S03E43 – Shopping for Code
Good morning 👋
According to some, intelligence isn’t what you know but awareness of what you don’t. Based on this definition, I’m getting more intelligent. Following up last week’s charting adventures, I wanted to challenge myself further: a chart that dynamically and continuously animates visualising the precipitation forecast. This was the last feature my external chart library boasted that I wanted to build my own version of, therefore enabling me to drop the dependency altogether. For a change, I decided the fastest (smartest?) way for me to accomplish this – and learn in the process – is by paying someone else to do it. I hopped onto Fiverr and posted a job request, setting a budget of $100 with expected delivery time of a single day (it was a big job for me, but for someone better than me, a day should be sufficient). It wasn’t long before I received a flurry of offers. Almost all clearly didn’t read the brief in their response and copy/pasted generic interest. Few were within budget but many above, some asking for as much as $800! Not impressed, I decided to directly reach out to an iOS developer on the service who was an established seller with ~50 positive reviews. They replied immediately and said they would give it a go. But despite their best efforts, they couldn’t meet the requirements – not even close – and we both agreed there’s no point for them to spend any more time on it. No money was exchanged.
I then reached out to an ex-colleague accomplished developer. I asked whether they 1) know how to accomplish what I’m after and 2) whether they’re available to do it themselves for whatever their hourly rate was. Although they had no direct experience, they were curious to learn, and see how much they can achieve in a short time. Free of charge! Although they didn’t fully deliver on the requirements, they set me on my way. I took over and managed to get it to look like below:
It still requires a lot more refining but that’s a pretty solid turnaround for a few hours. And with this, I have 100% control/knowledge on the chart drawing code. This is going to make a big difference in getting them to feel how I want and present what I need.
The unproductive experience on Fiverr was important. With most of Appy Weather 2’s logic in place, I’m starting to think of the Android rewrite. I could do it myself but this would mean my 2022 will be mostly spent on this, as I’m learning a whole new language and UI framework – this is the appeal of cross-platform frameworks that I’m rejecting this time around. Or I could hire someone to do the job. Definitely not from Fiverr though. I did some research and came across Proxify. They interview/vet coders so people like myself can feel assured that you’re hiring someone competent. But it comes at a premium: ~£30/hr. My requirements can be broken down into two parts: 1) translate the logic from Swift to Kotlin and 2) build the UIs. It’s likely I’ll outsource 1) whereas 2) is a possibility too. But this could end up costing something like £10k! Perhaps less, but possibly even more. The question is whether I feel the 2.0 on Android will result in increased revenues that would at least make my money back over 6-12 months. I feel it could, but I’m not 100% yet. In the meantime, I’ll probably start conversations with one or more agencies soon.
Have a great Sunday!