Hiring Programmers is a Risky Venture

Architect/Programmers like Nate Allen in Mapleton, Utah are rare. They create a well-thought-out design that scales and then program the foundation very well for the first release.

Once code works you want programmers to fix bugs, enhance it safely and port it to new operating systems, languages and platforms when needed.

Hiring programmers is a risky venture. None of the full-time programmers I employed ever provided a return on investment. They came to work mainly to get a paycheck. When resources were low or their skills had improved they were lured away by other companies.

One contract programmer though did complete most of his tasks and we released and sold the products he ported to the Mac.

Programming sweatshops are the worst–their programmers are only dedicated to your project when you allocate bags of money and then abandon it to work on other projects. They often over-architect software and implement unnecessary design patterns that aren’t needed and make the software more difficult to work on. They have no passion or interest in your solution so unless you provide very detailed and prioritized specs, they will probably drain your monies.

If I could do life all over again I would have done all my programming myself or teamed up with a co-founder/programmer with passion and the resolve to weather difficult financial times.

Programmer David Pugmire once told me there were very good former Microsoft programmers who worked in the Seattle area that he felt made great contractors. He hired them as a manager at Microsoft so I am sure he provided them with very detailed specs, testing resources, held them to Microsoft’s rigorous standards and provided the finances for them to complete the job.

Programmers are better employees when passionately committed to your vision.

Although most programmers prefer to work alone, most work better in pairs because pair programming results in better designs, faster implementation, fewer bugs and better code.

by Robert John Stevens, January 23, 2018

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