The Programmers Behind PublisherChallenge

February 12, 2009 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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After the successful launch of PublisherChallenge close to a week ago, a number of people have asked me who did the programming for PublisherChallenge.com and where I found them.

I ended up going with a company called Interberry.com after finding them on the well known outsourcing website Elance.com. I’ve used Elance and other outsourcing websites (such as ODesk.com and Guru.com) for many years now and therefore have a lot of experience with outsourcing.

You need to be careful when outsourcing work as every provider will always promise the world, but few actually deliver on their promises. Fortunately, Interberry has managed to satisfy my expectations… which is saying a lot as I am a perfectionist and can be very demanding.

Most outsourcing companies reside in the countries India, China, Russia, and Romania, but if you want, you can find programmers from the west in countries like the US or UK. The main difference is of course price. One US dollar can go a lot farther in poorer countries like Russia and Romania due to the cost of living. The truth though is that there are a lot of good programmers out there in countries like India that can provide high quality work.

Why I Like Interberry

No Complaints

As stated above, being a perfectionist and having a lot of experience with developing websites and outsourcing, I can be very demanding. Interberry impressed me in that not once did they complain or hesitate to do anything I requested. That’s saying a lot because I’d often send 2-3 e-mails per day with lists of new things to add or other changes and they wouldn’t complain at all, they’d just get it done.

Fast Turnaround Time

Another thing about Interberry is their fast turnaround time. While there are a lot of good programmers out there, if you can’t get what you need in a timely manner then what good are they, really? Especially when you have a deadline and need to get something live, being able to work with a company that you know can deliver with expediency is very helpful.

While we weren’t able to hit my launch date of Feb 1st, we came close and it’s not really their fault since I kept adding on more tasks and modifications.

What they did do, however, was put extra people on the team and even agreed to work on Saturdays in order to try to hit my deadline. Now that we’ve worked together for close to a month now, we’ve started to become a well-oiled machine and can now add in brand new features overnight.

Responsiveness & Availability

While available via phone, I mainly communicate with Interberry through Skype chat and e-mail. They’re available on Skype during their working hours for any quick changes or fixes I may need, and for anything really important I can contact the owner’s cell at any time.

Cost

I almost didn’t award the project to Interberry on Elance because their proposed bid seemed suspiciously low, and I know you usually get what you pay for. However, they had a perfect past project history rating and I read all of the past transaction feedbacks and couldn’t dismiss those facts.

They gave me what I wanted for the price they bid. While I’ve paid more since then, it’s only because I’ve added on additional features and improvements beyond the original project’s scope.

Miraculously, they offered to be paid 100% once the project finished… they didn’t even push to have me fund the escrow! I’ve never seen any company do this before, and I’m kind of surprised they did it to be honest. My assumption is since I had a history as a client on Elance they felt they could trust me. So, don’t expect to work under the same circumstances if you decide to hire them for a project, but I’m sure they’d still offer something great like 25% upfront payment.

Programming Quality

Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with the level of quality of programming from Interberry. The site’s programming should speak for itself at PublisherChallenge.com. The only thing negative I can say about them is that they can often miss small things, usually design issues. Then again, most programmers are like this, and they’ll fix anything I request.

For those wondering, Interberry didn’t design the site – I hired a freelancer for that and had it coded to HTML/CSS by another freelancer. I almost never outsource design work overseas as that’s one element that I believe the West is much better at (part of it is cultural differences).

One nice thing about Interberry is that they won’t complain and say they can’t do something or that it’s too hard, etc. They’ll find a way to do it, and if it’s not possible then they’ll provide you with a list of alternative options you can choose from.

My Team at Interberry

Interberry has a staff of 25 programmers, developers, designers, and managers, 6 of which were assigned as my team for PublisherChallenge. Currently, since the majority of the site is done, Subin and Soumya are my main programmers for any residual work, but if I ever need anything done quickly or for any large projects in the future I’ll probably have my whole team (or more!) working again.

