I've considered outsourcing part of development before. But always gave up after thinking how hard would be to find someone who is actually good. And to be honest, after reading that the author had to first hire two girls just to look for a developer. It doesn't really gets me any more excited. Just thinking about all the useful developing time that I'd wasting looking for a good developer. It just doesn't seem worth it.
The author having found a great guy after 1 week for only $20 sounds to me like he got lucky. And that's not considering the side tasks he gave to the developer just to test him. And the other guy he hired before but didn't like. Summing all that, I'd assume that on average it would take at least two months just looking for someone good and finally get started working on a real project.
Does anyone else got similar good experiences like the author and could confirm that it's actually not that hard? Or did the author just get lucky?
Howdy, I am a developer (PHP, .Net, Ruby) and I have had similar experiences as the author, but I think that he should have highlighted the part where he says "fire fast". That is the best advice that he could ever have given. Let's face it, the majority of web applications today are not a technical challenge that have never been solved before.
Your main advantage will be to take the requirement and break it down into its lowest parts and then hand off those parts to an outsourced developer and if he/she does not deliver exactly to your spec, then end the relationship. Period.
Another key here is breaking down the specs. If you're clear in your communication, you can get good work. But being 100% clear with exactly what you want the finished product to look like is critical.
Like anything else, the more you do it the easier it gets. I have two part time developers working for me (one from Nepal and the other from Ukraine. They're both great. Much better than the 80-90k/year developers I worked with when I had a day job.
Initially I start by posting the job, then filtering in stages before asking them (and paying them) to complete a small 1 to 2 hour coding project. The coding exercise can be done many different ways but the purpose is to evaluate problem solving, code quality, knowledge of libraries, code structure, etc. It's amazing how much insight you can gain with something like that.
More importantly, having them work on something real helps me further evaluate communication, responsiveness, and other attributes I look for in a good dev.
I don't think I got lucky. I went through this process three times now (looking for a developer for c#, another one for ruby on rails, etc...) and the amount of people looking for work online means that if you filter well, you will be able to get the quality you are looking for.
The rewards of finding the right developer far outweight the upfront cost of looking for one in my opinion, but it depends how long you are planning to be in business for.