Thomas Edison once said that “genius” is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. In the world of technology startups, that 99% involves a heck of a lot of coding and wireframing. If you’ve got an idea for a startup, that’s great — but odds are that an idea is all you have. (Well, maybe you have passion and some savings, too.) But you’ll need more than that to bring your idea to life — you’ll need a developer who can transform your vision into an elegant app or website.

If you’re just foraying into the land of entrepreneurship, you may wonder where the to even start looking for such a person. And even if you do find a developer, how will you know the extent of his talent and whether he’s a good fit for you?

From trolling your network to attending meetups, there are myriad ways to meet skilled developers. When you find one you like, you should have an informal meeting — you’ll be spending a lot of time with the person, so it’s good to get to know him on a more personal level. Plus, you can determine whether he’s equally excited about your vision. If you’re not jibing, let him go — there are other dev fish in the sea, and it’s not worth it to force the partnership. When you find a personality match, move into the formal interview. If all goes well there, you can confidently extend an offer.

Throughout the search, there’s plenty of room for missteps, and you might not know the right questions to ask. But there are some pro tips you can employ to make the dev hunt more efficient and successful. The folks at General Assembly have created this easy-to-follow flow chart as part of the curriculum for its “Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship” program. If you’re serious about your startup idea, this chart can help you navigate your dev search and find someone who’ll turn your napkin sketches into a reality. And if you have any personal experience hiring a dev, tell us about it in the comments below.




Image courtesy of iStockphoto, nullplus, Infographic courtesy of General Assembly

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Paul Baldwin is the chief marketing officer of Outfit7 Inc., a subsidiary of Out Fit 7 Ltd, the leading entertainment app developer. Paul has more than 17 years of experience developing, marketing and monetizing digital entertainment content.

Spend a few minutes browsing through both the Android and Apple app stores and it’s easy to see the fierce competition for user attention. The number of apps has grown to more than 1 million, each vying for downloads and market share.

The app development world is still very top-heavy, with a very small percentage of developers controlling the majority of downloads and revenue. But that in no way means that a newcomer can’t build a successful app that captures the hearts and minds of consumers, and becomes the next big thing.

Since the app stores themselves control which apps are elevated and highlighted, how can you ensure your app gets time in the spotlight and the attention it deserves? Here are six tips drawn from experience.

1. Focus on Product

The best way to get your app noticed is to build a unique and engaging product. Although that’s an article all on its own, let’s sum it up in a few key points.

Know your exact market and who you’re competing against. This will help you understand your target user — what he expects and likes and who else is offering apps to him.  

Great apps are also usually the first in their category, or apps that completely reinvent existing categories. A big sign that you have a great app is when you start seeing copycat apps. Embrace them and use them as motivation to continue.

Another element that great apps have in common is fun. You want to make your app something that users will come back to again and again, rather than a one-time, disposable thrill. Whether that means creating lovable characters or tapping into the human desire to compete, remember to deliver fun the first time and every time after.

Also, great apps are simple. No user guides should be necessary to participate, and there should be nothing to “figure out” from a user standpoint. They are intuitive and immediately easy to grasp.

Finally, the last big hallmark of a phenomenal app product is the ability for users to make the app personal through customization features. Today’s app audience is constantly wondering what’s in it for them. Allow them to make it theirs and they’ll more likely become instantly enamored.

2. Allow Users to Engage Others with Your App

These days, more developers are using social media as part of the app as a major key to its success. Your customers’ word-of-mouth multiplies your network a hundred times over without costing you a dime, so be sure to put mechanisms in place that allow users to talk about the app and share experiences with friends.

For example, if your app enables users to create fun videos, make sure they can share those videos with others. This type of direct experience sharing will go a long way in spreading the word about your app.  

Caveat: Don’t “over-viralize” your app with too many social features that don’t make sense.

3. Get Media and Blogger Attention: Make It Simple

Media attention and especially reviews of your app can really help to spread recognition. To get that kind of attention, though, you have to have a solid app to begin with, a great story around your app, and it absolutely must be easy to talk about.

