hire developer NYC

How to hire the best developer for your startup.

A guide to finding a web or mobile app programmer that fits in best with your company.

You’ve written your business plan, legally registered your company, made a Facebook page, and even started reaching out to potential investors. You have everything ready to go…besides your product. At some point or another, you’re going to have to commit to a developer. You’re looking for somebody with enough technical skills to execute, enough reliability to meet expectations, and enough communication to keep you in the loop. While these are some standard criteria, you also want somebody that identifies and aligns with your company’s brand and culture. Here’s a guide to make your hiring process a little easier.

Consider the options.

Most startup founders consider one of four basic options when hiring programming talent:

  1. Hire an hourly freelancer.
  2. Contract a dedicated developer.
  3. Partner with a “technical co-founder.”
  4. Outsource to an agency.

Each of these are a valid alternative to consider. The key is to find the one that is most suitable for each specific organization. The best way to start is to:

Weigh the pros and cons.

The Hourly Freelancer

Most startups generally consider the freelancer option as the cheapest and seemingly easiest hiring alternative. Sites like Upwork and Freelancer make it easy to unlock global talent that is hungry for work and will fight for your project, often even engaging in price wars. Receiving dozens of proposals, some within seconds of job posting is very flattering, but it creates two major points of concern before the project has even commenced. Most immediately, the applicant pool is too large. Even if the time is taken to message and speak to each freelancer who has bidded, the client still may have difficulty weeding through the mess to find the right one.

The second problem is that a great deal of the freelancers have submitted proposals after only skimming through or without even reading the requirements. I mean, how could someone provide a proper estimate in just seconds? The reality is that most of them couldn’t care less about the company and the project.They’re hungry for money and will say and do whatever it takes to get it. Someone with little interest is not likely to follow best practices and will instead take shortcuts and deliver a subpar product. If something goes wrong, an individual is much more difficult than a business to track down and pursue legal action against. If they are overseas, the contract likely amounts to nothing and the money and even the IP might never be recovered.

A good friend of mine shared a story a while back about a freelancer who quoted him one month and $2,000 for a project that ended up being six months and $10,000. Aside from the wasted time, the total costs after damage control exceeded the ones he would’ve incurred through a different route. It’s important to establish a sense of trust, but one should still take everything with a grain of salt. As the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.”

The Dedicated Developer

Contracting a dedicated developer for several months at a time can be a much better solution than making a salaried hire. This route allows the startup to make a temporary hire at wage rates that typically beat those of a freelancer (which can easily surpass $200-$250/hour for the best onshore talent). Many companies even use this as a “trial run” to help them decide if they should bring the developer on full time. While they can be a good addition to an already existing team, a few issues may arise. First, extensive interviewing and vetting is required, which is especially difficult for startups without much technical knowledge and experience.The same concerns apply once the hiring process is completed. Whomever is responsible for directing and overseeing the developer will need the right skills and experience for, as well as time to dedicate to this responsibility.

When contracting a dedicated developer, a startup’s hard-earned money can go to waste when scheduling conflicts arise. It is not uncommon for developers contracted for several months to deal with downtime, which often comes in between projects. I’ve had firsthand experience with developers who were contracted for three, six, twelve, or more months, and sat around for days or even weeks at a time waiting for work but still getting paid. This kind of waste can be a killer for startups.

The “Technical Co-Founder”

The “technical co-founder” route is especially popular among college and grad school startup founders looking to partner up with their more technologically-versed peers. This partner is usually willing to join the venture if they are interested in the concept and want equity in the company, therefore making it a more feasible option for startups that aren’t funded or are low on cash. Finding a good partner is hard enough, as the best talent will often be recruited by large tech companies for internships and full-time positions. Even if they intend to enter the startup ecosystem, they often have their own ideas and may feel that they are in not even in need of a partner. Take this story from Alexey Komissarouk, a CS senior at UPenn and contributor to TechCrunch, told in his article “Stop Looking For a Technical Co-founder”:

“‘How many of you want to start a company?’ David Tisch asked. All hundred hands went up. That’s why we were there, crowded into a Wharton classroom to seek startup advice from an industry luminary.

‘Keep your hand up if you are technical.’ Five hands remained. Maybe six.

‘Keep your hand up if you are looking for co-founders.’ The only remaining hand belonged to a CS freshman in the corner.”

