Any designers here outsource development?

6 months ago from , Product Designer @ 3fs

Hey DN,

I'm not sure how to ask this, but recently I was thinking of outsourcing the development of some of my projects and wanted to know if someone has some experience with this?

Just to clarify, I know how to write simple code and have developed stuff for web, iOS and macOS. More importantly, I can read code and am proficient enough to make changes in the codebase myself, so I could dive in after the handoff and tinker with the styling, animations or some other visual stuff. The thing is, there's always some more advanced stuff that I'd like to have in an app, but it'd take me ages to implement because I don't have that level of knowledge. So I thought to outsource these things to someone more experienced that would finish it in a considerably shorter amount of time. That way I'd have more time to design and think about the structure and process and less learning how to make something I've never done before and organize the codebase so it's easily maintainable in the future. I'm thinking mostly about web (backend & frontend) stuff at the moment.

I know the best thing would be to potentially find someone (a friend) that would function as a co-contributor to these projects and get a share of the pie (if something takes off), but most of the stuff I tinker with are free or free at the start, so there's nothing to share. Which is why I'd rather try putting a (currently) manageable amount of money on the table and try outsourcing as an experiment, and see where this takes me.

Has anybody done something like that? If so:

  1. Where do you find developers for stuff like that? Is it sites like upwork, ...?
  2. What was the experience/process if it all?
  3. How do you prepare the materials that you give to the developer? How do you provide the "acceptance criteria" or features that have to be implemented?
  4. What was the quality of the codebase you got back? Did you have to fix stuff by yourself afterwards?
  5. What was the hourly rate that you've paid for the work? (I know this is personal, so no need to answer, but a rough estimation would be awesome)

Thanks so much for the information!