where to find developers and designers

Where to Find Developers and Designers?

With the rise of the freelance economy, the need to find and hire good external talents is increasingly important. Over the years I’ve worked remotely with some great external teams, developers, and designers to create digital products / games / apps. Different stages of development require different talents, and I often have to ramp up on production towards the end of a project, which means I am constantly looking for additional help, often with different technology and design skill requirements.

I have hired developers and designers from marketplaces (ex. Upwork / People per Hour), online communities (ex. developer forums), online portfolio sites, and through in-person networks and conferences. They all have their pros and cons and I’ve found that this is highly dependent on the roles you are hiring for.

  • For virtual assistants and marketing assistants, I’ve found marketplaces to be effective. There are a lot of talents who can do decent jobs, particularly if you know exactly what you want done and are clear with your instructions.
  • For developers, I’ve found developer forums (ex. Unity forums for Unity developers, Stack Overflow) to be a good source where you’d find people who are passionate enough about a particular tech/app/framework to be involved in the community.
  • I also have found great developers from GitHub (where people share their code) and CodeCanyon (where people sell code) - this is great as you can see what the freelancer has created already and know their ability/style.
  • Similarly, I’ve found designers on Dribbble, Behance, and ArtStation, Iconscout(where designers sell icon packs). I like this approach where you can see what people can do and reach out, as opposed to posting a job and wait for people to come to you.
  • Off-line communities. If you are looking to hire locally, this is probably the best way to go, particular if there’s a big enough pool of talents in your town/city. I used to run the Seattle Unity User Group and it was a great place for both people looking to hire and people looking for work.

Personally, I’ve found the most success by looking at where developers and designers normally hangout to show off their work online - Stack Overflow, CodeCanyon, GitHub. Particularly useful if you already know what you need to build, and you can find people who have created something similar.

I have yet to find a great solution for finding and hiring business consultants. There are platforms out there but it’s often hard to judge soft skills based only on reviews and descriptions. For business help, I rely on old-fashioned word of mouth and look within my network / social network (Twitter/Linkedin extended networks).

Since I use multiple platforms to search for someone to work with, I use Markd to keep track of them in one place and to add relevant tags/notes/reference images. This was part of the reason why we created the browser button - in order to be able to quickly save profiles from different websites.

I have also had some horror stories around hiring freelancers and external teams, but that’s a blog post for another day!

Do you have any tips for finding freelancers? Leave a comment below!