It’s one thing to want to get an app developed or reskinned, but quite another thing to find a suitable resource.
Many people look to sites like odesk.com, and freelancer.com (to name just two) to get the ball rolling. Both have huge pools of outsourcers vying for your hard earned cash.
In todays post (Part 1 of a 3) we are going to discuss finding that great outsourcer.
Just like employing someone for a local company, the task of finding an outsourcer should not be taken lightly. Here are two tips to ensure you get the very best resource for your app flipping projects.
1. Previous experience.
Does the developer have experience writing the type of application you are looking to get reskinned, on the platform you are looking to get it written on?
A game, for example requires different, more advanced skills to develop than a business application like a calculator. Be sure to check their work history to ensure they have worked on the type of app you are looking to get created.
A mobile game developer who has produced a game on Android does not necessarily have the skills for the Apple IOS platform (and vica-versa).
A web site creator probably cannot produce a mobile app. A Jack of all trades, master in none is NOT what you should be looking for.
Ideally, your potential resource should be able to show you examples of past work and prove they actually worked on those projects.
With mobile games, for example, ask them to link to a game they have created or worked on so that you can download and independently verify their involvement.
For example, Flip Frenzy was a game I was involved in that you can download for free from the Apple app store.
Below is a screenshot of the credits screen, which of course you can independently verify yourself when you download the game.
I am sorry to say, but I have met a number of people who have claimed to have experience or claimed to have worked on a particular game, but have been shown to not have the skills they say they have, or been unable to prove their involvement.
There is nothing wrong with you wanting them to confirm their skills and experience.
2. Reliability and Results
Another big thing to check is to confirm that the potential outsourcer can finish projects (produce results) and is reliable. You will be surprised how many outsourcers on these sites are not actually that reliable. Sometimes they will just disappear for days at a time, or seem to work well for one project and then when you get them back for a second project, they produce terrible results.
Some of this can be put down to the amount of work they have.
For example, picture a new games developer looking for work. He/She manages to find some work and works hard and produces a great result. Now others start finding out about him and they get more and more work, and because they are a skilled games developer but not a skilled project manager, take on too much work and overloads themselve, meaning they starts letting down all their customers.
Most outsourcing sites allow you to see what your potential resource is currently working on. This is an important thing for you to check.
Are they overloaded? Can they really dedicate themselves to finishing your project professionally to a level you are happy with, or is this just a cash grab for them?
Its very easier for an outsourcer to say yes to more work because the lure of that extra cash is hard to ignore. But a great outsourcer will know his/her limits and only take on work he/she can finish to a high standard.
Many outsourcers will over-estimate their abilities and not be able to complete projects they have bidded on. For example an artist may have successfully worked on a small game with 20 game assets (images) with a delivery timeframe of 2 weeks, and then flushed with confidence they bid on a large project with 100 game assets to be delivered over 4 weeks, and fail due to poor time management. I have personally seen this happen over and over again.
Different to what they are currently working on, look at previously completed or un-completed projects. This is the “ratings” section for the outsourcer. These ratings are usually made from buyers just like you and are a great tool to assess someones suitability.
This is an extreme example of a bad rating.
But you would be blissfully unaware that this had occurred if you had not taken the time to research your candidates current workload and previous jobs.
Now of course some “bad” ratings might be explainable. For example the outsourcer got sick, their computer crashed, etc. But be prepared to hear stories of lots of grandma’s dying 🙂
This is actually meant in jest. What I have found over the years outsourcing (particularly from India, Pakistan, China, Philippines) is a common theme of a relative dying being the reason for their project being late to be delivered, etc.
No doubt it was true in some cases, but others… Hmm…..
Bottom line is that all of these are just tools to help you make a decision. I really like to use my gut feel for a lot of this stuff.
Stay tuned for part 2 of my 7 tips to finding great resources guide where I will discuss two more important things to look out for in your quest to find that perfect resource. By the way, did you know that my company offers complete reskinning services? Check out the link in the top right of this page for more information.