How to work with programmers from India

After working with a few programmers from India, and failing (googdesk). I recently developed an iPhone app with Felix Grimberg and I finally think we came up with the perfect formula. BTW, our app is the must have postponed texting application - txtot. So go get it!

Getting quotes

  • The easy part is getting quotes, just get on any of the freelancer sites (freelancer, guru, elance) and post your project. Don't skimp on promoting your project for a few dollars, you're gonna spend 10 times more on the project itself.
  • Be as specific as possible and don't be afraid of revealing your idea. It is worthless.

Choosing a programmer

  • You're going to get some replies, some of them will be pre-made templates that dish out the entire resume of the freelancer, Rank these lower.
  • Choose freelancers that have more specific skills.
  • Companies are preferable, if one of the programmers is not up to the task, they can move the item to a different one.

Payment terms

This is critical, it determines if they catch you by the balls or not.
Never pay everything in advance.
Try to pay like this:
  • 10% in advance
  • 30% after the mockup or the design document
  • 60% when the project is completely done
At the worst case, pay no more than 70% before the entire project is done.

Managing tasks and bugs

This is the longest and hardest phase.
You can try to setup a google docs spreadsheet and share it with your freelancer or the offshore project manager, but this doesn't always work well, especially if you fill it with many bugs, all at the same time. And you will have many bugs, trust me.
Just pick the 3 most important bugs and send it to them via email, explaining the problem as simply and shortly as possible from a user perspective.

Finishing up

Just pay what's left. After everything's closed, the app approved on the appstore or the website up in the air.


I know this post might sound politically incorrect, but I'm just talking about my own experience and I'm trying to help both buyers and suppliers of software services from India.
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