Developer recommendations for: PHP w/templates, MySQL, clean "Web 2.0"/AJAX interface design

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Developer recommendations for: PHP w/templates, MySQL, clean "Web 2.0"/AJAX interface design

John Hamlen
Dear Fellow Entrepreneurs,

Does anyone have a developer/company they are dying to recommend with expertise described in the subject line?

I have a project that won't be a simple, hack-some-existing-code type affair. It will include elements such as interfacing to an SMS gateway.

I've got my fingers burned a couple of times going through Elance, so I'd much rather rely on a personal recommendation than Elance feedback and uploaded examples of their work.

Any recommendations much appreciated! UK based guys/girls preferred.

Many thanks in advance,
John



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Re: Developer recommendations for: PHP w/templates, MySQL, clean "Web 2.0"/AJAX interface design

Simon Whiteside
I could recommend myself :-)

For more info, please visit http://www.simonwhiteside.com

John Hamlen wrote:

> Dear Fellow Entrepreneurs,
>
> Does anyone have a developer/company they are dying to recommend with expertise described in the subject line?
>
> I have a project that won't be a simple, hack-some-existing-code type affair. It will include elements such as interfacing to an SMS gateway.
>
> I've got my fingers burned a couple of times going through Elance, so I'd much rather rely on a personal recommendation than Elance feedback and uploaded examples of their work.
>
> Any recommendations much appreciated! UK based guys/girls preferred.
>
> Many thanks in advance,
> John
>
>
>
> --
> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([hidden email])
> http://www.meetup.com/opencoffee/
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> Meetup Support: [hidden email]
> 632 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 USA
>  

Regards,

Simon
--
Simon Whiteside                  
Simkin Solutions Limited

Clients Include: Politics Home, WENN, FileFX,
Favy, Mather Communications, Sibelius

2a Royal Chase, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8AY
Registered in England and Wales. Company Number: 4045429
http://www.simkin.co.uk
Skype: callto://swhiteside
Second Life: Simon Hagoromo




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Re: Developer recommendations for: PHP w/templates, MySQL, clean "Web 2.0"/AJAX interface design

Doug Lyon
In reply to this post by John Hamlen
Dear John,

I'd love to discuss your project, my contact details are below and It  
would be great to hear from you.

Many thank

Doug

Doug Lyon

0787 864 8801
0208 881 3534

[hidden email]
www.mashinteractive.com
douglas.lyon (Skype)
http://www.linkedin.com/in/mashinteractive
http://twitter.com/mashinteractive



On 29 Apr 2009, at 03:53, John Hamlen wrote:

> Dear Fellow Entrepreneurs,
>
> Does anyone have a developer/company they are dying to recommend  
> with expertise described in the subject line?
>
> I have a project that won't be a simple, hack-some-existing-code  
> type affair. It will include elements such as interfacing to an SMS  
> gateway.
>
> I've got my fingers burned a couple of times going through Elance,  
> so I'd much rather rely on a personal recommendation than Elance  
> feedback and uploaded examples of their work.
>
> Any recommendations much appreciated! UK based guys/girls preferred.
>
> Many thanks in advance,
> John
>
>
>
> --
> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to  
> everyone on this mailing list ([hidden email])
> http://www.meetup.com/opencoffee/
> This message was sent by John Hamlen ([hidden email]) from  
> London OpenCoffee Meetup.
> To learn more about John Hamlen, visit his/her member profile: http://www.meetup.com/opencoffee/members/8798673/
> To unsubscribe or to update your mailing list settings, click here: http://www.meetup.com/account/comm/
> Meetup Support: [hidden email]
> 632 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 USA
>






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Re: Developer recommendations for: PHP w/templates, MySQL, clean "Web 2.0"/AJAX interface design

