How to Find a Software Engineer Online

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far,far away, a software engineer wes needed. Nothing worked! Even the best minds of the kingdom far, far away became mired by the Unhelpful Guides on finding developers online available on the World Wide Web Swamp.

The web comes apart at the seams, should you search for something like “how to find a software engineer”. Yet, out of 10 articles claiming to contain useful tips on how to find software engineers, all 10 of them consist of water (like the 2/3 of the human body reading it).

The truth no one mentions is, really good software developers are hard to find. It’s like a great quest one has to complete through various trials and adventures, relentlessly pursuing their goal and bumping the character’s stats, in aim to find a software engineer for their Real Project.

If you are serious about hiring a software engineer online, we are serious about This Real Guide on How to Hire Software Engineer Online.

Given Mobilunity’s decade of experience in finding those hard-to-find-developers, we have prepared a helpful step-by-step guide on how to get ready for sourcing an IT expert, where to look for qualified programmers, and how to find developers in Ukraine. 

Let’s begin our guided treasure hunt!

Step 1: Determine the Scope of Work

Before embarking on a long and challenging hiring journey, breathe in and out.

Sit down. And write down the project goals, objectives, and milestones. It’s a must for successful hire and fruitful long-term cooperation.

Unfortunately, a really huge percent of projects, even the most brilliant ones, fail due to scope creep and expectation gap. That’s why the planning stage plays basically the most crucial role in the whole process.

To understand the project scope, make sure to consider the following aspects and clearly identify them: 

  • Project goals
  • Project objectives
  • Phases and subphases
  • Milestones and tasks
  • Resources needed

After filling in the first four points, it will be much easier to understand the resources needed in reality. The first level is complete, keep going!

Step 2: Identify the Budget Needed

The next level is no less important than the first one. Besides defining your final goal and following the planned route on the map, it’s also essential to determine the resources you have at the moment. Yes, a pretty penny included.

The cost estimation stage allows for even more thorough planning, which also contributes to smoother hiring adventure and shorter hiring time. The preparation stage is absolutely worth the time and effort (that’s what seasoned HR knights always say.)

To estimate the cost of your project, you need to take into account the following factors:

  • Resource Cost Factors (the size of the team, the expertise level of the developers, the experience needed, etc.);
  • Project Time Factors (how much time needed to complete each stage: UI/UX design, prototyping, developing, and testing)

Pro Tip: If you are having a hard time estimating the cost of your project, you can look up online cost calculators that give at least a rough idea of what it may take to build an app.

Need more details on estimating software development costs? Check it here!

Step 3: Choose How You Want to Hire (In-House Vs. Freelance Vs. Through a Vendor)

Congrats, we are on level 3 already! And here, you are faced with a Great Hiring Crossroad. Not an easy task to decide on which way to go and where to find programmers for hire, at least at the first sight? Let’s break down what awaits you when following each road.

The main hiring models include hiring in-house (locally), on freelance platforms, and through a resources vendor. Depending on the project scope, development time, and budget, you can pick the right option for your business. Also, your possibility and willingness to manage the remote team also plays an important role.

Worth mentioning, all three roads lead to a happy ending, under the right-place-right-time conditions. Long story short, here’s a table summarizing the specifics of each hiring approach:

In-houseFreelanceHire a vendor
Team recruitmentTeam recruited by you directlyProgrammers found and hired by you directlyExperts sourced by the vendor
Office and equipment provided byYouFreelance contractorVendor
Cost HighLowFlexible
Speed of recruitmentLowFastMedium
Skills and expertise limited byDomestic labor marketFreelance platform poolCountry/No limit
RisksLimited talent pool, high salary rates, high hiring and retention costs, high management costs, low scalabilityLow reliability, possible low quality of work, failed deadlines, low data security, data breachesWorking with an untrustworthy vendor
BenefitsDedicated resources, direct communication, same timezone and locationAffordable costs, versatility of experts, great for simple one-time tasksHighly-qualified experts, dedicated resources, well-established working procedures

It looks much easier to choose how to find a programmer, looking at the table, right?

  • Go left if you decided to hire in-house. Explore the local IT talent pool, post on job portals and social media, let people know you are hiring. Let the left road be wide and solid for you!
  • Go right if you now want to find programmers online on freelance platforms. There’s plenty of great experts ready to join your project mission. Good luck exploring!

And if you chose to go with the assistance of a reliable vendor, or if you came back to this crossroad for some reason after trying the left or the right way, let’s go straight forward to step 4!

Step 4: Decide on the Levels of Responsibility (Dedicated Teams Vs. Outsourcing Model)

Next level — more details. But these details play a big role.

There are various models of cooperation with vendors, with the most popular ones being traditional outsourcing and hiring dedicated software development teams through a vendor.

