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Finding Programmers to Build a Website?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the ideas-that-need-help-implementing dept.

Programming 150

jameseyjamesey asks: "I have a really good idea for an Ajax/Web2.0 website, but I have no idea how to code or put it together. I know what HTML, Java, PHP are but I have no idea clue how to code or program. Due to my demanding job, I also have no time to learn how to code. I have the layout, design, options, settings and method of making money all mapped out. Who can I talk to, and where can I go to work with someone to get my website developed and off the ground?"

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Craigslist (1, Informative)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639635)

Craigslist is good.

But really, wouldn't you rather just hire a slashdotter like me? http://www.reed.edu/~sollaa/ [reed.edu]

Re:Craigslist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14639903)

Your designs look like garbage.

Re:Craigslist (1)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639964)

Dude what makes you think he needs you? We don't even know if he knows how to code.

Re:Craigslist (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640196)

1. Don't list HTML as a "programming language", ever.
2. ???
3. Probably not profit... but still. Don't like HTML as a programming language.

Re:Craigslist (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640313)

Nor is Tex. Its a good skill to list, but not as a programming language.

Re:Craigslist (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641846)

Nor is Tex. Its a good skill to list, but not as a programming language.

And not mis-typeset when the TeX community makes a bizarrely huge thing about that particular issue. It's like using void main() in C++; in practice, it very rarely does any harm, but it is incorrect, and using it makes an informed critic wonder what else you do wrong...

Re:Craigslist (1)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641208)

He didn't list it as a programming language, but as a computer language. Which it is.

Re:Craigslist (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14640319)

A 22 year out of college kid may know how to code some stuff, but they're VASTLY inadequate for medium to large sized projects. So much for experience (knowing what to use - platform/language/frameworks/etc, knowing how to write GOOD comments, the kind of personnal discipline & strictness required to organize proper and thorough documentation, knowing when to use which patterns, when to or not to optimize, write excellent code, etc). But the main thing is application ARCHITECTURE. At least if someone gets some young inexperienced kid to do most of the coding, one should get an experienced coder to DESIGN the damn thing first. Otherwise these kids will 99.999% of the time come up with something that apparently works and seems to do the job, but which is an ugly hack at best (not overly secure, doesn't scale too well, hard if even possible to maintain, etc). Seen all too many absolute craptastic jobs by new guys (hundreds of them)... I hate it, but hey, I make a good living fixing their mess, so I really can't complain that bad. Think about it, would you hire someone who's "pounded nails for a couple years" to design and build a 20 storey building for you? I don't know if it would stay up for long, but that's about the extent of it... Knowledge and experience truly matter here. That new carpenter would probably do a fine job for lots of tasks (just like that new coder would), but you need a good architect/engineer to make blueprints first.

And sorry, but someone who lists simple markup as a programming language? Your resume goes straight to file 13 without even looking any further. Not to mention things like using DIVs (with id="Title") instead of headers (like h1)? Extremely minimalistic too - not complete crap, but much lacking. Can't say it's an overly fancy design either (layout, margins, typography, graphics, the n00b comments in the CSS that usually show one's direct copy/paste usage of some common templates like bluerobot's and the like [verus CSS knowledge/expertize a.k.a. knowing what you're doing])... Don't want to hurt your feelings, but we wouldn't take you on any project at any price. Hard to tell where your expertize is... It's not (X)HTML, it's not CSS, it's not design, no mentions of any programming languages or computing technologies anywhere... You gotta bring something to a team, be a source of knowledge and expertize others can rely onto - and you've proven just about the inverse all around... Sorry kid, but this is a tough market. Some pros have a hard time to make a living at it, you'll have to try like a hundred times harder if you want to succed. We could hire more qualified people at minimum wage... (not that we do)

Re:Craigslist (2, Interesting)

Baddas (243852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641314)

Some of what you say is true, however...

'A 22 year out of college kid may know how to code some stuff, but they're VASTLY inadequate for medium to large sized projects.'

That's a gross generalization. There are kernel maintainers who are still in high school (last I heard, anyhow). I'm 22 and I've been using PHP to build CMS systems since I was 16, which is coincidentally when PHP 3 came out.

Young != inexperienced


Re:Craigslist (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641784)

Young == inexperienced enough times to use it as a guiding principle. Just because (you feel) you're an exception to the rule doesn't invalidate the rule. In other words, it is a generalization, but not a gross one at all.

Re:Craigslist (0, Flamebait)

November 1, 2005 (927710) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641312)

"I know several computer languages, including HTML, Perl, and the TeX typesetting system. I also have extensive experience with Adobe Photoshop."
Oh my goodness! You know HTML??? And Photoshop?? Tell me, and this is for all the marbles, are you proficient in Microsoft Word and can you send email??


You'll find plenty here (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639637)

Knowing the state of the industry and how much one has to compete for work, I think that you are going to get a lot of responses along the lines of "So where should I send my CV?"

The State of the Industry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14639961)

Is the IT economy still in a funk?

I'm Posting AC to keep my company confidential, but I work for a Fortune 500 company and happen to sit next to one of the guys who handles the hiring of programmers. (The IT department has its own mini-HR department.) From what I hear over the cubicle wall it sounds like the IT economy has started to roar again. A lot of people are being poached by headhunters while our demand has grown (even without the people leaving). The recruiting companies my office neighbor works with have stopped spending time cultivating new corporations to hire for, and are putting everyone out to search for talent to hire. Our pay here pretty good too, I recently heard that we're hiring someone 2 years out of college for $150k/year.

