Putting together a small team

Hi,

I’m in the initial stages of assembling a small team of Bubble freelancers to help accelerate development on an existing large Bubble project. Before I hire anyone, though, I need help to understand what to expect from the Bubble freelancer community and to make sure that what I’m looking for is reasonable. I have 10+ years of experience working in traditional software development but I’m a relative newcomer to Bubble and no-code dev in general.

Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.

  1. My current team thinks we need a UI/UX designer, a UX assembler, and a dedicated developer. Are these usually separate jobs? If I were to hire someone exclusively for UX assembly I would expect to pay less than for a developer. Is that accurate in the Bubble world?

  2. What is a reasonable hourly rate for an experienced Bubble developer? We don’t need a US-based developer, just someone who produces quality work in a timely and reliable manner.

  3. Are there any red flags to be aware of when vetting Bubble developers?

  4. What experiences have you had (good and bad) working with Bubble freelancers?

Thanks in advance for any insights or stories you all have!

You don’t need it. Agencies will have one but generally speaking all developers can assemble UI, but not all UI assemblers can add logic. For some projects I’ll commission a website design from an external designer and then use that to build the UI in Bubble myself.

It really varies. Maybe $40 an hour for workers from lower income countries, going up to $150? I think most US developers shoot for $100-$120 but the rate varies wildly depending on skill, location and experience.

<$20 an hour without good reason, poor writing, little past work on their portfolio (past work doesn’t have to be for clients, it can be their own projects, but realistically, people put the best they can do on their portfolio, so you won’t get better than what you see on the portfolio).

I started doing freelancing in January so this is from freelancer perspective rather than buyer, but for freelancers (even more so than agencies):

  • be really clear about project scope and get it in writing
  • paying a deposit then the rest on completion is ideal (I do milestone billing and always do fixed rate rather than hourly)
  • being in a similar timezone isn’t really essential but helps for speed
  • meet over video call! If your prospective developer refuses then that’s a big red flag
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Hey Chris, I’ve been developing on bubble for over 5 years now so will try to help out with my two cents:

  1. I’m an experienced developer, but not the best UI/UX designer. Design and development are separate skills so there’s a good chance you’d need two people here. Good bubble developers will be able to recreate any designs they’re given, but may not be able to come up with a high quality one themselves. I’m not sure what a UX assembler is, it doesn’t sound like that would be necessary.

  2. Very hard thing to answer, and depends on a lot of factors such as how many hours you’re offering the contractor. I’d recommend not offering less than $40-$50 per hour. In my experience retaining good developers is harder than finding one, experienced devs are offered new roles and opportunities pretty frequently, so the compensation needs to reflect that.

  3. I’ve helped a few people hire devs, and the amount of blatant lying about experience/sites they’ve worked on is a huge problem. There’s no set way to learn Bubble so it’s very hard to assess whether someone is a good or bad dev without another developer assessing their work. I’ve found hiring the person who has decent experience and importantly seems the most honest is the best option, and then just giving them a go, there isn’t really another way to test.

  4. Expanding more on the above, people will undoubtedly send you portfolio sites that are simply templates they’ve downloaded from bubble, or that are test sites and not live with any users. if someone gives you a portfolio site I recommend actually trying to sign up etc and see if it’s not just actually a simple landing page. We’ve experienced some people overbill hours too, but again that’s hard to detect if you’re not a developer yourself and know how long things should take.

When you do find a good one though - you’ll be flying! Bubble being such a great all round tool kind of forces the developers to play a bigger, semi-advisory, part in an organisation. You kind of have to also learn some design, product management and other complimentary skills, so they’re a massive help not just in development, but also in other business areas.

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It’s great to hear that you’re assembling a team of Bubble freelancers to enhance your existing project. As someone with experience in traditional software development, exploring the world of Bubble and no-code development opens up exciting possibilities.

Roles and Separation: In the initial stages of your project, I highly recommend hiring a full-stack Bubble developer who possesses a comprehensive understanding of design, front-end and back-end development, testing, and how these elements seamlessly integrate using Bubble. By having a versatile developer, you can navigate various aspects of your project efficiently. As your project evolves and demands specialized expertise, you can consider bringing in specialists. My experience has revealed that some Bubble developers may claim expertise in UI, UX, QA, and engineering but fall short, potentially leading to project setbacks and the need to start over.

Compensation: I strongly advise considering a starting rate of $50 per hour and above. Opting for this range ensures not only a certain level of quality in design and development but also effective communication – a pivotal aspect of successful collaborations. Particularly if you’re at the initial stages, an hourly arrangement can be more flexible, allowing you to accommodate adjustments as you make progress on your project.

Vetting and Red Flags: During the process of evaluating Bubble developers, thorough examination of their portfolios and previous work is essential. Live projects with user feedback serve as concrete evidence of real-world experience and competence. Furthermore, requesting references and testimonials from past clients can offer valuable insights into the reliability and work quality of prospective freelancers. Be cautious of developers who lack tangible evidence of completed projects or display evasiveness when sharing their work. A crucial step in your vetting process should involve an initial video call with potential candidates.

Communication and Collaboration: Effective communication forms the bedrock of fruitful collaborations with Bubble freelancers. Prioritize selecting freelancers who exhibit responsiveness and proactivity in addressing any queries or concerns. Strong communication skills significantly contribute to the smooth and efficient progress of your project.

Project Management and Timezone Considerations: From the outset, discussing your project’s scope and milestones with the selected team establishes a clear roadmap for everyone involved. Leveraging project management tools such as Trello or Asana aids in streamlining tasks and maintaining alignment throughout the development process. Additionally, if you have a preference for freelancers in specific time zones, consider their availability and compatibility with your working hours to facilitate seamless coordination.

NDA and Intellectual Property: If your project involves proprietary information or sensitive data, implementing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is paramount in safeguarding your intellectual property. This legally binding contract ensures the protection of confidential information during the development journey.

Support and Ongoing Maintenance: It is imperative to clarify whether the freelancers you engage are open to providing post-project support and maintenance if needed. Access to dependable ongoing support is instrumental in addressing any unforeseen issues that may arise after project completion, ensuring the long-term success of your endeavor.

Additionally, I want to offer my expertise and support to you on this project. With over 20 years of experience in development and product management, coupled with more than 6 years of hands-on experience with Bubble, I believe my insights could be valuable in helping you make informed decisions throughout the development process. Please feel free to reach out if you would like to discuss your project further or if you have any questions. I am here to assist you in any way I can.

Hi Chris,

  1. For the roles you mentioned, a UI/UX designer, a UX assembler, and a dedicated developer can be separate jobs, especially in larger projects where specialization is beneficial.

  2. Hiring a dedicated UX assembler might cost less than a developer, as UX assembly typically involves arranging pre-existing elements rather than coding from scratch. And they are good especially at making designs responsive as they have a keen eye for details.

  3. A reasonable hourly rate for an experienced Bubble developer can vary based on location and experience, but generally, rates can range from $40 to $100+ per hour for quality work.

  4. When vetting Bubble developers, look for past experience and a solid portfolio, good communication skills, and references from previous clients.

  5. Some experiences with Bubble freelancers can be positive, with efficient and reliable work. However, others might have issues with communication or project management.

Hope this helps you, I have also sent you a DM as I’m interested in joining your team. Thanks!

Hi Chris,

I have experience working as a UX/UI designer and developing the design in Bubble.
Let me know if you need any help.

Thanks!

Hi Chris!

I would also be interested in helping and joining your team. I am a no-code developer with nearly a decade of frontend-focused engineering experience, as well as UX/UI design skills.

I do hope we can chat more - thank you!