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The Top 5 Places To Find Good Software Developers/Contractors

One thing I am often asked is “Where can I find good developers/contractors/subcontractors?” While I have found talent many different ways, I wanted to share my top 5 with you.

This post should be useful to you if you have a project and are looking to find a developer OR are a developer looking to subcontract some of your work.  I am sharing these based solely on my experiences with them and hope you find value in this list.

1. Local Meetups

Local meet ups are the absolute best place in my opinion to find developers.  Almost every city in the nation has some sort of group meeting on a regular bases for a given focus of development.  You should have no problems finding a rails meetup group, iOS, Android, etc…

I would suggest finding out about such meetups in your area by Googling phrases such as “[your area] iOS meetup (sub iOS for rails, python, etc…).  I regularly attend a “Cocoa Heads” group full of incredibly smart and capable mobile developers all willing to work on projects.

These types of groups are always excited to have clients come in and pitch their ideas.  One piece of advice though, don’t go in to these groups and start with “I have a great idea and I will give you a percentage of the company in exchange for development”. They will stop listening immediately.

This one is going to require a bit of work and research on your part, but I will get you started.  Around the internet, there are a few of what I call “celebrity developers”.  These are generally guys who have made a name for themselves and who are established as experts in their space.

While many of them are not taking on contract work themselves, they may or may not have a mailing list of interested contractors.  One such person that does exactly this is Ray Wenderlich and I happen to receive emails on his contractor list.

Even if these developers don’t have lists, they generally have plenty of connections to point you in the right direction.  Like I said, this method isn’t easy, but it can definitely have one of the biggest payoffs in terms of quality developers.

3. Specialize Project Sites

As of late, quite a few interesting sites have been popping up that have solved a fundamental issue when it comes to pairing developers with projects. The problems are 1. it’s hard to find good developers and 2. it’s hard to find clients with realistic cost expectations. That’s why ODesk exists 😉

The first of these sites that I have found is OOOMF.  OOOMF is relatively new and you must be reviewed and accepted by their team in order to be a part of it.  It’s basically a private network for pairing developers with projects and it supports all different project types (mobile, web, design, etc…).

Project owners can put their project up with a relative budget and developers can “apply”.  The process then moves forward with communication between the client and the developers until a price and scope have been reached.

There is an additional overhead of 15% for using this service, but I think it’s well worth it.

Another one of these sites that is more mobile centric is http://apphappening.com.  This site is very new and I have only just begun to use it.  I should have a better review of them shortly.

4. Twitter and App.net

Twitter and app.net are definitely the preferred social network of serious developers.  I would steer clear of Facebook and Linked in as this is generally where the recruiters hang out. Your message will most likely get dismissed as spam.

I’d suggest searching Twitter/App.net for the keywords of your project (iOS developer, rails, etc…) and find the folks with a ton of follows and a very small following to follower ratio. You will know them right away.  Also, most of their blogs come up first in Google for many related keywords.

5. Developer Conferences

This one might cost you a bit of money, but is definitely well worth it.  There are conferences for every focus of software development and they occur all throughout the year.  These conferences generally have a HUGE percentage of professional developers who are just as eager to work on a project as you are to have them.

One of my favorite iOS conferences is 360iDev. It’s very indie-centric and offers an incredible community of iOS developers of all abilities.  If you are looking to get a mobile project done, I strongly urge you to attend.  While I can’t speak for conferences in other areas(web, etc..), I would really love some suggestions in the comments of this post if you are up for it!

6. Bonus – Right Here

Shameless plug time.  If you are looking for professional mobile app (iOS or Android), I have a team of developers and am always looking to work on new and exciting projects.  If you want to hear more about it head over to my Hire Us page or shoot me an email brandon @ pixegon [dot] com.

Conclusion

Whether you are a person/company looking to hire developers or a developer looking to hire contractors, I hope you have found this post useful.  Your feedback in the comments is greatly appreciated.  Best of luck with your search!