Re:The State of the Industry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14640119)

It seems to be on a per company basis. At my place of employment, we were just turned down in our request to hire 1 more person for our team of 4, that supports over 100 people. They are pretty much insisting that we just scrape by on table scraps. They are buying my production servers on ebay. I, of course, quiipped the old addage about how you put crap in, you get more crap out, but it went largely unheard by the management.

You'll find plenty here -- including me (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640795)

As other people told you, you can be /.ed with resumes by now, but... I'm available for that kind of job. If you're interested, hmassa (at) gmail.

Re:You'll find plenty here (2, Interesting)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641797)

Why the hell call it a CV? Have you no actual work experience? Or do you believe that academic terms carry more weight?

Sweet! A Job!!!! (2, Funny)

mfh (56) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639642)

It's your lucky day. I'm a programmer analyst who would love to get a paying job. Email me [mailto] ! But only if you're ready to spend millions of dollars on this project and give me all the credit.

Re:Sweet! A Job!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14640186)

Just sell your slashdot id. You can make a few hundred grand.

HAHA! (2, Funny)

mfh (56) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640265)

Just sell your slashdot id. You can make a few hundred grand.
Already bought it on Ebay, so it's not for sale. ;-)

call this: (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14639643)


Re:call this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14639669)

or if you're feeling lonely, call 867-5309

Eeeeek!!! Don't Do it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14639760)

Number goes to gay porn hotline!!!! (But at least I ordered some really great new stuff...)

its simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14639655)

1: phonebook
2: google

Re:its simple (3, Interesting)

mdfst13 (664665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639711)

The AC said:

1: phonebook
2: google

I would add:

3. http://scriptlance.com/ [scriptlance.com]

It depends what you want. Do you want to sit down with someone and talk over needs? Call some local ISPs and ask them for recommendations.

Do you want to find a big company on the internet to help you? Google has plenty. Hint: pick a few tasks you need to perform and search Google for how to do them. Contact the authors who give the best examples.

Are you willing to risk a little? ScriptLance has a large number of people who are qualified to do the work. You will have to wade through the sludge though.

If you are really brave, you could post your contact info here. There are certainly qualified web designers who post on slashdot. Heck, a year ago, I would have bid on this. Sounds fun.

Re:its simple (1)

aj9703 (951932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640897)

I would say the best place to get your job done is www.rentacoder.com will get your job done at the price you are willing to pay

First step... (1)

Ekarderif (941116) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639670)

... is to ask /. people. Oh wait, you already did. Maybe posting some wage information? And e-mailing me about it would be nice too ;).

In the Right Place (5, Insightful)

Feneric (765069) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639683)

I think you came to the right place if you're looking for people who can code sites using AJaX / Web 2.0 / XHTML / CSS / JavaScript / Java / PHP / Python / XML / RDF / RSS / iCalendar / etc.

I suspect that pretty much everyone else who reads /. (myself included) can do this for you. Honestly you're going to get bombarded with choices, and the toughest thing for you will be to figure out which ones are even worthy of a second look. As someone who sometimes competes in this arena, I can say from my standpoint that you're at a big disadvantage if you don't understand the tech yourself, as it'll be really hard to tell good work from bad work -- something like graphics design anyone can judge -- something like web programming is a different thing entirely. Get familiar with the W3C [w3c.org] validation tools for XHTML / CSS / RDF / etc. and tinker around with multiple browsers. When you're looking at prospective designers' portfolios, run them through the validation tools and check them with multiple browsers.

+1 Buzzwords! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14639898)

Always good content when a user has some good keywords, let's hear it for Feneric!

Open a phonebook (4, Insightful)

Jerf (17166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639685)

A slight modification of the "Google it" answer: Open a phonebook. There are like a million companies that do this sort of thing. Find one locally, because you're going to want to talk to them in person. Unless you live out in the complete boonies, you've got some near you.

Once you get going, if in fact you ever do, you may find you need to hire people, etc. That's up to you, and basically a constant no matter what. But if you've truly got everything laid out, you can hire one of these companies.

Your problem is that if you are not technically competent, you can't tell a good developer from one that can talk the talk, but not walk the walk. Hiring developers directly is not practical. This is a handicap no matter how you slice it, but this approach minimizes the risk, if you do due diligence on the company you choose.

Oh, and I hate to say it, but it's a good 99% bet in my experience that if you don't know how to code or program, you do not have it all figured out. But hey, it's your dime.

Re:Open a phonebook (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641345)

Two important points, one of which you've already made:

1. Outsource to another company, don't hire them directly. Doing this will cost you more per hour (my company charges $75/hour and we're considering a rate increase). You can find developers from $20-$50/hour, too. But hiring a company means you get the resources of their whole team, the accountability of their staff to their bosses/contract, and you avoid paying benefits, insurance, taxes, equipment, and office space. Hiring two developers might cost you $60-100k/year - but that doesn't include the resources of a designer, IA, QA, etc.

2. In my area (not even the boonies), there are very few local companies that produce standards-based websites. Let's flash back to 1995 and explore the font tags and frames that plagued the web. Ten years later, any company that isn't doing XHTML/CSS should NOT be hired. If you can't find a local company that meets this minimal level of ability, go find a company that can.

