Warren The ProgrammerWeb Programmers seem to be everywhere these days, but finding a good one – one that will stay with you for your duration of time on the web – is an increasingly difficult task.

For me, personally, it’s about quality, pure and simple – the quality of the programming work you undertake, and the quality of the relationship you are able to build as a result of this.  This is the reason why I have over three hundred clients and counting, many of which have been with me for over ten years.  It’s something I am very proud of.

The truth today is that many programmers are temporary and instantly disposable. They’ll bid for a job, or you’ll go looking for someone advertising a specific programming skill set, only to be let down on all fronts. The reason why is always fairly transparent – they don’t care and they actually don’t need to.

Global economies are such that programmers in far away lands are happy to take your money, or even part of it (a deposit for example), and have no care as to whether they are able to complete the job. In fact, some operate with workers of such low skill sets that they’ve already lined up the excuses before you start the work, and are aware the project will fail.

Sadly today a high percentage of my workload comes in the form of fixing such mess-ups, and part of this is often to outline where the original programmers went wrong.  I’m the “why I shouldn’t pay” guy.   At this point the web developers try to move the goalposts of the project, and the end outcome is no longer (and never was) a finished project – it’s the amount of hours the company spent failing to do what was asked for.

How people have the nerve to still ask for payment (for the hours their workers put in) despite the non-completion of the project is beyond me.   Why should they pay when the people that never provided the end result they were looking for?   I’ve lost count of the amount of reports I have provided and meetings I have attended to get a client out of paying for an unfinished web project.

This to me is not how the industry should be, and I have my own specific standards which every good programmer or web developer should adhere to. Before you even consider hiring a website programmer you should ensure that the following guidelines are met, or are going to be met.

You’ll want a web programmer who has:

  • A fast turnaround time that meets your time scales and adheres to strict deadlines.
  • A multi-faceted portfolio that displays great flexibility and understanding in what past clients have required.
  • A hands on approach. No outsourcing, no waiting, your developer should be capable of implementing your changes on the spot if necessary.
  • Full accountability for his/her work, both in the now and with future website revisions in mind.
  • The best interest of your business at heart. The desire to see YOU succeed and have continued success.
  • A customer focused approach with concise and always-open lines of communication.
  • The ability to provide clean, versatile and inventive design for your company’s brand or message. The ability to bring your vision to life.
  • A wealth of experience in the industry catering for all types of web development or online projects.
  • An up to date skill set of technical expertise, and eagerness to continually expand upon this knowledge.
  • The honesty and trust of the industry or past clients, combined with the integrity required to fully represent your company.

Failure to meet such guidelines will ultimately spell disaster for your project, you, and your company.  As I say to each and every client, they should only pay when they are completely happy with my work.  Sure, I’ll come across people that attempt to push the boundaries of what is acceptable, but I’ll only let them go so far.

Set your standards to what you’d expect or higher, and you’ll rarely go wrong.  Better still, you’ll be able to sleep at night*.

*Note:  I know programmers don’t sleep, it’s just a metaphor.