Ronny Ager-Wick - Develo Ltd.
In reply to this post by John Hamlen
John,
I can see you've decided not to be burned more times then :)
Maybe one of the problems you face is because you specify the technology
to use up front. Of course if you already have an existing system, this
may make sense. To get to use the real hackers, the best developers
basically, you should let them decide the technology (except if they
suggest .net of course, which is a sign they're not really hackers
anyway :-b ). Although lots of great systems has been build using PHP up
though the years, a lot of the best developers has become "fed up" with
it, especially as so many wannabe developers that are only in it for the
money (the type of people that normally only use proprietary
technologies) has flooded the marketplace, making it difficult for
entrepreneurs like yourself to spot the really good ones.
When I recruit sub contractors I use my own experience as a developer
and software architect for more than a decade to evaluate whether
they're any good. It's still not a fool proof method, but the chances
for a hacker to find another hacker will always be much higher than a
non-hacker finding one - it takes one to know one.
(OK, I admit that doesn't help you much - you don't have a hacker, but
you need one to get one...)
As mentioned in an earlier thread, you want a hacker because they a
really good one is generally 10x more productive than an average one.
You might have to pay more, but you certainly get more as well. But be
careful, you can't just use the price as a guide to how good they are.
I've had absolutely amazing developers charging average rates and I've
seen completely useless ones charge sky-high rates. YMMV, basically.
I can't recommend myself, because I stopped using PHP ages ago, and I am
mostly involved on a higher level, managing the process, designing
complex database structures and making sure everyone understand each
other. Also, most of the devs I normally work with are overseas, and you
wanted UK based ones. I have to say most of my clients also prefer UK
based people, but given the choice between an average developer here and
a real hacker overseas, the choice is easy.
Just my 2¢, hopefully you can extract some useful information out of it :)
Ronny.

For the record:
hacker = *really* good software developer, who doesn't have to have
prior knowledge about something in order to achieve something useful in
a minimum amount of time - they'll just do it, learn as they go along
cracker = bad hacker (the ones that hack CIA, etc)

a cracker is usually also a hacker but a hacker is not necessarily (or
rarely) a cracker.


John Hamlen wrote:

> Dear Fellow Entrepreneurs,
>
> Does anyone have a developer/company they are dying to recommend with expertise described in the subject line?
>
> I have a project that won't be a simple, hack-some-existing-code type affair. It will include elements such as interfacing to an SMS gateway.
>
> I've got my fingers burned a couple of times going through Elance, so I'd much rather rely on a personal recommendation than Elance feedback and uploaded examples of their work.
>
> Any recommendations much appreciated! UK based guys/girls preferred.
>
> Many thanks in advance,
> John
>
>
>
> --
> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([hidden email])
> http://www.meetup.com/opencoffee/
> This message was sent by John Hamlen ([hidden email]) from London OpenCoffee Meetup.
> To learn more about John Hamlen, visit his/her member profile: http://www.meetup.com/opencoffee/members/8798673/
> To unsubscribe or to update your mailing list settings, click here: http://www.meetup.com/account/comm/
> Meetup Support: [hidden email]
> 632 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 USA
>
>
>  



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Re: Developer recommendations for: PHP w/templates, MySQL, clean "Web 2.0"/AJAX interface design

