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How to ensure high quality of external developers?

F4z2hcF4z2hc outside USPosts: 3New Users Noob

I am running a few apps and am not really happy how I am able to manage my developers.

My basic problems is, that I am not capable of verifying if the developers deliver a 'good' source code, or follow certain methods.

What I provide to the developers is the functional description of what I need. I provide mock-up screens, description of the logic behind (on a textual basis) and that works pretty well. But for me the app, the development and the source code is a black box.

How can I change that?

I was thinking about hiring a second company who does a code review, but I have no experience with what to look for or how that process works (and if it will benefit me).

There should also be a planning/design document, but I haven't seen this ever. Is it typically to use those documents for smaller projects like apps?

I do understand my question is a bit wide. I am typically very capable of handling lots of IT tasks myself. I just never cared to much about software development - but given the state of my business I need to change that now.

Looking forward for some ideas

Thakn you


  • angelappsangelapps usaPosts: 266New Users @ @
    edited February 2016
    It really depends on what you are paying.

    If you seek the lowest cost on a fixed cost per project basis, expect corners to be cut.

    If you paying the full wack then you can expect certain standards to be met.

    If you have gone down the freelance route and are choosing the lowest bidder you will never get 'good' source code, but will get source code that 'works'
  • JonPMJonPM Posts: 159New Users @ @
    If the app works and doesn't have any issues then who cares?
  • RudyRudy Ottawa, CanadaPosts: 1,787Registered Users @ @ @ @
    Honestly putting a company to review the work of another is probably not the best idea. They'll probably try to tell you the work is badly done in hope you'll ask them to rewrite or fix the project
  • angelappsangelapps usaPosts: 266New Users @ @
    JonPM wrote: »
    If the app works and doesn't have any issues then who cares?

    I would care when I want to upgrade an app and basic design principles have not been employed causing the upgrades to take longer than they otherwise would. Again it all depends on price...
  • JonPMJonPM Posts: 159New Users @ @
    Any programmer upgrading an app someone else developed is going to take longer than expected. Find a programmer you can work well with and produces what you want, and continue to use them for updates.
  • C6Silver05C6Silver05 SeattlePosts: 632New Users @ @ @
    JonPM wrote: »
    If the app works and doesn't have any issues then who cares?

    This is wrong on every conceivable level. Yes, if someone new is coming into the process it will take longer regardless, but the difference can be huge. I just had a project where the client needed some items fixed and others added. The code was absolute garbage with extremely poor adherence to even basic standards and as a result it took many hours longer to unwind and then rebuild. Conversely I had a project where the previous developer did a nice job of organizing things with sensible implementation. It took a fraction of the time to get to the point.

    To the OP, this indeed a very difficult problem for those not versed in development. First and foremost do your diligence when it comes to who you hire. Look at reviews, references, and communication. How they interact with you and what others say about them will give you insight into whether the person is run and gun or organized and diligent. No, there is no guarantee but what are the odds someone who cannot answer your questions or write an intelligible sentence are going to then be meticulous with their code? Again, play the odds. If you can see in their work history that they have not only developed new projects but also worked on existing ones, so much the better. Working on someone else's garbage gives you perspective when doing things from scratch yourself.

    In the end, how do I know my doctor is giving me the best advice? How do I know my roofer is doing all the right things? How do I know my mechanic is repairing the car without short cuts? I really don't so I must rely on references and my feelings about how they ware working with me. If you have questions, ask them. Don't think you will look stupid or that the person won't want to answer them. They work for you. If it doesn't feel right, it is time to stop, ask questions, and be prepared to move on if you don't like the answers. Don't fall into the "I've invested too much into this person" or "they are probably just busy", etc. That kind of thinking will always lead to regret.

  • angelappsangelapps usaPosts: 266New Users @ @
    C6silver05, amen.

    But, if I pay someone on elance $200 to skin a template game I am probably not going to worry about code standards, as probably none would exist.

    Everything has to be relevant to cost.

    The op's real issue is "am I getting value for money".
  • sparksosparkso Posts: 567Registered Users @ @ @
    You should hire external QA team too.
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