Ideas (1)

biocute (936687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639692)

Have you thought of how to deal with copyrights and other legal issues?

I too have projects that I'm too busy to do, but I'm not experienced enough to draft a legal document which can protect my ideas from developers.

Re:Ideas (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639967)

I too have projects that I'm too busy to do, but I'm not experienced enough to draft a legal document which can protect my ideas from developers.

Wow, get ready for a truckload of slashdot-powered, super-duper-mixed-premises, philosophically tangled up, utterly nonsensical batch of responses to that. Can't wait to see the smoke coming out of it!

You make a good point, of course. Which is why you'll get flamed.

Re:Ideas (2, Funny)

RealityMogul (663835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640021)

Just hold the programmers collection of original Star Wars action figures as collateral.

They won't try to mess with your idea, especially when you're holding those little light sabers in front of a running vacuum cleaner.

DeVry, Other Schools (3, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639699)

As a CIS student at DeVry, my senior project will be similar. Students can bring in their own project and get it approved, or choose one from a list of projects that have been requested by companies/organizations/individuals and approved by faculty. While it would take a while and may not be perfect (you always run the risk you get a team of slackers), you would get it for free. Depending on complexity, etc it may be a project that is designed to run multiple semesters (one team does it one semester, one finishes it the next). The next semester starts in the start of March (first week or so) because DeVry runs on trimesters.

You may be able to get some very smart students to work on it. The idea of getting to do something with AJAX and such sounds interesting to me.

Even if you don't have a local DeVry (if you are near a big city, you probably do, check their site: DeVry.edu [devry.edu] ), there are almost certainly similar things at other universities (public and private). Even if you can't get it done as a senior project/self study type thing (which would have faculty oversight to make sure it is done right/good design decisions), you could find some bright college students who would be willing to do it for very little money (compared to hiring professional programmers).

Short of that? There are websites that you can have people do your coding for you. You could try something like that, I suppose.

Re:DeVry, Other Schools (1)

dasil003 (907363) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639806)

As a CIS student at DeVry, my senior project will be similar. Students can bring in their own project and get it approved, or choose one from a list of projects that have been requested by companies/organizations/individuals and approved by faculty. While it would take a while and may not be perfect (you always run the risk you get a team of slackers), you would get it for free. Depending on complexity, etc it may be a project that is designed to run multiple semesters (one team does it one semester, one finishes it the next). The next semester starts in the start of March (first week or so) because DeVry runs on trimesters.

Wait a minute. What student is going to give away their work for free? Certainly not the brightest ones.

Also, you do not want to hire a web developer without a lot of experience. That person may be a 20 year old prodigy who's been into hardcore web shit for 5 years already, but the chances of finding that guy at a school (or anywhere really) are 50 to 1. Without experience a lot of students may be able to cobble things together, but the cost of poor engineering comes later when you want to add a seemingly straightforward feature, but the code base is such a mishmash that all changes start requiring exponential time. Or what happens when you run into an undocumented IE bug? Debugging in IE is not something that one can be taught in school, you have to bleed for it.

That's not to say that paying $100/hour is any guarantee either. As a layman, the only way to judge is to take a look at their work, test it in a lot of browsers, and see if it has the kind of polish you're looking for. You may be able to save a lot of money with a student, but you may end up wasting time and money on a project that goes nowhere. At least if you can look at a portfolio you have something to go by.

Re:DeVry, Other Schools (2, Interesting)

miyako (632510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639889)

As I go to DeVry (yeah, it's even crappier than most people imagine), I think I may be able to shed some light onto the whole "it would be free" thing. The thing about it is, the student's really don't have much of a say. DeVry technically owns the projects that students do for their Senior Projects. DeVry then works out a deal with the companies in turn saying that they get the work done for free in exchange for filling out a bunch of extra paperwork, and agreeing that there is no warranty, support, etc.
University ownership of projects aside- there is another reason talented college students may come cheap or sometimes free. Most "entry level" jobs now still want a couple of years experience, and it's really tough comming out of college with a degree and nothing else. I'm sure it's not an exclusive to DeVry- but there are a lot of people who graduate with high GPAs and very little skills in their fields. Because of this, a lot of talented students are willing to barter work for a good reference on their resume and perhaps some work of mouth advertising.
I do agree that for most projects you are extremely unlikely to find students who are fully qualified (I would agree that 50:1 odds are about right), however in my experience there are a lot more students with experience coding with LAMP/WIMP/etc than in other environments.

Re:DeVry, Other Schools (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640012)

The other reply is right. You get it free because the student does it as course work. You could pay them (I think) but it is not a requirement. The student MUST do a project to prove they know what they are doing to get a degree.

And as the other reply also said, the ability to point to something on your resume and say "I made that" is HUGE compared to "I took generic programming classes A, B, and C."

Now you say you don't want to hire developers without experience. But if you get any say in who works on your project (I don't know if you do if you ask DeVry) you can try to get the best, or ask the teachers for students they know are good because you know it is a challenging project and not a generic "I want a website with a shopping cart" like most senior projects are.

As for the poor engineering, this is why you want good students. But as a senior project, they are not given the description and "let loose". They have to come up with a design and they get feedback from the professors. At my DeVry campus (I don't know about others) you are required to get your database design approved by a database teacher. That alone should be a big help.

