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Author Topic: Concern about hiring programmers for project. Advice?  (Read 1706 times)
w00ly
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October 09, 2011, 06:29:26 AM
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I've got a unique project that I am working on that I've received some good feedback on, and I think will be widely used by certain demographics. However, some of the coding required for it is above my skill level. I could probably take the time to learn the language required to get it going but 1) it may not be as effectively implemented as someone with a higher skill level and 2) I'd like to get it off the ground sooner rather than later. So my concern is, how do I go about hiring a programmer for this work and trust that he won't simply take my idea and create his own version of it?
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Ukigo
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October 09, 2011, 07:22:54 AM
 #2

You better DIY. Mostly.

Choose you language.
Code some prototype.
Bag for help on proper forum or mailing list.
Do not disclose all project, just difficult parts of it.

Adopt advised changes.
Rinse and repeat many times.
=> PROFIT.

"...Enemies are everywhere ! Angka is all rage ! Be a good soldiers, blow everything... " <-- Pol Pot (C)
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October 09, 2011, 01:50:42 PM
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I've got a unique project that I am working on that I've received some good feedback on, and I think will be widely used by certain demographics. However, some of the coding required for it is above my skill level. I could probably take the time to learn the language required to get it going but 1) it may not be as effectively implemented as someone with a higher skill level and 2) I'd like to get it off the ground sooner rather than later. So my concern is, how do I go about hiring a programmer for this work and trust that he won't simply take my idea and create his own version of it?

1) Write a specification which describes the project, including a reasonable description of the completion state. Bug-free is not a valid description.
Hire a lawyer to write a work contract and NDA (non-disclosure agreement).
Require the programmer to sign the NDA before you discuss the project. You can give a general sense (a web based system to do e-Commerce). A professional will sign without any complaint. Look for a different person if they give you any grief at all regarding the NDA. The NDA is your primary means of protecting yourself if they share your idea with anyone else.
Once you have the signed NDA in hand, give them the specification and make sure they understand it.
Get a quote on how long it will take and how much it will cost. If it is too expensive, find a different programmer. You might have to offer a share of the company to get the upfront cost down.
After you reach an agreement sign the contract with them. They can now sue you if you don't pay, and you can sue them if they don't complete the work.

3) Profit

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ParrotyBit
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October 09, 2011, 03:57:44 PM
 #4

Find a programmer who doesn't know or care about BTC, there are plenty.
-or-
Is one of those people you received the "good feedback" from a programmer? You obviously trusted them enough to tell them your business model.
-or-
Find a programmer without the financial resources to make the business work on their own.
-and always-
Don't only offer programmers a share of the profits. There is no magic idea good enough to justify not paying your employees.
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October 09, 2011, 04:37:37 PM
 #5

If you know programming your self but don't have enough time, i would suggest writing a basic code of what you want and then hire multiple coders with little known informaiton about the project to write you up scripts for you. This way nobody knows the whole code or what your doing....
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October 09, 2011, 05:09:48 PM
 #6

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions, I particularly like the suggestion for using a NDA. I would have liked to use a programmer with knowledge of bitcoin here from the forums but it seems like i'll be safer with a talented local programmer
Let me guess : you are trying to create another ShitScamCoin with a gazillion pregenerated coins and don't want the coder to fork it for his own profit !?
Not even close but great imagination you have, now run along back to the sandbox and make a castle  Roll Eyes
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October 09, 2011, 05:48:47 PM
 #7

Have faced the same issue.  Two suggestions that have been mentioned above are good:

1) Hire a programmer who is totally unaware of Bitcoin... preferably someone in India or Pakistan. Use oDesk.com. Don't make a big deal about the project. If you think it's going to be very profitable, don't let on.

2) Make the programmer sign a simple NDA. Again, don't make a big deal out of it.

Also remember that ideas are a dime a dozen, really. Implementation is king. The best way to protect your "idea" is to have beautiful, professional design, a strong brand identity (compelling brand name and domain name especially). Make it so that even if someone steals the idea, yours is more attractive and professional. That's really the best protection you can get.

The reason I say to hire an Indian or Pakistani programmer, is that in my experience they have reasonable technical skill but are god-awful at graphic design. If one copied your idea, it'd be so ugly you need not worry about it. This is a generalization of course, but one based on experience Smiley



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October 09, 2011, 09:07:36 PM
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What is to stop me violating the NDA Huh
wareen
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October 09, 2011, 09:10:52 PM
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What is to stop me violating the NDA Huh
The same thing "stopping" people from breaking the law: fear of prosecution
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October 10, 2011, 12:25:27 AM
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What is to stop me violating the NDA Huh
The same thing "stopping" people from breaking the law: fear of prosecution
This. I've been speaking with someone that I believe to be a talented programmer and he does not have an issue signing/notarizing an NDA and sending it to me
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October 14, 2011, 02:41:19 PM
 #11

preferably someone in India or Pakistan.


