College Interns v/s Professional Developers?


We are currently facing a dilemma as to whether should we hire interns from colleges (as their summer vacations are about to start) or should we approach some professional guys to build our website?

Actually, our business targets youth & so we wanted the website to be built "by the youth". The professional guys will charge around 400,000 Indian Rupees (approx. $8000). Money is a concern for us, but we don't want to go for an incubator at this stage.

We have a doubt that if we go for college guys hiring them as interns then will they be able to provide us with a professional kind of website? What we think is that first we need a working prototype on the basis of which we can get clients to get the stuff going and later give the website a professional boost when we bootstrap.

Our website will be encountering a lot of public user interaction.

Please clear our dilemma. Thanks in advance!


Hiring Incubators Interns Website College

asked May 20 '12 at 04:50
Addi Xn
23 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

1 Answer


I'm assuming that you're looking for a professional website, not something that a nontechnical person could easily slap together on a site like Weebly.

If that is indeed the case, then I think the main problem that you are going to encounter is just the lack of real-world experience when hiring interns.

Most interns need mentoring. The goal of an internship is to work hands-on with other professionals in the same field so that those same professionals can share knowledge with those interns to help them prepare for a real-world job.

Even fresh-out-of-college workers need guidance and mentorship by senior developers.

It sounds like your organization is not one that works in the field of technology at all. Therefore, it seems very unlikely to me that there would be anyone around to guide the interns, should there be a problem. In fact, it's also quite unlikely that the individuals in your organization know how to run a software project.

If you do want to include some interns to work on such a project, you're going to need to hire, at a minimum, at least one really experienced Web developer with a track record of successfully delivering and successfully leading a team.

Building a real, professional website involves lots of skill and knowledge of several different components.

Additionally, there is also more to building a website than just development. You'll need people with skills in the following areas:

  • Website design
  • Image cutting
  • Content Writing
  • Knowledge of what makes a website faster. (Google Pagespeed, Webmaster Tools)
  • Marketing experience

Of course, if you're okay with using a cookie cutter Web template on or any other number of low-cost websites, then that is something that anyone should be able to do, including interns.

Just to help you understand what I'm basing this answer on, my experience on this topic is based on working in the industry as a project manager and as a Web developer, working with both US-based and India-based software engineers, developers, marketers, and designers. Not only have I mentored new developers first-hand, but I've also experienced being new and learning from more experienced people myself. Had I started freelancing after college -- or working a job with no other engineers -- instead of joining a company, I would not be at the same experience level that I am today.

answered May 20 '12 at 06:53
James Mortensen
363 points
  • Wow. That is a terrific answer. It covers almost all the points that I had in mind plus more. Very articulate! – Saurabhj 11 years ago
  • You're welcome! I'm happy to help. – James Mortensen 11 years ago

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