How to Find Programmers For Your Startup?

Despite the disturbing times, the IT industry shows no sign of slowing down. According to Gartner it is projected to total $4.5 trillion in 2023, which is 2.4% higher than in 2022.  

Yet, finding the programmers that would suit your project requirements with both hard and soft skills can be a real challenge. Finding programmers who will be great coders is not that hard. But finding great professionals with the expertise you need, good communication skills, and at a reasonable price is not easy.

As a business development manager, I’ve participated in team selection for various startups and well-off businesses. So I want to share my insights on where and how to find programmers that will suit you project perfectly. So let’s start!

Thing to Consider Before Searching For a Programmer

To find programmers for your project, you should start with answering some questions for yourself. Clearing out some things will help you understand who you need on your team. It also will help explain to the potential candidates what you expect from them. Here is a list of questions that can help to clarify the project’s requirements and find the programmers that match them:

  1. How is your product different from other solutions? 
  2. Who is your potential user? 
  3. What about your competitors? How are they unique? 
  4. What’s your monetization model? 
  5. What are the features you want to implement? 
  6. What are the platforms you want to build the app for? 
  7. What’s the tech stack
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What’s your Project’s Size?

This is always best if you define the scope and complexity of your project before looking for programmers. In particular, create a document that determines:

  • project's purpose; 
  • goals and benefits;
  • target audience;
  • scale. 

All these factors influence the size of your development team and the experience level of the programmers.

Is It an MVP or a Full-Fledged Product?

Planning a basic functionality or a whole development process is also crucial in building your development team. Thus, if you aim for an MVP, you will need a smaller team of seasoned developers who can mobilize within 3-5 months.

On the other hand, you are already scaling up your product, you will need a more diverse team of programmers with different expertise and experience level.

In either case, you should communicate the scale and longevity of your project right off the bat. It will help your team to develop a roadmap, determine the logic and build scalable architecture.

find programmers to build mvp

What platforms will your app cover?

To find the right programmer, you need to define their perfect tech skill set. To do so, I advise you to start with the following questions:

  • Where will your users find your app?
  • Mobile devices (iOS, Android) or desktop (Linux, macOS, Windows)? Or even both?

Depending on the choice here, you will need different programming languages used on the project:

  • Android: Kotlin, Coroutines/RxJava, Dagger, Retrofit, Clean Architecture, Room, JUnit
  • iOS: Swift, RxSwift, MVVM/Redux, XCTest and SnapshotTesting
  • Web Frontend: JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, TypeScript, React + Redux / MobX, Next.js, Storybook, Jest, Cypress
  • Backend: Node.js, Typescript, Nest.js/Express.js
  • Databases: SQL (MySQL, PostgreSQL), NoSQL (MongoDB), Elasticsearch/Algolia, Redis
  • Cloud: AWS Cloud, Google Cloud
  • CI/CD:CircleCI, Gitlab CI, Github Actions
  • DevOps Tools:Terraform, Ansible, Docker
  • Analytics: Segment, Amplitude, Adjust

Another way to go – leaving the tech stack to the outsource team like Uptech team. Knowing your scope and platforms to cover, we can collect a team of programmers with the language knowledge and expertise you need.

This list can go on and on. But the main idea is that you need to understand as much as possible about your project to find a programmer who will match your requirements.

Expert tip: You need to understand as much as possible about your project to find a programmer who will match your requirements.
find programmers for startup

Where to Find Programmers?

Finding a programmer for your project is only the first step to take before starting the project. Another question to decide here is how you will collaborate with your team. Hopefully, here too, you have options. Here are the main collaboration models to choose from:

find programmers

Find Freelance Programmers

Freelancers are free contractors who are not assigned to one specific project. Working with a freelancer, you usually make a contract that defines the scope of work and outlines the rules of your collaboration. You can find a freelance contractor on such resources as Upwork or Toptal.

Expert tip: hiring a freelancer is a great choice when you need some help on the ongoing project. For example, you need to fix something or create a landing page quickly. In such cases, freelancers are your way to go.

Pros of freelance programmers

  • No need to provide working equipment;
  • The employment model is optional;
  • Access to talents worldwide.

Cons of freelance programmers

  • Less commitment due to other projects;
  • Complicated onboarding process;
  • Suits only medium and small businesses.  

However, when you want a team to start moving with you from scratch and stay long during the project, you should better head to in-house employees or outsourcing.

Find Programmers In-House

Searching for in-house employees means hiring permanent staff for your company. It also means you will have to go through all the hiring processes – recruitment, onboarding, providing social benefits, etc. But the pluses is that you are hiring a team for long-term collaboration, who will be aligned with the corporate culture and other team members.

Expert tip: In-house Employment is pretty costly, so it works best, provided you have a stable budget with no severe constraints. Also, in-house employment is suitable when you need to control the development process fully and can’t afford to take any risks of not addressing problems immediately.

Pros of in-house programmers

  • The total commitment of the employee;
  • The employee integrated into the company's culture;
  • More input and involvement;
  • Higher awareness of the development processes of the company.

Cons of in-house programmers

  • Hiring and onboarding expenses;
  • Costs of providing suitable working conditions and equipment;
  • Limited to the local tech talents;
  • Only full-time employment option.

Besides all advantages, in-house employment can be costly and not flexible for the changeable startup environment. In this case, outsourcing can be a better choice.

Find Programmers as an Outsourcing Team

Outsourcing development means delegating the development process to an external agency abroad. Such collaboration is usually done within an agreement, which outlines the requirements and conditions.

