0
Answered

Forwarding Enquiry: Hiring a team of programmers

MaGIC 6 years ago updated by Ariff Faisal 5 years ago 3
Hi,

I have an idea for a startup. I have a plan. I'll probably be pitching to investors in a month or so. However, I need to build a team - which consist mostly of programmers. Whilst I did do an engineering undergrad, I have minimal experience in coding. I am finding it a challenge to begin hiring a team of programmers, I would probably need to co-found the whole thing with a technical head too. Could you assist on how I might go about hiring and filtering good programmers?

Thanks
Joel

Answer

Answer
Answered
Hi Joel, 

We have our colleague Alex helping you with the answer:

Here are the top ranked option for developing your app.

#1) Doing it entirely on your own.
- Teaches you to code
- Teaches you the development time of getting an app out
- Teaches you the process of development
- Allows you the ability to modify your idea rapidly when you encounter issues to customize your solution (happens very often in software development before you discover the flow that it works)
- Reduces your cost outlay in getting the software out
- Prepares you for your next startup
- Allows you to evaluate software development skills

#2) Finding a co-founder who can build the app idea
Next best thing is for you to find someone to build it with you. To provide a fair equity to someone, you will likely have to either give 50% equity of the company or give away at least 20-30% and still pay out somewhere in the RM30-50k range in getting the app built - and this is no guarantee of an app that will be final.

Finding a co-founder who is willing to work with a first time co-founder and getting the idea to work, is a very rare thing. Most developers who have the skill and can deliver will either have a good paying job (if they don't, you might wonder about their quality, which because you do not have coding experience, will have difficulty judging if they are good or not), or are learning on their own to implement their own idea.

That said, here are the places where you can help find you a potential co-founder:
a) Hackathon events - there are plenty of hackathons running in KL, there's usually one running every month. Keep an eye out on Calendata.com for hackathon events.
b) Software development programs courses - MaGIC runs some of these, Imran is involved in running some of these programmes. You should enrol and go through the course, get to know fellow participants and if there is chemistry with any of the peers there, you can decide. If you couldn't find anyone, hopefully you've picked up enough experience and can build.

#3) Outsourcing it to another company

This is an option, though generally, the good firms that can deliver will cost way too much. The ones where the prices seems affordable will get expensive. Generally, the interests are not aligned between you (founder) and the development house (them). I have built an offshore outsourcing company of more than 80 people providing outsourced development (I started by providing customer support and eventually provided web and mobile application as a value added service).

From the point of vide of a development house, the more money you spend - the better it is for their business. Even if they take a percentage of your company, their risks are diversified since they have other clients and revenue sources, and if your app fails to become profitable, it's not too much of risk for them.

However, if it fails on your end, your company is doomed. It's very hard to get around it.

There are good companies to outsource your work to, these would typically charge upwards of RM30-50k to start a project. After that, there is a monthly cost of keeping developers around, and that can be anywhere from RM10k and above.

Typically, may app development companies would be using junior talent for your project as they would use it as a training project for their new staff. Their senior staff may come in and help out once in a while - but you have to understand their business model and costs - if they pay too much attention to you, they are likely not going to be profitable. And if they are not profitable, if your app eventually takes off, then you may not be able to rely on them - since unprofitable companies tend to go bankrupt.

Hope this helps.
Best regards.
Answer
Answered
Hi Joel, 

We have our colleague Alex helping you with the answer:

Here are the top ranked option for developing your app.

#1) Doing it entirely on your own.
- Teaches you to code
- Teaches you the development time of getting an app out
- Teaches you the process of development
- Allows you the ability to modify your idea rapidly when you encounter issues to customize your solution (happens very often in software development before you discover the flow that it works)
- Reduces your cost outlay in getting the software out
- Prepares you for your next startup
- Allows you to evaluate software development skills

#2) Finding a co-founder who can build the app idea
Next best thing is for you to find someone to build it with you. To provide a fair equity to someone, you will likely have to either give 50% equity of the company or give away at least 20-30% and still pay out somewhere in the RM30-50k range in getting the app built - and this is no guarantee of an app that will be final.

Finding a co-founder who is willing to work with a first time co-founder and getting the idea to work, is a very rare thing. Most developers who have the skill and can deliver will either have a good paying job (if they don't, you might wonder about their quality, which because you do not have coding experience, will have difficulty judging if they are good or not), or are learning on their own to implement their own idea.

That said, here are the places where you can help find you a potential co-founder:
a) Hackathon events - there are plenty of hackathons running in KL, there's usually one running every month. Keep an eye out on Calendata.com for hackathon events.
b) Software development programs courses - MaGIC runs some of these, Imran is involved in running some of these programmes. You should enrol and go through the course, get to know fellow participants and if there is chemistry with any of the peers there, you can decide. If you couldn't find anyone, hopefully you've picked up enough experience and can build.

#3) Outsourcing it to another company

This is an option, though generally, the good firms that can deliver will cost way too much. The ones where the prices seems affordable will get expensive. Generally, the interests are not aligned between you (founder) and the development house (them). I have built an offshore outsourcing company of more than 80 people providing outsourced development (I started by providing customer support and eventually provided web and mobile application as a value added service).

From the point of vide of a development house, the more money you spend - the better it is for their business. Even if they take a percentage of your company, their risks are diversified since they have other clients and revenue sources, and if your app fails to become profitable, it's not too much of risk for them.

However, if it fails on your end, your company is doomed. It's very hard to get around it.

There are good companies to outsource your work to, these would typically charge upwards of RM30-50k to start a project. After that, there is a monthly cost of keeping developers around, and that can be anywhere from RM10k and above.

Typically, may app development companies would be using junior talent for your project as they would use it as a training project for their new staff. Their senior staff may come in and help out once in a while - but you have to understand their business model and costs - if they pay too much attention to you, they are likely not going to be profitable. And if they are not profitable, if your app eventually takes off, then you may not be able to rely on them - since unprofitable companies tend to go bankrupt.

Hope this helps.
Best regards.
Hi, I was just wondering if 6 months on from when this post started if MaGIC or malaysia in general had any other alternatives for finding co-founders (technical heads). Im also an an engineering grad who has just graduated from Imperial College London.

Many thanks
Ariff