How to Outsource Programming

How to Outsource Programming Banner

1. Figure out what you want.

Take time to write down everything that you want to see on your website or program. Next, take a look at other websites or programs that have designs you like and note down the structural features that you admire. Then, make a list of the features that you want your website or program to have. Be specific. Create an outline of its menu structure and the different functions of each feature. Don’t rush the planning stage. Remember that an outsourced programmer will charge you for every additional feature that wasn’t “in the specs” because he may have to rewrite the entire program to accommodate your requests.

 

2. Understand the needs of the users.

A website or program has to be attractive, user-friendly, and informative. Bear this in mind when you are contemplating on user interface design. It is particularly important that you get to know your users and keep them in mind when discussing your project with your outsourced programmer. Think about what users expect, how they will interact with the product, and what it can do for them. When considering what features to include, put your users’ preferences above your own personal choices. Even if your programmer thinks a particular feature is nice, if it’s of no use to your users, chuck it.

 

3. Let the programmer handle the project under your close observation.

Once you have the specifications written down in detail, go over it with your programmer. Make sure that the programmer understands each and every detail that you indicated and that he or she will be able to interpret these details accurately. Discuss and settle on ways by which he or she will report progress and how you will pose queries or complaints. Make sure that you will be able to reach your outsourced programmer during your office hours, even if this means that he or she will have to take the night shift. Establish milestones. Set deadlines for certain tasks.
To ensure that your programmer comes up with a suitable output, provide details about your business, your users, and other relevant data. This information will serve as a guide for the programmer. Remember that you only have the right to expect what you inspect, so keep a close eye on your programmer’s work.

 

4. Manage your expectations.

Don’t expect an outsourced programmer to be able to perform the amount and complexity of work that a whole team of programmers would produce. Remember that feature-rich programs take a whole army of programmers and many years to perfect. Also, a programmer is not a mind-reader. Don’t expect him or her to come up with the exact output you had in mind if you didn’t give him the specific details that you want. Put time and effort into the planning stage of the project and be involved in the process. It is also important to be flexible, as not all your ideas can be carried out. Some may be too difficult or too impractical to carry out.

 

5. Test the output.

When working with an outsourced programmer, test early, test often, and test everything. Remember that the earlier an error is found, the cheaper it is to fix. Because an outsourced programmer will be working on his own computers, ask him or her to upload his progress regularly (daily or weekly, depending on what is convenient) to your servers. This way, you will be able to see incremental changes and catch and fix issues without them affecting the rest of the work. Most importantly, because programmers tend to be biased to their own work, don’t let the programmer test his own output. If possible, hire an expert quality assurance professional to perform the testing.

 

1. Figure out what you want.

Take time to write down everything that you want to see on your website or program. Next, take a look at other websites or programs that have designs you like and note down the structural features that you admire. Then, make a list of the features that you want your website or program to have. Be specific. Create an outline of its menu structure and the different functions of each feature. Don’t rush the planning stage. Remember that an outsourced programmer will charge you for every additional feature that wasn’t “in the specs” because he may have to rewrite the entire program to accommodate your requests.

 

2. Understand the needs of the users.

A website or program has to be attractive, user-friendly, and informative. Bear this in mind when you are contemplating on user interface design. It is particularly important that you get to know your users and keep them in mind when discussing your project with your outsourced programmer. Think about what users expect, how they will interact with the product, and what it can do for them. When considering what features to include, put your users’ preferences above your own personal choices. Even if your programmer thinks a particular feature is nice, if it’s of no use to your users, chuck it.

 

3. Let the programmer handle the project under your close observation.

Once you have the specifications written down in detail, go over it with your programmer. Make sure that the programmer understands each and every detail that you indicated and that he or she will be able to interpret these details accurately. Discuss and settle on ways by which he or she will report progress and how you will pose queries or complaints. Make sure that you will be able to reach your outsourced programmer during your office hours, even if this means that he or she will have to take the night shift. Establish milestones. Set deadlines for certain tasks.
To ensure that your programmer comes up with a suitable output, provide details about your business, your users, and other relevant data. This information will serve as a guide for the programmer. Remember that you only have the right to expect what you inspect, so keep a close eye on your programmer’s work.

 

4. Manage your expectations.

Don’t expect an outsourced programmer to be able to perform the amount and complexity of work that a whole team of programmers would produce. Remember that feature-rich programs take a whole army of programmers and many years to perfect. Also, a programmer is not a mind-reader. Don’t expect him or her to come up with the exact output you had in mind if you didn’t give him the specific details that you want. Put time and effort into the planning stage of the project and be involved in the process. It is also important to be flexible, as not all your ideas can be carried out. Some may be too difficult or too impractical to carry out.

 

5. Test the output.

When working with an outsourced programmer, test early, test often, and test everything. Remember that the earlier an error is found, the cheaper it is to fix. Because an outsourced programmer will be working on his own computers, ask him or her to upload his progress regularly (daily or weekly, depending on what is convenient) to your servers. This way, you will be able to see incremental changes and catch and fix issues without them affecting the rest of the work. Most importantly, because programmers tend to be biased to their own work, don’t let the programmer test his own output. If possible, hire an expert quality assurance professional to perform the testing.

August 14, 2012