Recession? What recession? Its always a challenge to find good developers no matter what the programming/scripting language is. I’ve found that good Rails developers based in the UK are very short on supply and in extreme high demand. Trying to find an experienced (2+ years) developer to come and work for you full-time is like gold dust. Finding a Rails contractor is slightly easier, but extremely pricey and you might have to wait for a gap in their busy schedule to fit you in. There seems to be a bunch of them in Cambridge and a couple good rails software companies dotted around the UK but again, pricey. I was lucky enough to find one last year but didn’t manage to keep the person on board due to their other commitments. 🙁
I’ve considered sticking to PHP and rewriting a Rails project into it to get it going again. At least PHP is a more mature language with more developers but the same usual pitfalls of software development to be aware of.
Looking abroad for ‘cheap’ developers (say £20 per hour instead of £45) can come back and bite you in the arse as communication is really important and always under estimated. There may be cultural differences too which complicate the relationship. If you are developing a product/service for the UK market, it really helps to have someone on board who understands the UK market too otherwise you have to explain everything twice and correct them when they go wrong.
Find out …
- if the developer / team understand the idea? Can they visualise the end product/service?
- will the developer deliver code that is full of bugs? Will they fix for free? They should!
- If contracting, what else does the developer have on their plate? How committed are they really?
If you can, use a ‘test’ project to gauge how good a developer really is. Check out their code (if you can read it), structure, communication and organisational skills, everything! I’m going to try this approach out and see….