How to Spot Nightmare Web Developers

James Little

September 27, 2023


When outsourcing a new software or development agency.

There are a few red flags to look out for.

One of the biggest ones is poor communication and slow response times.

If you haven’t started a project yet and they’re already struggling to keep up with email responses, then this is a bad sign.

Developers can often overestimate how much work they can take on at once in an attempt to get as much work as possible, which then leads to poor communication.

Most developers have been guilty of this in the past, including me in my younger days!

In many cases when we have projects handed over to us from a previous development company it’s often because they have underestimated the tech challenges that can arise.

I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum where I’ve taken on larger projects which pushed me out of my comfort zone and jeopardised my communication with clients.

But once I realised that communication is one of the biggest contributing factors in a project’s success, I made sure to change my approach.

If an agency is taking on lots of work, this is fine if they have the right team to manage it correctly.

But in the case that they’re oversubscribed with work, then your project may get neglected and become more of a liability than an asset.

Video Transcript:

Hi guys, in this video, I’m gonna be talking about how to spot a nightmare web developer or web agency. So this is super important as it can cost you a ton of money, ton of time, and even result in the success or failure of your business. If you are a 100% reliant on the product that someone’s developing. So there’s a number of things over the years that we’ve seen. So we obviously have our own internal team. And in some cases, when we’re scaling up projects, we need to outsource and we need to bring on external contractors or other agencies to help out with different sort of things. And now we’ve seen a lot of different things over the years in terms of red flags to look out for. So this video’s just gonna dive straight into you, different ones to look out for. So the first really comes down to communication.

I’ve said this a lot in previous videos, but communication is one of the biggest thing that is gonna determine whether a project succeeds or if it fails. Now, if someone’s struggling to keep up with responses, if you are trying to ask them a few questions about their experience, and if they’re taking days through reply, you haven’t necessarily even closed them for the right agency or the developer role for your job. Then chances are when you do assign them the job or the role, then they’re not gonna be the ones that are the first to be proactive or to talk, or to be able to follow up with any sort of things that they need. And communication again, is such a crucial thing. And if you’re not, not focusing on people that are very responsive and able to be bothered to reply to your questions, then definitely turn the other way and run.

Another thing is really don’t hire the first person that you speak to, or don’t hire the first agency that you speak to instead speak to a few different agencies, understand what their process is. See if you have a good fit with them and understand a bit about their different experiences. And if they’ve worked with businesses that you can recognize, and if they’ve got any references as well, then that’s obviously a huge bonus. And someone that’s proud to represent and show their different work that they’ve done in the past is someone that you are able to know, all right, this person doesn’t just run away. They’re not a cowboy and they’re gonna disappear over once. They’ve delivered a project. The other thing as well, the other benefit of not hiring the first person that you interview is that really over time as you go through that interviewing process with candidates, people will just drop off and give up.

And if it’s those people that aren’t following up with you, or if they’re not able to respond, that’s an easy way to filter out the people that actually care about the job they’re doing, and that are able to keep up with the requests that you’re giving them. So those are three things that we’ve found to be super helpful over time. And just wanted to say again, it’s such an important thing. It can really determine the success or failure of your project or even your business. Another thing to keep in mind is, well, just lastly, is when you’re working with a project and they’re working on a trial, that can be a great way to see someone’s capabilities, their skills, if it’s possible in your situation, to just have either a small project where you assign them either

A tiny task, setting up their dev environment and then working on something locally, and then you can review their changes, something. That’s not gonna take a few bits of too much time, but it still allows you to assess their quality and whether they’re the type of people that you’re hoping they are. So I hope you got something outta the video. Again, it’s super, very important. So take care and let me know if there’s any questions below and would love to hear from you. Cheers. Thank you for watching.

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