 weeks a year).

Expect to pay someone working freelance that much per hour to work on your project, if they're working in your near vicinity. They have the same overheads as you, but they're directly responsible for them.

You might get a lot more "bang for your buck" by going to say India. There are an awful lot people that would work for $50/day rather than $50/hr.

Regardless, bear in mind the amount of time and effort you're going to spend wearing a "project management" hat. A developer in some far off land might be cheap, but you'll have timezone and language barriers to overcome.

Possible resources.
https://www.upwork.com/
https://www.freelancer.com/jobs/#

Edit:
Martyr2 has a good point.
Check your employment contract. They might claim ownership of any idea you have, regardless of whether you thought of it at work or whether you were soaking up the sunshine on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

This post has been edited by Salem_c: 18 March 2019 - 10:29 AM

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#5 no2pencil   User is offline

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Re: As a developer—should I outsource development?

Posted 18 March 2019 - 11:56 AM

View PostYogont, on 18 March 2019 - 08:56 AM, said:

Is $1000 a month way too little to find a decent developer?

just going with this figure alone;

Will the job result in more than $3k a month? If no, I wouldn't bother outsourcing it for that ROI.

View PostSalem_c, on 18 March 2019 - 12:25 PM, said:

Edit:
Martyr2 has a good point.
Check your employment contract. They might claim ownership of any idea you have, regardless of whether you thought of it at work or whether you were soaking up the sunshine on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

I always ask this during my interview. Once hired, I immediately check the HR paper-work to cross-verify.
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#6 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: As a developer—should I outsource development?

Posted 18 March 2019 - 10:08 PM

View PostYogont, on 18 March 2019 - 08:56 AM, said:

I have about $1000 to spare. I imagine I'd be spending more time doing customer development, design and the other parts of my side-project if I outsourced the technical implementation.


If this is something that's worth doing and you have customers (or potential customers), someone's going to have to take on executive and product tasks. It's very hard to run a business, be a product manager, and also deliver code, even if you don't have the day job. Probably you can do two of the three (for now) but you'll want to outsource one of them. It's probably easiest to outsource the implementation at this stage, because it's a lot easier to communicate what you need to a hired-gun programmer than to find someone who understands what you're doing as well as you do and trust them to make product decisions for you.

Honestly, if this project is really going to be a going concern, you're going to have to give up on writing the code sooner or later. Might as well get used to it now. The upside of this is, you can always hire a programmer who can implement on your ideas better than you can. It's really hard to hire someone to have your ideas for you.


Jumping up a level, I think it's worth asking yourself whether this is a potential business or not. If it's something that you think might have legs, if you think there are customers who can pay enough to make it worth doing and who will pay enough to make it worth while, then there's no sense in waiting around. The sooner you go to market, the sooner you can start taking people's money. Forget $1K per month - sit down with your product roadmap and figure out how many months of full-time work by one person it should take to get this idea into a state where your customers stop being prospective. If you can, get your work checked from both sides. Talk to a few prospective customers about what you think you'll be able to deliver and what you want them to pay for it, and then listen to what they really want and what they really would be willing to pay. Then talk to some other engineers and ask them to review the delivery timetable with you, and then listen to them when they tell you why you're being too optimistic.
Once you have that timetable, you've got something that looks like a business plan and you can start thinking about how to raise money to hire someone to get it delivered. If you've been really good about managing your social media for the last two years, that might be kickstarter. If you have wealthy relatives, they might be your first angels. If you have a well-paid job as a software developer, that might be a visit to the bank to take out a personal loan.
Then you roll the dice - hire someone, give them clear direction and good feedback, and hope it all goes to plan.

Now, if that seems like it's too big of a leap, then you might have to ask yourself: is this really a business? Do you really have customers? Because if you don't trust it enough to jump in feet first, then maybe you don't trust it enough to slow-bleed a grand a month on it.

So if I'm honest, I don't see a case for the $1K per month number, but I do think it could be reasonable to spend a lot more than that.

For what it's worth, I work for a startup accelerator, so this is really not a new set of questions for me.
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