Hiring a "Tech Guy" - Any tips?

18 replies
Hey folks,

Lately, I've been bringing my business up to a point that I no longer have the time to spend on some technical stuff for my sites and so, to cut things short -- I decided to hire a tech guy.

Now, I've hired tons of tech guys in the past and none of them are able to fulfill what I want. But the thing is, I need a tech guy who can help me with some video stuff (like putting on JW player or whatever), some HTML stuff and most importantly, some technical stuff like installing scripts.

Anyone has any tips on where I can hire a good tech guy?
#hiring #tech guy #tips
  • Profile picture of the author David Chamberlain
    Hey Desmond

    I know what you mean about people not fulfilling what you want!

    A good tip (I got this from my friend Josh Bartlett) to go and look in some tech forums. Scout around and see who is being helpful, and knows what they are talking about!

    These are the best people to approach. It takes a bit more time than just posting an ad on Elance, but it will pay off in the long run!

    Dave
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  • Profile picture of the author Audrey Harvey
    Have a look at Warriors For Hire thread. You may find someone suitable there. I've had some recent help from Poglia and he was fast, accurate and affordable.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    FIRST RULE of hiring!!!!!!!

    KNOW WHAT YOU WANT!!!!!!

    You can't simply say "technical stuff like installing scripts". You could get 1000 responses and be lucky if even 10 can really do it. What do you mean SCRIPTS!?!? PERL? PHP? JAVA PROGRAMS? VB PROGRAMS? KORN? BOURNE? OTHERS? Do they need to know SQL? Is it on windows or unix?

    Your statements here are just so open ended!

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author plainwords
    If you want someone smart who will go the extra mile and deliver the results you want, you'll need to be prepared to pay them a fair price for their services.

    I've outsourced a lot over the last four or five years. I learned in the early days that cheap programmers are a waste of time. (There may be exceptions to this rule but they are few and far between.)

    Outsourcing to a 3rd world country has a lot of pitfalls unless you know what you're doing. Don't under-estimate the language barrier and the mentality of people who's aim is to turn work around as fast as possible, take their money and move on to the next job.

    As a general rule, the old saying will prove true: "Good, cheap, fast. Pick any two."
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  • Profile picture of the author TLTheLiberator
    Most of the stuff you described seems like stuff you should learn how to do yourself.

    Most successful marketers see html and installing scripts as elementary skills.

    When you do, you'll save loads of time and money.

    HTML...

    No one builds a webpage from scratch anymore - that's what template are for.

    You really don't need to learn all about html except...

    ...understanding what the few tags are for so that you can insert code in the right places.

    Installing Scripts...

    And installing scripts are very simple if you have clear instructions.

    But if you've got it like that - party on.

    All The Best!!

    TL
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    • Profile picture of the author Desmond Ong
      Originally Posted by TLTheLiberator View Post

      Most of the stuff you described seems like stuff you should learn how to do yourself.

      Most successful marketers see html and installing scripts as elementary skills.

      When you do, you'll save loads of time and money.

      HTML...

      No one builds a webpage from scratch anymore - that's what template are for.

      You really don't need to learn all about html except...

      ...understanding what the few tags are for so that you can insert code in the right places.

      Installing Scripts...

      And installing scripts are very simple if you have clear instructions.

      But if you've got it like that - party on.

      All The Best!!

      TL

      Haha TL,

      I'm just lazy and I don't like all these technical stuff. I am planning to train my HTML guy some knowledge about script installation and what I want. Looks like that's the only way.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Technical people are usually well intentioned, but terrible estimators and even worse time managers.

    The problem in this era, is that everyone wants to race to the bottom for what they will pay technical talent, and then cry a river when their project goes pop.

    Paying a little more for technical talent that also brings proven, demonstrable project management capability to the table is worth the extra investment many times over.
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    • Profile picture of the author Intrepreneur
      Mark Salter from this very forum.

      Get in contact with him. I'll also direct him to this thread.

      Mark
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      Started this stuff 2009. Time is what will teach you the skills you need.

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    • Profile picture of the author samstephens
      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      Technical people are usually well intentioned, but terrible estimators and even worse time managers.

      The problem in this era, is that everyone wants to race to the bottom for what they will pay technical talent, and then cry a river when their project goes pop.

      Paying a little more for technical talent that also brings proven, demonstrable project management capability to the table is worth the extra investment many times over.
      Words of wisdom!

      And remember, someone with a higher hourly rate can often end up costing you less anyway.

      For example, would you want someone who works for $80 per hour to work on your project for 30 mins, or someone that works for $10 an hour work on your project for 4 hours to get the same(?) result?

      That's one reason why you'll find a lot of techs will charge by the project, rather than by the hour.

      cheers
      Sam
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  • Profile picture of the author n7 Studios
    Make an initial list of:
    - jobs you'd need doing now, and
    - jobs you're likely going to need done in the future

    Then find someone, whether it be through WF, oDesk, recommendations or other sites, who can tick most, if not all, of the jobs. Try them out on a few, and throw in something outside of the list (meaning the technical person will either draw on more of their experience, research what to do or let you know it's something they can't do). That way, you know what they can and cannot do - sadly the best portfolio and pitch is no substitute for seeing someone actually do the work.

