Startup Engineering · Startup Recruitment

Best way to find local developers for start-up

Sean Shoffstall Experienced founder starting up something new

May 17th, 2017

I have a pre-funding start up and looking for a developer to help get a beta out. I need someone to work near me so have tried things like Craigslist and Dice but seems like all I get are people from overseas. Where do you go to find good talent that want to come in early on a start up?


Even better, how do you go about finding a future partner to come in at the beginning to grow a tech practice for your company without having funding yet?

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Alexander Conroy

May 17th, 2017

Hardest thing ever. I'm a technical person so was able to get by without another though I have tried. It's so difficult to find someone smart dedicated and interested in growing. You'll get swarmed by people overseas trying to become your "technical partner" especially as work starts to dry up over there. Even CoFoundersLab is becoming flooded with these people. I am starting to get emails with "Hi" for the body content by overseas Users trying to reach people in the tech and startup market. this board is really great sad to see it degenerating.

Josh McCormack Owner, InteractiveQA - Marketing, Web Dev, Testing, Data & Market Analysis

May 17th, 2017

Lots of good answers. I am on the technical side, so I'll share my perspective on these situations. There's an ad showing up among the answers here that sums up a lot - a great idea is 1% and execution is the other 99%. Often times people will look for technical cofounders and want to dictate how everything should be done, expect the technical person to be able to do everything themselves, and that they should be thrilled to get 3% of what could be worth a lot one day. I understand. This was your idea and you're working hard to validate it and promote it and sell it. But from a technical person's perspective, you want someone to do what you say, not contribute, not do things as they know they should be done, and you want to give them a tiny piece. With the odds of success that much risk for that little reward isn't worth it. I understand you may be very different, willing to treat a technical cofounder as someone who should be relied upon for their expertise beyond just coding what you tell them to, and you may want to share equity in a reasonable fashion. But a lot of people don't feel that way.

David Austin Relentless problem solver and innovator.

May 17th, 2017

Go to upwork and type in your city. I found over a dozen local web and mobile developers (not just web-designers) in our little community of 200,000 that way and staffed a local startup foundry that way. After finding them on upwork, go to linkedin and connect to them. Upwork obscures their last name, but often they'll include it in the details, or you can usually find them in linkedin if you search their first name + work history + location data (presuming they have that on upwork).

Alan Brown 30 years experience in IT and Healthcare

May 17th, 2017

I'm an IT professional with 30+ years experience, best way to find good home grown developers is to post a solid ad with all the requirements listed in indeed.com (which is free for posting), mention you accept citizens and green card holders only and must be willing to work locally, then have a rigorous interview process where you test competency, and ask deep open ended questions about where they worked and why they left, and also ask them why they want to work for you and make sure their goals match yours. Ask for 3 references from previous supervisors and follow up on all of them, if they cant provide them, then pass. LinkedIn is also another good place to find people.

Richard Loosemore Founder, CEO, Susaro, an AI startup with radical new technology.

May 17th, 2017

It is tremendously hard: I am still trying this myself. The only way I have thought of (and I have not yet implemented this plan) is to walk around the town, and hang out in all the coffee shops you can find, wearing a t-shirt that says "I NEED DEVELOPERS WITH [XYZ] SKILLS!!". Hand the t-shirts out to friends who frequent the town, also.

Michael Crosby Looking to start something meaningful.

Last updated on May 18th, 2017

Hey Sean, I am a non technical co-founder that found a developer to work on my start up. I interviewed around 30 people before finding the developer I work with now. While they are not super local they are in the same time zone, and a great communicator, which is key. I went through Upwork, Criaglist ads, Codementor, Fivverr, and others I can't remember right now. It comes down to persistence and going with the right fit and leveraging price/location/skill. So in the end I found them on Reddit, on the forhire sub reddit. I am happy that I was patient and waited for what I felt was the perfect fit. Patience and persistence are key here I think.


As for finding a future partner to come in without funding. This is not unheard of but to get a developer to come on I think they all want to do something new and exciting, and with a co founder that they believe can execute.


If you ever need any help, I've been on this journey for about 2 years as a non tech guy and I have learned a ton. So just message me with anything.


Also look into meetups for local developers around you. Go and hang with them and share your situation.

Walt Maclay President of Voler Systems | Electronics, Software Consulting | Wearables, Home Health, Devices for Aging

May 18th, 2017

Places to find consultants in Northern California are as follows: www.californiaconsultants.org - a group of consultants that is part of the IEEE society. There are groups all over the world. You can go to www.IEEE.org and search for consultants.


www.PATCA.org - a consultant group in Northern California.


Both groups have consultants who do electronic, mechanical, and software consulting. PATCA also has other types of consultants, such as marketing, business advice, human resources, technical writing, etc.

Walt Maclay President of Voler Systems | Electronics, Software Consulting | Wearables, Home Health, Devices for Aging

May 18th, 2017

I disagree with Steve Owens' comment about using consultants for narrow specific problems. There are consulting companies, such as mine, who specialize in developing an entire product from the specifications. We solve tough design problems and deliver products that can be manufactured easily. We work with partner companies to provide an even wider array of services than our own company can provide.


A big advantage of a consulting company is that they have a team that can start quickly, complete a job efficiently, and go away when they are not needed any more. It takes a lot of time to put together an effective team.


Individual consultants are, as Steve said, are good for specific skills. We often hire them to augment our team.

Esther Camilo ambicious bioinformatician

May 17th, 2017

I understand it is not easy to build a reliable relationship with someone from overseas, but reading the answers below, I feel some prejudice about it (is it a reason to say the web site is deteriorating?) What I know for sure is that we are Global now. You (this is a general "you") sell your stuff here. Those unable to adapt will perish or fall in depression.

Sean Shoffstall Experienced founder starting up something new

May 17th, 2017

Esther, it isn't prejudice it is about work style. Starting something up I want the person to be able to work side by side with me on parts of the project and be a key person to building the company. It is very difficult to do that from the beginning (for me).