Ronny Ager-Wick - Develo Ltd.
In reply to this post by John Hamlen
John,
I can see you've decided not to be burned more times then :)
Maybe one of the problems you face is because you specify the technology
to use up front. Of course if you already have an existing system, this
may make sense. To get to use the real hackers, the best developers
basically, you should let them decide the technology (except if they
suggest .net of course, which is a sign they're not really hackers
anyway :-b ). Although lots of great systems has been build using PHP up
though the years, a lot of the best developers has become "fed up" with
it, especially as so many wannabe developers that are only in it for the
money (the type of people that normally only use proprietary
technologies) has flooded the marketplace, making it difficult for
entrepreneurs like yourself to spot the really good ones.
When I recruit sub contractors I use my own experience as a developer
and software architect for more than a decade to evaluate whether
they're any good. It's still not a fool proof method, but the chances
for a hacker to find another hacker will always be much higher than a
non-hacker finding one - it takes one to know one.
(OK, I admit that doesn't help you much - you don't have a hacker, but
you need one to get one...)
As mentioned in an earlier thread, you want a hacker because they a
really good one is generally 10x more productive than an average one.
You might have to pay more, but you certainly get more as well. But be
careful, you can't just use the price as a guide to how good they are.
I've had absolutely amazing developers charging average rates and I've
seen completely useless ones charge sky-high rates. YMMV, basically.
I can't recommend myself, because I stopped using PHP ages ago, and I am
mostly involved on a higher level, managing the process, designing
complex database structures and making sure everyone understand each
other. Also, most of the devs I normally work with are overseas, and you
wanted UK based ones. I have to say most of my clients also prefer UK
based people, but given the choice between an average developer here and
a real hacker overseas, the choice is easy.
Just my 2¢, hopefully you can extract some useful information out of it :)
Ronny.

For the record:
hacker = *really* good software developer, who doesn't have to have
prior knowledge about something in order to achieve something useful in
a minimum amount of time - they'll just do it, learn as they go along
cracker = bad hacker (the ones that hack CIA, etc)

a cracker is usually also a hacker but a hacker is not necessarily (or
rarely) a cracker.


John Hamlen wrote:

> Dear Fellow Entrepreneurs,
>
> Does anyone have a developer/company they are dying to recommend with expertise described in the subject line?
>
> I have a project that won't be a simple, hack-some-existing-code type affair. It will include elements such as interfacing to an SMS gateway.
>
> I've got my fingers burned a couple of times going through Elance, so I'd much rather rely on a personal recommendation than Elance feedback and uploaded examples of their work.
>
> Any recommendations much appreciated! UK based guys/girls preferred.
>
> Many thanks in advance,
> John
>
>
>
> --
> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone on this mailing list ([hidden email])
> http://www.meetup.com/opencoffee/
> This message was sent by John Hamlen ([hidden email]) from London OpenCoffee Meetup.
> To learn more about John Hamlen, visit his/her member profile: http://www.meetup.com/opencoffee/members/8798673/
> To unsubscribe or to update your mailing list settings, click here: http://www.meetup.com/account/comm/
> Meetup Support: [hidden email]
> 632 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 USA
>
>
>  

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Re: Developer recommendations for: PHP w/templates, MySQL, clean "Web 2.0"/AJAX interface design

Geoffrey McCaleb
In reply to this post by John Hamlen
Some great points Ronny.

However, I have to disagree on letting the developer recommend the
technology. Sure, on the whole of it if you were building a company, it's
great to go for the best possible developer instead of the best possible
(insert scripting language here) developer. However, as John is looking for
someone to build a specific product/app, I see no reason why he can't
suggest a direction from the outset.

For example, there are loads of factors to consider, first of which is
supportability. Who is going to support, maintain, and enhance this once it
goes live? Are there convenience libraries that he wants to hook into (that
are available in language x)? Does his webhost/vps/whatever support more
than just php (lets be honest, as mature as python and ruby is, a lot of
webhosts only support php)? Also, there is the nightmare scenario to
consider: where John finds a hot developer who recommends building it in
erlang, because that's the latest fad to work with, but he goes away and
John realizes that not a lot of people know erlang.

My only suggestion John is that you should be asking for a slightly
different person. Most modern php developers don't just script in php, they
use frameworks. Frameworks are a great way to jump-start your development
as frameworks give you a lot of stuff out of the box without having to code
it from scratch (caching, template management, authentication, etc etc).
Some good examples are symfony, cakephp, and of course Zend. Of course,
other languages have similar frameworks as well if you are open to more
than just php, Django (python), and Rails (ruby) are all very mature and
well supported.

One last point, if you can't find someone locally, I would highly recommend
odesk.com over elance. Elance is incredibly dated and odesk gives you the
ability to read reviews of developers past work before hiring them.

