My hunt for a Magento Developer

#1

Not so long back, the following post was created on here: Where to find a Magento 2 developer?

I responded with something of an emotional rant about my experience working with freelance developers :disappointed:

Well, I’ve been putting it off long enough. So, it’s time to start the hunt for what seems like a hundredth time…

What are my options?

I’ve given this some thought, and I think I have 3 viable options to explore:

1. Local Magento Development Agency

I spoke to a good friend of mine this morning, who use a local Magento Development Agency. I was tinkering with the idea of approaching an agency and I wanted to know what it was like to work with one.

Long story short, unless you have deep pockets and need an all-on-one package then it’s not worth it. It would only be a viable option if I owned an eCommerce business and had no IT expertise of in-house developers. This is not the case in my situation.

2. Reach out to Magento Extension Store to explore their Development Services

This is something I’ve done before, with some success. The biggest issues I had included:

  • Very long delays with communication due to time zone differences
  • Low-Priority services as they have lots of other clients

3. Jump back on UpWork and find another freelancer

Read my rant about my experiences here.

4. Reach out to a local University and propose something to get their students involved

Initially, this seems like a good idea. But I’m not sure where this will take me. An IT student is unlikely to have any experience working with Magento 2… However, that lack of knowledge might be made up by their coding skills and large pool of IT oriented classmates.

What am I looking for?

There are some key attributes that I want ticked if I’m going to work with someone again. This includes:

  • Excellent communication skills - Both in the time it takes to respond during business hours and a clear understanding of the project.
  • Excellent skills - A clear methodology of how to tackle a problem and create a working solution.
  • Accountability - Someone who isn’t able to simply stop communicating if something goes wrong or takes too long to complete

I will not that some of these points are very hard to judge at face value and can only be determined during a probationary period.

Some of my thoughts and feelings on how to get what I’m looking for include:

  • Hire people from my own timezone (communication)
  • Avoid the cheapest bids (skill)
  • Pay a little more (skill)
  • Get their contact number (accountability)
  • Write very detailed briefs (skill, communication)
  • Check in once a day (accountability, communication)
  • Have a good conversation during the interview (trust, skill, communication)

Let’s see where this journey takes me…

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#3

I reached out to a Magento Extension Store today (I won’t name anyone just yet). The initial conversation seemed to go well. However, communicating over a Ticket System did feel a bit clunky - Although, I do understand why this system is used.

With the introductions out of the way, I’ll be composing some business drafts for them next week. Hopefully, I’ll get a better understanding of costs and timescales.

If all goes well in the upcoming weeks, I’d love to be able to recommend them. In fact, I’d love to be able to recommend anyone at all.

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#5

I too faced tough times finding someone, and I am not really happy with the present developer.

They take forever to spot the bug, and then the bug re-appears when they fix something else. So I decided to learn Magento, started with HTML, and then will move to CSS, JS, then PHP and then maybe Magento.

I am using online sites to learn like solo learn etc…:). Wish you all the best for your endeavour.

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#6

It’s taken a few weeks to get to this stage now, but here’s the latest update.

I sent the company a couple of very detailed briefs about a week ago, to get some quotes on both Price and Timescales. The timescales quoted were reasonable (within a few days).

Originally, I considered the price to be “high” but in actual fact it was realistic. And that goes back to what I said before that “you get what you pay for”. Or at least that’s the hope.

The price did make me re-evaluate the Return-on-Investment for my projects though. So, I benched one of my projects because it wouldn’t actually help to increase revenue as it was more about Quality of Life.

So, today I paid for the project to go ahead on the one brief. I built them a Development Server that Mirrors my Production site. This will ultimately help them:

  • To understand the context of my project
  • With real-world testing (rather than on a Vanilla install)

I’ll come back in about a week with my thoughts. I’m hoping all goes well because I’m so eager to build up another working relationship.

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#7

They completed my first brief this week. Which was a nice easy one to help establish a rapport and understand how the workflow went before continuing any further. We seem to understand each other well based on the fact that we’ve not have any misunderstandings.

So, I went ahead and gave them a more complicated brief. This includes working proof-of-concepts for them to view and play with. And I was able to give them real-world examples of how everything should fit together with the help of the Development Server I created for them - That has a copy of the Production site.

I’ve already been given a price and a time-scale. It’ll be a couple of weeks before it’s finished and I’ll update this journal then.

My only gripe so far is related to Communication. Rather than depend on emails and wait a day or two for a reply, I wish I could have a conversation via online chat. It’s a caveat when working with an agency, especially one in a different time zone. Other than that, it’s been a very positive experience.

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