I asked them to pose for this blog post, which they were glad to do. Standing left to right are: Jijo, Binoi, Subin, Nithin and Rajeev. Sitting left to right are: Soumya and Anoop (and Rajeev in the second photo).

Their positions are:

1. Binoi (Owner; Chief Executive)
2. Jijomon (Operation Manager)
3. Anoop Kumar (Developer involved in the initial stage of the project)
4. Nithin Scaria ( GUI Designer)
5. Subin Jose ( Lead Developer)
6. Rajeev C (Project Manager)
7. Soumya Cleatus (Developer)

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I asked them all to do a funny photo or do peace signs but they came up with something even better: my signature pointing pose!

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Who do you think did the best one? I’d have to go with Soumya since it most resembles mine, although Nithin would take second place I think.

Since they did such a good job I treated them all out to lunch last week, thanks to Binoi for taking care of that for me.

Need Programming Done? Try Interberry

While the main core of PublisherChallenge is done, I already have them adding new features and improvements, and am already considering hiring them to do work on some of my other sites as well.

I don’t know about you but with a few dozen sites in my network, I always have some sort of programming work that could be done on a website. I’ve posted before how The Programmer is the Rarest Commodity, so if you need programming work I have a good source for you.

You can find them of course at Interberry.com, e-mail them at quote@interberry.com, phone them at +1-646-217-4788 (during 9:30 am to 6:30 pm Indian Standard Time), or if you’re like me you’ll want to talk to them via Skype chat. Add cheb.iberry to your Skype contacts for that.

I don’t like revealing my sources when it comes to designers and programmers so consider this a gift :-)

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Posted: February 12th, 2009 under My Websites  

31 Responses to “The Programmers Behind PublisherChallenge”

  1. Cari says:

    Cool post. I have been following you for a while and have enjoyed your blog. The new site looks good and, if I was already signed up with ML & xy7, I would sign up under you. Sorry…

    Site looks good though. There is a lot of talent out there and these guys did a superb job. Congrats on the launch and hope it lives up to the hype! ;)

    Cari

  2. Brendan says:

    How much did that site set you back?

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      So far, including all the design and coding, close to $6,000.

      • Wow, that’s not a lot for a site like that… Nice.

        It’s a good thing you thought of telling us about those guys, because I was reading only negative things about overseas freelancers (on forum discussions) and decided I’d never award projects that way.

        But after your post I might consider Interberry when I need anything in the future. Thanks!

        Cheers,
        Alex

        • Keith says:

          It’s a good thing you thought of telling us about those guys, because I was reading only negative things about overseas freelancers (on forum discussions) and decided I’d never award projects that way.

          You might want to actually try outsourcing yourself before you let others influence your decision to “award projects”. Don’t be a sheep my friend.

  3. game-girl says:

    I was glad to learn about Interberry.com.,its staff and potential. The owner can be proud of such a strong and hardworking team.I hope all your projects will be a great success and all the plans will be realized in time.Your guys produce pleasant impression.their professionalism is seen.I think Soumya is the first.

  4. Muzi Mohale says:

    Haven’t used Elance for programming assignments as yet. However have used it for various logo designs and am a very happy buyer.

  5. Empress says:

    I love this post, it’s not often that we get to see the team behind the creation – very cool!!

  6. [...] his article where he wrote about the programming team that helped him with his latest project – Publisher Challenge.  I thought that was rather interesting to see the faces behind the company.  I don’t [...]

  7. John Brady says:

    Great post. Wonderful that you took the time to write such a thorough review of Interberry. I have used them for the last 2.5 years to build several sites and I have always been pleased with the results. I agree about their responsiveness and desire to work cooperatively. Thanks for giving them the credit they deserve!

  8. Tyler — thanks for sharing this. I’m with impressed with the work this team of programmers has done. I’ve gotten burned a couple times trying to outsource.

    Out of curiousity, what has been your worst experience with outsourcing programming work?

