If you are looking to hire a company for a web development project, there are few characteristics to look for in a good web developer. Knowing these ahead of time can make the difference between hiring a potential novice and someone who really knows the ropes.
One of the main areas of course is how well they organize the project. Many good developers will use something that resembles what could be referred to as a ticketing system, or a ‘base camp’. These systems are usually very robust and enable developers to keep track of every little aspect of the project.
A project manager
Another characteristic is how they manage the project. Typically, a good web development firm will staff a project manager. This individual will very likely be someone who is either directly or indirectly involved in the actual programming or coding of the development. A good project manager is someone who is usually patient, communicative, and extremely resourceful. The best of the best are managers who initiatively know how to pull ideas out you, and or come up with ideas reinforced by your own, and help bring them to life. These are the people you want to build rapport with, as they are the implementation backbone of the entire project.
Skill sets and knowledge
As you browse around, be sure to examine each candidate’s website closely, as this will give you a good idea about your potential developer’s knowledge and skills sets. A good rule of thumb is to look carefully at the actual site. As they were likely the architects of their own site, look closely at the layout of the site and how it navigates and handles. Think of it as though you are test driving a car. If you have trouble navigating their site, or notice obvious things such as no examples of previous client’s projects, or URLs to view any of their completed projects, it might be a good sign to move on from that particular developer. At the very least, it may not hurt ask them who built their site and why they don’t have samples, or URLs to any of their completed projects.
Examine the code
This is probably one the most important, yet overlooked areas. Although your potential web developer may tout they possess all the necessary skills for the completion of a successful project, always ask ahead time prior to starting ANY project to examine their code. If you are unsure as to how to do this, it is not that difficult as it is mainly a matter of documentation. Documentation is a practice that solid web developers use. It is the practice of essentially adding coding notes, or statements directly into the code itself. These notes are added to clearly and concisely convey the exact function a given piece of code is performing. This is extremely helpful to other future developers who you may hire to make changes or edits to the code. Without these notes, it can be extremely difficult to figure out what the code is actually doing. Any knowledgeable developer understands the importance of coding documentation, and it can usually be determined if this practice is being used by simply having a solid coder examine the code for you.