I'm not saying it's a perfect solution, but you will help out some students, and get it done for free. If it works great, then great. If it works, good. It can be improved. If it is a mess, it's a mess. But it was free. You don't have much to lose but time. And again the teachers monitor the students progress. I've seen entire teams get "fired" from senior project for screwing up. There is some quality control there.

I agree you'd probably get better results from paying a big-name development house, but can you afford that? Or can you afford to take the risk on getting some college students to do it for you, and getting something that may be great, may need a little polish/TLC thrown it's way by a pro developer, or may need a total rewrite.

One more comment on the free thing: you are basically working as a contractor who gets paid in credits. But if you develop an application for yourself (you come up with the idea and get the project approved) you do get to keep your code and you can sell it after senior project is over. I know of teams who have done that. Who ends up with what rights to the code at the end seems to be something that can be negotiated.

Ajax / Web 2.0? (5, Insightful)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639704)

So if you don't know how to code at all, how did you settle on that choice of infrastructure? I suggest you get the coder you hire to tell you what you ought to use to build your site.

Re:Ajax / Web 2.0? (2, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639913)

Shhh - I charge an extra 25 an hour to bandy the term 'AJAX' about, and 'Web 2.0' adds another 10. Don't fuck up my billing with honesty and insight.

Re:Ajax / Web 2.0? (1)

BrynM (217883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640095)

So if you don't know how to code at all, how did you settle on that choice of infrastructure?
Don't stop him - many a dot-com got started with this kind of "the new hotness" thinking. Of course they're mostly out of business, but the geeks involved made a grip of cash proving it would suck. PHBs everywhere, don't listen to this guy. You need the hotness to compete!! If it's not new, then it's old and everything old sucks right?

Re:Ajax / Web 2.0? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641560)

He has a problem here. Since he doesn't code, he can't know what is the structure of the site. But he also have a fenomenal business plan (most of them are bu***it, but not all like some people will tell you) and he doesn't want to disclosure it so candidates can know if they can hadle the job.

The advise I can give is to hire a generalist with a solid formation. That will be more expensive than hiring someone who just grasps the technology that he needs, but cheaper than hiring lots of people who doesn't understand it.

Here's a thought (3, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639712)

Get an experienced developer with experience in software architecture and website development, then get several interns who are young, but promising. Give them a lot of exposure to every buzzword you can in this area so that they can get their resumes well underway. Most of them will consider it a bargain and it's a good way to train up a new generation of domestic coders.

Find A Student (1)

forensicmeteoboy (788352) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639732)

Get a student, maybe from a college or even a local HS. Either find a teacher in the business/computer sci departments, or find some students and ask around.

Most will work for free, or cheaper than a pro, and (if you get the right kinda kid) you'll be much better off.

Oh, and make sure you ask the kid for stuff he (or she) has done... don't get a kid that has tried to 'hack' wordpress and says he knows php- ask for some previous works.

Contact Your Local Univesity (4, Insightful)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639764)

I'd strongly recommend that you find a local university that has a master's program in Computer Science. Get yourself a couple of students to write the thing for you. You get good cheap help and they get paid more than the on campus jobs plus the resume fodder never hurts.

2 cents,

Queen B

Re:Contact Your Local Univesity (1)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641108)

I'd strongly recommend that you find a local university that has a master's program in Computer Science. Get yourself a couple of students to write the thing for you.

I strongly recommend against this. Although I'm majoring in ECE (Basically EE+CS), I've met far too many CS grads who have no idea how to follow specifications or actually define and program a system.

Web programming is as much about design as it is about programming. I work for a small company, the Kombine group, as a PHP developer. While my job is certainly important, the reality is that programming is only a small part of the actual work.

A successful web application needs:
- Graphic design
- Human factors testing / engineering
- Markup, layout, and general UI design
- Technical writing (help system, page text, etc.)
- Programming
- Testing
- Maintenence

CS students are generally pretty adept at programming, but they have generally had little experience with any of the other requirements.

Industry experience is key. Throw CS students at the problem, and all you'll end up with is a poorly defined, poorly documented system that no one can use.

I've seen it far too many times in my job.

Sidenote: Be careful with the "web 2.0" concept. Ask yourself if your idea is really novel and define your market. Do research to determine if your concept is actually useful. The hardest part of my job is explaining to customers that they don't really need an AJAX web application for their 5-page business website.

Where are you? (1)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639773)

Post your location so that local Slashdotters can reply. This website is full of people that could do the job if they could only talk to you in person.

Re:Where are you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14639951)

Exactly, cause none of us Slashdotters have an Internet connection or a phone line. Even if we did, it is almost impossible to demonstrate website prototypes from geographically distant locations.

Money (3, Insightful)

killmenow (184444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639791)

Who can I talk to, and where can I go to work with someone to get my website developed and off the ground?
My guess is what you mean to ask is this: Who will do the work for me for "royalties" or a portion of the profits my grand scheme will generate? I can't afford to pay somebody up front.

Because if you could afford to just pay someone, you could just search google or open a phone book as a number of others have suggested. Personally, I don't do contingency work anymore because the pay is lousy. But if you've got money to spend, I'm sure we could get your website developed and off the ground in a jiffy.

