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How much should I pay for my project?!

Active Member
Matthew D Member Since: Jul 31, 2019
1 of 6

Hey all,

I'm pretty new here so bear with me please. I am trying to get some bids on an app I am developing and have no idea how much it's worth. I am looking for a developer who is proficient in Swift. The app is a medium sized walled garden educational app. It includes a forum, spendable in app "points", lessons, and quizzes. I have it pretty well designed and the features all hammered out, I just need someone to turn our ideas into a functional app. There isn't anything really ground breaking about the design of the app, so I don't imagine that it would be a huge undertaking. 

 

Thanks in advance for any help.

Active Member
Nestor V Member Since: Dec 22, 2015
2 of 6

Hi and welcome to our community. You are asking the toughest question possible. I can give you some clues as a person on the other side of the wall. In short it depends but I believe you want to get a better picture. Here are some factors:

1. Tech stack - try to check the average price of the Swift developers around. What is the expert expecting, as compared to the newbies. 

2. The length of the project - you can give all the details to the candidates and see what they have to say.

3. Possible pitfalls - there are things that just cannot be predicted at the first phase. I don't mean to scare you but, yes, sometimes things just happen. 

What you can do is if the scope is too big is to do something like a beta version. In fact even you may pay somebody (needless to say skilled enough) to prepare a small plan or proof of concept.

Bear in mind that some people (I am one of them) are reluctant to give 3 pages of detailed planning for free during the interview phase. 

Good luck!

Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
3 of 6

Let me give you an example of why this is difficult.  I have been developing software for 25 years and I have no idea what medium sized is.  I certainly have no idea what your idea of medium sized is.  I don't know what you mean by well designed and hammered out, I know what I mean but I bet it is not the same thing.

 

In almost all cases when a client thinks something is easy, it is hard, and almost invariably vice versa.  There is of course the perfect xkcd for the occasion: https://xkcd.com/1425/

 

I am interviewing with a client tonight that I think is taking the next step that you should consider which is to hire someone to look at what you have, tell how well it is hammered out, and how you should proceed going forward. 

Active Member
Matthew D Member Since: Jul 31, 2019
4 of 6

Thanks for the feedback! That cartoon gave me a chuckle. I guess I should try to be a little more specific with my questions. Here is a second attempt. The app is a walled garden that includes: a forum that users can post on, comment on posts, and reply to comments, spendable app "points" that users can use to buy certain forum upgrades and modify their avatars with, avatars, lessons that users can read through and then take quizzes on. That should cover the major features. I'm new to app development, but not totally ignorant when it comes to computer science and coding, so when I say that there isn't anything really ground breaking I mean that. It's basically stuff that has been out in the world for at least a decade. 

 

When I said pretty well hammered out I meant done and designed in adobe XD. Full functional prototypes. I obviously wasn't looking for a detailed quote about what it would cost. More just an idea for a starting point. How much should I pay someone to tell me how much my app is going to cost to build?

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 6

Matthew:

If this is my project, then I am posting a job on the main site, http://www.upwork.com, asking to talk to experts. I am specifically stating that I don't want to hire somebody to work on the project, but just to consult with me about how much something like this will cost, and how I should go about getting the project done.

 

I hire at least 4 or 5 people and talk to them for 10 to 20 minutes each.

 

I follow up and talk to 1 or 2 of them for a little longer, with more detailed questions.

 

At the end of this, I have a much expanded idea about what it will take to get the project done.

 

There is simply no way to get sufficient information by posting here in the Forum.

 

So the answer to your question about how much you should pay someone to help answer your questions is simple:


You pay their posted hourly rate.

 

And their hourly rates don't matter very much. Because you are talking to people for a short period of time. So whatever their hourly rate is, the overall amount of money you are going to pay at this stage - just to get advice and ask questions - is an insigificant amount of money when compared to the overall budget for the project.

 

Keep in mind that for this stage, as with most aspects of this project, you should NOT be relying on a single indivdual.

 

Given the scope of this project, you will really need a project manager if you want to succeed. The project manager can help keep the members of your team on task and evaluate their work. The project manager will help you decide which freelancers to continue working with, and which ones to STOP working with.

Community Guru
Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
6 of 6

Matthew D wrote:

Thanks for the feedback! That cartoon gave me a chuckle. I guess I should try to be a little more specific with my questions. Here is a second attempt. The app is a walled garden that includes: a forum that users can post on, comment on posts, and reply to comments, spendable app "points" that users can use to buy certain forum upgrades and modify their avatars with, avatars, lessons that users can read through and then take quizzes on. That should cover the major features. I'm new to app development, but not totally ignorant when it comes to computer science and coding, so when I say that there isn't anything really ground breaking I mean that. It's basically stuff that has been out in the world for at least a decade. 

 

When I said pretty well hammered out I meant done and designed in adobe XD. Full functional prototypes. I obviously wasn't looking for a detailed quote about what it would cost. More just an idea for a starting point. How much should I pay someone to tell me how much my app is going to cost to build?


Well you are a few steps past the average client I can tell you.  I would do, much as Preston said, and post a job.  I would pick a few of the candidates you like and talk to them and see what they want and need to make this estimate.  This is more to make sure they sound like someone you can work with professionally.  I would then have a few of them sign an NDA and let them review that.  

 

Some might see this as free work and maybe Preston is right you should hire them to do this but to me this is just the cost of doing business.  I am going to hazard to guess you are just looking for a  ballpark estiamte and that is what you should get is a ballpark estimate.  If you want really detailed analysis and a more precise estimate (and hey, even that is still an ESTIMATE) then you will likely have to pay someone.

 

If you only looking to hire a single freelancer then you do need someone who can manage their own project and will be able to communicate and show progress as you go along.

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