In his book «The Business Blockchain» investor and blockchain-enthusiast William Mougayar gives data according to which in 2016 there were no more than 5,000 cryptocurrency developers in the world. Therein he admits that over the past two years, technology has become more popular, which increased the number of such specialists. However, even now there are less than 20,000 real professionals in this field, and most of them work in specialized companies. All others are amateurs.
From this article you will learn how among tens of thousands of cryptocurrency development companies to choose the one that will cope with the task and will do it at a reasonable price.
What to look while the selection
Cases. The list of completed projects with detailed information and statistics is the first thing to look at. Typically, the developer puts in the top list of projects that he is proud. Examine their frameworks and compare what is written on paper (on the website) with the working version.
Next is to explore the section «Customers». Often companies, in order to have a more presentable appearance, write a lie that is easy to verify. Here are some examples:
● We collaborated with Google and Amazon in such projects. This is easy to check through Google and Amazon. Generally, it turns out that the developer put several applications on the Google Play Market and nothing more.
● Section called «Our customers and partners». Here the catch in the «partners», for example, points cooperation with JPMorgan Chase: we have an account with this bank – therefore, we are partners.
● Lists large-scale projects involving dozens of companies and their affiliates. Such deception can be revealed if you ask for confirmation of cooperation: contracts, bank statements and the like.
Reviews. Very rarely, when customers are ready to leave feedback on cooperation, because if the work is done with quality and on time, this is normal and there is nothing to write about. But if the developer is «screwed up», then the customer will want to speak out, but such a review is unlikely to publish.
There are several ways to check reviews:
● Check text for uniqueness using Copyscape.com, Grammarly.com or Plagium.com. If you find the same text on the customer’s website or on its page in social networks – everything is super, if it looks like a lot of other reviews – this is «fake».
● Write or call the reviewer or the company he represents.
● Check the author of the review: where he lives and works, what is his position in the company. Some mid-level employees are willing to write a fake review for appropriate payment.
● Find reviews on third-party services, for example, on Bitcointalk, GitHub, LinkedIn.
Legal registration. Using Google Maps, look at where the company is registered and where its office is. Avoid developers who are registered in private and residential buildings, as well as those who are hiding in offshore.
Check whether the addresses indicated on the website match with the legal registration. If not, it is worth looking for another cryptocurrency developer company.
Culture and language compatibility. In order not to have unnecessary problems and facilitate interaction and communication, choose a development company whose management and team have a similar education and cultural background. In addition, you have to speak the same language, as the use of translators increases the cost of services, time, and level of misunderstanding.
Location and time zone. It is highly desirable that the selected company be in close proximity. This will save time and money, and also allow the development team to get into your business on the spot. It is very important for production and logistic processes.
Being in the same time zone is also desirable, because you can communicate during working hours and solve problems at the moment they occur, rather than wait for someone to wake up.
Field of knowledge and experience
Knowledge and scope of activities. In many ways, hiring a cryptocurrency development company is similar to hiring a development company to create any software product — with a few important differences:
● Creating commercially viable blockchains, smart contracts or related products requires additional experience in several technologies: cryptography, EVM, EBaaS, SaaS, Paas, reconciliation methods, IoT, P2P networks.
Do not forget that if a company has developed commercial products for small firms and private tasks, then it is unlikely that she has enough experience to work on a global project. It’s like in politics: a candidate may be the best mayor in the world in a small town in Texas, but he is no good candidate for presidency.
Developers type. As a rule, blockchain developers are called upon to create:
● Blockchain for use within a single organization.
● A product that can be used (sold) in the market.
● Dapp-application or smart-contract to work on an existing blockchain.
Although the first and second tasks may seem similar, the requirements for development, especially in terms of security, can be completely different. Creating a dapp or smart-contract (Ethereum) also requires excellent programming techniques.
Choosing the right developer company for your project is the choice of someone who has experience writing the software you need. Some specialize in writing applications and points of sale for Bitcoin. Others write only Ethereum smart contracts. Others specialize in Hyperledger Fabric.
Before you start looking for a developer, decide what product you need, and peel apart those who do not have relevant experience and case studies.
Understanding your business. Many developers specialize in a specific area of the economy: real estate, FinTech, logistics, real production or government services. Of course, it is better to choose those who are familiar with the specifics of your business or the task that you set for the developer.
Do not underestimate the search on the Internet when it comes to checking businesses and people. Search for company name, executives and key employees:
● News: use Google news search.
● Social networks and messengers: Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, blogs.
● Forums, ICO-lists and ratings: Bitcointalk, Icodrops.com, Tokenmarket.net, ICObench.