    There's definately work and your time invested upfront for this sort of thing, and you might have to try a few different people out before finding someone suitable - but it'll ensure that in the long run you've found someone who can do most of what you're looking for.

    I'd also avoid looking for one person - always have a backup. What if the first person has other work committments (which, in reality, is likely), falls ill etc, and you need something doing?

    As for technical people being terrible estimators, their estimates are as good as the information given to them. Saying "I want a video player installed on my site", compared with "I want a video player installed on the home page of my site, using JWPlayer, and it must be 400 x 300" will get you a far better estimate of cost and time.
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  • Profile picture of the author samstephens
    Oh by the way, just to clarify what I was saying - you don't nessessarily have to go for an expensive person - there's not point in hiring a rocket scientist to build a billy cart.

    I'm just saying the hourly rate thing can be misleading if you're looking just at the figures themselves.

    cheers
    Sam
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  • Profile picture of the author dsmpublishing
    Hi guys

    i found 2 really good guys on here in the warriors for hire and have never had a problem plus from a cash point of view it was very cheap.

    The best to have are the us students as they are learning all the latest methods so appreciate your needs and you dont have to worry about the language barrier.

    kind regards


    sam
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    • Profile picture of the author CmdrStidd
      Here is just my two cents worth. Take it with a grain of salt. Prepare a test or a series of questions that are in the area of the jobs that the tech would be doing. Ask them these questions and gauge their responses to see just what they really do know and don't know. This is the best way to screen out the 80 to 90% that are faking just to land the job at some of these websites like elance etc.

      If it is a situation where you do not know what you are doing with this stuff, then I suggest you learn it for yourself before you go outsourcing it. Otherwise you are only asking for trouble in the end.

      Dana
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      • Profile picture of the author seasoned
        Originally Posted by CmdrStidd View Post

        Here is just my two cents worth. Take it with a grain of salt. Prepare a test or a series of questions that are in the area of the jobs that the tech would be doing. Ask them these questions and gauge their responses to see just what they really do know and don't know. This is the best way to screen out the 80 to 90% that are faking just to land the job at some of these websites like elance etc.

        If it is a situation where you do not know what you are doing with this stuff, then I suggest you learn it for yourself before you go outsourcing it. Otherwise you are only asking for trouble in the end.

        Dana
        Ironically, that is one of the things I do, cover questions on some applications, databases, languages, Operating systems, etc... and try to weed out the bad guys. BTW in case you are curious, I accept a little more then 10%, and only about 1% REALLY pass.

        And I certainly would have suggested anyone here do the same, formulate questions, test, and verify, but many don't have a clue what to ask. They DO right books covering this, but you have 5 problems.....

        1. THEY may have read the book.
        2. OTHERS may have read the book and coached them in some way.
        3. There are actually SITES to defeat them!
        4. There may be SEVERAL correct answers, so a qualified person may appear to fail.
        5. Some of those books are just WRONG or ask questions that mean NOTHING.

        Desmond Ong,

        Your first step, regardless of anything else here, is be PRECISE about what you want. Not TOO precise, but at least so that a GOOD person will KNOW they can do it, and many of the worst are deterred, etc... And most here, in this thread, have given good advice.

        Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Kim Roach
    I would also check out: WebSupportTeam.com

    I have not used them personally, but they come recommended by a number
    of top online marketers.
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  • Profile picture of the author webdude2000
    Hi Desmond

    Outsourcing can be tricky and as people have stated the cheap low rate guys via elance and such places usually have good intentions but their understanding of your requirements is often a problem. I have had projects end up running for months and costing $2000 extra using such outsourced people.

    I usually help clients define their requirements and make suggestions as there are many components clients are not aware of. As a tech person we have a greater understanding of what os available and what is possible within the budget, many clients are unaware of what is available or possible. Bearing that in mind, anything is possible with a large enough budget.

    There are also many levels of technical skills and time as well as project management are issues. Other problems I have is clients keep making changes or do not know what they want until half way into the project. I charge a rate, usually per project and accept certain deviations and usually provide the extra time at no cost, within reason.

    I am PRINCE2 Practioner certified (Projects in Controlled Environments) which works great for projects however only really applicable to large projects, over $50,000

    Detail is important as script installation could be anything from a wordpress plugin to installing and configuring the server linux dependencies for video conversions or sites like phpMotion (similar features to youtube).

    HTML could also be from simple changes to integrating systems or getting fancy features.

    I do not advertise my services, however, please feel free to PM me your requirements.

    Regards
    Mark Salter
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  • Profile picture of the author dndoseller
    Elance may seem like it would be expensive but I have found it to be an amazing source of ambitious, smart and cheap overseas help. Just look at the previous reviews and ratings for the providers and pick the best. Ther are entire small shop "companies"on there that make it their mission to get our minimum wage dollars. The only downside is that you have to be overly detailed with your instructions and patient with the language barrier.
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    • Profile picture of the author woohah
      What type of tech guy do you need?

      Hardware or Software Related
      Installing pre-existing software or writing from scratch


      I have a very technical background, but I can't do everything
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