OK, so it’s always a bit controversial when a web developer advises on what you should look for in a developer. Of course what they really mean is ME! And I’m no different it would be unnatural if I didn’t think that I had the traits that I’m going to talk about.
But whether you’re going to hire me, or someone else, I still believe that you should be looking at these traits in your web developer. So here goes…
OK, so we’ve all watched ‘The Apprentice’ or similar and got total sick of the candidate churning out cliché after cliché about how passionate they are about everything under the sun. I’m NOT talking about that.
What I’m talking about is the kind of infectious enthusiasm that comes across in everything they say when talking about your project. You’ll know it when you hear it. You’ll find that you come out of the meeting feeling all fired up about the project and keen to get started.
Why do you want passion? Simple, they care. If they can enthuse you about your own project, you can bet that it means a lot to them to make it a success
2. Business Understanding
I don’t mean ‘can they run their own business?’ but do they understand yours? When they wrote the proposal, did the solutions they presented give you the feeling that they understood, not just what was in the brief, but the overall picture of what you wanted to achieve with you web site? This assumes that you have thought about the goals for your web site. If you haven’t, do so now…
3. Breadth of knowledge
All web developers have their favourite platforms and programming language. But for any particular project there will be a platform that suites it better than others. Does your prospective developer have knowledge of multiple platforms, have they considered them within their proposal and analysed why they have chosen a particular one?
It’s all too easy to be lead into a particular platform because that’s all that the developer knows. Challenge them to justify their reasoning for the choice. It will tell you a lot about their depth of knowledge and credibility.
4. Thinking beyond the scope
Do (or did) they include some extra options of take your requirements to the next level? You want someone working on your project that can think about what might be the best solution for you. That might mean a second or third phase of development, but they are showing that they’ve actually thought about your requirements, rather than simply taking your requirements document and simply fulfilling it.
This also demonstrates that they are in for the long-haul and hope to build a relationship with you.
Working with a new web designer or developer for the first time can be an unnerving experience. They can appear to speak a different language at times.
Often going with your gut is the best approach, but meet with several andchoose the one who is the right fit for you.