I'll do it (1)

Monkeymatt (855929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639807)

And I'm sure you could find lots of other students who would be willing to do it for very minimal money. It may not be the fastest, but, if you pick the right people, you could get some very good results from undergraduates. Although you could always pick up the phonebook like someone else suggested and call a professional, which would cost you a ton of money.

We can do it. Great price to get your web site. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14639824)


My company in India is working to help you develop your web site. We are experienced in all technologies like asp.net and php mysql. We would like you to look at our sites we have done and you will be impressed.

We will make your site for $40 dollars and it will be ready for you soon. Please contact us by replying to this message.

Sandib Ramakrisnakalisanje

RentaCoder (4, Informative)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639832)

RentaCoder [rentacoder.com] . Well, Maybe.

Re:RentaCoder (1)

castle (6163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640298)

Somewhat off topic, but maybe not, rentacoder has some of the most horribly content-absent displaying fields of white space in my particular bleeding edge firefox browser. Perhaps the original poster should seek out the arch enemy of the Rentacoder web programming staff.

Re:RentaCoder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14640352)

Usually you'll get people bidding from foreign countries (India and the like). Expect low prices and results proportionnal to what you paid. Their english may suck, you don't have much recourse against them if something goes bad, you can't really check their references, etc. To use a service like that you almost have to do some "screening" by giving out contracts for small "sample jobs" and see how the results turn out. If the code and results are great than you can use them for bigger projects, but I'd NEVER submit a large project directly to that place - it just might be thedailtwtf's next article (or worse).

I would rather get an experienced coder/architect to look at what you want to do, determine what's best to use (platform/language/frameworks/database/etc), how it should be coded (architecture). It might sound expensive, but it'll definitely be worth EVERY single penny you paid. That way you'll have a well designed app that will be maintainable, scalable, secure, performs well, etc (assuming nothing goes bad in the coding). The coders themselves can be lower paid university/college students (good ones that have a clue). Getting a bunch of newbie coders to just have at it... I'm expecting the results to be rather interesting (hey, I make a good living of fixing those kinds of projects - think Mike Holmes/Holmes on Homes, but about software instead of renovations). Don't go crazy and over architect and complicate everything, but don't have them start coding stuff blindly either. It'll take WAY more time and you'll end up with crap (only costing you more to fix than doing it right in the first place).

I know it's been said before... (1)

The Rabid Panda (951579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639839)

But check your local phone book, and look at the local mom & pop ISP section. Chances are that they've got somebody inhouse who does all their web development. I know the folks around here (say www.velocity.net) do pretty good work and have very reasonable rates. Now, most of them have a flat fee AND charge by the hour, so it would be in your best interests to have at least a skeleton of the project completed.

OR, you could check your local trade school or university, see if they've got a web development program, and place an ad on their board. If you're on a tight budget, post what you're willing to pay (Say, outline the project's details and give a dollar figure. 500? 250?) Require a portfolio. You'll probably find somebody, especially a student, willing to do your project for a decent amount. And remember, if you're hiring a student, you can exploit their lack of cash as much as you want.

Don't hire a web programmer. (5, Insightful)

Stalyn (662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639841)

Because they dont know how to program. If the only language they know is PHP, STAY AWAY!!. Find someone who knows multiple languages which include C/C++, even though they might never use it to program your web app they'll generally be a better programmer.

And no this is not a troll.

Re:Don't hire a web programmer. (2, Insightful)

aphoenix (877085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639980)

I think lots of "real" programmers think that web designers don't know how to code. I'd like to disagree. I really would. I can't, though, because most web designers don't know how to code. It's a simple fact of life. However... most "real" programmers don't know how to code either.

And no, this isn't a troll either. I'm just citing the fact that 90% of everything is crap, and programmers and web developers both acquiesce to the rule.

Re:Don't hire a web programmer. (2, Insightful)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640050)

But you're fucked either way because it's rare you'll find a good programmer who knows two shits about how XHTML/CSS is supposed to be used (and not abused). If you do, you'll probably end up paying out the ass as well... :/

Re:Don't hire a web programmer. (2, Insightful)

smagruder (207953) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640625)

I would qualify what you're saying.

If all the programmer *ever* has known is PHP, then yes, that's a problem.

But if the programmer has excelled in other languages, and then decided PHP was the best approach for most web development work (and many have decided this), then it's a good thing.

There are a *lot* of well-engineered PHP apps out there. And the app called for in this thread could become one of them.

Re:Don't hire a web programmer. (1)

Stalyn (662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640767)

This is what I mean. How do you unknow languages? Either you know it or you don't. There is no qualification needed here. Here's a tip if someone asks you "Do you know C++?" dont say "I knew it." That sounds like poor C++ has passed away.

Once you learn something you always 'know' it. Sure you might have not used it in awhile but believe me things come back pretty fast when you dive back in. Unless of course you've suffered a serious brain injury. I stand corrected you could say you 'knew' C++. 'Yes I knew C++ until my coworker bludgeoned me with a fax machine because of the insufferable frustration resulting from debugging my code'

Lol, not a troll just stupid (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640807)

If someone claims to know a dozen languages, stay away. Why? Well it is easy to claim that. I am one of those PHP only coders but could easily claim to have coded in a dozen. Why? Well because I have. I started with C and later C++ in school with a dose of pascal wich later let to some delphi. One company I worked for was a Progress (a 4gl/database enviroment) house so I learned that and worked with it. I used to have a Commodore as a kid so I know some basic and that helped with doing some visual basic. Then I moved to the wonderfull world of the web and the company that hired me used PHP so I picked that up. Over the last few years I developed mostly in PHP but had to deal with ASP systems as well (either for interfacing or replacing). Of course I also had to learn about the various unix like operating systems and theyre various languages like bash, perl even python.

