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Developer taking too long

should we keep using them?

4:28 pm on Oct 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

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To make a long story short, we have used a company in Ukraine to program a complex web page that we have designed. It was supposed to take 3 months, but after over 1 year it is still not finished. The website is 90% ready, but every time they fix a bug they make 10 new bugs - and I do not know if we dare to continue to use them.
I have made a few websites before, but this is the most excruciating experience Iíve ever been through. In addition, the company now want us to pay them the final amount (that was supposed to be paid when the page was finished) + hourly rate of the hours they spend on getting the page ready - even though we have not made any changes in design or content. In addition they write the number of hours with a fork when we compare the number of hours on similar projects that we have worked on earlier.

What I wonder is:
-Is it smart to find a new company to make the site ready, or should I torment myself even more to get them to do the job 100% done?

-Will a new company be skeptical to complete a project that others have developed?

-I reckon that it is an open code that has been used to program the Web site. Can a new company have trouble finish coding the website?

-They have installed the Web page on our dedicated server in USA. Will we need the codes to the web company in Ukraine before a new company can finish programming our Web page? I do not want to pay them the final amount for the completion of the website if they do not finish it.

-I have heard a lot of positive things about programmers in the Philippines. Have any of you experience with freelancers or a company that you can recommend for some advanced projects?

Regards from one who is in the process of developing a large ulcer!
4:09 pm on Oct 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately this is what you get when outsourcing sometimes. As an (ex) freelancer, what would probably be best for all parties concerned is to announce a termination of project and arrive at an agreement that is acceptable to both parties. They did most of the work, expect to pay at least a substantial part of the fee. There are very good reasons for doing this, some programmers can leave you with nothing.

Quality of developers is blind to geographic location, you won't find anyone better in any one given area. We're everywhere, but so are the turkeys.

As for someone else picking it up, generally, yes, but if it's custom coded, expect to lose a little while the new team gets up to speed. If it's open source like you say - for example, built on Wordpress or other O.S. apps - not so bad.
5:34 am on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Sorry to hear what you've experienced on other providers. Philippines is one of the world's most popular outsourcing destinations with some distinct advantages over countries like India and China. I would suggest to hire a staff leasing company/firm instead of a freelancer. Staff leasing is better than freelance work because leased staff are permanent workers of a company and are easy to reach in case you need them. Freelancers do not have employers so they do as they please and sometimes cannot be contacted for various reasons.
3:36 pm on Oct 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I know your pain

I have also had similar experience with quality of work and very lengthy delays.
The way I tackled it was to tell they I was starting to give other work to other developers, as I couldnít wait for them to finish and I needed to get the other additional parts on my application complete.

I even posted the projects on freelancing sites and sent them a link, told them they could bid on it.

As soon as they realised they were loosing new business from me they started doing the work they should be doing to start with.

They are also under the impression I am gathering funds $10k for the next phase of my site development, I just added that tale for continued motivation from them.
this approach isnít always going to work.

The truth is if you havenít got you site finished and itís been a year, they arenít going to complete it in working order.

You might be able to negotiate some type of settlement fee with them, tell you want to pay them for the work they have done so far, but as its not complete then you wonít pay all. They might be willing to do this to get rid of the project.

I use up to 9 freelancers at a time, and they can really vary in quality and price, and have hired over 30 in the last 2 years, some I hired and fired the same day as they werenít up to the work.

I have developed a few schemes for finding if developers are any good, interviewing doesnít help as they just google answers or have someone nearby that can help them.

I have only hired graphic designers from the Philippines and they were really bad - despite having over 100 5/5star reviews.

But as far as various countries go with developers, you really canít tell, there are good and bad in each country. I havenít found good asp.net developers yet in any country,
I found loads that are very good technically, but they donít deliver what I ask for.
They miss stuff out, there are bugs, they ignore sections of the specification Ė then they put the code up on the server telling me its complete- usually within 2 minutes I find major issues, but the code is always written well.

Sometimes you get what you pay for other times you donít, my 2 best people are both about $8 an hour. The database developer is fantastic Ė and im a DB developer so I know a good one when I see one.

In a short answer to your questions:
-Yes find another company, but see if you can salvage some code.
-A new company wont be sceptical, if you explain they last one spent over a year on a 3 month job and still hadnít finished.
-Almost defiantly an OS solution, if something was available to drastically reduce the work. In which case it should be easy to get the code for it.
-They probably have the code in dllís w. which means whatever they have written you wont be able to change or access unless they give you the source code.
You might want to consider other ways of completing this work, I would give more details but without knowing what the site is or what technology is used (php, asp, mysql etc) its hard to give specifics.

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