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Hiring Web / PHP Programmers to help Build your Ideas

Updated on May 25, 2011

Introduction

When trying to turn your ideas into reality, it can often be difficult to find a competent programmer to assist you. This article focuses on Web or PHP Programmers, but much of it can be applied more generally

Consider how you Appear to Job Seekers

If you have a unique idea, you may be tempted to be very reserved in your job description. If you do this, you will only receive applications from those who fire out applications every time they see a job they are remotely qualified for. You don't have to give away any secrets to excite your future employees / contractors.

Do not ask for the prospective employee to sign an NDA to be considered for the job. Ever since the release of the Hollywood film 'The Social Network', there has been an outbreak of poorly thought out web 'ideas' tenaciously guarded by armchair entrepreneurs. These get-rich-quick schemers always ask for an NDA to be signed before any significant consideration is allowed.

There are times when you need an employee to sign an NDA. In those cases bring this up in the interview, not in the advertisement. Explain why (as best you can). Don't say 'to stop you from stealing our idea'.

Attract Talent

Offer enough money. I cannot stress this enough. Many people have major misconceptions about how long projects will take, or their difficulty. The lowest rate to pay for a competent PHP programmer in North America is $20 an hour. Do not hire an employee who will accept this rate for any but the most trivial of tasks. For a good junior programmer, offer at least $25 an hour. If your business is riding on this programmer, you should expect to pay no less than $35 an hour.

If you are hiring a contractor, creating a set price for the whole job is great, so long as you both fully understand the job. Any misconceptions, or changes in the development process can significantly modify this price. The end result here may be an incomplete product, over payment or even legal issues. Use a set price as a guideline, and make sure this is understood in any advertising for the position.

Finding the Right PHP Programmer

When you have attracted a number of applications, you will need to find the correct PHP programmer for the position.

First eliminate all the applications that lack experience, or similar.

Then check that the applications are in good faith. Google their references, match the companies list with the phone numbers, ensure they have REAL references. Call these references, and get as much detail as possible. Write these details down and mention them in the interview. Usually a company will not say bad things about a candidate, but if they don't have much good to say, that's usually a bad sign.

Bring the candidates you feel are the best possibilities in for an interview. Tell them about your problem (or aspects of it, if you feel you need to keep this from them), and ask them how they would solve it. Have them sell you on their ability to complete this project effectively.

The ideal candidate will then talk about his similar experiences, and will probably start getting too technical.

What Now?

Now that you've hired a PHP programmer, ensure that they are working on what you want, and not what they think you want. Create as detailed requirements as you can. Work with the PHP Programmer to ensure that you are on the same page.

Best of luck!

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