Now there are two kinds of people in this world. Those who would PUT every language they ever touched on their CV and those that only list the ones they worked with recently and got a lot of experience with. I am in the last group. It is a bit like my language skills. I learned Dutch, German and English in school. Should I list them all as langauges I know? Well my Dutch is good as it is my first language. English, well the spelling is pisspoor but it is passable. My German however SUCKS. Oh I passed with a highscore but I haven't really used it in years. Decades even. Oh I can understand the TV news in german but life experience thought me that TV german is nothing like the german spoken by germans.

So I would only list Dutch and English on my CV. Another person, probably the above poster would list Dutch English German AND Spanish because he knows how to order a beer while on holiday in spain.

What am I trying to say? That when somebody claims to know a long list of skills you got to ask yourselve how recent is his experience. Remember Jack of all trades, master of none.

If you see two CV's and one has a far shorter skill list then the other stop for a moment to think wich one is being honest about their skills.

Oh and a final note about the "quality" of people who know C\C++ what the above poster seems to think is a real language vs PHP wich is not. There really is not that much difference. If the above poster was any good he would know one thing. A truly good coder doesn't know any language. He knows how to code. The language is just a tool. It is like say being a photographer. A true genius can take good shots with any camera. Only amateurs will claims you need camera X to take good pictures.

Claiming that C\C++ is somewhow a more important language marks the above poster as an idiot. Language is a tool and you select the tool that is best for the current job and learn it. A really good coder should be able to pick it up in a few weeks. It is called being flexible. New job, new toolset.

Re:Lol, not a troll just stupid (1)

Stalyn (662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640840)

I said stay away from people who *only* know PHP. What don't you understand about the word *only*? Apparently everything. Also people who start out with more serious languages like C/C++ tend to pick up better habits. I'm not dissing PHP. I'm just stating if you only learn one language and it happens to be PHP you can seriously hinder your potential. But people do it anyway because they can get away with it.

Anyway you're right about the best programmers know many different languages and pick the best one for the job. Which was implied in my post.

Re:Lol, not a troll just stupid (2, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641085)

A good photographer prefers a good camera. Sure, they can still do way better with a plastic snappy than an amateur with a top of the line Hasselblad or Sinar. But there's a reason the pro prefers the good camera. Being a professional photographer requires a combination of the artistic skill and the technical skill. What if you need to photograph the front of building of several floor levels high, from ground level? Is your shot going to end up with the building appearing to lean backwards because you leaned up to get it all in the frame? You could step backwards if you have the space and waste most of the film area and get a lower quality image straight on. Or you can use a top quality large format rail camera that lets you shift a wide coverage lens with respect to the film plane. But you wouldn't use that large format camera for sports photography if you got a press pass to the Super Bowl. The right tool for the job is what is needed. The pros know what tool to use and how to use that tool.

Likewise, a good programmer prefers the right tools for the job, and knows how to use them. But not all programming jobs are alike. While a language like PHP works great for many and perhaps most web applications, a programmer whose skill is limited to just PHP is not going to know when PHP doesn't do so well, and certainly won't be able to work with something else when it gets identified as appropriate. A PHP programmer is likely limited in experience to get web programming, and won't necessarily know much about many of the backend process chores that might be needed for a full application that happens to have a web interface to it (as so many these days do). A programmer who has experience in a number of languages (it doesn't have to be a huge number ... 4 to 6 languages of a diverse variety is usually enough) ... AND has done actual development in those languages at one time or another, is the one that is best equipped to make architectural decisions about how to set up an application.

And how many PHP programmers know to, and know how to, organize their coding effectively, such as clear separation of logic and content? PHP makes it so easy to NOT do the right thing. When I was doing evaluation of Y2K bugs for a client on January 2000, I found that the vast majority of the bugs that did crop up were errors of lack of experience by the programmer, and errors of convenience (it was easier to concatenate "19" and 2 digits of a year than it was to add 1900 to a numeric value that represented number of years since 1900). Languages like PHP and Perl with their strong facility with strings made it easy for the inexperienced programmer to do the wrong things. The experienced programmer could work in the same language and do the little extra effort to get it right. Programmers of a language like C where the right way is usually easier than the wrong way (comparatively speaking) would have acquired knowledge of the right way (do the calculation, then present the results), and could apply it in just about any language (certainly in all the major languages).

If I were hiring programmers for a job for which something like PHP or Python was an appropriate language choice, I would still hold experience programming in C to be of value. In lieu of that, assembly programming would have some value, too. In fact, given enough experience with enough different languages actually used for real development purposes, I would even hire someone who doesn't even know the language the project will use, because it would be clear they could learn the language (it's just a tool) while bringing real world development issue insight to the project. That fits in with your idea of the coder that doesn't really know any language.

You should just do it yourself. (1)

neo (4625) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639843)

If you can do java you can do ajax. Honest... it's not really that hard. In fact it's boring and stupid, but it's the hype of the moment so you might as well jump on board.