Even if the founder manages to find a co-founder, greater concerns are posed, as they may lack all of the technical skill necessary for the startup, or may have trouble keeping the same commitment as the original founder. Startups take time to cultivate, and motivated people often look for other opportunities with greater rewards in sight. Komissarouk suggests in his article that founders can learn to code themselves, but it may take months to even garner a fundamental understanding. Take this quote from Tim Ferriss, entrepreneur and author of the “The 4-Hour Work Week”:

“Coding your own app, especially if you’re teaching yourself at the same time, will take too long… After all, the goal is to get your time back and escape the long hours of the rat race. Therefore, programmers will be the foundation of your business. They will allow you to create apps quickly and scale your efforts.”

Thus, the best route is probably:

The Outsourced Agency

Outsourcing is often seen as a complete relinquishing of control. Beyond this, companies often fear hidden costs or threats to security and confidentiality, amongst other things. A client can definitely expect to deal with some of these things from a poor agency. Clients have come to me with all of the outsourcing horror stories, from the companies constantly piling on extra “unforeseen” costs to the companies who delivered buggy code and then stopped responding or wanted more money to fix it.

Outsourcing can yield many more benefits than losses if it is done right though. A good agency brings all of the technical skills needed and internally manages the team to save time and ensure quality, thus allowing the company to use their own resources more efficiently and focus on what they do best. A good agency should also make the client aware of their processes and infrastructure in place. And finally, a good agency is also transparent throughout the entire experience, and will dedicate individuals to regularly communicate with the client, helping them keep control of the project. A flexible engagement model will allow the client to be hands-on and retain just as much control as they want.

The key to making the final buying decision is to find an agency that you’re comfortable and can afford to work with. This where many startups have trouble. Speaking to several agencies that offer the same core services can make it difficult to differentiate and shortlist them. For unfunded startups, or those low on cash, the best agencies are completely out of reach. This often forces startups to compromise one or more of their deal breakers, and make a decision that they will later regret.

A Different Breed

Startups need an agency that brings out the “pros” from each of these alternatives. A startup-friendly agency is of a different breed: trustworthy, affordable, efficient, and versatile, all without compromising on quality. On top of that, the agency must be understanding of the founders and their needs, add value beyond just development, and be as dedicated to the project as you are. I know what you’re thinking: “no such agency exists” or “this is too good to be true.” Allow me to point you to TechSuite, the hybrid for startup founders just like you that want it all. Check out our startup deck to see why we are a different breed.

Co-Founder and CEO at TechSuite with a deep passion for technology. On a mission to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and devs.
ruby on rails development nyc

Why Is Ruby on Rails So Popular?

There’s no doubt that Ruby on Rails (AKA “RoR” or simply “Rails”) is one of the most demanded web application frameworks of today. Written in Ruby, this model-view-controlled (MVC) framework provides developers with default structures for a database, a web service, and web pages. It also facilitates the use of web standards, like JSON or XML for data transfer and HTML, CSS, and Javascript for user interfacing, as well as best practices, like writing RESTful code. Originally released as open source back in 2004, the framework reached a milestone in 2006 when Apple announced that it would ship RoR with Mac OS X v10.5 “Leopard.” After claiming TIOBE’s “Programming Language of 2006” title, the releases of Node.js and AngularJS in 2009 and 2010 seemed like the end for the Ruby programming language. As we enter 2017, you may wonder, “Why is Ruby on Rails so popular?” Some of the top companies in the world (Airbrb, Github, and Groupon to name a few) have adopted the technology and it’s not hard to understand why.

1. Rails is full stack

Unlike other languages like HTML/CSS, Javascipt, and Python, Rails covers both front-end and back-end development. An RoR developer can build a full web application without relying on another resource (while learning the other languages along the way), which makes it popular with startup companies.

2. Rails is built on Ruby, a dynamic and object-oriented language

This programmer-friendly framework removes the “lame” tasks and gives developers more time to focus on what’s cool. From handling database connections (goodbye SQL) to processing Ajax updates, Rails puts the developer first.

3. Rails cuts down on time to market

Development is rapid in Ruby on Rails. Ruby “gems” make common functionalities like user management and social feeds easy to integrate, which makes it perfect for CRM, CMS, or E-Commerce systems.

4. Rails has a great online community

The Ruby on Rails community is one of the most active ones out there. There are tons of conferences and meetups going on in every major city almost every day of the week. This makes it easy to find help for any of your projects. There are also a lot of online resources to pick up on this beginner-friendly framework.

