Why is it so insanely difficult to find good developers on xenforo.com ?

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Alfa1

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I have contact with a large number of Xenforo administrators/webmasters and there is one common theme that constantly comes up: how to find trustworthy quality developers.

There are always a ton of projects that admins need to have developed, but projects fail rather than succeed because there are just very few quality developers around that can also be trusted.

The quality developers that are there are fully booked. I have several working on my projects. Most of them I know from vbulletin.
I try out new developers regularly but that mostly fails. The developer often does not deliver, becomes unresponsive or is not able to deliver. Before or after getting paid. There are a lot of hobby coders around that offer code quality that you simply should not run on your site. Especially not on a medium/big board.

It's not a matter of not being willing to pay a reasonable rate. If you need quality then it's extremely unlikely that a developer with a low ball rate is going to deliver that.

I wonder if the xenforo platform is just too unknown with developers, or if its a mater of the bad reputation that the platform has when it comes to difficult and untrustworthy clientele? I know many developers get burned just as often as customers do.

What do you think?
 

doubt

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I wonder if the xenforo platform is just too unknown with developers,
Currently the base is reliable but lacking features.
Why should a developer spend time to deliver quality code to it?
For money.
Money could be made on it only on the long run.
Why should they risk to deliver reliable code to it when the base's future is unknown?
 

GTB

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I wonder if the xenforo platform is just too unknown with developers
I think some moved on because they wasn't making enough money from it. One or two switched to other forum platforms like IPS where they felt more money could be made, some others just fell by the waste-side over time. They're all in it for the money and if not paying what they want out it, then it's gonna happen over time.
 

eva2000

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I wonder if the xenforo platform is just too unknown with developers, or if its a mater of the bad reputation that the platform has when it comes to difficult and untrustworthy clientele? I know many developers get burned just as often as customers do.

What do you think?
Not sure how paid Xenforo developers work, but I assume the cost component would consist of actual work on coding + the cost to provide support for the code. Where time is money, the good reputable Xenforo developers would also be charging considerable amount of the 'cost to provide support' segment - especially for more extensive features coded for. So the good reputable XF devs are just all booked up with their time paid for appropriately.

Then that leaves the rest of XF devs who do not value and/or charge that much for their time for 'support' segment of their services (in context of larger extensive feature code). Maybe it's just those remaining XF devs are new to the consulting/paid work biz so do not understand how much of their time can be consumed with the support side of their code. Thus, do not charge for their time 'support' appropriately so support and motivation to continue answering a client's questions and technical issues are neglected.
 

Steve

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Currently the base is reliable but lacking features.
Why should a developer spend time to deliver quality code to it?
For money.
Money could be made on it only on the long run.
Why should they risk to deliver reliable code to it when the base's future is unknown?
IF there is a demand for something that isn't in the core software why would anyone capable of doing the work not want to make some money?

I'm not sure why we don't see more developers on XF. The ones that have left I don't think left because of the state XenForo is in today, maybe in the dark days a couple left for that reason.

Anyone that says there is no money to be made are just not making themselves available. I can definitely say there is money to be made (not just a little bit either). :)
 

we_are_borg

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I have contact with a large number of Xenforo administrators/webmasters and there is one common theme that constantly comes up: how to find trustworthy quality developers.

There are always a ton of projects that admins need to have developed, but projects fail rather than succeed because there are just very few quality developers around that can also be trusted.

The quality developers that are there are fully booked. I have several working on my projects. Most of them I know from vbulletin.
I try out new developers regularly but that mostly fails. The developer often does not deliver, becomes unresponsive or is not able to deliver. Before or after getting paid. There are a lot of hobby coders around that offer code quality that you simply should not run on your site. Especially not on a medium/big board.

It's not a matter of not being willing to pay a reasonable rate. If you need quality then it's extremely unlikely that a developer with a low ball rate is going to deliver that.

I wonder if the xenforo platform is just too unknown with developers, or if its a mater of the bad reputation that the platform has when it comes to difficult and untrustworthy clientele? I know many developers get burned just as often as customers do.

What do you think?
The first problem that you have is trust, you need to trust your developer if that connection is not there you cant use that developer. Second is how to fund your project and then safely payout to your developer with out the risk he never shows again etc etc.