My 2 cents,

Geoffrey


On Wed, 29 Apr 2009 04:11:10 -0400, Ronny Ager-Wick <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> John,
> I can see you've decided not to be burned more times then :)
> Maybe one of the problems you face is because you specify the technology
> to use up front. Of course if you already have an existing system, this
> may make sense. To get to use the real hackers, the best developers
> basically, you should let them decide the technology (except if they
> suggest .net of course, which is a sign they're not really hackers
> anyway :-b ). Although lots of great systems has been build using PHP up
> though the years, a lot of the best developers has become "fed up" with
> it, especially as so many wannabe developers that are only in it for the
> money (the type of people that normally only use proprietary
> technologies) has flooded the marketplace, making it difficult for
> entrepreneurs like yourself to spot the really good ones.
> When I recruit sub contractors I use my own experience as a developer
> and software architect for more than a decade to evaluate whether
> they're any good. It's still not a fool proof method, but the chances
> for a hacker to find another hacker will always be much higher than a
> non-hacker finding one - it takes one to know one.
> (OK, I admit that doesn't help you much - you don't have a hacker, but
> you need one to get one...)
> As mentioned in an earlier thread, you want a hacker because they a
> really good one is generally 10x more productive than an average one.
> You might have to pay more, but you certainly get more as well. But be
> careful, you can't just use the price as a guide to how good they are.
> I've had absolutely amazing developers charging average rates and I've
> seen completely useless ones charge sky-high rates. YMMV, basically.
> I can't recommend myself, because I stopped using PHP ages ago, and I am
> mostly involved on a higher level, managing the process, designing
> complex database structures and making sure everyone understand each
> other. Also, most of the devs I normally work with are overseas, and you
> wanted UK based ones. I have to say most of my clients also prefer UK
> based people, but given the choice between an average developer here and
> a real hacker overseas, the choice is easy.
> Just my 2¢, hopefully you can extract some useful information out of it
:)

> Ronny.
>
> For the record:
> hacker = *really* good software developer, who doesn't have to have
> prior knowledge about something in order to achieve something useful in
> a minimum amount of time - they'll just do it, learn as they go along
> cracker = bad hacker (the ones that hack CIA, etc)
>
> a cracker is usually also a hacker but a hacker is not necessarily (or
> rarely) a cracker.
>
>
> John Hamlen wrote:
>> Dear Fellow Entrepreneurs,
>>
>> Does anyone have a developer/company they are dying to recommend with
>> expertise described in the subject line?
>>
>> I have a project that won't be a simple, hack-some-existing-code type
>> affair. It will include elements such as interfacing to an SMS gateway.
>>
>> I've got my fingers burned a couple of times going through Elance, so
I'd

>> much rather rely on a personal recommendation than Elance feedback and
>> uploaded examples of their work.
>>
>> Any recommendations much appreciated! UK based guys/girls preferred.
>>
>> Many thanks in advance,
>> John
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Please Note: If you hit "REPLY", your message will be sent to everyone
on

>> this mailing list ([hidden email])
>> http://www.meetup.com/opencoffee/
>> This message was sent by John Hamlen ([hidden email]) from London
>> OpenCoffee Meetup.
>> To learn more about John Hamlen, visit his/her member profile:
>> http://www.meetup.com/opencoffee/members/8798673/
>> To unsubscribe or to update your mailing list settings, click here:
>> http://www.meetup.com/account/comm/
>> Meetup Support: [hidden email]
>> 632 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 USA
>>
>>
>>  
>
>
>
> --
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> To unsubscribe or to update your mailing list settings, click here:
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Re: Developer recommendations for: PHP w/templates, MySQL, clean "Web 2.0"/AJAX interface design

Ronny Ager-Wick - Develo Ltd.
In reply to this post by John Hamlen
Very wisely written, Geoffrey!

