Maybe you are aiming to build the next big social platform. Maybe you’re looking to build something as ‘simple’ as a personal website or a feature for your local e-commerce site. Either way, your first step is going to be finding the right software engineer to turn your idea into a successful project. This isn’t easy. You have to find someone who has the skills and talent to execute your vision, the bandwidth to take on your project at a price point that works for both of you, and is the right fit for your team. The good news is that there are a bounty of online resources out there to help you find the right match. We’ve put together a list of the 5 best sites to help you land the right engineer.
Toptal knows that just providing a mass marketplace of mediocre project seekers is going to take you nowhere fast when it comes to executing your goals. So it offers a highly personalized matching service, focusing both on talent and personality. Toptal takes all of its applicants through a rigorous screening process that includes a series of language and personality tests, live exercises with senior engineers, and a test project. Only the top 3% of applicants are accepted into their network. When clients come to them, they hand-match them to one of their pre-vetted engineers who perfectly fits the client’s needs. They offer a two week risk-free trial too! To us, this is the clear winner if you need to find a top-notch engineer and you’re willing to spend some money.
Upwork is a very user friendly marketplace that allows you to find a developer based on a specific set of criteria (location, skillset, rates). Each developer has a profile that lists previous projects so you can easily get at least a sense of their style and personal flair. In each engineer profile, you get to see a short bio, listed skillsets, as well as the developer’s hourly rate and time difference from you. You can also save engineers to a favorites list, creating your own page of filtered potential candidates to explore later on. The best part about Upwork is its vast number of postings and the site’s organization. It’s a great hub for quickly looking through a multitude of eager candidates. Of course, not everyone who is eager is talented – the vetting responsibilities fall to you.
Scalable Path earns the number three spot because of their focus on customer care. You tell them exactly what you need, they build you a team, and they stay at the ready to help you every step of the way. If you don’t like your assigned software engineers or developing team, pick again. If you like certain aspects of what your assigned team has built, but want to take your project elsewhere mid-production, they will help make that transition smooth. As the customer, you call the shots until you are happy with the end result. If you wish to hire an engineering team, they can set you up with a lead software architect who acts as a scrum master to lead daily standups and bridge the gap between you and the rest of the developing team. All teams work virtually as many developers are sourced from international countries, which typically results in more reasonable pricing. The only drawback is that all developers are paid by the hour, meaning sometimes your pricing can be less predictable than you’d like.
Crew is another helpful resource that helps you through many aspects of the development process, including taking care of contracts and legal issues as well as payments and security. Once you create a detailed profile describing the kind of project you want completed, the marketplace of engineers apply with a personal statement and the Crew team will typically make between 3-5 introductions per project. We rate Crew highly because of their two-way selection process, which really helps ensure that interests are aligned on both ends.
Gun.io lands at our fifth and final spot because of the website’s usability, thorough request process, and hiring expert resource. Signing up is easy, and once you do, you are asked about desired skillsets, project goals, timeline, and budget. This lets you create a profile in just a few simple steps, and then you can hop on the phone with a hiring expert who will talk you through the selection process. You also have the option to browse various developer teams to find your best fit. The main luxury of Gun.io is having a hiring expert you can communicate with directly to begin handpicking your development team quickly and efficiently.
Depending on what kind of engineer you are looking to hire, it is always important to keep in mind that you want someone who is trustworthy, has a great work ethic, and shares your company’s core values. Especially with remote work and hourly billing, it is easy to feel as if you are being taken advantage of, especially if you have limited experience with the development process. That’s why it’s vital to find someone who is as great a communicator as he or she is a talented developer.