The tendency is to come up with the most ingenious, compelling app, filled with loads of features but none that really stand out. This is called “feature creep” and usually spells disaster. Remember, the launch is just the beginning. Successful apps are always adding new content months after launch. If reporters and bloggers (and users for that matter) have a hard time explaining what your app is, what it does or why they like it, they’re less likely to talk about your app. Keep version one simple.

To make your app easier for media to cover, provide materials like press kits, beta codes (if necessary) and reviewer guides. It also helps to identify technology and pop culture trend stories that your app can fit into.

4. Continue Your Marketing Efforts

When your app launches, you’ll definitely want to have a marketing strategy in place to seize your launch window of opportunity, but it’s also important to continue marketing long after launch.

Many developers find pre-launch strategies helpful for grabbing attention. This includes creating a “coming soon” page that teases your app a bit, collecting emails for those interested in the first look, and even extending first invites to target publication audiences.

Make sure you exhaust every “co-marketing” opportunity out there with other app developers. Some major publishers will trade their app installs for your app installs. Everybody is in the same boat, in the same huge ocean of apps. You might be surprised to find that other developers are more than happy to participate in reciprocal marketing.

The important thing to remember is that app marketing windows are perpetual, meaning you should establish marketing vehicles that you can trigger at your discretion over long periods of time. That means plan, plan, plan.

5. Use Analytics 

When developing apps, you have all kinds of data at your fingertips to evaluate how your app is being received. Use analytics to monitor your ranking and as a marketing tool.

Become a student of the Android and iOS category rankings (e.g., entertainment vs. games). Each category has its own nuances for determining “top” rankings, so be sure to evaluate each one. Understand why the app moved up in the rankings in order to iterate and improve your own ranking over time. Additionally, if you have a good sense of what is moving the bar for your app, you can also learn from what the top developers are doing.

More importantly, in my opinion, is that you leverage the wealth of analytics available from your app to make your app better over time. Not only will the data help you iterate and improve your app from a technical standpoint, but it will also allow you to create the right content to which users connect. Once the app is live, analyze the data to update your release schedule and product roadmap.

You can also learn when your customers are willing to “rate your app” or be pitched another app in your portfolio. Analytics can shed light on how frequently you should attempt to cross-sale or suggest another item for purchase.

6. Prepare for Success

This tip may seem a little strange at first — who wouldn’t be thinking about success? But in reality, many apps start strong then fade and fizzle. Preparing for success is as much about your product as it is about the team behind it.

It’s crucial to structure your team in a way that supports hyper growth. It’s good to rely on a more fluid and dynamic network of expertise and project teams than a rigid structure.

Think of your app as a brand that will enable you to leverage brand extension opportunities. Build your apps to welcome future cross-promotion opportunities, rather than intrusions on the user experience.

The best way to prepare for app success is to constantly focus on keeping your users engaged. Give them more than just product updates once they’ve downloaded and become fans of your app. Give them instant fun, addictive experiences that they will want to share with friends.

Whatever your secret sauce is or has been, be sure to nurture it to keep your users wanting more — and deliver your app in a way that surpasses user expectations.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, svariophoto, Flickr, ItzaFineDay

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In a post on Facebook, developers explain what it took to make Timeline a reality. They explain ins and outs of the six month-long process, how they worked and changes made.

Check out the video above for a walk-through of the process.

“Timeline isn’t just a bold new look for Facebook­—it’s also the product of a remarkably ambitious engineering effort,” Ryan Mack, an infrastructure engineer, wrote in the post.

SEE ALSO: Why Facebook Uses MySQL for Timeline

1. The Timeline Menu Bar

As you scroll down your new Timeline, a floating menu bar will appear at the top of your screen. Use it to add new events.

Click here to view this gallery.

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It seems like only yesterday that the Windows Phone Marketplace hit 40,000 apps — actually, it was Nov. 17 — and now Microsoft’s mobile app store has just passed 50,000, according to All About Windows Phone.

Microsoft currently gives an official count of “more than 35,000″ apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace, a company spokesperson told Mashable. In the past, Microsoft has said that it doesn’t count extremely simple apps such as wallpapers or multiple versions (i.e. a paid game that also provides a “lite” version) as individual apps, which may explain the large discrepancy between the official number and the estimate.

