Where to find the best Developers (and not to)

Where do you go to find developers? Well, many people do that in all the wrong places. There are many job sites for freelancers, and sometimes businesses. Then there are more reputable places to find development firms that have all the skills and tools required to really develop your product. Last but not least, there are the places people go where almost no good designers are, though I myself have spent hours looking in these places as many people don’t know where to start looking for the best developer for them. I’d like to help you in looking in the best places, not just craigslist. (Yes, I’ve gotten a lot of work from there, but I’ve also seen a lot of my clients get burned through low end developers and designers there)

The places not to go! – Forums, chat rooms, and craigslist are the bottom of the list of where to find great developers. Sure, you can sometimes find them, I make sure to be present in places like this as a lot of people who don’t know where to start developing their product turn to these places, but mostly there are a lot of college students, low experience workers, and people who can’t get approved to showing their business on more reputable sites. If you are looking for someone to do the work for free and are ready to pay the price for free work, then these are the types of places to go.

Places you can go but are not necessarily the best. – Freelance websites, these range all over the place from the ridiculous fiverr, where many services are only $5 (think dollar tree but for design), to places like upwork (more reputable, lots of cheap foreign labor). I’ve been a part of many different sites like this and have explored both sides of the equation. What I see is that these sites charge money to developers to attempt to begin a bidding war over your project. It’s great for you, you get lots of options, have no financial worries because of the sites terms, and usually you can find people able to do the work you need at lower costs. As a developer, or many other services there, it’s a giant price war. I’ve gone back and forth on having a presence in the top few sites for my firm, the larger sites also offer firms and groups the ability to do work there. Right now, I’m not to be found active on any of these sites, the price wars and spending money just to enter that price war doesn’t set the right values for me.

The best are here. – There are a few places where the best get themselves added to. The Design Directory is probably my top place to find other development firms. Dexigner Directory is another location that has a large range of firms and is another place where top firms are listed. This doesn’t mean that everyone in these directories is an expensive top 5 firm for each category, what it means is that these sites a reputable enough that those top 5 firms are willing to show up on these two sites, and attach their brand to them, in a small way.

The best place to find top quality services is to find where the top 5 firms, consultants, or service providers in a field are listing themselves, and see who else is listed there. It’s not fool proof, but it’s a good meter to see where the best is. There are outliers in each of these places, both great and terrible, but this will give you a basic idea on where you’ll have the most success finding what you are looking for.