I do agree that you should not blindly trust the geek/hacker/superhero programmer to choose the best language. I didn't mention it specifically, but of course the entrepreneur should do some due diligence. (S)he might even suggest SBCL (Steel Bank Common Lisp, I think) or something, which may quite possibly be the most powerful and flexible programming language ever written - but I have yet to meet a single person who's fluent in it (I haven't met Paul Graham yet, unfortunately).

There are, as you point out, loads of hosts that support Python and Ruby, but far from all - again due diligence is required. Assumption is as we know the mother of all f.ckups, so don't assume.
Given this fact, and the availability of excellent Ruby and Python developers, with an average quality far above the average quality of php developers, I personally wouldn't even consider to develop a new system in PHP. PHP has done wonders in the past, but honestly, I think it's looking towards the "end of life" much sooner than Ruby and Python, for example. Rails is now very stable, and is being used on thousands of production system all over the world. Same goes for Django, and probably some of the other alternative frameworks available. Merb will be merged into the next major version of Rails, which will make an very solid and flexible framework, which is going to be hard to ignore.

To emphasize my point - if you're not a techie, you shouldn't do the technical decisions - at least not alone. If you're not a pilot, it's usually a bad idea to fly an air plane - alone. In a lot of cases, a bit of knowledge is much more dangerous that no knowledge at all...

A couple of useful (and slightly related) quotes from Henry Ford:
- I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can't be done.
This is the type of hackers you should be looking for! A can-do attitude, backed by *ability* to do and capacity to get things done, of course.
- Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.
:)

Ronny.


Geoffrey McCaleb wrote:
Some great points Ronny. 

However, I have to disagree on letting the developer recommend the
technology. Sure, on the whole of it if you were building a company, it's
great to go for the best possible developer instead of the best possible
(insert scripting language here) developer. However, as John is looking for
someone to build a specific product/app, I see no reason why he can't
suggest a direction from the outset. 

For example, there are loads of factors to consider, first of which is
supportability. Who is going to support, maintain, and enhance this once it
goes live? Are there convenience libraries that he wants to hook into (that
are available in language x)? Does his webhost/vps/whatever support more
than just php (lets be honest, as mature as python and ruby is, a lot of
webhosts only support php)? Also, there is the nightmare scenario to
consider: where John finds a hot developer who recommends building it in
erlang, because that's the latest fad to work with, but he goes away and
John realizes that not a lot of people know erlang. 

My only suggestion John is that you should be asking for a slightly
different person. Most modern php developers don't just script in php, they
use frameworks. Frameworks are a great way to jump-start your development
as frameworks give you a lot of stuff out of the box without having to code
it from scratch (caching, template management, authentication, etc etc).
Some good examples are symfony, cakephp, and of course Zend. Of course,
other languages have similar frameworks as well if you are open to more
than just php, Django (python), and Rails (ruby) are all very mature and
well supported. 

One last point, if you can't find someone locally, I would highly recommend
odesk.com over elance. Elance is incredibly dated and odesk gives you the
ability to read reviews of developers past work before hiring them. 

My 2 cents,

Geoffrey


On Wed, 29 Apr 2009 04:11:10 -0400, Ronny Ager-Wick [hidden email]
wrote:
  