If you’re looking to hire a great Ruby on Rails developer (onsite or remote) or are ready start your first project built with this exciting technology, look no further than techsuitenyc.com.

Samuel Corso is the CEO of TechSuite. He is passionate about bringing quality technology to business leaders and entrepreneurs.

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Co-Founder and CEO at TechSuite with a deep passion for technology. On a mission to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and devs.
virtual reality vr development nyc

Tech Update: Up and Coming in 2017

How virtual reality is set to dominate this year.

This past Christmas, millions of people unwrapped virtual reality (VR) headsets, ready to dive into the exciting (and realistic) world of 360 video.

Using apps such as YouTube, Orbulus, Seene, and many more, users are put in front of a surreal video that is rather entertaining or even therapeutic gaming system. The headsets range in price from $10 to nearly $800. With shockingly realistic sound effects and images, the system is unlike anything technology has seen before.

Just two weeks ago, Facebook announced it would split Oculus (Mark Zuckerberg’s original plan for VR created in 2014) into two divisions, one focusing on PC-based VR, and the other on mobile (SOURCE: Top Tech News). With other companies working to further expand the technology of virtual reality; it’s definitely here to stay and only getting better.

Virtual reality is not only for gamers though. Virtual reality is also useful for architects and construction workers because it gives users the opportunity to become fully immersed in their surroundings. In fact, the gaming system can seem so realistic, that “it’s easy to completely lose your sense of place in the real world” (SOURCE: Metro UK).

Now, you might be thinking, why in the world are people spending money on such a scary device? Well, the fact is simple. They’re affordable, they’re entertaining, and they’re different. According to Forbes, “these mobile VR headsets are easy to use and work with many existing smartphones, which is appealing when compared to expensive high-end VR hardware”.

While America is becoming fully engaged in the world of the virtual reality, China is a couple steps ahead of the United States. China has adapted to VR cafes, VR pods, and more (SOURCE: Forbes). A survey completed by Niko Partners showed that more than 50% of Chinese gamers are interested in VR and “almost 30% are willing to spend up to $200 USD on a device, which is significant considering the average income in China hovers around $12,000 per year” (SOURCE: Forbes).

Alyssa Orcuilo is the Head of Marketing at TechSuite. She is passionate about graphic design and journalism.

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mobile app development nyc

Your Marketing Efforts Are Neglecting This Key Consumer

Does my business need a mobile app?

Since 2008, mobile apps have become increasingly popular. There are now over 224 million monthly active app users in the US (Source: Search Engine Journal). Whether your customers are on their morning commute or coming home from a long day at the office, they’re most likely looking at their phone during (some of) this time. In fact, U.S. adults spend an average of 2 hours and 51 minutes a day on a mobile device and 89% of their time is spent using mobile apps (Source: eMarketer). If they spend just a fraction of that time looking at your mobile app, this will inevitably increase your sales, customer loyalty, and brand awareness. Why? Because according to the principle of effective frequency, the more somebody hears or sees your brand, the more likely they are to notice you, the more inclined they become to purchasing your good or service.

So why can’t I just invest heavily in traditional advertising? Because you would be neglecting a whole demographic: millenials. They just so happen to make up one quarter of the nation’s population (Adobe), are set to be your consumers for the next 50+ years, and are only getting more tech-oriented. And guess what? 84% of them don’t trust traditional advertising (Hubspot).

I have a website so I’m covered right? Wrong! 85% of people prefer mobile apps to websites (Source: Compuware). Put yourself in a consumer’s shoes. When a website is taking too long to load or you can’t find what your looking for, you get frustrated. Mobile apps are inherently more responsive and easier to use. Your competitors are doing their research. Don’t let them beat you and capture your target market. Inquire about a mobile app with TechSuite today.

Want to learn more about creating a mobile app? Visit techsuitenyc.com to get started.

Alyssa Orcuilo is the Head of Marketing at TechSuite. She is passionate about graphic design and journalism.

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eCommerce development nyc

16 Hours of Sales That Your Business is Missing Out on Every Day

Does my business need E-Commerce?

Let’s face it; we’re not superhumans. Aside from our hustle, we need time for sleep and leisure. That’s why if you own a brick and mortar (B&M) store, it only stays open for 33-50% of the day. But what if I told you you can keep your “store” open all day and have sales flowing in while you’re sleeping or relaxing? Introducing e-commerce, the solution that has been around for over 20 years but not enough businesses are taking advantage of. Here are three reasons why for your enterprise to stay alive in 2017, e-commerce is a must:.

