by Tim Jahn
The Internet and smartphones help us to bring our ideas to life more easily and cheaply than ever before. But before you can get your big idea out in front of the masses, you need that idea to transform from a sketch in your notebook into a working website or mobile app.
Which, in most cases, means you need a great Web or mobile developer.
However, if you’ve never looked for a quality Web or mobile developer before, the task can feel extremely daunting. Many people waste a lot of time and money running through multiple developers before they find the perfect one. Why? It’s often because you aren’t on the same page as the developer with regards to what you want, how much it’s going to cost, and how long it’s going to take.
Nevermind technical skills (those are easy enough to verify) – if you’re working on a high-tech project, interpersonal skills are just as important. These 4 qualities will help ensure you find the partner you’re looking for – the one who can bring your idea to life without wasting any of your time or money:
A great Web or mobile developer isn’t just another contractor you hire to get some work done. Ideally, they become your partner. They bring skills and tools to the table that breathe life into your idea and turn your grand vision into a distinct reality. If your gut says you don’t trust them, you’re never going to feel comfortable working with them.
Without trust, chances are you and your developer will never be on the same page with anything. In the back of your mind, you’ll always be second guessing the developer’s decisions and motivations. Moving forward will become increasingly difficult as the process slows down because of the lack of trust in the partnership.
2. Passion for their work.
Someone who has a deep passion for their work is often palpably excited and positive about that work. This excitement spills over into their interactions with you.
If your developer isn’t excited to be working with you, that sentiment is going to show in their communication and demeanor – walk away!
3. Previous (positive) experience working with clients.
Some developers create incredible, high-quality work and are amazing at what they do, but they’re simply not that good at working with clients. They’re not “people” people. If your developer doesn’t have previous experience working with clients, that’s going to be a problem.
Previous experience working with clients means your developer will have an existing process and workflow in place, which creates a much smoother experience for you. They’ll be able to help prevent common problems that could arise during your project, saving you time and money.
If you’re not sure about your developer’s capacity to deliver in this respect, ask for references.
4. Excellent communication skills.
Given our increasing reliance on email as a primary form of communication, it’s easy to misinterpret what somebody is saying or how they are feeling. If your developer isn’t very good at communicating in this way, you’re likely to lose track of what’s going on with the project.
A developer who is also an excellent communicator will ensure you always have a clear overall view of the project. They’ll explain everything in layman’s terms and not drown you in confusing technical jargon. It’s part of the developer’s job to make you feel more comfortable overall about your project.
Tim Jahn is the co-founder of matchist, a curated service for freelance developers to connect with quality clients and projects. He’s also the co-founder of Entrepreneurs Unpluggd, an events and media company that helps entrepreneurs move their businesses forward. As an active member of the Chicago tech community, Tim has made his mark interviewing hundreds of entrepreneurs from all over the world.