I would say that Xenforo is to blame in this case developers need to get feed back and customers to that is not provided in such way that its impartial if you complain a lot then feedback can be deleted or if you do not give top marks etc etc. But the customer needs to get reviewed to how well was the information provided what was expected etc etc. If i could afford custom development i only trust a few people in the Xenforo community.

I have thought about setting up an escrow service especially for websites with feedback system but the rules and cost are an issue. I have thought it out (nothing on paper yet) how it should work.
 

BrandonSheley

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If you need quality then it's extremely unlikely that a developer with a low ball rate is going to deliver that.
quality, time, price

pick 2.

I
I wonder if the xenforo platform is just too unknown with developers, or if its a mater of the bad reputation that the platform has when it comes to difficult and untrustworthy clientele?
If anything I say that the money is in the numbers. You can find wordpress or vbulletin devs out there because those have both been around decades and well documented how to's all over the web. Even though many of us who have been around forums for years and know about xenforo inside and out, the vast majority of the world has no clue with xf is short for.

I've never had an issue finding developers for any php framework. Maybe you're trying to drill down to much to the perfect person rather then finding a php and database pro and allowing them to learn how xenforo work?

Also maybe it's the places you're looking? I wouldn't just post a thread on xf.com or check out the category for services, there are loads of freelance sites on the web. Google will show you, sign up for the top 2 or 3 and look there are well.

If all else, hit me up and maybe I can suggest a few people I've worked with in the past or at least send a few suggestions.
 
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sgray

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Personally, the lack of formatted, official developer documentation significantly increases the cost of working with Xenforo code. Developers are expected to rely on (potentially outdated) forum threads, source code hide and seek, or using third party comment parsing to find available hooks. While other major CMS like Wordpress and Drupal provide detailed information available in human-friendly displays from official web pages. I wouldn't ask being handheld through my own projects, just would help to have more transparency from my toolbox.

So tl;dr, I love Xenforo as a CMS, but I wouldn't exactly call it friendly to outside development because of the attitude regarding documentation. If you find a good, committed developer willing to work with Xenforo, be prepared to invest in their continued availability.
 

Digital Doctor

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Personally, the lack of formatted, official developer documentation significantly increases the cost of working with Xenforo code.
Great point.
Add - you have to manages the finances yourself (you collect payments and deal with paypal).
Add - Xenforo is still a small market.
Add - Addon warez is super high.
Add - prolonged time to release XF 2.0
Add - ongoing updates required.
Add - people expect alot of support.

== Hassle.
 

Alfa1

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Digital Doctor this is not relevant, because we are not talking about releasing addons to the public. Its about private development.

Why should they risk to deliver reliable code to it when the base's future is unknown?
Because developers get paid per project according to the rate they and their customers find reasonable?

Not sure how paid Xenforo developers work, but I assume the cost component would consist of actual work on coding + the cost to provide support for the code.
It generally works like this: I write up a functional design. The developer will estimate or calculate the number of development hours needed and total cost. In some cases the project is a set price. In other cases there is room for some deviation (in case a project takes more time than estimated)
I pay after delivery of a working product. If any bugs are found then these are fixed by the developer.
If I need more features, this generally requires more work and therefore new payment.

The first problem that you have is trust, you need to trust your developer if that connection is not there you cant use that developer.
Trust needs to be built. This is indeed an issue because I have been burned too many times. But it works the other way around as well. Developers also need to have trust that they will get paid. In my case that is probably a little easier because I have been part of the admin scene for 15 years now so developers know its highly unlikely that I will not pay out.
But even if I pay after delivery, then it can happen that the developer needs to fix things not noticed at first and becomes unresponsive. This recently happened.

Personally, the lack of formatted, official developer documentation significantly increases the cost of working with Xenforo code.
Yes, this is true. A senior developer friend of mine that worked with me on vb projects for years recently started developing private XF addons for me and had to dive into documentation. The time he had to invest surely could have been reduced with better documentation.
 

GTB

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Great point.
Add - you have to manages the finances yourself (you collect payments and deal with paypal).
Add - Xenforo is still a small market.
Add - Addon warez is super high.
Add - prolonged time to release XF 2.0

Add - ongoing updates required.
Add - people expect alot of support.

