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How to Create an Effective Job Posting

I’ve been fortunate to sell tens of thousands of copies of my products on how to make money online the last few years and one of the topics I like to talk about heavily is how to outsource effectively in your business.

Outsourcing, like anything in business, is a skill that you have to develop over time.

Its rare that someone can just wake up one day and decide they’re going to outsource all their work and have it go well.

The sad thing is a lot of people do try (really hard) to outsource tasks in their business because they know its the right move but then it blows up in their face and they throw in the towel and decide to stick with doing everything themselves; which never ends well.

I’ve written other posts on the site covering what I look for when I am hiring a new outsourcer but I have not covered the job posting itself and how important a part of the equation it is so let me do that now!

Keep it Brief

At first glance a lot of people assume that when placing a job they need to get super detailed and lay out every tiny detail but I much prefer casting a wide net to see what kind of applicants I can get.

I keep my job postings extremely brief and then only give details to those applicants that make it through my initial screening process I cover here.

Let me give you an example job posting I’ve used in the past for an artist:

“I’m currently looking to add a 2d artist to my team for mobile games.

In order to qualify you must have past experience with creating art/animations for 2d mobile games. This will include backgrounds, scenes, in game objects, 2d characters, UI’s, etc.

Work will start on a fixed rate per project but the opportunity for full time work is there for the right applicant.

Applicants who meet the qualifications will be given a specific project to bid on.”

As you can see, its pretty short and right to the point.  And now here is an ad I placed for a developer.

Job will consist of reskinning of one mobile game utilizing Unity 3d.

Job will require one new character design, minor object redesigns, and implementing those designs into the game.

You might be a little shocked at just how brief I keep it but I’ve been doing it that way for years and had great results with it.

One little side note that you may try (I used to and just got a little lazy with it) is you can include a very specific instruction in your ad.

For example, you can say “only applicants who tell me what 5 + 5 equals in their reply will be considered for this job.”

That way if an applicant fails to follow directions you can instantly weed them out for failing to pay attention to detail.

 

 

 

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How to Hire a Mobile Developer – Part 2

If you’re just now finding this post but haven’t read part one yet please make sure you check out part one of How to Hire a Mobile Developer here.

Now, if you’ve already checked out part one and are ready to rock with part two you’re in the right spot!

Last time I left off with the stories of how location and hourly rate was not the end all be all when hiring a programmer to build your mobile games.  That might have been a shock to a lot of people but I’m telling you after developing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of software those two factors rank very low on the list of things I check for in a game developer.

So what then is on my list of priorities?

Here are the things I look at in no particular order:

1) How much experience does the developer have doing exactly what I need done?

You might be wondering..how the heck can I tell how much experience this person has and the answer is simple; check their profile.  If they are not displaying the kind of work you need done, pass them over.

Yes, they may have experience and just not have a portfolio that demonstrates it but why take a chance when there are thousands of other developers to choose from.

2) What kind of reviews/ratings have past customers left for the developer?

I never work with any developer that does not have at least a 4.0/5.0 star rating on whatever freelance site I’m on.

I used to give people the benefit of the doubt if they could provide a reasonable sounding excuse for having low ratings but I found out that the majority of time those low ratings were justly earned so now I no longer take a chance and neither should you.

Again, there are simple too many qualified professionals to choose from.

Now, notice I didn’t just say look at past ratings but also reviews.  A lot of times people will give a developer a good rating but in their actual feedback they may mention a problem they had such as “John was awesome to work although he missed a few deadlines” etc.

You can find a lot more insight from the written feedback than just the star rating so pay close attention to warning signs there.

3) How articulate was the game developer’s reply to your job posting?

I’m not looking for award winning authors but if a game developer answered my ad in broken English or ignored the instructions in my posting that’s an automatic “do not pass go, do not collect $200″ moment; in other words I’m not hiring them.

I also automatically decline any developers that applied for the job using what I think is a copy/paste template.  If they didn’t specifically address my job concerns in their reply then they are not someone I want to work with.

(Now, note you need to actually give them specific things to reply to in order to test how well they pay attention to detail – for more info check out this article on creating your job posting)

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How to Hire a Mobile Developer – Part One

Perhaps the biggest question people have when they consider something like creating their very own mobile app or mobile game is how do I hire a developer I can trust?

Questions like:

What if they steal my idea?
What if they take my money but never do the job?
What if they sell my source code?
What kind of qualifications should I be looking for?
Etc….

Maybe you have some of these same questions and probably even more but let me put some of your fears to rest; hiring a qualified developer for mobile games is actually very very easy to do when you follow some simple guidelines that I’ll lay out for you here.

