Finding a rockstar development team for your project may be a daunting task if you have not had to look for a developer before. Good developers are also expensive thus limiting your choices. You want to work with people who has the ability to not just get the job done but complement and amplify your own capabilities through their expertise.
Identify your needs
Assess your current situation and identify where you want to be. Prepare quantifiable objectives. Ideally you would want to prepare a full project brief but if not, an outline with Powerpoint or a sketch should do just fine. It will give you real topics of discussion when you are qualifying a development shop.
Find potential developers
Search in Google to start with. If a shop ranks high in searches in your city means they are strong candidates for consideration. Look in developer forums. Ask around to see if anyone in your network knows a good developer or a shop. Go to developer networking events, you can find them in Meetups.com or Eventbrite. Once you have a short list of development shops, it’s time to start qualifying them.
We would advise against mass marketing your opportunity as it may attract noise and make it harder to find the right developers for your project.
Choose the rockstar Drupal team!
Now that you have a shortlist of strong developers, you should review the following to choose your rockstar team.
- Test project
Talk to the developers and review their background. You need to like the people you work with. Check the LinkedIn profile(s) of the lead developer or key team members to get an understanding of their past experience. They should have enough experience to meet and exceed your project needs. Do not settle for less.
A good Drupal team should have a solid process to deliver quality results. Review their process and see if you agree with it. Does it include enough analysis / discussion before moving to implementation? How do they ensure quality? A good development process should identify and isolate issues early on so that your product is delivered on time.
Check the team’s portfolio and see if they have done similar projects in the past. Discuss their role in each of those projects. Often times a developer would have worked on part of a bigger project. Make sure they communicate this and that their share of work align with your needs.
Speak to at least two past clients of the developer. Good developers will have happy clients who will happily vouch for them. Ask the references what went great in their project, what could be improved and what advice they would have for you to best guide the developer. No project runs perfectly smooth, but if you hear about significant issues that you cannot overcome with your proper planning and efforts then it may not work.
If your project is relatively big, ask the developer to present a full proposal and not just a brief quote. The proposal should be detailed enough to include what they are going to do and how they are going to do it. There should be a project schedule and breakdown of prices.
Not everyone has the luxury to do this but “the best” way to find out how good a developer is is to work with them! If you can isolate a small part of your project and let the developer work on it, you will know right away how good they are before you commit to a bigger project.
These are really some basic steps to find a solid team for your upcoming project. Please feel free to drop us a line if you would like to discuss this more.