Happy Bear Software

Assemble your software team

You know what web application you’re going to build, why you’re going to build it and what success looks like for this project. Now you have to find someone to build it.

Start with a full-stack developer

Even if you have a large budget, hiring a large team at once may not be the best use of it. Starting with a smaller team and iterating to a larger one presents fewer challenges than starting with a large team from day one. It allows you to iterate quickly without paying large amounts of communication overhead that come with a bigger team.

A full-stack developer is one that works with both front-end and back-end web technologies. They can turn designs, wireframes, specifications, and anything else you use to define your application and turn them into working software that solves your business problems.

A full-stack developer should be the first person on your team. You might hire specialists to handle particular areas of expertise later, but no one else can actually ship the software you want to launch from beginning to end.

Engaging with a full-stack developer earlier in the process allows you start iterating on your software more quickly. This allows you to start giving feedback within days of project start rather than weeks or months, increasing the likelihood that the software that’s delivered is the software you actually want.

Choose an appropriate legal structure

There are a number of ways to engage with a full-stack developer. Here are a few:

Select a developer for maximum probability of success

However you structure the engagement, there are a few obvious steps you can take to maximise the chance of your project succeeding.

Here’s what to look for:

Make your expectations clear

As part of your assessment process, you need to make clear exactly what it is you expect of the developer or agency you hire. In particular:

For example, you might specify that:

The exact expectations don’t matter as much as the fact that you specified any at all. By spelling out in detail exactly how you want developers to interact with you, you give them a personal set of success criteria. These success criteria should be in line with moving you incrementally closer to your project goal.

Not all developers will like your proposed way of working, so invite feedback from potentials and see if you can come to an agreeable workflow. Developers that are a bad fit for you will opt-out, and developers that resonate with your working style will be more likely to find you.

Summary

Once you’ve created a short-list of potential developers, it’s time to begin drilling down into the details of the exact software you want built. You’ll need an experienced developer at your side to do this effectively.

- Najaf Ali

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