As Seth Godin has famously noted, the purpose of entrepreneurship is to build something bigger than yourself, be it a product, company, or some paradigm-shifting innovation. Even compared to founding a startup, it’s particularly difficult to build something larger than yourself by just yourself. You need help. Steve Jobs without developers would have just been a raving lunatic, but with them he climbed to the top of the world. Here’s that help. Here are 9 platforms to find top tech talent.
I first learned about Crew through Unsplash, their separately branded side project that provides free high resolution stock photos with no strings attached. (I use Unsplash daily for my personal blog, Text Request, and others.) Crew is particularly interesting because it’s an invite-only community. That means every freelance developer or designer is handpicked by the staff for their ability to provide high quality work. Instead of individual professionals fighting over who has the lowest price to win a bid, Crew pairs you with top tech talent, selected specifically because they’ll do incredible work for your project.
Toptal prides itself on bringing you, the entrepreneur in need, the top 3% of freelance software development and web design talent in the world. When we talk about finding top tech talent, this is exactly what we’re talking about. Toptal is a favorite for many because of the great work they can gain access to. I’m a fan of it particularly for their content. It’s how content should be, and provides insight into each freelancer’s level of expertise.
Not to be confused with Content.ly’s The Freelancer (for writers), Freelancer let’s you post the job you need done (mobile app, website development, web design, or SEO marketing). Freelancers on the platform will then send you bids, and you can choose exactly who you want to work with. Over 9,000,000 projects have been posted to date.
Upwork is a place to find more than just developers. They boast that “1+million businesses use Upwork for top quality talent,” and they’re able to do so because of how broad their resources are. They’ve got web and mobile developers for you. They’ve also got designers, writers, customer support agents, sales and marketing experts, and even accountants available for freelance. What do you need to help your idea grow? You can probably find it here.
Guru is another platform with a vast offering, albeit a unique one. In addition to developer, writing, and marketing talent, as is common for many of these platforms, Guru also connects you with freelancers in legal and finance. “Web, Software, and IT” is clearly their largest (and possibly best) category, providing over 1 million services in that department.
Matchist wants to “bring your idea to life by helping you find developers quickly.” They take more of a collaborative, agency-like approach, learning about your ideas and goals before finding the right freelancers to help you turn them into reality. You submit your idea. The team reviews it with you, and then works their tails off to get it done. What makes them stand out is their almost minimalist process. It’s so simple.
Gun.io will “find you the world’s very best freelance developers.” They mean it, because they go out and handpick top tech talent for specific projects. You even get an Ambassador (account manager) who walks alongside you to ensure that your idea is being brought to life how you pictured it (maybe even better than you pictured it). They’ll help you build anything from SaaS to apps and everything in between.
Github is probably the most popular place to connect with developers. It’s an open source technology and software platform where you can derive valuable work from others on the site to use in your own projects and businesses. You can even build within the platform and keep it private if you want (though their goal is shared work). The catch is that this is a hub for developers. If you’re not already a developer – at least enough to know what’s going on where – it won’t help you much.
Dice is like a giant online job board for tech recruiting (both contract and permanent placement), with the claim that you can “access millions of skilled tech candidates without the unqualified clutter.” Entrepreneurs tend to want freelance help (because you usually only pay for results), and to be a bit shy of hiring someone full-time until there’s revenue coming in. Any entrepreneurial venture, though, is going to be a several-year project. It can easily be worth it to find someone to stick with you all the way through, maybe even as a partner.
There are plenty of places to find top tech talent for your great ideas, you just have to know where to look!