In either case, it’s a fraction of the number of apps in Apple’s App Store or the Android Market (about 600,000 and 500,000 apps, respectively). However, even though the number isn’t large by app-store standards, the Windows Phone Marketplace is growing rapidly. The platform hit 50,000 apps sooner than all platforms except iOS, in just 14 months, the report notes. It took Android 19 months to reach that mark.

Microsoft’s app store passed the milestone sooner than the site predicted, and it’s seen a strong uptick in the number of apps submitted and approved in the past few weeks. The number of apps is growing at a rate of 265 items per day (see the graph below).

windows phone uptick

All About Windows Phone chalks up the platform’s growth spurt to the increased availability of Windows Phones (the number of countries recently went up from 16 to 35) and the highly anticipated release of Nokia’s Windows Phones, such as the Lumina 710 in the U.S. However, those events had been anticipated for a while, and it doesn’t fully explain the sudden interest from developers, which isn’t directly related to the spread of the platform.

It’s possible the release of the developer preview of Windows 8 may have been a factor. Since both Windows Phone and Windows 8 share the Metro user interface, more than a few Windows 8 developers who had never created apps in Metro may have been persuaded to give Windows Phone a try.

Even though the Windows Phone Marketplace is taking off, Microsoft faces many challenges before its mobile platform will seriously challenge Apple’s or Google’s. Charlie Kindel, the former general manager of Windows Phone’s developer experience, theorizes that Microsoft doesn’t curry favor among carriers and manufacturers the same way Apple and Android have, and the whole platform suffers, even though, as Kindel says, it provides a superior experience in many ways.

At least developers seem to be finally warming up to the platform. Are you a Windows Phone developer or customer? Why do you favor it? And if you’re not a fan, why not? Let us know in the comments.

[via TechCrunch]

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Brett Miller is the president of Custom Software by Preston (CSP). For more than 10 years, CSP has impressed clients with highly effective software solutions and teams of multi-talented software engineers.

It might seem obvious, but effectively communicating your project needs to software developers is more than just important. It could actually mean the difference between a project that achieves its objectives and one that does not.

Having an idea in mind and being able to discuss it intelligently isn’t always enough to efficiently communicate all the critical nuances and required details. I strongly recommend that clients produce a requirements document to facilitate agreement among stakeholders, and in turn, to communicate that information to members of the development team.

SEE ALSO: HOW TO: Hire a Designer or Developer

Below are some techniques and exercises that can be used to help you document the vision for your software project.  Chances are you’ll discover new details and potentials that you hadn’t even considered before.

The good news is that you can’t do this wrong.  The key to success is to take the time to thoroughly dig into your thoughts, identify vital details and pinpoint the scenarios you need to account for. Spending the time to be thorough at this juncture could end up saving many hours of development, which translates into fewer headaches and lower costs.

Let’s Get Started

  • List a few websites you like. Is it the aesthetics or the functionality? Is there something you do not like about any of the websites?
  • List a few competitors. What do you like and not like about their websites?
  • List three adjectives. Give the developer three adjectives to describe the look and feel of the user interface that you would like built — for example, sophisticated, modern and edgy.
  • Input and Output of the application: Identify the information that’s entered into the application, manually or automatically. Also identify the information that the application produces.

Existing Applications

  • Documentation: Wherever possible, gather all the documentation (development codes, executable app, notes, documentation, etc.) and have it available for the developer.
  • Process Detailing: Your developer will need access to a live account to better understanding existing software. Even if the process is currently handled manually, providing details (and examples) on the specifics will give your development team a solid point of reference.

Application Users

  • Planned System Users: Categorize them into types when needing certain application capabilities wherever possible.
  • Features Needed: Describe the major features you want.

Add details to the major features categories identified above:

  • Where is this feature accessed and how is it used?
  • What are the different scenarios of usage, and if this happens, then what else can occur)?
  • Who is the capability designed for?
  • Why do they need to be able to do this?
  • Is this capability optional, due to cost or some other factor?
  • What additional details can you add to the feature list?

