When we decided to research how people seek out Dotnetnuke or DNN Developers, we decided to first look for how people look for resources in general and then narrow this down to how do people find DNN Developers specifically.
We surveyed 50 of our clients and we found the top 3 answers as follows:
Ask colleagues for advice or if they have a referral
This could take the form of asking around or sending out an email to friends or colleagues. In addition, we found people often post to their friends and colleagues through web portals like Linkedin, Facebook and twitter.
Google Search - Paid Ads
When tasked with finding a resource, people will also conduct a google search to find companies or resources that meet your needs. Often you will click on a paid advertisement. Once located, this is met with an initial contact and discussion to determine if the company understands your company and needs.
Google Search - Blog Posts/Organic Results
Many surveyed mentioned finding a blog post or other article that detailed the subject matter in question and depending on the information provided, they would either click on the links in the article or look to see who the author was and click through to their website. If you were searching for a DNN developers and you found a post where someone describes how they solved a technical challenge or provided tips and tricks for DNN developers, you might assume that this person is credible and has the knowledge you are looking for.
This is interesting because it validates the methodology of an inbound marketing strategy. While not necessarily sexy content, this is great content that can drive lead generation.
We took this research a bit further and began to think about how you find great DNN Developers or Evoq Content Developers specifically and what qualifications we felt were worth looking at when evaluating.
How to find a DNN Developer
We surveyed our internal development team for the top 5 qualifications to look for when selecting a DNN Developer
Experience with the platform
Many gotchas or other issues that arise are mitigated through experience. This isn’t unique to DNN Software, but issues that causes a newbie 3 hours to research and track down can be fixed by an experienced DNN Developer in 5 minutes. This experience usually isn’t calculated into an hourly rate as a newbie and a seasoned DNN developer usually charge similar rates.
Understanding of the difference of how a feature is marketed and how it actually works in production
For years, DNN would sell workflow as a feature in the DNN Evoq Content (formerly DNN professional edition). They would talk about the ability to set up a content workflow, which means one person can edit a piece of content and it is sent to another person for edits and approval and then ultimately published. For example, a content editor might need to make an edit, but prior to publishing, it needs to be approved by the marketing manager. Content workflows would allow this to happen.
The issue was the DNN content workflow feature was only available in the HTML module. Now, in more recent times, there is workflow API that has been exposed which allows you to integrate workflow into other modules, but this isn’t an out of the box feature. It’s important the DNN Developer you work with has this kind of experience.
How custom modules work together and the best approach for implementation
One of the major selling points of CMSs like DNN & Wordpress is that there is a community of module developers who write custom modules (custom functionality) and then either sell that functionality or give it away. This in theory is amazing! It allows developers to offer solutions or functionality that can be deployed much quicker then if you had to build it from scratch, but there three issues with this:
1) You need the remote module developer to keep this functionality up to date as core CMS versions are upgraded. If an update is made to the core, but not to the module could quickly become obsolete.
2) You will most likely get “most of what you need”, but not exactly what you need as the module needs to be built for the masses.
3) The most important issue with this concept is that if you build your website with this foundation and there is an issue in the future with the module not being maintained or something going wrong, you most likely need to scrap this DNN custom module and rebuild this functionality from scratch. If this is mission critical, this can provide an issue. (Source code isn’t sold with most modules).
Skill Set & Peace of Mind
One of the issues with CMS’s is that they enable less technical people to develop solutions that enable them to appear they know what they are doing. For example, there are ecommerce modules that provide a full shopping cart experience with really nice functionality. The issue comes in when either true customization is needed or if something goes wrong. Without an expert level of understanding with how the application works inside and out, the developer won’t be able to solve your issues in a reasonable timeframe or at all.
Team Based Approach & Risk Mitigation
It’s important when working with any DNN Development team to ensure that this isn’t a single person with one particular skill set. Often times developers have areas of specialization or concentration that make them excellent at their core competencies, but not in all realms.
In addition, most projects don’t simply need Dotnetnuke Development, but also strategy, web design, inbound marketing strategy and implementation, content development, and analytics implementations such as Google Tag Manager. It’s important to chose a team that can provide you with multiple services if that is what you require.
In summation, we believe these are the important variables to consider when hiring a DNN Developer. Hopefully this sheds some light on the important characteristics to consider when hiring DNN or EVOQ Content Developers.