John,
I can see you've decided not to be burned more times then :)
Maybe one of the problems you face is because you specify the technology
to use up front. Of course if you already have an existing system, this
may make sense. To get to use the real hackers, the best developers
basically, you should let them decide the technology (except if they
suggest .net of course, which is a sign they're not really hackers
anyway :-b ). Although lots of great systems has been build using PHP up
though the years, a lot of the best developers has become "fed up" with
it, especially as so many wannabe developers that are only in it for the
money (the type of people that normally only use proprietary
technologies) has flooded the marketplace, making it difficult for
entrepreneurs like yourself to spot the really good ones.
When I recruit sub contractors I use my own experience as a developer
and software architect for more than a decade to evaluate whether
they're any good. It's still not a fool proof method, but the chances
for a hacker to find another hacker will always be much higher than a
non-hacker finding one - it takes one to know one.
(OK, I admit that doesn't help you much - you don't have a hacker, but
you need one to get one...)
As mentioned in an earlier thread, you want a hacker because they a
really good one is generally 10x more productive than an average one.
You might have to pay more, but you certainly get more as well. But be
careful, you can't just use the price as a guide to how good they are.
I've had absolutely amazing developers charging average rates and I've
seen completely useless ones charge sky-high rates. YMMV, basically.
I can't recommend myself, because I stopped using PHP ages ago, and I am
mostly involved on a higher level, managing the process, designing
complex database structures and making sure everyone understand each
other. Also, most of the devs I normally work with are overseas, and you
wanted UK based ones. I have to say most of my clients also prefer UK
based people, but given the choice between an average developer here and
a real hacker overseas, the choice is easy.
Just my 2¢, hopefully you can extract some useful information out of it
    
:)
  
Ronny.

For the record:
hacker = *really* good software developer, who doesn't have to have
prior knowledge about something in order to achieve something useful in
a minimum amount of time - they'll just do it, learn as they go along
cracker = bad hacker (the ones that hack CIA, etc)

a cracker is usually also a hacker but a hacker is not necessarily (or
rarely) a cracker.


John Hamlen wrote:
    
Dear Fellow Entrepreneurs,

Does anyone have a developer/company they are dying to recommend with
expertise described in the subject line?

I have a project that won't be a simple, hack-some-existing-code type
affair. It will include elements such as interfacing to an SMS gateway.

I've got my fingers burned a couple of times going through Elance, so
      
I'd
  
much rather rely on a personal recommendation than Elance feedback and
uploaded examples of their work.

Any recommendations much appreciated! UK based guys/girls preferred.

Many thanks in advance,
John



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OpenCoffee Meetup.
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Re: Developer recommendations for: PHP w/templates, MySQL, clean "Web 2.0"/AJAX interface design

Ronny Ager-Wick - Develo Ltd.
In reply to this post by Geoffrey McCaleb
Very wisely written, Geoffrey!

I do agree that you should not blindly trust the geek/hacker/superhero programmer to choose the best language. I didn't mention it specifically, but of course the entrepreneur should do some due diligence. (S)he might even suggest SBCL (Steel Bank Common Lisp, I think) or something, which may quite possibly be the most powerful and flexible programming language ever written - but I have yet to meet a single person who's fluent in it (I haven't met Paul Graham yet, unfortunately).

There are, as you point out, loads of hosts that support Python and Ruby, but far from all - again due diligence is required. Assumption is as we know the mother of all f.ckups, so don't assume.
Given this fact, and the availability of excellent Ruby and Python developers, with an average quality far above the average quality of php developers, I personally wouldn't even consider to develop a new system in PHP. PHP has done wonders in the past, but honestly, I think it's looking towards the "end of life" much sooner than Ruby and Python, for example. Rails is now very stable, and is being used on thousands of production system all over the world. Same goes for Django, and probably some of the other alternative frameworks available. Merb will be merged into the next major version of Rails, which will make an very solid and flexible framework, which is going to be hard to ignore.

To emphasize my point - if you're not a techie, you shouldn't do the technical decisions - at least not alone. If you're not a pilot, it's usually a bad idea to fly an air plane - alone. In a lot of cases, a bit of knowledge is much more dangerous that no knowledge at all...

A couple of useful (and slightly related) quotes from Henry Ford:
- I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can't be done.
This is the type of hackers you should be looking for! A can-do attitude, backed by *ability* to do and capacity to get things done, of course.
- Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.
:)

Ronny.


Geoffrey McCaleb wrote:
Some great points Ronny. 

However, I have to disagree on letting the developer recommend the
technology. Sure, on the whole of it if you were building a company, it's
great to go for the best possible developer instead of the best possible
(insert scripting language here) developer. However, as John is looking for
someone to build a specific product/app, I see no reason why he can't
suggest a direction from the outset. 