Among the main benefits of outsourcing, I would name:

  • No need to cover the social benefits and employment;
  • Access to a large pool of talents;
  • Availability of high-end technologies.
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Outsourcing or Outstaffing is a perfect choice for aspiring IT startups, as outsourcing covers all the pitfalls of development in a hasty environment:

  • Budget constraints: outsourcing development provides flexibility in allocating your budget.
  • Tight launch deadlines: let’s imagine you need to launch an MVP. In other words, within 2-3 months you need to produce a more or less functioning prototype for investors or potential users. With no product development expertise, this task seems close to impossible.
  • Outsourcing a development team opens access to a diversity of experts all over the world. By outsourcing, you can find an experienced programmer for a reasonable price.
  • Vague perspective: again, when you lack experience in product development, the results of your efforts may be up in the air. Thankfully, an outsource vendor always has a business manager, who can always help in turning the technical requirements into a functioning product.
If you want to know more about the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing, check out our article “Why Do Companies Outsource?”.
find programmers for startup

How Much Does It Cost To Find Programmers? Outsource, In-house, and Freelance Comparison

Let’s now look at the difference in the cost of hiring programmers in different cases: outsourcing, freelancers, or in-house development.

Outsourcing Development

Outsourcing software development means hiring a team of programmers, project managers, designers, and QAs as a whole package. It usually happens that outsourcing development is done from abroad, which makes it offshore software development.

The cost of outsourcing a development team can vary depending on the geographical location of the team. Thus, hiring from countries like Norway or the UK will cost higher than hiring from the Eastern European Hub (Ukraine or Poland). It all depends on the hourly rate and how it differs, depending on the cost of living in a certain region.

So here’s an approximate cost breakdown for an hourly rate for different countries:

  • Ukraine: $35 to $55 per hour
  • USA: $100 to $180 per hour
  • Europe: up to $100 per hour

In-House Development

In-house development is about employing a team of developers within your organization. This is a complicated and long-term process that has its own perks. Employing a person, you can expect a better match with your corporate culture, more interest in the social life of the company, and more involvement in business development.

Yet, the cost of finding a development team in-house can go high, including salaries, benefits, renting an office space and other expenses. Also, hiring in-house, you should take into account the rates in your country, which can be significantly higher than those offshore. Thus, the hourly rates of an in-house team of programmers can range from $50 to $200 per hour.

Hiring a Freelancer

Hiring a freelance programmer means hiring an individual contractor to complete your project. You can hire a freelancer either locally or abroad, but usually, this is a remote type of work. The hourly rate of employing a freelance programmer can vary, depending on the professional’s level of expertise, location, and the complexity of work. In general, the rates can vary from $20 to $100 per hour.  

Finding a freelance developer (or a team of developers) is an excellent option for filling gaps in your ongoing project. Yet, freelance developers can be less involved in the business and the project itself, which brings risks of irresponsibility and low quality of work.

How to Find Programmers: What to Ask During the Interview?

So you’ve done the search, selected the favorites, and are ready to test them in an interview. But what should you actually do to find the right programmer?

Here’re my tips for you:

Check the References  

Once you’ve selected your top candidates, take a while and check their clients’ reviews. Checking a review will help you to know more about the approaches, culture and methods of the team. It is also important to check the previous cases and see whether they reflect what you expect from a development team.

You can find reviews on outsourcing companies and their programmers’ work on the Clutch accounts. For example, you can see the reviews that Uptech clients shared about the collaboration here.

Look at Communication Skills

When interviewing the programmers to hire, pay attention to the candidates’ communication skills. Though this characteristic doesn’t seem obviously essential, they play a critical role in fruitful collaboration. You should seek to hire a team of programmers, who can give you communication, which is:

  • Transparent – make sure you have access to all the documents of the team;
  • Regular – the team should communicate the status quo regularly;
  • Interactive – make sure the team includes you in the discussion of any developments on the project.

Also, you can get an understanding of the team’s communication style by noticing how fast they are replying to your messages and emails. It’s most probably, that they will communicate the same work during the work.

Discuss Project Management

One of the most important characteristics to figure out before hiring programmers is the project management style of the team. Make sure the team can provide a transparent process of tracking progress, detecting and solving emerging issues and notifying you of any developments.

Why Hire Uptech Programmers?

Uptech Product Studio is a reliable team of product developers with 7+ years of experience. Our team holds profound expertise in such domains as:

  • Fintech;
  • Healthcare;
  • Real estate;
  • Ecommerce.

We are proud to be long-standing partners of such distinguished businesses as Aspiration, Goat and Nomad.

Besides helping our clients to implement their ideas, we also build our own products in the most aspiring market domains. For example, an AI-based avatar generator DYVO or a no-code/low-code platform Sommo.

We know firsthand how to build startups from an idea to a final product, so we can become your reliable partner on this difficult stretch.

Our clients value us for:

  • Innovativeness and proactiveness;
  • Clear and regular communication;
  • Agility of the development process;
  • Profound tech expertise and domain knowledge.

You can check our client’s reviews on our partnership on our Clutch profile.

Or check our Case Portfolio and look at our expertise in use.


Finding programmers is not tricky. There are a lot of job-seeking resources, freelance platforms, and websites that buzz with talents. But the real challenge is finding the programmers that would suit your project’s requirements in terms of experience, expertise, availability, and skill sets. But if you take time to figure out some questions about your project (like scope, goals, and values), the search for programmers will be a much simpler task.

If you wonder what kind of development team would suit your project, contact our team, and we will find the programmers to implement your idea.

Let’s build your next product! Share your idea or request a free consultation from us.