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Hmm… it was probably when hired a freelancer to program Replayer.org. The work started off pretty good, and I started to get excited as the project came along, then he stopped one day and I tried getting in contact with him. Long story short – at first he blamed it on being sick and having personal problems, but 3 months later he was still nowhere to be found and I had contacted him via a number of ways including numerous e-mails, IM’s, phone calls, and even tried tracking him down through his brother… to no avail.

      It’s really pretty hard to actually lose any significant money through outsourcing though, as long as you use project milestones and an escrow service.

  9. I’m not trying to be racist or anything like that, but I just wanted to mention that India has pretty much ALL of the world’s best programmers,designers,etc…pretty much anything related to the Internet.

    Every time I need some work done, I would have someone in India accept my VERY VERY lowballing rate (example: $10-30 for a flash header). I know the income there is a lot lower than USD and it sucks that I’m offering so low, but in this economy, India is the best place to find all your needs for Internet startups.

    Most of the time, I get all the work done perfectly without complaints either, but the most difficult part is understanding certain things you request. It takes a while, but it comes out perfect in the end and I can’t complain about the price for certain things.

    Could be why all the companies around me now are outsourcing phone calls to India for 24 hours service.

    -Mike

    • Paul B says:

      Whoosh! Was that a sweeping statement go flying by?

      There are good people and crap people all over the world. Check out Google’s development teams and you’ll see that the talent is fairly equally spread. If you want to talk about the best of the best then you’ll find a higher percentage of elite (programmers) in Eastern Europe/Russia but that’s just at the top end and way beyond what us mere mortals would ever need them for.

      What am I trying to say here? Oh yeah, never judge somebody’s talents on where they live.

    • I agree with you Mike, we have in india and abroad bunch of fine tuned programmers.

  10. Thanks for sharing such a good outsourcing company. I might try it for my future project.

  11. Funny Quotes says:

    Tyler,
    While visiting your site today in Google Chrome, I got a malware detection message.

    “The website at http://www.publisherchallenge.com contains elements from the site internetcountercheck.com, which appears to host malware – software that can hurt your computer or otherwise operate without your consent. Just visiting a site that contains malware can infect your computer.”

    You may want to get this fixed.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Thanks for the heads up, I’ll definitely have this checked and fixed by Monday.

      • Tyler Cruz says:

        My programmers just found the issue and fixed it. Somehow the index.php file was modified with an IFRAME at the very bottom of the file linking to several malware viruses and trojans.

        I apologize for this, and just sent out my server administration company to look into this further to see how this occured in the first place.

        Again, this has been fixed now, but if you notice it again please let me know!

  12. Muzi Mohale says:

    Indeed ‘Funny Quotes’ this also happened to me last night and I ignored it as i had visited the site earlier without any problem…am using firefox.

  13. Proud to see “INDIAN” rocks

  14. game-girl says:

    I think that the introduced men are good specialists,very talented and creative.Now I know the place and the company in the case of need.

  15. Robert says:

    Tyler! Nice to see that your projects seem to be successfull. In Germany we would say: Herzlichen Glückwunsch! (congratulations) :) I am following you and your projects for 2 years so far.
    My friend wo sells digital luggage scales (a niche geek) on the web also found his programmer from Hungary on elance. After having read your post, i might also consider to get a programming team on elance… let´s see :)

  16. Finding a good outsourcing company/person is not an easy task I have had some bad experiences in the past partly because I met some bad guys partly because we did not have a good understanding of each other. Still I think outsourcing is a good way of getting things done.

  17. Thanks Tyler. I will be getting in touch with these guys shortly to do some development work done.

  18. [...] that I used Interberry for my development work close to a year ago (February 12th in the post: The Programmers Behind PublisherChallenge), some of you may have never seen the post or have simply forgotten about [...]

  19. Sam Thompson says:

    Great! Long way to go…… Internerry.
    We have a lot to study from these experiences being a startup!

PeerFly

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