1) Meet your customers where they are

People now make over 50% of their purchases online. You owe it to your customers to bring them not only good products, but also convenience. Your products can be accessed across a host of different devices, from computers to tablets to mobile phones and even wearables. Customers can also quickly navigate your store to find and price the products they need.

2) E-Commerce allows your business to expand faster

If you’re the local florist, you may not be seeking to bring your business across the entire globe. But if you are looking to expand your reach beyond local area, eCommerce is the way to go. An eCommerce solution can change your target market overnight from a geographic city or state to a country, continent, or beyond. Cross-channel selling (selling on your own site + popular eCommerce networks like eBay and Amazon) combined with good digital marketing efforts (SEO, PPC, email marketing, etc.) is a recipe for long-term growth and faster return on investment (ROI).

3) E-Commerce reduces costs (more than you think)

E-Commerce websites have different costs associated with them, but they pale in comparison to the costs of operating a physical location. The digital age has left brick and mortar (B&M) on a steepening decline. Netflix is a perfect example of how eCommerce can absolutely destroy a B&M business like Blockbuster. Brick and mortar expenses can prevent many from starting a business and put some small-midsize enterprises out of business. E-Commerce is now allowing more entrepreneurs and self-starters to enter the marketplace. They not only cut overhead expenses, but they can also reduce customer acquisition costs (CAC). By doing so, it also allows many businesses to reduce prices as 71% of shoppers believe they will get a better deal online than in stores.

In the US alone, eCommerce sales totaled $341.7 billion in 2015, up 14.6% from the previous year (US Department of Commerce). We even have an unofficial holiday dedicated to it on the Monday following Thanksgiving. So what are you waiting for?

Venture into the eCommerce marketplace today and contact us for more information.

Samuel Corso is the CEO of TechSuite. He is passionate about bringing quality technology to business leaders and entrepreneurs.

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Co-Founder and CEO at TechSuite with a deep passion for technology. On a mission to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and devs.
seo services nyc

How to Get the Best Value Out of Your SEO Campaign

Most of us in the business space recognize that as technology continues to revolutionize our world, it has seeped its way into the core of what we do. Some time ago, it was deemed essential to have a website. Some time later, it was also deemed essential to get involved in social media. But many have seemingly missed the memo on SEO. Not doing SEO is like saying “I don’t need any new traffic to my website,” which then equates to “I don’t need any new business.” It’s the 2017 equivalent to starting a business, opening an office or storefront, and then not putting out a sign.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the visibility of a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results. It’s an organic marketing method, and it follows the logic that the higher ranked results on popular search engines like Google (who has the most authority in this sphere), Yahoo, and Bing will drive the most traffic. Effective SEO consists of a variety of different activities broadly grouped into “on-site” and “off-site” optimization categories. I could go on for days talking about SEO methodology, tricks, and techniques. I myself have done it for quite some time and have made it the topic of deep study in the past year. I would rather answer the question, “Well if this is so important, I’ll do it, but how do I get the best value?

Below I’ve outlined four steps to getting the best value for this vital business tool:

1. Have realistic goals.

The outcome of SEO is commonly referred to as “earned” results. We use benchmarks and set goals, execute the activities, and then monitor and analyze our results to truly optimize the page(s). Seeing good results involves setting realistic goals for an SEO campaign. A small-medium sized business typically cannot expect to compete with the industry leader from the get-go, and any good SEO provider will agree. It’s typically best to start by localizing your campaign to appeal to a more specific target market, for example, by zooming in on a smaller geographic area. We refer to this as “Local SEO.

2. Set the right budget.

Setting the right budget could really fit under the heading of “Be realistic,” but I separated them to stress it’s importance. Here’s the bottom line: Good SEO will only go as far as your budget allows it to. This is why it is of extreme importance that you set the right budget to get the best value and see the results you want. SEO services are typically paid for as a monthly retainer, and it’s usually best to start with a more aggressive campaign, so you can begin to see immediate results. This requires a higher budget that can later be reduced based on your positioning.

3. Find the right provider.

After you’ve set the right budget, it’s time to find the right SEO provider. Your goal is to find the provider that can offer the most for your money, because with SEO, more is definitely better. Have the provider fully explain what activities will be executed, and to what extent (typically, for how many hours/month). Ensure that they will provide reports to track progress and offer support to answer any questions or concerns. Like anything else, remember that you will get what you pay for. Be wary of any provider offering services for less than $1000/month (which will typically only be part-time, not full-time anyways), and expect to pay a deposit up front.

