“Surround yourself with good people. People who are going to be honest with you and look out for your best interests.” —Derek Jeter.

Derek Jeter’s quote rings true, both in life, and when it comes to working with developers.

You should hire good people to develop your application or website. Although this seems obvious, people often overlook it in favor of skill. The result? The developer they hire doesn’t have their best interest in mind.

No matter how highly skilled the developer, it’s all for naught if they’re not truly invested in the project. Instead of a massive success, this could mean failure for your application or website.

Once you know the signs to identify a bad developer who doesn’t have your best interests at heart, you’ll know how to avoid this issue in the future. And if your current developer is already exhibiting a few of these signs, it may just be time to cut ties and move on. At the very least, you should sit down and have a serious talk about the direction of your project.

5 Signs Your Developer Doesn’t Have Your Best Interests at Heart

1. They spend more time explaining their reasoning, rather than fixing the problem

Isn’t it frustrating when your developer spends more time explaining why something is the way it is, rather than just fixing it? You just want to solve the problem, but your developer is arguing with you about whether it’s actually a problem or not. This is a major time waster.

Before you hire a developer, make sure they’re more interested in finding the right solution for you—not just taking your money. Ask them how they handled problems in the past, gauge their attitude, and keep in mind that you’re only hearing their side of the story. Beware of arrogant developers.

In short, your developer should hate excuses. Of course, bad things can happen, but they should care more about how it’ll be fixed, and not why it happened or how to cover up their own mistakes.

2. Their goals don’t align with your goals

Does your developer feel more like a ‘hired gun’ than a partner in your project? That’s a common symptom when your goals aren’t aligned. If you think about it, it’s obvious why this can hinder your project’s success. When you don’t work towards the same objective, how can that objective get accomplished?

But when you’re in sync with your developer, it creates an ecosystem for innovation. Your application or website can soar to new heights. You don’t waste time worrying about getting nickeled and dimed, instead, you can focus on making progress.

Get a clear understanding of your goals, as well as your potential developer’s goals.

3. It feels like they’ve taken you hostage

Does your developer use best practices? Or do they build unorthodox code, so another firm can’t come in and take over at any time? Because then, they’re essentially taking you hostage as their client. It’s difficult for you to leave and find another firm to take over, so you’re forced to stick it out with them. Many developers aren’t worried about keeping code transparent, so this is one sign you should be acutely aware of.

Instead, your developer should focus on doing great work for you, so you’ll want to work with them in the future—not because no developer could understand their hacked-together code! Make sure to go over with your developer before you hire them.

4. They only use “geek-speak” to communicate with you, even if you don’t understand it

Do you have a thorough understanding of “geek-speak”? Well, unless you’ve spent thousands of hours analyzing code and applications, there’s a good chance you don’t. If you’re developer looks down on you because of this lack of understanding, it’s definitely a sign they don’t have your best interests at heart.

Your developer should break down “geek-speak” for you. They’re not talking code with an experienced developer—they’re discussing software with your business. They should adjust their dialogue based on this dynamic—it’s important that you know the status and levels of your project.

5. They don’t promptly respond to your inquiries

It’s 5:01pm on a Friday evening. Your developer is about to close up shop for the day, when he sees your email fly into his inbox. Does he respond? Or does he pretend like he doesn’t see the email, and wait until Monday to reply? If so, then it’s clear your developer doesn’t value communication and transparency.

Your developer should love being responsive to their clients. When it comes to your application or website, time is of the essence, and you need a developer who respects that. In fact, responsive communication should be one of their core values.

Conclusion

If your developer doesn’t have your best interest at heart, your project may be doomed from the outset. But now, you know how to analyze a developer and really understand if they actually care about your project…and not just the money you are paying them.

Not only should your goals be aligned, but your developer should genuinely care about the success of your project—even if it doesn’t directly benefit them on a monetary level.

All of the signs listed are the result of a lack of that care. If you can avoid this type of developer, you’ll end up with an honest developer who you can trust—and this paves the way for a successful application or website, as well as a mutually profitable long-term relationship.

Have you noticed any of these issues with your current developer? Want to avoid these issues on a future development project? Click here to schedule a free call to discuss your project.

Dustin DeVries

Dustin DeVries

Living and breathing software strategy and architecture, Dustin has been building software for over 20 years. He really enjoys working with clients to determine the right technology, whether it’s a web application framework like Django or NodeJS, or a simple CMS solution like WordPress. He received his BS in Computer Engineering from Texas A&M University. During his spare time, Dustin enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, playing guitar, running, and hanging out with his family.