    • Internal vs. External: Which project responsibilities will be handled internally instead of having a development team work on it? (examples: drafting requirements, writing verbiage, testing, hosting, marketing, graphic design, etc.)
    • Internal Staff Capabilities: How technical is your staff to use the advanced features of the application?
    • Defining Success: What defines success on this project — affordability, user friendliness, aesthetics, simplicity, information organization or some measured combination of those factors?

    Final Check

    Has everything of importance been identified, categorized and explored in your documentation?

    Seasoned software developers have been through this analysis process many times. Your efforts to produce as much of this information as possible in advance will aid their efforts to reach your project’s goals. Complete this documentation as thoroughly as possible and you will find yourself well on the road to project success.

    Image courtesy of iStockphoto, TommL

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    Brett Miller is the president of Custom Software by Preston (CSP). For more than 10 years, CSP has impressed clients with highly effective software solutions and teams of multi-talented software engineers.

    Remember the old 80/20 rule? The same applies to software development inquiries, as in 20% of sales inquiries result in 80% of new sales volume. The challenge is being able to identify which inquiries will be fruitful, and which will only cost you time and effort.

    Potential clients expect accurate estimates — clearly a reasonable request. For any developer, accurate estimates are a time consuming and challenging task because custom software development and technology are constantly changing, and it’s not the same as buying an off-the-shelf item.

    Even worse, many prospects decide not to move forward with their project at all (with any vendor). It’s not because the bidders did anything wrong, but because the client did not realize the full extent of the commitment required (usually defined by cost).

    I have spent 15 years of my career in software development, both as a freelance developer and as a business owner. That practical experience has taught me to quickly recognize which potential projects are going to move forward and which are just not worth pursuing. There are Seven Axioms I use to help identify the solid opportunities.

    1. Documented Requirements

    If the client took the time to write down what they want, it is a strong indicator that they are serious. Otherwise, you will need to do this for them. Then time and documentation flows back and forth until a project’s parameters are finalized.

    Rule: Lean toward clients who have taken the initiative in identifying and drafting their own software project requirements.

    2. Urgent Need

    This goes right to the heart of the matter. Is software development a logical next step in their growth or does it seem more whimsical/experimental in nature? For example, does the software project tie in to the launch of a new product without which, they might falter?

    Rule: Lean toward projects that have an immediate nature, where the client absolutely needs it done.

    3. Deal With the Decision Makers

    Many times decision makers send underlings to gather the initial project information and specifications. In my experience, information gathering usually results in little else. Decision makers are involved when projects are deemed critical.

    Rule: Lean toward projects where you work directly with the decision makers — the ones who steer the project and identify priorities.

    4. Budgeted Project

    Could anything be more critical than having realistic expectations about the cost of development? Many prospects may have misconceptions about cost, which is further exacerbated by vendors who shy away from early discussion on the subject. Sales professionals consider rough estimates to be an important applied mechanism of the trial close, potentially saving many hours of time and effort.

    Rule: Use rough estimates to measure a client’s continuing interest. You could say something like, “Based on these preliminary estimates, does it make sense for us to take the next step?”

    5. Process and Timeframe

    Questions about the bidding process and timeframe should be addressed up front to uncover internal processes (like board reviews) or external influences (like venture capital availability). If the process seems extensive or the time frame is not well-defined, there is good reason to question if the project will ever happen.

    Rule: Realize that the quality of your work and the accuracy of your estimate will not win the project if their timeframes or processes are inhibited by roadblocks. Lean toward projects that have appropriate funding, immediate need and the attention of decision makers.

    6. How do I Earn the Business?

    Asking about the client’s selection criteria make sense. If they haven’t already done so, they need to think about these things now and you need to know the rules of the game. Their processes and criteria may even play into the overall desirability of the project.

    Rule: Understanding what is required to get the job reveals a lot about what it might be like to have the job. Do you even want to work within the structure and environment the client creates?

    7. Show Me Some Money!

    Your time and expertise has value. It is not that unusual for a potential client to be looking for a free consultation, which may only be used internally (if at all). If possible, ask the client for a small amount to put together the initial requirements and specifications for the project. If they are willing to spend real hard cash on developing the specifications, they are really serious about the project (and you as a potential vendor).