If you really think this is the coolest idea ever, send it to google. They'll make it for free.

Re:You should just do it yourself. (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640031)

And then keep it themselves, never acknowledge the source of the idea, and call it something like "Google Music Search".

Re:You should just do it yourself. (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640257)

And what happens if someone doesn't know the difference between java and javascript? Do they still have the necessary skill?

User group (1)

eyeball (17206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639844)

If you understand the technology well, you might to search out a local user's group, go hang out, and propose it. i.e.: if you decided Ruby on the Rails, look for a local rails group. If there aren't, maybe a Linux users group.

Well, Possibly in... (1)

dcapel (913969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639861)

..an extremely tech-friendly site that follows trends of current technological fads and has a very high penetration of coders that could use work to pay for ramen. Another good idea would go somewhere that would know how to leverage open source solutions for your problems.

Nowhere exact comes to mind though...

Make sure it hasn't been done before (1)

jchenx (267053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639879)

Be sure to also do research to make sure your great idea hasn't already been done somewhere else. Or if it has, maybe find a way to make it better.

Additionally, there are lots of existing software/web solutions which may provide what you're looking for. You should still get in contact with a "tech geek", but let them see if it's easier to combine/use existing products, rather than re-inventing the wheel. Most often, it's the content that really drives the popularity of a web site, not necessarily how it's designed, its features, etc.

shameless plug (1)

eagl (86459) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639882)

It's a shameless plug, but check with my bro. andy at andylong dot org. He's just starting up and only has a few clients, but he's totally customer oriented and will meet any budget to keep a good client.

Here's a sample of something he's done recently:

http://www.prescottregulators.com/ [prescottregulators.com]

Again, it's a shameless plug but he could use a few more clients and you won't find a better price.

Brutal Honesty (1)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639893)

Your idea is likely not great nor unique. You sound just like everyone who plays a few games, knows NOTHING about programming or game design, and then announces to the world that they have the idea for the PERFECT game, and if only someone would listen to them!

Re:Brutal Honesty (1)

AlterTick (665659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640369)

they have the idea for the PERFECT game, and if only someone would listen to them!

...and all he needs is someone to take care of the minor details, like coding it, and composing the music, and doing the artwork. But the idea! It's such a great idea!

Heh. sure pal.

Re:Brutal Honesty (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640394)

I understand your point, but putting together a website is hardly coding a game. Sometimes a good idea and a little help is all you need to make lots of money on the web. Look at that kid with the hokey million dollar site.

I'm surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14639905)

.. at the lack of web 2.0 mocking. Did you all swallow the koolaid?

jamesey (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14639915)

I call shens. Keep it to the CGHMN.

This is a troll (5, Insightful)

aphoenix (877085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639957)

I love Ask Slashdots when the answer is really to go to the oracle. [justfuckinggoogleit.com]

Honestly, there's web developers near you. We have websites. We know what we're doing. I'll do it if you're in my area - send an email to mudformike at yahoo dot ca and I'll get back to you. Give it to any of the other people who replied. We'll even tell you the language you should actually be doing this in for it to be sustainable.

ps - Web 2.0 is what we in the business call a "buzzword". It doesn't really mean anything and you can't program in it. If a client asked me to "program something up in Web 2.0" my fee would climb by 75%.

Some Thoughts (4, Insightful)

miyako (632510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14639958)

I've done a fair bit of web design and programming, both as a side gig and as a full time job. This said, there are a few things that jumped out at me from your post that I thought I would bring up.
The first thing is that you have to remember that good programmers are not alwyas good designers. Good web design is something that really takes a sort of knack to be good at, and there is not a lot of overlap between good designers and good developers. If you manage to find someone who is both a talented programmer and designer, expect to pay a premium. In most cases you will want to higher a designer (and possible even an artist seperate from the designer) to design the site- and then turn over the design to the programmer who will take the static templates and make them alive. While the designer and the programmer can to a certain extent work in parallel, it's important to remember that the design is the critical path because at some point the programmer has to have a skeleton to put the code into.
The other thing that jumped out at me is the specification that you want an AJAX/Web2.0 site. The truth is that if you don't know enough to code the site youself then you really do not have the information to decide the best way to code the site. AJAX and Web2.0 are both very vauge terms in themselves, and chances are that the AJAX parts of your site may only constitute a small part of the overall application. It's important to realize this because if you convince yourself that a project should be done with some combination of technologies A, B, and C then you may end up dismissing a better solution using Technology D, or end up with someone who only knows Technology A and will end up doing you more harm than good in the long run.

Re:Some Thoughts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14640902)

You don't understand; he is already positioning himself as your manager. That is what they do... ;-)

Re:Some Thoughts (1)

sehryan (412731) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641551)

Amen on the first part of your comment. I am an excellent web designer, but my programming skills are weak. And most of the programmers I know at work don't know the first thing about designing a front end that is accessible, usable, and attractive.

if anyone is near Pasadena, CA.... (1)

jameseyjamesey (949408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640005)

Hey all, I asked the original question. I hadn't considered asking if anyone from slashdot could help, but if you're near Pasadena, California, Msg me on AIM - jameseyjamesey, or ICQ -6479637. I'd prefer to work with someone who is serious and be a partner on the site. I've learned a lot from the responses. thanks.

