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How Screening Joomla Developers is Like Hiring a Hitman

by in Development

Last year, I wrote a blog post about the importance of professionalism in working with developers. Reflecting on that post recently got me thinking about the movie "The Professional," about a freelance assassin. I realized that there are likely a lot of similarities between hiring a hitman and hiring Joomla developers. In both cases, you're looking to work with a gun for hire that you don't have any previous experience with. Because of this, it makes the screening process critical.

Key Indicators of Performance

The major obstacle in working with someone new is that most of the time you don't know how they work until you actually hire them.  If you can't really tell how Joomla developers will work out until you actually work with them, how do you screen?

The answer is that purposefully or subconsciously, we use heuristics: testimonials, clients, previous work, and certifications. These give us an idea of whether Joomla developers will likely work.

Two qualities in particular are more helpful than others in screening: time in business and focus. Time in business by itself isn't a great heuristic. But if the developers can show focus on a core aspect of your project and time in business, this becomes a powerful indicator of success.

It's the same way if you're hiring a hitman. Say you want to assassinate "Dave," in accounting (I apologize to all accountants and men named "Dave".)  You want him sniped with a high powered rifle with no evidence ever traced back to you. You meet two potential hitmen in a dark alley behind your neighborhood's Red Robin (where all such nefarious transactions are typically conducted.)

Joomla developers comparison to a tough guy hitman

One hitman looks tough with an eye patch and a square jaw. Scars line his muscled arms and weapons hang from a bandoleer slung across his chest. His resume says that he's been involved in the hitman business since Desert Storm: ambushes, arson, extortion, bombings, and beatings.

Developers comparison to a mousy girl hitman

The other is a mousy girl, barefoot, with holes worn in her coveralls and glasses. Her resume says that every couple of months for the past 5 years she has taken on a "shootin' job" in order to help pay for her neighborhood church's new building.

Who do you choose? If you chose the tough guy, you're wrong. The mousy girl is far sighted and keeps her family alive hunting squirrels in West Virginia. The holes in her pants are from laying in the prone position behind a rifle.  She has the best chance of success for your evil scheme.

Experience and focus = results.

Remember This When Vetting Joomla Developers

Every project your company outsources is a mission with a goal. Whether that's assassinating your arch-nemesis, "Dave" or linking Joomla contact forms to a customer's CRM.

What's most important then? That your investment produces results. You want a hitman that gets the job done, not wing them, not give them a nasty bruise, not splash mud on their new chino trousers.

Money spent that doesn't help you reach your goals isn't an investment- it's waste. Don't focus on lowering costs, focus on ROI that meets or exceeds your goals. While it's not true you get what you pay for, you don't want to be in a situation where you're paying out but not completing your mission.

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John is the owner and lead developer of Blue Bridge.  He's contributed to the Joomla project as a JCM author, JUG team leader, and a bug squasher.  In his spare time, he loves to write and read, advance his development and business knowledge, play video games, boulder, and spend time with his girlfriend and their dog Sunny.
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