Why is it so hard to find a developer?

Can anyone point me to somewhere I can find a solid developer? I have been searching high and low and no success so far. Definitely doesn’t seem like a shortage of jobs, rather a shortage of qualified programmers. If I can find someone good I will pay a premium on the service :slight_smile:

EDIT: I posted the job here

I suppose with audio software most developers are already employed by a company or developing their own ideas.


Also it is a two fold thing: just like you seem frustrated to spend time sorting out the ones you didn’t find suitable, the experienced freelancer will spend a lot of time talking to clients with vague ideas and uncertain fundings. You need to show that you did your part to attract serious people and expose a bit detail about yourself.


@Xenakios Seems to be the case. I wish I had a passion for the programming side of things but front end development and marketing is my strong side. I would definitely make the pay worth it for a good dev.

@daniel Thanks, I agree. Even then I am still having a hard time even finding a freelancer to even reach-out to in the first place.

Did you post a rough outline here on the Jobs section of the board? Some people found their match there (like myself in the past).
But yes, they don’t grow on trees… I completely agree

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Well, if I understood correctly, you are at least not talking about an equity deal. Those are pretty much hopeless, you are almost certainly not going to find anyone that way, unless they are a family member or a close friend who are willing to share the financial risk with you.

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@daniel To be honest with you, I have not. Reason being I’d rather be low key about my ideas and only let them be known to the public when they come to life. Double edge sword I guess.

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@Xenakios Noooo, I have the cash. Id like to pay a flat fee. 1/2 up front 1/2 (or a variation of that) on delivery of final product. Not interested in equity deals.

Most developers will work to an hourly/daily rate. Working to a fixed sum is possible also, but as a developer I’d much rather give an estimate and then bill the client for hours worked.

My recommendation is to

  1. get your spec and designs as detailed as possible
  2. once you’ve found potential developer(s), show them your spec and ask them for an estimate (you might want them to sign an NDA beforehand)
  3. make sure your budget is at least double or triple the estimate.
  4. there is no such thing as a “final product” :slight_smile:

Great advice. Thank you! @adamski

Important point. You don’t want to get stuck with a code base you can’t fix/enhance while getting angry/frustrated/disappointed customer feedback.


It’s hard to find experienced freelance developers, because freelancing is quite risky compared to
full time employment, especially if one has a family to support.

There’s plenty of well paying jobs out there for experienced people, so you must compete with that market by either offering substantially better working conditions/pay or have an idea so brilliant that someone will give up a stable salary and stock options in a company to work for you.

From a developer’s perspective, working alone with a client can be tricky: people change their minds, people don’t know how much real work things take, they might want “a small little change” that changes everything or they can just say “Sorry, I’m broke” and disappear.

Adding to the “there is no such thing as a final product”, it might help to incorporate as a start-up, offer a good salary, some equity - the ‘illusion of safety’ and build your product.
If this seems like to much, then you want to build a project, not a product … and that might be less than attractive to many people.

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After looking at your ad and your stated goals (here and in the ad) I have a couple thoughts:

As it was mentioned re: the final product, this is especially pertinent to plugins. Selling a plugin is more of a continuing process than an “okay, we’re done! Next!” kind of thing. Our oldest products were originally written for VST2 and RTAS in OS9 for PPC and Windows 95. We’ve had to port them many times, for OSX, the PPC->Intel switch, AudioUnits, the 32->64 switch, VST3, AAX, and AUv3, never mind how C++ has changed since then, or the advent of HiDpi monitors. A plugin with a UI that uses bitmaps made in 2002 is the size of a postage stamp on a modern Retina screen. So, a product with longevity (i.e. a hope of paying off its initial investment) requires continual finessing. And it’s very difficult (which translates to “expensive”) for a new plugin dev to pick up someone else’s code, because there’s a lot of ways to skin this particular cat.

Next, there is a lot of stored knowledge for making cross-platform cross-format plugins. JUCE magically renders all the available formats assuming you have the SDKs, but there’s a ton of hidden shit that isn’t written down anywhere. Someone fresh out of school can probably make a plugin that’ll work in Live, but he or she also needs to own and be familiar with Cubase 9.5, ProTools 12, Bitwig Studio, and Logic at a bare minimum, and be capable of working in both Xcode 9 and Visual Studio 2017. Those five DAWs and two computers comprise a significant investment in both knowledge and money. I don’t even want to talk about FL Studio, DP, or iOS, or the huge amount of fun figuring out how to Eden-sign AAX plugins. The reason I bring this up is that you say you’re looking for a VST developer. At this stage in the game, releasing a VST2.4 only is essentially pointless. You won’t recoup your investment.

So, what you’re really looking for is a partner. If I actually had money on hand, I would look at buying one of the smaller companies. Some research on here and in KvR will turn up quite a few folks that have done the dirty work but are probably not seeing a return on their investment. (Usually because one-man shops suck at marketing. Hell, I suck at marketing and I’ve been doing this for 17 years. But quantity has a quality all its own.)

The reason I write all is that someone with the ability to make a multi-platform plugin soup to nuts from bare metal is a fairly valuable individual with a lot of knowledge equity, and you’re not likely to find what you need just with an ask.


Wow, I am sincerely blown away by the support and information I have received from this forum. I honestly can’t thank you guys enough for taking time out of your day to educate me of the technical hurdles. Like I said, I’m just the marketing / money guy looking to realize a vision. I have learned more from this thread in one day then the months I have spent trying to find answers on the web. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all.


I’m sure that this article about software developers, their hourly rates etc. could be useful for you - https://www.cleveroad.com/blog/software-development-costs
Good luck!

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