== Hassle.
I think that is causing problems for XenForo
 

49er

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Wasn't this the same issue with Vb before XF came along ..
 

Dadparvar

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IMO different things can cause this problem:
  • XF is still small market. (for example, when a dev can spend 1 hour to develop a WP plugin and get lots of money, why he should spend more time and get less money by developing XF add-on that at most it has 100.000 users and in best situation, 200 of them purchase the add-on?)
  • There is not enough documentation for XF yet (so that new devs come from other platforms to XF faster)
  • XFRM is not yet a good system to manage add-ons. it lacks lots of must have features so that devs be able to easily submit their add-ons to even sell it right in XF and have dedicated support forum (like what we see in wordpress's Directory for each plugin. XFRM needs a smart feature to handle it as it must)
  • Some XF's staffs behaves personally in some cases and unprofessional in some other cases (I experiences sometimes) and it lacks sometimes, a professional behavior from staffs about developers for XF.
  • Customers of XF's add-ons (either public add-ons, or those who ask for custom work) most of the times behave in low level (they don't pay, they pay lower than what they must, they ask a big work but wants to pay a little, they ... the developer when they find a bug, and ...)
these are just a few reasons. There are some other things too. But if these things be solved, I feel we will see lots of great developers for XF soon after that.
 

Digital Phoenix

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Some XF's staffs behaves personally in some cases and unprofessional in some other cases (I experiences sometimes) and it lacks sometimes, a professional behavior from staffs about developers for XF.
Complete and utter rubbish, xf staff have no need or reason to interfere with private development.
Unless you can back up that statement with evidence you should probably remove it.
 

Dadparvar

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Complete and utter rubbish
I love the way you talk. People should learn from you.

Unless you can back up that statement with evidence you should probably remove it.
There are different evidences for it and a few pro devs that I know them and now spend less time on XF also accept it:
  • When you report a user, or an abuse, or even a nuller, it takes a very long time until they react. You should bring God down to be your witness until they accept a clear fact! (please don't come and say "its normal and ..." as my main job is about law and know it very well how well and strong evidences should be so that a person accepts the fact) Of course I should also say that there are also Professional Staff members (You may know what I mean now!)
  • About Users Reviews in XFRM, staffs don't react as they must. You see a very professional Developer submit a paid resource. Then a customer comes and give it a 1 star! and when you read his review you see: "it had problem with my custom style and developer didn't fix it" and when you check his site you see his style is rubbish and he has +100 add-ons too and what he in fact asked is a really custom request not a bug indeed! (this is just a simple example to show what I mean. But you and others may know what in fact I mean and which kind of review I'm referring to, that staffs never delete them.)
  • (I'm not going to waste my time and give real examples with links and screenshots, as its totally clear and the staff who invited me to this thread "I think" knows exactly which experiences I mean) Also don't forget it => "I said Staffs of XF so that I don't name him or them. But I know most of them are professional."
with this in mind, adding a few more features to XFRM and also just a little changes in rules can makes the Community a lot better place than before.
you should probably remove it.
If staffs here disagree with what I said, I ask them to both remove my posts and my account from here ;)
 

Lisa

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If staffs here disagree with what I said, I ask them to both remove my posts and my account from here ;)
Not staff, but I don't think asking the staff to remove your post if they disagree with you is the way to prove/disprove your words. The whole point of a thread is to discuss differing views, and if the staff removed every post they disagreed with, there'd probably be a lot less posts on TAZ than there are lol
 

Dadparvar

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Not staff, but I don't think asking the staff to remove your post if they disagree with you is the way to prove/disprove your words. The whole point of a thread is to discuss differing views, and if the staff removed every post they disagreed with, there'd probably be a lot less posts on TAZ than there are lol
Yeah you are right :tup:
 

Digital Phoenix

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I love the way you talk. People should learn from you.