NO NO NO! I would never deal with any body in Pakistan for ANYTHING EVER no matter what it is I refuse to deal with them. India is just as bad, I wouldn't trust them with my toaster let alone my security.
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October 14, 2011, 03:31:43 PM
 #12

1) Hire a programmer who is totally unaware of Bitcoin... preferably someone in India or Pakistan. Use oDesk.com. Don't make a big deal about the project. If you think it's going to be very profitable, don't let on.

2) Make the programmer sign a simple NDA. Again, don't make a big deal out of it.
These suggestions are not compatible... at all.

If you are going to disclose enough information to the programmer so that they can copy your idea, hire local and with an NDA. Try to stay with someone within driving distance, since if you need to sue them, you'll have to do it at the court in their area.

Otherwise, design the program yourself and outsource the various methods to programmers. This will mean that you'll need to know exactly what you want everything to do and have very precise requirements since the programmer won't have any context of how to work with the code, but you wouldn't have to do the grunt work. If you're a software engineer or have otherwise lead programming projects in the past, this is likely a good enough solution.

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October 14, 2011, 04:03:13 PM
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Pay a crapload of money and hire a real programmer, so you won't have to worry about someone stealing your idea, it's probably not as valuable as you think. Hey, no one said being a entrepreneur was easy and risk free.

Truth of the matter is ideas are a dime a dozen, while functional, stable and secure code is a rare gem. Most probably someone who can write solid financial code has his own even better ideas, and can find subtle flaws in yours, so you really need to bring more to the table than just an idea: you either code it yourself or pay up real money to get it done. Your lack of technical skills to get it done is not a mere unlucky circumstance, it's a major warning sign of a potential disconnect with reality.

Don't you just hate this hippie bullshit of how ideas are the most valuable product and intellectual property is the ultimate asset. Look at the Steve Jobs recent media circus, "the idea man", "the inventor". Almost all of Apple's products were a rehash of an earlier competing product, done right. If there's any merit to Jobs' success is that of flawless execution. Jobs not only had good ideas (dime a dozen), but also the unique capacity to see them trough market release without compromising quality.
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October 14, 2011, 04:14:44 PM
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Pay a crapload of money and hire a real programmer, so you won't have to worry about someone stealing your idea, it's probably not as valuable as you think. Hey, no one said being a entrepreneur was easy and risk free.

Truth of the matter is ideas are a dime a dozen, while functional, stable and secure code is a rare gem.
Exactly. That is why any real programmer you find to do this will only care about the money they get paid, and will not accept stake in the company as a substitute. Run away if they do, since that means that they are more of an entrepreneurial programmer and would eventually realize that it'd be easier to lose you and do it themselves. Only offer a (small) stake in the company after you agree on the pay, since then it is just a bonus for them and they'll put more effort into making the best code they can.

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October 16, 2011, 02:59:21 AM
 #15

Hire a lawyer to write a work contract and NDA (non-disclosure agreement).
Require the programmer to sign the NDA before you discuss the project. You can give a general sense (a web based system to do e-Commerce). A professional will sign without any complaint. Look for a different person if they give you any grief at all regarding the NDA. The NDA is your primary means of protecting yourself if they share your idea with anyone else.

This is a really bad idea. Reputable professionals won't sign your NDA. I already had a kid on this forum ask me to sign an NDA - what a joke. Only someone who doesn't take you seriously will sign it, and it won't be binding because you'll be unable to enforce it.

No-one is going to try to steal your idea unless it is already wildly successful. Even if it is a great idea. Recognizing a great idea is a rare skill. Recognizing a great execution is trivial. Worry about the second one.

The internet is freedom to communicate without permission. Crypto is freedom to trade without permission.

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October 18, 2011, 07:28:45 AM
 #16

This is a really bad idea. Reputable professionals won't sign your NDA.

Why wouldn't a "reputable" professional sign the NDA?


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October 18, 2011, 08:15:51 AM
 #17


Why wouldn't a "reputable" professional sign the NDA?


Same reason a movie studio doesn't want to read your script. Too much potential downside for the reputable, too little potential upside.

The internet is freedom to communicate without permission. Crypto is freedom to trade without permission.

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October 19, 2011, 04:12:55 PM
 #18

This is a really bad idea. Reputable professionals won't sign your NDA.

Why wouldn't a "reputable" professional sign the NDA?

Because whoever you signed the NDA for is highly likely to turn around and screw you later. This could be anything from refusing to pay to suing you for stealing "their" idea when their idea was something obvious to any four year old.

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