So you have an idea for a really great service to fill a need online. How do you find a programmer to make your vision a reality?

I’m assuming that you’re either not a programmer yourself, or you don’t feel that programming the service yourself is the best use of your time.

You want to find a programmer who is going to be reliable, skilled, who won’t charge you an arm and a leg, and who (ideally) would become a long-term partner in your projects. Getting all of that in a single person is quite the task!

One option is to go to a web site designed to help you find freelance programmers. Elance is one of them, RentACoder is another.

My personal experience with sites like that haven’t been great. I’ve had a project accepted, and then later told that they wouldn’t be able to complete it after all. I’ve had bids given, and then later found them trying to increase the amount they get by nitpicking the project requirements.

But, other people have had better results, and some have even found their long-term partners on such sites, so your mileage may vary.

If you live in a college town, you might check with the computer science department of the college to see if there are any students interested in taking on your project. In any CS department there is always at least one student who is a whiz with web programming, and could probably knock out your project in a short time. Being a student, they often won’t charge you what you’d pay a professional to do the same job.

Another option is to hook up online with a programmer who is looking to make money online, but lacks some of the skills you have. A true partnership benefits both of you, and makes it far more likely that you’ll both see your projects through to completion.

If you already work with a good programmer, how did you come across them?

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