Margo Redfern’s first attempt at building a website was a disaster. In 2007,she started a business,FlattenMe.com,to sell personalized children’s books and cards. To build the site,Redfern hired a team of freelance programmers that a friend of her husband’s had recommended.
Six months and nearly $10,000 later,she ended up firing them. Redfern says they were slow,had wildly overstated their programming skills,and would often go more than a week without answering calls and e-mails. "There was zero visibility to what they were doing," she says.
Whether it’s building a website,developing an iPhone application,creating a widget,or customizing a program for internal use,many businesses are turning to freelance programmers to get the job done cheaply. But as Redfern discovered,it can be tough finding good help,especially if you don’t have a technical background.