    Rule: Initial project analysis, documentation drafting and identifying deliverables take considerable time and effort. Describe the process to the client and don’t be afraid to ask for payment for these services.

    Sophistication, Process and Specifics

    Legitimately qualified software development opportunities can be summarized in three words: sophistication, process and specifics. You need all three in your approach to the sales cycle and should expect all three in return.

    Sophistication is about the approach to the project, indicating that available information and outcomes have been given thorough consideration upfront. Process relates to both parties understanding the steps and effort it will take to achieve success. Specifics have to do with identifying and sharing the salient properties of all project parameters — before, during, and after the project.

    Approach every potential project with these factors in mind and you will know which ones are worthy of your attention, leading you down the path to a sale.

    Image courtesy of iStockphoto, peepo

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    Nearly two weeks after Tumblr requested that unofficial browser extension Missing e go offline, the useful utility is planning to make its way back to users.

    Missing e is an unofficial browser extension that adds functionality and enhanced features to Tumblr. The ability to reblog yourself, enhance the “Ask” feature and a host of dashboard tweaks are just some of the many features in the extension. Originally, the project started off as a few userscript enhancements, but over time, it evolved into an extension that was frequently updated and frequently developed.

    Missing e is one of the few extensions I have installed on every browser on my laptop and iMac. In fact, I like Missing e so much, I reached out to its developer Jeremy Cutler earlier this summer and asked if he would agree to be interviewed for a story on various Tumblr hacks.

    Just days before Cutler and I were scheduled to meet in person, Tumblr reached out and asked him to take the extension offline until some issues could be sorted out.

    On its face, it looked like Tumblr had problems with the way that Missing e was making some of its API calls, as well as questions about whether or not Missing e followed the guidelines set out in the Tumblr API License Agreement. After Cutler agreed to make changes so that the code was more efficient, as well as removing a feature that would hide the Tumblr Radar, it appeared that the bigger problem, at least from Cutler’s perspective, was the way that Missing e modifies the Tumblr Dashboard for its users. Cutler was left with the impression that without stripping away every feature that would make Missing e useful, he would be unable to satisfy Tumblr.

    When we met last week, Cutler opened up to Mashable about some of the technical, ethical and social challenges that have in essence, forced him to throw in the towel on Missing e.

    The loss of Missing e wasn’t something that the community took lightly. More than 2,500 users signed a petition to save Missing e and prominent members of the Tumblr community expressed their support for the extension.

    Still, Cutler wasn’t sure if he wanted to continue with the project. When we spoke to Cutler last week, the entire issue was still raw. As he wrote on his own Tumblr last week, “it’s hard not taking this personally.”

    Tumblr, it turns out, is most responsible for the change in fate for Missing e. You see, earlier this week, some new features made their way into the Tumblr Dashboard. These are features that bore striking resemblance to some of the preferences in Missing e

    As Cutler told us via email:

    “I had been working a little bit on the code when the mood struck, but when they began releasing features similar to those in Missing e, I have to admit that I got my back up. I am glad that they are trying to improve, whether or not they’ve taken their cues from me. Still, I think the way they’ve implemented these new features leaves a little to be desired. The new release will fix the tag wrapping problem and allow users to make automatic tag reblogging optional.”

    At this stage, Cutler is preparing to release a new version of Missing e. This version will not use the API in any way, which to Cutler, should clear him of any violation of the API License Agreement. One of the casualties of not using the API will mean that timestamps on posts in the Dashboard will not supported.

    Cutler is also going to remove the popular Follow Checker and Unfollower features from Missing e. As he puts it, “that amount of scraping really isn’t fair to Tumblr’s servers.” And while he expects to lose some users over this feature, he’ll also be getting rid of his biggest source of support queries.

    For its part, Tumblr has been quiet regarding the issue. After speaking with Cutler several times last week, the company hasn’t contacted the developer again since the incident received some press attention.

    Frankly, as disappointed as we have been that this entire situation has unfolded this way, we’re happy to see that Missing e is going to be back in action. Cutler, who is a software engineer in his day job, is the type of person most companies want as add-on developers.

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    Foursquare‘s Employee Number Three, Head of Server Engineering Harry Heymann, took to Reddit Thursday to answer questions about all things related to Foursquare and coding.