● Sites GlassDoor, WebChecker, BBB.com.
● LinkedIn profile.
Besides, don’t forget to check the company registration.
How and what to talk with candidates
Reaction speed. It is very important with what speed you got an answer at the first and following messages. If this is a day – everything is fine, later – there are not enough staff or the system of communication with customers is not established. You can also evaluate Facebook activity: how often new posts appear, whether there are comments and answers to them.
Videoconferencing. Having selected several companies, contact them via video chat: Skype, Google Hangouts, Viber, Facebook Messenger. See who will communicate with you:
● pale man with burning eyes – minus;
● Man in t-shirt and shorts – minus;
● carpet on the wall and kitchen in the background – minus;
● TV or radio noise – also a minus.
Ask to show the workspace. This will clarify a lot: the size of the business, the number of employees, employment and the availability of appropriate equipment. If they have people at outsourcing – that’s okay. But preference should be given to those who have a permanent staff of developers working under the same roof.
After the acquaintance and the excursion, ask whether they provide guarantees and which ones (if such information is not on the site). The manager will either tell all the conditions, or he will start to «float». If he swims – you will have to «sink».
Number of questions. If a developer’s company manager asks a lot of questions, that’s good. If during a conversation a project manager or coder was connected to it, even better. In these cases, it can be assumed that the assessment is prepared weighed and it will be well detailed. If they just said the price – run!
Important information. At the end of the conversation, ask to prepare:
● Customer contacts for feedback.
● Summary Project Manager (PM). It is requested infrequently, but in vain, since people who are trained to manage development are very rarely placed in these positions.
● List of forums and conferences in which the company and / or its employees participated. Blockchain is a new technology, and therefore there are few specialists in this field and they are all in great demand by the organizers of such events.
Devices park. This is also rarely asked what is strange, because by the number and characteristics of the devices used, you can understand what kind of company it is. Therefore, let them show the list of devices – in the Excel plate with IMEI-codes.
For example, if there is a couple of iPhone 7 and a few ordinary computers, everything is clear with these guys. Or if they start telling that they are working with China and they don’t have a single Chinese smartphone – this is also a reason to think.
Open Source. Assess the contribution of the studied company in the open development. Bitcoin, ether and many other cryptocurrencies are open source, and therefore coders from around the world often join together to improve a blockchain, or to develop some kind of technology.
For example, there are seven independent teams in the world that create blockchain wallets for Bitcoin, which can use the Lightning Network technology – a very fast exchange of coins with a minimum commission. Bitcoin itself is also developing due to free labor of coders from around the world.
Of course, participation in Open Source is not necessary, but if it is in significant projects that are used by millions of users, this is a big plus for such a company.
Analyze the information sent:
● Firstly, if the information you requested is prepared for a couple of days, this is normal. Longer – you may be their first serious client.
● Secondly, in the PM summary, pay attention to the availability of advanced training courses in the field of development management.
● Thirdly, the park of devices should be voluminous and even: it should contain both weak devices for the work of secretaries and management personnel, as well as powerful devices for developing, running and testing the working product.
Why is it important to make the right choice
Safety. The code of cryptocurrency, smart contract or dapp-applications based on blockchain technology, as a rule, is open. Thanks to this, anyone can look at this and be convinced of the honesty and openness of the platform. This has a positive effect on the business, but at the same time it creates additional risks: if there is an error or a «back door» in the code, any programmer will be able to notice them and hack the system.
Complexity. According to CoinDesk, integration of the Blockchain technology is full of completely new vocabulary for developers. Very few people have studied it enough to understand and apply to different tasks.
Integration with outdates applications. Vijay Michalik, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, told CNBC that the practice of implementing the blockchain goes beyond the traditional set of IT skills in combining new technologies with old ones. It’s harder and longer.
Productiveness. Even the safest system in the world costs nothing if it has poor performance. Therefore, it is important to select a developer who can optimize the product so that the speed of transactions per second, the number of processed smart contracts or application performance meets the needs of users.
Scalability. At the peak of the most active user activity, in the summer and December 2017, the Bitcoin payment system showed its main weakness – low scalability. The increase in the number of operations led to the fact that the platform could not cope with them, because of which a long line arose: transfers took 24 hours and required large commissions.
In the end, the problem was solved by updating Segregated Witness (SegWit) and Lightning Network, but the reputation of the world’s first cryptocurrency is forever corrupted. For many, this is a slow crypt in which you should not invest money.
Usability. Usability and integration with other services is also very important. That is why people prefer Mac OS to Microsoft’s operating system and buy iPads with iPhones, rather than Chinese analogs, which are 2 times more powerful and several times cheaper.