Sorry.... (1)

wbren (682133) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640006)

...I'm booked solid for the next six months. Check back with me in August or September and I might be able to squeeze you in.

BTW, were are you located? (1)

randomErr (172078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640112)

If you could narrow the region of the country you're in, it would make finding a canidate much easier.

BTW: Ohio here, will code for food and money.
Email me: tekrat[at]30gigs.killthisreallylongpart.com

Jesus H. Christ - What a puss... (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640183)

"Due to my demanding job, I also have no time to learn how to code."

Good thing you don't also have a wife. Or kids. Or family or friends. They take up plenty of time too.

This whole article should be rated "troll." The author is either an idiot or a puss and probably both; it takes a hell of a lot more than an "idea" to make it out there. I'm sure your "employees" will also be impressed with how much faith you have in your idea as you continue to hang onto your day job too.

"10% inspiration, 90%..."

The how to not get screwed checklist. (5, Interesting)

c0d3r (156687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640338)

1. A real engineer's time is worth 100/hr without headhunters.
2. Ask for rapid prototypes prior to any bids.
3. Ensure that the developers have extensive experience in the business or trade of the solution's realm.
4. Take care to never tie in to any proprietary technologies.
5. Choose the correct tools.
6. Make sure that the people developing the solution are focused on developing the product, not a framework for the product.
7. Know that with modern web development technologies, that product life cycles are completed monthly with milestones weekly.
8. Make sure that the development process is Quality based with regression tests and configuration management.
9. Be convinced that another team can easily manage whats developed at any time.
10. Ensure that requirements are documented to ensure whats to be delivered is well specified and keep engineering documentation light and only updated after major revs because it is constantly changing.
11. Ensure that the project lead is well versed in development AND networking.
12. Start the project by defining milestones and prototype the deliverables so you can easily track performance.

Theres much more to the SDLC depending on the requirements.

I'm not trying to be harsh here . . . (4, Insightful)

Mysteray (713473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14640494)

I have a really good idea for an Ajax/Web2.0 website []
Due to my demanding job, []

It doesn't sound to me like you've got the cash or experience to quit your day job and manage a to complete a successful software project. Ask yourself honestly what great thing you would contribute to such an enterprise that your "development partners" couldn't do it without you (and "the great idea" and "non-disclosure contracts" don't count).

I'm not trying to be harsh here, but I think you should probably give whatever money you do have to someone else to invest.

Project Management (3, Interesting)

cerebralpc (705727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641049)

I'm a IT Project Manager - so for me the path to a successful project seems simple. But its good you asked the question.

You always start with the Business Case. The Business Case states the objective of the project, the benefits of the project, and importantly how the money is going to work.
You need to map out the costs of the project. Consider the hosting costs, development costs, advertising costs, and your time!
You can even have a few different models - consider that the development might cost twice as much as you think!(IT projects always seem to cost twice as much as what was in the Business Case)
The Business Case also incorporates how you are going to make money. How long will it take to re-coup the project cost.

You also need to map out the delivery time for each portion of the project. Have at least monthly milestones (or weekly if you can)

Very very often your great idea doesn't look so hot once its all mapped out like this. At this point you make the decision to bank roll the idea or not. Let your wife look at it, and also maybe someone you admire for their business skills. They will give you feedback about your idea.

You idea doesn't have to make your rich - sometimes its just great to do something interesting!!

As for finding developers - again thats a question that I find very simple. All you have to do is hire one ! Good ones will charge at least $100/hour. It seems like a lot to you but when you are free lancing 1/2 your time is chewed up finding work. Most consulting firms charge 3 times what they pay to the worker. Thats just how the $ works out.

Go for someone local, interview a few people and find someone YOU can work with.
You have to be upfront about the contract. (Yes - you have to write a contract with this person). It can just be 1 A4 piece of paper with your company logo and details. YOU own the code! For $100/hour YOU own everything that they do - and they have to give you all source code. Give them 20% up front to get them started. On the first protype (at least most of the major functions should work) give them another 40%. The rest on delivery once you have checked everything works.

Once the site is up and running you are going to want to make changes. The best person to do this is coder you just hired. So keep a good relationship with this person. At this point you are probably going to hire them by the hour. Write down all the changes you want and get them to tell you how much each will cost. That way you can prioritise your upgrades. (This is called benefit analysis).

Where to find a geek... (1)

Androclese (627848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641126)


I go there all the time for short and long term coding projects. Just write up what you are looking for and they will come find you.

Why Ajax? (2, Interesting)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641280)

I can design websites (see my professional webpage [karastathis.org] ), but I cannot understand this obsession with ajax... ajax here, ajax there...! I am fed up with Ajax and Javascript, and I believe they are bad for usability and compatibility. can you give me ONE good reason why one should use ajax instead of web standards and (if web interactivity is really needed) java?

Similar question... site profit as pay? (1)

httpamphibio.us (579491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14641431)

I tried to submit a question like this a couple months back... I have two ideas for sites, both of which are pretty simple (php and mysql should be able to do it) and would be fairly quick to put together. But, I'm a poor starving fine arts grad student and don't have any money to pay a programmer to do it.

Do any programmers work for future profits anymore? I don't care to make a dime on the sites, I just want them to exist and have a way to cover their expenses (Google ads would more than suffice, I believe), and everything else above and beyond that can go to the person that made it.
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