    Heymann opened himself up to a barrage of queries from Internet nerds who want details on everything from Foursquare’s homebrewed dev solutions to the worst thing about working at the company.

    Here’s the condensed highlights of the thread. You can go to Reddit to quiz Heymann on other topics — say, last fall’s epic bout of downtime and the post-mortem that involved an engineering all-nighter and a statement from MongoDB.

    What were some of the major technology decisions you made, both good ones and bad ones, which have had the largest impact on Foursquare’s growth?

    Harry Heymann: My four biggest technology decisions:

    1. Scala. Nearly our entire server codebase is written in Scala (if you haven’t heard of it, it’s a programming language that is basically what you would get if Java + ML had a baby). This has worked out super well. It enables us to write concise easy to deal with code that is typechecked at compile time. It’s also been a big help with recruiting.
    2. MongoDB. Nearly all of our backend storage is on MongoDB. This has also worked out pretty well. It’s enabled us to scale up faster/easier than if we had rolled our own solution on top of PostgreSQL (which we were using previously). There have been a few roadbumps along the way, but the team at 10gen has been a big help with thing.
    3. Amazon Web Services. Kind of a no-brainer: It’s the default hosting environment for startups these days. Mostly great. I wish the IO (disk) situation there was better.
    4. Lift. A web framework written in Scala. This one is the trickyest. Lift has a lot of cool features we really love but hasn’t seen super wide adoption and it has some rough edges. Still not certain how this will work out in the long run.

    What are the best and worst things about working for Foursquare?

    HH: Totally cheesy to say, but the best thing about working at Foursquare is the team. We really do have a great group of folks here that are very good at what they do and are all working incredibly hard to help the company succeed.

    The worst thing is that Foursquare has invaded my life 24-7. I never stop thinking about it ever. Not being able to turn that off sucks sometimes. Also the pressure to meet our potential is pretty big. Scary sometimes. Don’t want to screw it up.

    What kind of internal tools has Foursquare built?

    HH: Jason [Liszka] and Jorge [Ortiz] wrote a nifty query DSL that we open sourced a while back called Rogue.

    What is your favorite use of the Foursquare API by a third party developer?

    HH: 4squareand4yearsago!

    Having been involved since the beginning, do you feel there were any disadvantages to being based outside Silicon Valley?

    HH: No, not many disadvantages. We had everything we needed for the early stages of our company in NY. We’ve expanded to San Francisco to increase our capacity to bring on great engineers (of which there are many in the Bay Area), but that was only after we grew to a certain scale.

    Is it friendly rivalry between you and Gowalla, or more heated than that? I was just wondering.

    HH: I think having them around pushed us to build a much better product much faster. Competition keeps you on your toes.

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    Devs, if you participate in the hacker community and make significant contributions to open-source projects, startup Work for Pie has come up with a simple way to showcase your involvement.

    The WFP team has developed a score similar in ways to a Klout score. But these scores take into account things like your contributions to Hacker News, StackOverflow, Github, Bitbucket and other dev-centric communities. And if you do a lot of open-source development, all the better for your own score.

    On its website, WFP states it wants to “incentivize meaningful participation and contribution. Our scoring system does just that, and soon you’ll be able to see how you stack up against your friends and against the very best. It’s an indication of your participation and performance, but it’s also a challenge.”

    Of course, the startup recognizes there are many ways to measure hacker greatness, and these types of community involvement are just one way. The scores are weighted to favor involvement in and contribution to open source projects. Right now, WFP is gathering data from Github and Bitbucket and may consider adding other sites, too.

    SEE ALSO: HOW TO: Hire (or Be Hired as) a Team of Devs

    Some dev-centric community sites have built-in scoring mechanisms of their own, and WFP uses these scores in developing their own. For example, the algorithm takes into account a user’s StackOverflow reputation and Hacker News karma, although the latter site gets less weight overall.

    WFP scores range from 1 to 100. Currently, the highest score on the site is a 79.

    In addition to calculating and displaying a developer’s score, a WFP profile can also show off his or her code projects, language and framework skills, general bio, work experience, and more.

