I have a startup idea which I want to implement speedily this year. I have developed the concept fully. However, I want to engage a team of 5 students in working on the project. These students will work from their various universities. I want to know if there is a unique recruitment process I should take in ensuring that I get the best developers.
I would be grateful If you can point me to any document that can be sent to selected students so that they can fill and I would evaluate them by their response.
Also I want to know if these students should be rewarded with shares or I should pay them for work delivered.
The thing is, regardless of your own motives in this, many people will be biased by what they've seen before. And the 'hiring student programmers' idea is often brought up by people who desire an unfair deal, one which more mature programmers would never consider.
want to implement speedily this year.Then hire an experienced crew. Past experience in the exact same problem domain is the number one predictor of development success.
These students will work from their various universities.Working alone at 5 different locations brings loads of communication challenges and greatly increases overall project risk, especially for a shorter-term projects where the participants haven't worked together before.
point me to any document that can be sent to selected students so that they can fill and I would evaluate them by their response.There is no way to asses a programmers competence based on a questionnaire.
should be rewarded with shares or I should pay them for work delivered.I'd say your developers deserve a fair market salary plus a substantial options package. Be aware that taxation of options can matter a great deal, and with 5 potential locations that's 5 potential tax codes to consider.
You should pay them the market rate, especially if you want the brightest and best, as they'll likely have other offers.
I suspect that most good students these days know that their side projects and summer jobs are at least as important as their studies, when it comes to getting top jobs at the end of it. So, palming people off with the pseudo-kudos of working for nothing on a startup is unlikely to attract the best talent.
You might want to throw in, say 5% equity to each, but that should be a bonus, not the only compensation.
I have accepted a startup prototype development once. I told him I have no time, so he accepted two students who developed the prototype and me looking at what they are doing. He paid so less money, it was a pain. But the students wanted the job, and well, I know them for a time and then we accepted.
We made everything according to his templates. But finally he was unhappy, and we were too.
The amount of work compared to the money outcome was frustrating people. Yes, they knew it before. But when you experience it it is somehow different. The customer agreed with having a few bugs. And students said: cool, we don't need to test. And I said: f*ck, why do I need to deal with all the heated calls from my customer?!?
Then the customer said: wow, i want to go live, while we are speaking of a prototype. He said: i pay so much money (!) it needs to go live. We said no, but he didn't listen. Now students thought the customer is an idiot and he doesn't deserve their work. I mean, you can only think like that when you are a student.
Then the customer said: can't it be quicker? Its just two or three features! We said: no, because students must go the university too. The customer didn't understand and his expectation was they all work 40hours a week. In fact, it is good if a student does 10hours a week.
Finally the customer was making so much pressure, the students finally said: no seriously, we stop after the prototype. Go looking for somebody else. Guess who was the guy who told that the customer?
Now everybody was pissed. T
he customer didn't even pay the less money, even when he had a working prototype at works. He said, he does not have developers to develop this item anymore.
The students were pissed because the only got 25% of their $ expectation. Even 100% would have been less, but...
I was pissed because I had to improve code quality on many places. Sometimes code was real bullshit. I mean ok, students, they simply don't know everything. Maybe it is different when they come from an elite uni, but finally they are fresh and have no experience. i have lost 40 hours worktime, none of them paid. In addition I had all the heated calls leaving me awake for many hours.
My conclusion is, you can't have quick AND students. A students prio is the university, not your tool.
You can't have 100% code quality AND students. A student is fresh, he is even allowed to make mistakes.
A student will leave your project with a regret and without looking at your reputation.
Personally I will work with students again, but ONLY for internal projects which do not need speed. with oversight and patience such projects can have a good quality.
If you want 5 students who are the "best developers" I would think that there are many great universities such as MIT, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, IIT (Indian Institutes of Technology ) etc. where you could easily find all five on one campus.
Most schools have a placement office whose job it is to help students find jobs and internships both before and after they graduate. The placement office is a great resource for you and you should contact the placement offices at some universities that you consider turn out the best developers, tell them of the job opportunities you have and ask them to assist you in advertising the jobs at their universities and arranging interviews.
You should also speak with the head of the Computer Science department (which can be arranged for you by the placement office if you like) and explain to him or her the opportunities you have for students and ask them to recommend candidates. These professors will likely be quite familiar with who the best CS students are.
You mentioned in a comment that you already have one student programmer working on the project. I don't see why you can't leave the programmer evaluation and expanding the team to the person who is most qualified. As others mentioned, a questionnaire is of no use.