Not Horrendous

Bewildered ramblings from a daft designer floundering at the deep end of the creative pool.

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Reliable Freelance Web Developer Wanted

/ Help Required

I’m a 30 year old Scottish designer and front-ender, currently living in Riga, Latvia. I’m comfortable doing design and front-end development, but my weakness is back-end development. Anything beyond a WordPress install, or any small jobs requiring admin interfaces and I’m stuck. I’m hoping to find a freelance developer who can fill those gaps in my service offering.

I’m hoping to find a developer who is able to work on a variety of sizes of job, on a variety of platforms, although I expect work would be largely PHP/MySQL type stuff, and probably small things to begin with. Someone who knows what sort of solution would be best for each job is a big advantage.

As I get more work in, I’d like to be able to pass more work your way. I don’t predict enough work to warrant hiring a staff-member, I’d really just like someone who I can call on as-and-when.

Some key points

Patience

I have a fair understanding of development stuff, but not as much as you. In your opinion, I’ll likely have a “dangerous” amount of knowledge. It’s important that you can handle me asking daft questions, but also knowing that if you tell me about PHP includes, databases, SSL certificates, or ASP pages, I’ll probably understand most of what you’ve told me.

Availability

I’ve worked with developers in the past, and quite often things will be going great, till I need help in a pinch. I want to be sure that if you intend on taking on a big 3-6 month job from someone else, that you can give me plenty notice, or recommend a friend who would be great to fill in for you while you’re unavailable. Obviously you can’t sit by your inbox waiting for me to send you work all day!

The dream is to have an AMAZING developer who is ready to help me out at any time. I don’t expect to have big jobs all the time, I don’t know how regular the work will be, but I do know that if I get something in, I need you to be able to help me fairly quickly, without having to schedule the job in for weeks off in the distance.

Listen & Ask

In the past I have given developers briefs, to have them say “yep, no problem”, ask no questions – then deliver something ENTIRELY different, or at least WAY off the mark. You should have the ability to see gaps in my spec. You should be asking questions when there are unknowns, and you should be able to respect my design work and work WITH me to get something where, despite likely compromise, we’re both happy.

Ability

I have worked at agencies with developers in the past, as well as with a few freelancers (chosen by other people) and so I have a fair idea of when I’m being taken for a ride. I’d like to avoid this, and it would be preferable to have somebody who knows their shit. Someone who is passionate about getting things working, and someone who isn’t delivering just the bare minimum to get the job off their plate. I’d like a developer who is proud to say that they used the best solution, not just the easiest solution.

Communication

I speak English. I can’t explain complex design or development questions to someone who does not have a good grasp of the English language. I’m looking for someone who is going to understand my crappy jokes, someone who can have a laugh without being too uptight, and someone who knows what I mean when I tell them something without having to explain it like I’m speaking to my granny.

Workflow

I’d love to avoid being forced to use things like GitHub just to interface with your work. I’m not au-fait enough with GIT, or the multitude of bug trackers out there to be able to work on your terms. I’d love someone who is able to handle my way of working (which is often just email-based, to keep things simple for me). I can use WAMP on my Windows machine to build front-end templates, so I’d like it if I didn’t have to install anything crazy, or hack together some sort of hosting situation just to preview your work.

How to apply

Basically, I’d just love an email from you. Some info on your history, your current location and situation, what you’re in to, what you don’t like – that sort of thing. Think of it like a message on a dating site. I’d like to be wooed! :)

Ideally you should be able to give me some examples of dev work you’ve done – but to be honest, I’d really just like to know I can trust you, and we’ll find out over time whether your work is up to standard.

I’d like to get an idea of some general costs – or your hourly rate. Also if you have any specific payment terms, or ways you prefer to be paid.

Email me at alex[at]alexcowles.com with the subject line “Freelance Developer” – and for fuck’s sake if you’re an agency, or if you represent job-seekers, then just forget it. I’m not interested. I ONLY want to speak direct with the candidates and applicants. Please don’t force me to be rude.

(this was also published on my east Creative website here)

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Alex Cowles

About The Author: Alex Cowles

A largely cynical and often sarcastic designer and front-end developer by day. Unknown international DJ & music producer extraordinaire by night (and at weekends). You probably won't like him.