For example, there are loads of factors to consider, first of which is
supportability. Who is going to support, maintain, and enhance this once it
goes live? Are there convenience libraries that he wants to hook into (that
are available in language x)? Does his webhost/vps/whatever support more
than just php (lets be honest, as mature as python and ruby is, a lot of
webhosts only support php)? Also, there is the nightmare scenario to
consider: where John finds a hot developer who recommends building it in
erlang, because that's the latest fad to work with, but he goes away and
John realizes that not a lot of people know erlang. 

My only suggestion John is that you should be asking for a slightly
different person. Most modern php developers don't just script in php, they
use frameworks. Frameworks are a great way to jump-start your development
as frameworks give you a lot of stuff out of the box without having to code
it from scratch (caching, template management, authentication, etc etc).
Some good examples are symfony, cakephp, and of course Zend. Of course,
other languages have similar frameworks as well if you are open to more
than just php, Django (python), and Rails (ruby) are all very mature and
well supported. 

One last point, if you can't find someone locally, I would highly recommend
odesk.com over elance. Elance is incredibly dated and odesk gives you the
ability to read reviews of developers past work before hiring them. 

My 2 cents,

Geoffrey


On Wed, 29 Apr 2009 04:11:10 -0400, Ronny Ager-Wick [hidden email]
wrote:
  
John,
I can see you've decided not to be burned more times then :)
Maybe one of the problems you face is because you specify the technology
to use up front. Of course if you already have an existing system, this
may make sense. To get to use the real hackers, the best developers
basically, you should let them decide the technology (except if they
suggest .net of course, which is a sign they're not really hackers
anyway :-b ). Although lots of great systems has been build using PHP up
though the years, a lot of the best developers has become "fed up" with
it, especially as so many wannabe developers that are only in it for the
money (the type of people that normally only use proprietary
technologies) has flooded the marketplace, making it difficult for
entrepreneurs like yourself to spot the really good ones.
When I recruit sub contractors I use my own experience as a developer
and software architect for more than a decade to evaluate whether
they're any good. It's still not a fool proof method, but the chances
for a hacker to find another hacker will always be much higher than a
non-hacker finding one - it takes one to know one.
(OK, I admit that doesn't help you much - you don't have a hacker, but
you need one to get one...)
As mentioned in an earlier thread, you want a hacker because they a
really good one is generally 10x more productive than an average one.
You might have to pay more, but you certainly get more as well. But be
careful, you can't just use the price as a guide to how good they are.
I've had absolutely amazing developers charging average rates and I've
seen completely useless ones charge sky-high rates. YMMV, basically.
I can't recommend myself, because I stopped using PHP ages ago, and I am
mostly involved on a higher level, managing the process, designing
complex database structures and making sure everyone understand each
other. Also, most of the devs I normally work with are overseas, and you
wanted UK based ones. I have to say most of my clients also prefer UK
based people, but given the choice between an average developer here and
a real hacker overseas, the choice is easy.
Just my 2¢, hopefully you can extract some useful information out of it
    
:)
  
Ronny.

For the record:
hacker = *really* good software developer, who doesn't have to have
prior knowledge about something in order to achieve something useful in
a minimum amount of time - they'll just do it, learn as they go along
cracker = bad hacker (the ones that hack CIA, etc)

a cracker is usually also a hacker but a hacker is not necessarily (or
rarely) a cracker.


John Hamlen wrote:
    
Dear Fellow Entrepreneurs,

Does anyone have a developer/company they are dying to recommend with
expertise described in the subject line?

I have a project that won't be a simple, hack-some-existing-code type
affair. It will include elements such as interfacing to an SMS gateway.

I've got my fingers burned a couple of times going through Elance, so
      
I'd
  
much rather rely on a personal recommendation than Elance feedback and
uploaded examples of their work.

Any recommendations much appreciated! UK based guys/girls preferred.

Many thanks in advance,
John



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