With a typical outsourcing model, you cooperate with a third-party vendor that provides the IT experts needed but comes with its own management, structure, code of conduct, and culture. Although you can discuss the project objectives and set up milestones and deadlines, you don’t fully control the development process and just review the results. 

On the other hand, you don’t need to burden yourself with team management, back-office tasks, and other organizational staff. It’s like you hire a team of mysterious, yet pretty trustworthy strangers to go hunt for a treasure and bring it to you.

With a dedicated team, you get your own remote team of hand-picked software engineers who focus solely on your project development. Be ready to be responsible for product and team management, however, that comes more of an advantage than a pitfall, as this allows you to monitor and manage all the processes, from talent sourcing to further project development. Dedicated teams can be compared to comrades joining you on a quest, with the only difference of them following you remotely.

Here are the main differences between hiring dedicated teams vs. how to find programmers  in a traditional outsourcing way:

Dedicated teamsTraditional outsourcing
Controls the teamYouService provider
Manages the projectYouService provider
Select technologiesYouService provider
Team scalabilityHighLow
Data protectionData protection policies implemented by the service provider as per contractUsually not managed
Produced software and intellectual property belongs toYouService provider, unless the IP question is covered in the contract

Step 5: Choose the Country to Hire From

The world is vast, yet there are well-known outsourcing destinations for businesses wondering how to find a computer programmer remotely. One of the most popular destinations include:

  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Ukraine

When picking a country to find programmers working remotely and delegate project development, here are the crucial aspects to consider: 

  • Distance from a headquarters
  • Size of IT talent pool
  • Level of education
  • Skills and reputation of local developers
  • English proficiency
  • Cost of hiring
  • Data protection policies
  • Cultural similarity
  • Risk of natural disasters

Taking into consideration the criteria above, it’s notable that Eastern Europe (and especially Ukraine) is booming as an outsourcing haven, with its remarkable performance by all of the aspects above.

Want to learn more about the benefits of hiring Ukrainian software engineers? Check it out here!

Step 6: Find a Reliable Vendor

When selecting a dedicated resources provider to start work with, remember that you are choosing a companion on your quest that will be helping you pursue your final goal from now on. You don’t want an untrustworthy associate accompanying you on an important mission aiming to find software engineers online. 

That’s why it’s essential to check the following things before shaking hands:

  • Evaluate the vendor’s experience;
  • Go through case studies (if any available); 
  • Ask for clients’ references and check feedback;
  • Set up a call with a representative to clarify uncovered points directly.

Another great point is to ask for real-life examples to see how a particular vendor can find a programmer with a very unique tech talent. 

For instance, for one of our clients, 42Matters, Mobilunity managed to hire a Senior Angular JS developer and then a seasoned Data Engineer right after that. 

The former was hard to find because of the specific legacy tech, while the latter is in an extremely huge demand on the market nowadays, with data engineering being the fastest-growing searched expertise in IT. Sourcing such experts is a real treasure hunt, with dragons involved!


Congratulations on finishing this challenging, adventurous, and definitely memorable journey of hunting for treasurable software engineers for hire!

And if you are just starting your way, we do hope that following this step-by-step guide, you’ll make it through successfully and find programmer with a suitable skill set and experience for your project.

If you have any troubles with finding developers locally, identify the reason and explore alternatives. If you face any difficulties with managing freelance experts, it’s also possible to look for a solution and a plan B. The market of outsourcing now offers dozens of options for all tastes and you’ll definitely find a suitable one.

And remember, this journey should not be lonely. 

If you need any help on your IT treasure hunt, you always have Mobilunity, an experienced vendor with a strong reputation for finding the greatest IT minds for businesses all over the world. Get in touch with our experts, and we’ll help you on your quest of hiring remote software developers meeting your project needs.

And the last thing, the FAQ on how to find a software engineer:

Want to know how to find a software engineer online? Let’s answer your burning questions:

Q: How to find a software engineer with proven experience online?

To find software engineers with proven experience in a particular technology, you can either contact an outstaffing services company that carefully sources experts in the field, or you can work through freelance platforms to find a programmer where candidates’ experience is usually listed. However, with the second option, you can never be confident about the reliability of such cooperation.

Q: How to find a computer programmer at affordable rates?

The fastest and most effective way to find programmer at affordable rates is to approach an established outstaffing company with a proven track record. It is also wise to get a few quotes before settling on one company.

Q: Where to find programmers for hire remotely?

Countless online platforms offer remote programmers for hire. To ensure you find the best talent, look for nearshore IT services provider that has mainly positive reviews from reputable clients. Also, consider a country that offers affordable costs and a convenient time zone.

Q: How to find a programmer from Ukraine?

To find a programmer from Ukraine, it is wise to look online for a reputable outstaffing company which is based in Ukraine. They will carefully consider your requirements and find the ideal candidate for you at an excellent rate.

Wondering how to find a software engineer online? Get real expert assistance at Mobilunity!

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