7 ways to make the best use of your freelance programmer

7 ways to make the best use of your freelance programmer

Getting the most out of your freelancing programmer can be one of the best moves you make! Save yourself time and money with this valuable guide!

There are certain things that you can do right or wrong that cannot only end up costing you time and money, but it can also cost you a valuable freelancing programmer. It is important that you understand the best ways to get the most out of your freelance programmer. In the following article, we will discuss seven of the best ways to get the most out of your freelancer!


1) Talk About Money Up Front and Always Pay On Time

There is absolutely nothing that can sour a business relationship or any relationship for that matter quicker than disagreements about money! Freelancers lead a life where they rely on the agreement being kept; you agree on the work, the timeline, and then after everything is completed, you pay the agreed upon amount. Freelancers work under the good faith in most cases that they will be compensated for the work completed.

If you are working with a strict budget for your development, it is always best to share the budget and establish how much you expect to spend and whether or not there is any flexibility on the budget. If your freelancer understands what your project is, what your budget is then they are more likely to tell you whether or not your project is feasible or unrealistic. Most developers will be happy to go through your project and break it down into pieces and explain what each part will cost. A good creative developer may be able to help you create a more realistic budget or help you accomplish certain pieces of your project.

2) Ask for Their Ideas or Opinion About Your Implementation Strategy

Whether or not you have done one project or ten, chances are your programmer will have done almost ten times as many, and will have some valuable insight for you. While it is in their job description to add additional features, accomplish a variety of different tasks and tweak or fix bugs they could save you a lot of time and money in the beginning by evaluating your implementation strategy. If you take the time to hire a freelancing developer, then ask for their opinion on the tasks that need to be completed and the implementation strategy. There are a lot of important questions; does it make sense to do the work in this order? Are some features going to be more complicated or expensive than necessary? Is there something that could be included earlier to save time later on? Or is there an aspect of the project that you have missed?

A good example of this is any API integrations. API integrations in most cases will always take much longer than estimates because of the unpredictability of the system that you are trying to integrate it with. A good way to help prevent cost and time blowouts at the end is to handle the tricky AI integrations early in the development of the project.

3) Understand Your Freelancer’s Value and Then Try to Quantify It

It doesn’t matter which freelancer that you are dealing with, they all have both their strengths and also their weaknesses. Each freelancer will be stronger in different areas; the key is working out what they are strong in and how you can add value to your project by utilizing their strengths. A great freelancing developer may be strong with backend and adept front end JavaScript developing, but if you ask them to slice a PSD file up into raw HTML/CSS that’s where their interest disappears. They can still do the job, but with little interest it might end up being just an average job instead of an amazing job, and it could end up taking longer and costing you more.

If you speak to your freelance developer before you start your project, you can establish his or her strengths and work with them. They may know another freelancer who specializes in different areas that could end up adding a lot of value to the project as well as turn into a valuable contact. Over time, you’ll be able to establish relationships with different freelancers and work with their strengths.

4) Explain Your Business and What the Freelancer Will Be Doing

Most freelancing programmers will work in a large variety of different businesses and industries. If you take the time to sit down and carefully explain what it is your business works and what you are looking to achieve, what problems you are hoping to solve and how you hope your product will work and make your money.

The chances are pretty high that your developer has worked in similar industries and businesses and may even have valuable information which could help. The more that your developer knows about what you are trying to do and achieve, the better that they can help you focus on the important parts of your project.

5) Make Sure That You Clearly Spell Out All Tasks and Define Success

There really are some great programs available to help you manage your projects. Programs such as Asana Pivotal Tracker and Trello are all great for tracking and managing times on projects. Sometimes it’s easy to slip into the habit of emailing or messaging between freelancers, this can make keeping track of things extremely hard, messages get lost, communication becomes difficult. With applications such as Trello or Asana, you can create specific job tasks or cards where it is easy to track what has been said and done.

When you define tasks with your freelancer, make sure you make it clear what will be considered a task completed or success. If your descriptions are vague, then it can lead to disputes later on in the project. When you are defining a task, ask yourself, “If I were a developer, would this description have everything that I need to implement it? Are there assumptions or ideas that are in my head but not on the Task or Card?”

6) Be Sure to Follow Up Regularly

Weekly or bi-weekly meetings can be great for going over all of the tasks, but it can also be helpful to do a retrospective to see where everything is, how the project is looking overall. Take a step back and ask the freelancing developer if you have accumulated any technical debt or if they see any other risks or projects that are being neglected. You may be surprised what you hear when you ask, but it is better to be caught off guard early than later. Your developer could foresee problems that are yet to occur and be able to help you avoid trouble before it even occurs, saving you both time and money.

7) Look for Ways to Enhance the Relationship with Your Freelancing Programmer

It is important always to remember that relationships are key. If you enjoy working with great people, they will appreciate working with you in return and go the extra mile without even being asked. If you are a client, it is important always to look for ways to build that relationship and make it as strong as possible. Ask about their hobbies, ask about their interests. Likewise, if your developer does not seem to reciprocate in a friendly manner, ask yourself if this is somebody you enjoy working with. Life is not just two dimensions of work and sleep. Courtesy and friendship are a small investment which could pay off with big returns one day!