4. Give it time.

Proper SEO is a continual process. It’s not done overnight, and it’s not a “one-and-done” deal either. This is why most SEO providers require at least a 3 month contract. If after 3 months you see absolutely no progress, it’s probably best to change providers. But typically, by this time, you will begin to see the results you want. This is when you can reduce your budget, but you’ll still need to allocate some money to maintain your new rankings. It’s best to set aside at least 1/2 of what you started with as a monthly retainer for the ongoing services.

Let’s talk today about how our affordable SEO services can help you and your business grow. Contact us – http://techsuitenyc.com/

 

Samuel Corso is the CEO of TechSuite. He is passionate about bringing quality technology to business leaders and entrepreneurs.

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Co-Founder and CEO at TechSuite with a deep passion for technology. On a mission to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and devs.
game development nyc

How You Can Replicate the Success of Pokemon Go

Build the next great game for the app store and watch the income pile up.

Pokémon GO is the new “talk of the town,” well, at least for now. Released in the US just two weeks ago, Pokémon GO is worth $29 billion based on Nintendo’s stock price jump (up almost 50% this month), but that’s actually a bargain with revenue that goes way beyond in-app purchases. The location-based mobile game developed by Nianticallows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures who appear on the screen as though existent in the real world. This “realistic” spin on a popular video game series has literally taken the world by storm, and is quite simply, genius. The game falls under the emerging genre of augmented reality (AR), characteristic of a view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input. The game’s success is largely attributed to this facet.

The game was made with Unity technology, today’s absolute most popular game development platform. Its portability is emphasized as a key feature, as the cross-platform game engine has been extended from only Mac OS X capability in 2005, to 24 platforms in 2016. TechSuite has now ventured into this exciting 2D/3D gaming technology, equipping itself with a team of talented and experienced Unity developers. We are ready to help you develop the game of the future. Contact us for a free consultation today!

Samuel Corso is the CEO of TechSuite. He is passionate about bringing quality technology to business leaders and entrepreneurs.

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Co-Founder and CEO at TechSuite with a deep passion for technology. On a mission to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and devs.
business strategy

Are You Too Busy to Take That Next Step?

An investment into technology is a necessity for any business leader. Though social media has become a priority in the last ten or so years, a website has been an essential factor for any business even longer than that. Even the small startups operating out of basements have websites. But in today’s economy, is a simple 5-pager enough? Don’t get me wrong, it is for some businesses. But can a founder go into business in 2016, have a local developer create a small website or quick landing page, and then write-off the need for technology in the business place? No, and the once-a-week posts on social media won’t cut it either.

What we have to realize is that our online presence represents us as a brand in the mind of our consumers. Even if we have a website, but it is outdated and lacking a clean appearance or modern functionalities, we are displaying a poor representation of our business.

This graphic from Kissmetrics shows how even your loading time and site performance could turn away potential customers or prevent existing customers from ever returning.

By now, you probably understand my point. You might be saying, “This doesn’t apply to me. I just redid my website and I maintain it regularly.” But lets take it a step further. How else can we use technology in the business place to improve what we do? Let me offer a few examples.

  • Is your website optimized for mobile devices? Mobile devices now drive somewhere around 60% of all online traffic.
  • Have you done any search engine optimization to improve your rankings on Google, or have you ran paid advertising campaigns to bring traffic to your site? A website with no traffic does no good. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to bring traffic either.
  • Have you tried Conversion Rate Optimization to turn your site viewers into customers and subscribers? Our end goal isn’t just traffic, it’s sales.
  • Does your business sell tangible goods? You’d be surprised at what can be sold online. An eCommerce solution could be huge for you. Think about it, you’re offering potential customers a 24-hour showroom in the convenience of their home.
  • Do your customers regularly interact with you and your business? A mobile app could simplify and enhance this experience.

This is where I see too many go wrong. Some miss the point. Others see the value, yet they’re often “too busy” to go ahead with it. Whether you’re new in business or are already thriving, an investment into a technology solution tailored to what you do could be the next step for growth. Speak to me today about how I can help you with just that.

Samuel Corso is the CEO of TechSuite. He is passionate about bringing quality technology to business leaders and entrepreneurs.

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Co-Founder and CEO at TechSuite with a deep passion for technology. On a mission to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and devs.