    WFP allows users to very simply enter usernames to grab publicly available data from the aforementioned developer sites. The profiles also link up nicely with existing social and personal accounts on Facebook and Google.

    The more complete a WFP profile is, the more it looks and behaves as an interactive coder’s resume and showcase. Here’s an example from a top-scored WFP user:

    The team will eventually allow users to customize profiles with their own colors, typefaces and background images with a WYSIWYG editor.

    In an email to Mashable, WFP co-founder Cliff McKinney writes, “Our immediate plans are to get the latest version of our profiles rolled out within the next two weeks and then to consider adding additional code repositories to our algorithm.”

    “Eventually, of course, we want to use what we’ve built to connect companies to awesome developers and vice versa, but we’re definitely focusing on making the portfolios awesome first.”

    Here’s a sneak peek at the next iteration of WFP profiles, which will also include a breakdown of the score for code, community and Q&A involvement:

    Work for Pie

    Work for Pie

    Work for Pie

    Work for Pie was part of Memphis-based incubator Seed Hatchery earlier this spring.

    Top image courtesy of iStockphoto user nullplus

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    Hacking for social good is more than just a hacktivist reaction to injustice. Many developers and designers are taking a proactive approach to affecting social change by making web apps that aim to improve individual lives and whole communities, too.

    At a recent event in San Francisco, about 100 hackers of all stripes gathered to do exactly that: work around the clock for 24 hours to create apps for social good. This resulted in 17 (still quite new) web and mobile applications with a slightly higher aim than that of your average consumer app.

    The hackathon, called Hack for Change, was sponsored by, and was intended to allow some of the smartest people in the Bay Area to create “any feature or app that does good.”

    Most of the apps are not yet launched, but you can click through on the links below for early access and sign-ups.

    SEE ALSO: Hacking for Good: Three Ways for Devs to Get Involved

    The winners of the day, all of whom received a small cash infusion to help continue building and launching their apps, were three stellar ideas from local devs.

    The first-place winner was Good Neighbor, which lets users get quick SMS messages when their neighbors “need a hand with quick tasks or errands.”

    Runners-up were FindMeAPet and AnonyMouse. The former is a simple SMS app that notifies users when new dogs arrive at nearby animal shelters. AnonyMouse’s goal is to help people looking for anonymous advice to find guidance and mentorship. Initially, the site will be geared toward closeted LGBT folks.

    Other apps built during the hackathon include:

    • AnonyMissing, an anonymous location-based app to report missing persons.
    • Corrupt, an app for tracking and reporting corruption in your area.
    • GoChipIn, which allows users to find volunteers for events they’re organizing.
    • GovContrib, a browser tool that helps users find information on government contributions to charities and lobbies.
    • IGotUGot, a food exchange for home gardeners.
    • PDB, which stands for “personal daily brief,” the kind current and former U.S. presidents receive. These briefs are tailored to each user’s locations and interests.
    • lets would-be activists share the word about boycotts.
    • Piece of Mind aims to create a Kickstarter-funded mosaic of stories from veterans.
    • Safehood lets users keep an eye on their neighborhoods through web and mobile interfaces.
    • ShoppingAdvisor shows users how their decisions as consumers might be affecting the rest of the world.
    • GreatDebate helps community leaders and activists get connected with policy and decision makers.
    • WhatsaboutmyCity is an app for identifying and fixing finite, local problems in a community.

    Hack for Change

    Image courtesy of Flickr, kshep

    Hack for Change

    Image courtesy of Flickr, kshep

    Hack for Change

    Image courtesy of Flickr, kshep

    Hack for Change

    Image courtesy of Flickr, kshep

    Hack for Change

    Image courtesy of Flickr, kshep

    Hack for Change

    Image courtesy of Flickr, kshep

    Hack for Change

    Image courtesy of Flickr, kshep

    Hack for Change

    Image courtesy of Flickr, kshep

    Hack for Change

    Image courtesy of Flickr, kshep

    Hack for Change

    Image courtesy of Flickr, kshep

    Hack for Change

    Image courtesy of Flickr, kshep

    Top image courtesy of Flickr, kshep

    Disclosure: Mashable is a media partner of Hack for Change.

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