The FileMaker developer you choose is key to your success with FileMaker

At Accolade Plus Accolade, we know the importance of having the right FileMaker Developer cannot be overstated. You need the right resource, whether you are hiring in-house or outsourcing to a service provider. Finding the expert that is right for you is not an easy task. A successful FileMaker solution often requires coding, scripting, and data conversion. The iterative process of design, development, and deployment can be both technical and exhausting. To ensure our clients are satisfied, we take the time to understand their needs and coordinate with them through every step of the process. Accolade Plus Accolade delivers an end-to-end service for FileMaker projects. We offer everything from initial strategy and consultation, to system design, implementation, and training. Our technical expertise spans multiple industries and business sizes.

A good developer will first listen to you.

The best way for a developer to solve your problem is to listen to you. If they don’t, they won’t know what you need. You will be getting something, but it will be far from what you expected, and no one likes getting a bill for something like that. 

Find someone you can talk to. A developer that listens solves problems more quickly and costs less. You get more of what you want for your money. So talk to the developer, get a sense of what they can do, and get a sense of how interactions will flow over the course of your project.

Ask for referrals

Reviews are everywhere, from high price items like a car, to the most casual items you may find on a retailer’s website. 

Sometimes, we feel like if there are no reviews easily available, we will forgo that critical step and just “wing it”. The fact is, your developer should already have offered referrals to widen the comfort zone as early and as quickly as possible. 

They did not? It may be a red flag, but there is only one way for you to see if it is something to worry about: ask for referrals, contact them and see for yourself. You should ALWAYS ask for referrals.

Look for certifications

Certification by itself does not mean much. When adding it to the list of all the other items we are talking about in this article, it can nudge you towards one service provider over another. 

Are they current on their certifications? Do they have only one, or do they hold an impressive list

A developer having multiple certifications shows commitment and dedication, it is a reflection of the years of experience they have in the field.

What about experience?

You can find a developer who is skilled, promising, looks good “on paper”, but experience is highly valued for a reason. From everything a developer has been exposed to, they learn, improving their ability to solve problems, implement the right designs and architectures, plan ahead to avoid closing doors and even, better react when under pressure. No single senior developer would code the same way they did when they were novice, rely on the same technique and designs over and over. 

Yes, some of those are tested best practices, but how a developer works changes over time. If they can’t point to things they used to do that are now outdated, perhaps it is a sign they are not into self-improvement and like to stay in their comfort zone too much.

What positions and roles have they been into?

Ok, you think you found who you want to work with. Even if you selected a service provider, you will be paying a company, but you will be working with people: make sure to know who will be involved on your project. What is their background. Same thing if you are hiring.

Have they been only into development, or have they been involved with project management also? Solo, or in teams? Did they oversee other developers? For how long? Have they been working in-house, or in a consulting position? There are pros and cons to every position, but a background with a fair amount of diversity translates to more versatility in the field.

What industries have they been involved with?

Again, here is perhaps one of the main distinctions between people working in-house, working on a vertical solution and people working as consultants. Expect a lot of familiarity if the resource has been involved in-house or on a vertical solution that is close to your industry, knowing the business rules and best practices. Consultants may not have that level of familiarity, but they are trained to “wear someone else’s shoes”, and can let you benefit from best practices from other industries they have been exposed to. On top of that, consultants are in the habit of being involved in the “heavy lifting”: large scale projects, challenging implementations, facing technical problems where documentation is not helping or where familiarity with the documentation makes all the difference.

How active are they in the FileMaker community?

Are they participating in a developer group, better yet, do they host one? Do they publish information on a blog, are active on community forums, publish repos on Github? Again, those things are not a requirement, but they tend to show dedication.

Avoid the following

People who speak without listening to you. You will find a lot of people who are simply trying to fit you in a box or apply labels to you, just so they can turn to a pre-made solution they have in their toolkit. People who want to sell you their solution to your problem will always fall short of really giving you what you need. They will want to make you use their solution that was not meant or designed for you and what is unique about your own situation.

People who are unable to plan things out. Not everything will unfold according to plan, and that is ok. But not having a plan is perhaps the riskiest thing that can be when trying to tackle things that are not part of your core business.

People who always say yes. Everyone likes being right, and everyone likes when things go according to their expectations. That said, developers’ mission is not to simply say yes to things you plan or things you ask. Those people are usually avoiding conversations where they need to motivate their vision, either because they do not have one, or because they do not want the accountability that comes with issuing recommendations.

You think you found the right one, now what?

Start small, ask for frequent updates. Like any relationship, if you do not want to fall, it is important to walk before you run. Just like any other type of software development, you should look for FileMaker developers that are communicative, and reliable.

How can we help?

If you are looking for a service provider, we think we check all the boxes, and then some. Contact us to get things on the fast lane.
If you are hiring someone, we can help you screen the candidates who apply for a position, and if you are filling a junior position, we also offer coaching. Get in touch.