Suggestions to evaluate freelance work (non-tech founder)

by ATS200. Posted on Sep 17, 2020    2    13

Hello everyone:

As the subject says, I'm a non-technical founder and have been using freelancers to develop my website. My question is - what is the best way to evaluate their work upon completion? This is something I should have foreseen but I'm now realizing I can only test how it functions and not really review the code for any flaws or "shortcuts" (if that's even necessary).

I don't have many entrepreneurs or developers in my close network so is my best option to contract another dev to help me review?

Thank you


AdamKyleWilson 1

If you’re starting a tech company without a tech co-founder you are going to be screwed every step of the way. Use the first version of this thing to attract a partner.

  ATS200 1

Absolutely right. I’m workin on it!

CrazyFrugalAsian 2

As a founder on the product side of things (design) while only being a hobbyist developer, I outsourced code reviews to trusted industry friends and senior dev coworkers based on their hourly rates.

I would recommend joining a few online communities and paying for a few independent code reviews and evaluations of your applicant’s GitHub repos and other work such as a portfolio site.

GloomyNectarine2 2

On top of the initial review, your bigger problem will be ongoing maintenance. So you should hire someone for that, and maybe that person can evaluate the code.

  ATS200 1

Yep it’s a big concern of mine. I am hoping to have someone join me very soon

RecursiveBob 2

Some developers will do that on a consulting basis. For example, I'm a tech recruiter, and I review code as part of my screening process, and I also do that as a service sometimes. However, whether or not you actually need to have the internals reviewed depends on what you're doing. You mentioned that you're building a website, which covers a lot of ground. If you're building a SaaS webapp, then yeah, you want to be careful about code quality. If you're having a guy make you a business site in WordPress, then don't worry about it. What are you trying to build?

  ATS200 1

Makes sense. It’s a fully custom site using react and node with some very unique features. Even the devs had to tinker around with things to get my main feature to work. I’m mainly concerned that they didn’t figure it out and they threw something together that’ll work for a demo but not fully operational. I don’t know if that’s possible but I want to be sure given how much concern they had with it

RecursiveBob 1

Hmm. That does sound like a situation where code quality is important. MERN can get unwieldy if it's not done right, especially when you start to ramp up business.

tavycrypto88 2

I can help you audit it. What tech stack was used?

  ATS200 1

react and node - interestingly, it's in the travel sector and I see you're a solo founder in the same industry. we should definitely connect

tavycrypto88 1

Very interesting. Yes I am :)

kredent4eva 2

I don't think you should evaluate the "how it was done" parts of the job, like the code, framework, etc. Just test it on functionality. If the website functions as you want, it's good enough.

I hope that your business grows at the desired pace and then you'll anyway go for a new website in 1.5 - 2 years, if you're not going to make regular (every week, every month, every quarter) changes.

NuZuRevu 5

If this is a website (ie used for marketing), I would just evaluate the functionality.

If this is a web app (ie more the product than just a web presence) then code quality is more important and so is security. I would insist on a minimum of 5 pages of how-to documentation (with lots of links) to help jumpstart future maintainers rather than to try to evaluate code quality yourself. And perhaps have someone evaluate basic security (OWASP standard). There are even some automated tools that can help with that.

If you do get another coder to look at the code, I will warn you that, having managed developers for 20+ years, I can count on one hand the number of times that one dev liked the work of another. Finding fault in the other guy’s work is in the blood. The real proof is when someone other than the original author tries to add a feature or fix a bug.