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What should I be paying a django/python developer per hour?
19 points by hiesenburg on Oct 21, 2010 | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments
what's the going rate for a django developer these days? I've got a project, it's pretty straight forward, and I need a good developer. what should I be paying?

Four options:

1) you are going to hire someone who can help you figure out what you want and will implement it quickly. This person will have a proven track record of implemented sites and will be expensive (over $100/hour depending on experience and their cost of living).

2) Hire a company with multiple experienced Django developers on staff if you want the site done well and on time. Expect to pay slightly more, ~$150/hour.

3) Hire someone who has done zero Django sites, or a few sites of less complexity than what you want implemented. This person will clearly be tech savvy, understanding what you want and promising the world. They will only have small or incomplete projects to show you as portfolio material. They promise more than they can deliver, because they are naive and possibly still on their Django honeymoon period. They will charge somewhere between $25-$75 per hour and will take several times longer to give you something that just barely works and isn't particularly maintainable.

4) Everyone else. Avoid them.

Find a developer or company who can help you to figure out exactly what you need and has proven that they can implement in a timely manner. Then pay them what they ask. Scale back your expectations if you can't afford their time. Hire someone in the US, but outside of NY and Bay Area unless you live in those areas and need to meet face-to-face.

Consider Canada too, rates at a 25% or more discount.

Random quasi-useless data point: I hired a very good Linux sysadmin really wanting to learn Django for a small/simple Django project. He lives in a "developing nation" (euphemism for "poor") I paid him $40/hr which is about twice what he was making and he picked django really quick and did a great job, luckily he doesn't fall in any of these categories but I realize this is an oulier.

Do you really have to have a Django developer specifically? In my mind, a good programmer is a good programmer and understands a thing or two about this stuff. I think you want a good programmer first, regardless of whether they have a great deal of experience in whatever the obscure framework du jour is or what have you. But other than that I do tend to agree with you.

Do you really have to have a Django developer specifically?

If it is specified as a Django project, then a good programmer who doesn't know Django fits into the Hire someone who has done zero Django sites, or a few sites of less complexity than what you want implemented. This person will clearly be tech savvy, understanding what you want and promising the world. category.

I agree with the parent posts conclusions on that.

I don't know. The idea that that person would be of slightly lower quality or just in a honeymoon phase, or even naive I think is a bit much of you have a very experienced programmer that just hasn't done Django. I just quibble with the implication of lower quality, naivete, and "promissing the world."

Ok - put it like this:

I've been doing web facing Java apps for over 10 years, every weekday, for at least 8 hours a day.

And yet, I still learn new stuff every single day. Sometimes not little things either - things that can save hours, maybe days of work.

I've met many better programmers than me. But I know my shit, and I bet I could get a Java webapp up & running quicker than someone like say Donald Knuth, simply because I've done it so many times before.

I've done some Python and Django, but based on my Java experience I know someone with a couple of years experience with it would destroy me if we were racing to build an app. And from the client's point of view, it's always a race because time is money.

I disagree and fail to see how that answers my issue but the real killer here is that if that is sole criteria, whether the person has experience with this particular framework, why pick something so niche as Django? Is that the best decision given this mentality?

Let me tell you this - Django is one of the worst frameworks to hire people for. Difficult to find devs to maintain it and expensive. If you are outsourcing, go with PHP.

Just like me, you'll regret going with a niche like python/django when outsourcing.

i agree.

This is my suggestion to anyone looking to have a tech product developed. Find a good developer don't skimp, if you do you will live with it for a very long time and spend multitudes more in maintenance (if the project does not fail outright) than if you had it done right in the first place. If you need to save money, here is how I alway recommend that people do it. Hire that good developer have them build the site and then have them transition the ongoing maintenance of the site to an offshore team. Maintenance cost you far more in the long run. This way, you get the product of a good developer while saving in the long run. As well a good developer is going to do far better than you in identifying a quality offshoring resource. They will be better suited to determine the best person that handle that ongoing maintenance. Most of your good developer are in such high demand that they will relish the fact that they will not be on the hook to maintain the product and you will find the more and more quality developers have existing relationships with an offshore developer that they forward maintenance gigs to.

First off, I agree with dinkumthinkum. Note that Django is not a simple framework. To get something running you can get it done in a really short amount of time but to put off a deployable site with proper security + stability + reasonable performance requires someone who is at least mildly experienced with Django.

As to the argument: A good programmer is a good programmer: Well a good programmer is only if he/she can get the task done. How can you truly evaluate someone how good he/she is? The best metric in this case will be to measure how well the person can deploy the site within the Django framework - after all that's what you are after.

If you pay someone who is cheap but less experienced, there is a very high chance of defaulting. Look at most script lance sites - they are filled with cheap developers from 3rd world countries but from my experience they are pretty terrible to get things done.

Bottom line: You pay for the quality.

What sort of security issues do you see with django deployments?

I echo the sentiment of many folks on here- you pay for quality. As a development consultant and programmer, I've heard one too many horror stories from non-technical folks who just hired the cheapest freelancer they could find. That being said, freelancers range from $30/hr (for asian low cost providers) to $150+/hr (experienced guys in the USA).

If you're looking to build fairly robust web app that you plan on scaling, I suggest either:

1) Recruiting a technical co-founder and letting him choose a freelancer he's closely screened, and then micro-manage the hell out of the project; 2) Hiring a reputable firm to do it.

Either way, pay no less that $100/hr for good work.

I've just outsourced a project to a friend of mine. He's a very skilled Django developer. The rate is around 30 euros / hour. However, I live in Romania.

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