First and foremost, the number one mistake I see people make when they hire a mobile developer is they get in a great big hurry.

A lot of people like to point to silly quotes like “money loves speed” etc as their excuse to why they are in a rush but you gotta understand that sometimes what money really loves is due diligence.

There are tens of thousands of freelance developers looking for work on freelance sites on the web.  Many of them are very decent folks with plenty of qualifications and experience to do a great job for you but mixed in with those folks are a lot of scammers and fakes who are just looking to take you for a quick spin.

I learned this the hard way when I first began developing desktop software in other markets using freelancers.

I was told..James, you’ll be fine so long as you hire someone in the United States so I went out and hired US based developers without doing much due diligence and the result was I lost thousands of dollars and in one case the software was never finished at all.

Next I was told…James you’ll be ok as long as you don’t try to hire the cheapest guy so I went out and hired someone that cost $40/hour and again was sorely disappointed with the results.

When I finally found a guy that did a great job for me he was living in India and was $35 hour so not in the United States and not the most expensive guy.

Since then I’ve had guys that ranged in price from $55 an hour all the way down to $7 an hour and developers from all over the world and I can say that price/location is not always the end all be all when it comes to hiring.

So what is then?

I’ll go into detail on that in part 2 of “How to Hire a Mobile Developer” here.

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What Does it Mean to Reskin a Mobile Game?

So for everyone that is unsure about the reskinning lingo let me break this down in a way that anyone can understand.

When a developer creates a piece of software such as a mobile game they do it by writing what is called source code.

In the case of mobile game development, the developer then adds images to that source code that you see on your phone.  Everything from the characters in the games to the level backgrounds, animations, logos, etc.

When you reskin a mobile game what you’re actually doing is having new graphics made that are then switched out with the originals.

The end result is an entirely new game but without all the hard work of having to create brand new source code.

This means that:

1) Your app’s development time is substantially reduced

2) Your app’s development cost is substantially shortened

3) Bug testing is drastically reduced

Is Reskinning Mobile Games Ethical and Legal?

So when most people finally understand what it means to reskin a mobile game they automatically assume there’s something wrong with it and that it must be illegal or at the very least unethical.

Well, I’m here to tell you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with reskinning an app.

Big companies have been doing this for years, well before mobile games became as popular they are today.

Here’s a few games that I suspect are using almost identical source code:

Temple Run

Temple Run: Brave

Now, I don’t own these games so I can’t tell you 100% for sure that the second one is a reskin but I’d be willing to bet it is!  They game mechanics are almost identical but lets just be safe and let me show you another example:

Cloned Mobile Game 2

 

Cloned Mobile Game

 

Now, these two examples I can tell you 100% for sure are reskins of the same code because its code I own a license to!

How cool is it that the code can be used in two games with such different themes?

Pretty awesome right?

If I wanted to go out and develop these games from scratch it might cost me $2,000-$3,000 but thanks to this whole reskinning apps thing I am able to get it done for a tiny fraction of that.

 

 

 

 

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I got my start with mobile development not long after I began developing software in mid 2011.  I guess like a lot of little boys in grown men’s bodies out there I couldn’t have been more excited to discover that I really could get paid to make video games and I could do it without having to learn how to code myself or open some big game studio.

If you’re anything like I was you’re probably under the impression that developing a game costs loads of money and requires some fancy programming degree or at the very least years of hands on experience.

The truth is however that neither of those are true.

For example, did you know that the team that developed Temple Run (yes the game that has made tens of MILLIONS of dollars) consisted of just three people, two of which were husband/wife?

Never in history has it been possible to risk so little to gain so much!

Let me explain exactly what’s so exciting about this entire mobile development opportunity we’re talking about.

Two to three years ago when I got started the industry was still very much brand new and if you wanted to make mobile games you could do it without spending a huge fortune but at the same time small games still required investments ranging from a few thousand all the way up to ten thousand dollars.

In fact, my first game cost me nearly $6,000 to create.

Fast forward to today and you can get your first games out the door for a fraction of that amount; in fact in many cases you can get entire games developed including graphics for under $1,000!

How is that even possible?

We’re going to talk about it A LOT more in future posts but for now you just need to learn two very important words; reskinning apps.

If you’re not sure what that means don’t panic, its actually just a fancy term for reusing existing source code to make new games.

You don’t need to worry with the details of this process for now (or really ever) but I’ll go into more detail in future posts for those that like to know the nitty gritty details.

 

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