There are different evidences for it and a few pro devs that I know them and now spend less time on XF also accept it:
  • When you report a user, or an abuse, or even a nuller, it takes a very long time until they react. You should bring God down to be your witness until they accept a clear fact! (please don't come and say "its normal and ..." as my main job is about law and know it very well how well and strong evidences should be so that a person accepts the fact) Of course I should also say that there are also Professional Staff members (You may know what I mean now!)
  • About Users Reviews in XFRM, staffs don't react as they must. You see a very professional Developer submit a paid resource. Then a customer comes and give it a 1 star! and when you read his review you see: "it had problem with my custom style and developer didn't fix it" and when you check his site you see his style is rubbish and he has +100 add-ons too and what he in fact asked is a really custom request not a bug indeed! (this is just a simple example to show what I mean. But you and others may know what in fact I mean and which kind of review I'm referring to, that staffs never delete them.)
  • (I'm not going to waste my time and give real examples with links and screenshots, as its totally clear and the staff who invited me to this thread "I think" knows exactly which experiences I mean) Also don't forget it => "I said Staffs of XF so that I don't name him or them. But I know most of them are professional."
with this in mind, adding a few more features to XFRM and also just a little changes in rules can makes the Community a lot better place than before.

If staffs here disagree with what I said, I ask them to both remove my posts and my account from here ;)
This thread is about custom development not, free or paid addons.
As I said, the staff have no say in custom development so don't interfere.
 

Xon

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So tl;dr, I love Xenforo as a CMS, but I wouldn't exactly call it friendly to outside development because of the attitude regarding documentation.
Personally, I'ld say XenForo is borderline hostile to outside development.

While some development UI aspects are documented (in the forums), nearly anything internally is utterly lacking on documentation and can quickly explode the scope for what you think should be a simple change.

And XenForo effectively outright demands you embrace the internals with the class proxy system which allows dynamic extending of internal classes to achieve more complex integration tasks.

It is a massively flexible system, and reasonably well designed all things considered; but that comes at the cost of complexity. And a massive front-loading of complexity when learning XF-as-a-framework.
 
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sbjsbj

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Why? Cause there aren't enough developers around. That's why.

Honestly, forum-usage is declining so much. All of the forums I used to visit for over 10 years are declining. All of them. And while XenForo is a promising platform (best forum software imo), even XF usage is declining.

The activity on XenForo forum declined so much. I wasn't around in the beginning but I was there when 1.2 was introduced (which is the core of all the upcoming releases) and it is not nearly as active as it was back then. I don't have any numbers to back me up, maybe the statistics say a different thing, but I am pretty sure that the activity on XenForo declined much. I can give you one example.

To learn coding for XF (and in general) I spent 3 weeks to read ~2000 threads in the developer discussions section which has about 3800 threads in total. The place of/for developers. Back in the day the activity in that section was so much big. I have seen so many devs from that time which are not around anymore. The help, the discussions was so much better cause the activity was bigger. Now when I look at that section, not much is going on. Only Chris is helping around sometimes, other than that here and there some other devs help out but in general that section is dead. So from that section you can see the declining. There are not enough devs around. (And I agree totally, that the lack of documentation is a big reason).

The pool got smaller.

In addition to that since the announcement of XF 2.0, all the devs backed up a bit in my opinion. Well it is almost 2 years now since XF declared that there will be a 2.0 soon. I think this delay of 2 years also hurt the community so much. Cause obviously nobody wants to invest time in big projects, when you know that a total rewrite will be needed, so a lot of money will be lost. So everybody kept waiting, and waiting, and now 2 years after we still wait for the 2.0. Probably a gold release will be in summer 17 or at the end of the year. So 3 years since the announcement roughly.

That also made the pool smaller, cause the customers wanted to wait. And while waiting, many devs left the scene cause there is not much going on.

Now, when 2.0 will be released. I think the pool of devs will get bigger again, cause the activity will be much more in general. And cause it is new, there will be more opportunities to earn money, cause everything will need a rewrite.

But my biggest concern is, that XF 2.0 will be a copy of 1.5 with new coding structure obviously.
So for a while the activity will be more again but pretty soon the decline will begin cause everybody will realise that it is a remake.
Look at the new Ghostbusters movie. Hollywood does a lot of remakes, and it isn't what people want/like. Or look at the new iPhones they bring out every year. Or look at the new Windows system. When they bring out something, and when it is a copycat, a remake of a previous thing, that is a big let-down. And I fear that this will be the case for 2.0. And if this happens, that will hurt the community and devs pool so much.
 
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