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

pierce

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The entry level to code for xenforo isn't that high.

It takes a few key points which I guess I got from my degree which had more Java than anything else.

It took a few hours following kiers video on a test site to get started.

From there my own code base has grown.

I appreciate somebody starting at 0 knowledge wouldn't pick it up as fast, know that it is an MVC, on Oo using Zend fw.

Hmm, I dunno why it is so hard. I guess you have people wanting crazy mods and devs who want $30+ an hour.

A coder needs a plan, much like a builder needs a plan for a house. But the owner doesn't have the skill to create those plans. Or even articulate what they want.

Of course the coder has to be a multi skilled individual, from creating those plans, design and implementation.

To be honest the stuff I code for myself I'd like to release but it is hacked together in parts to speed up development(don't read as insecure or crap, think of it like an API key or other thrown in rather than defined somewhere in the admincp). Which makes it non reusable.

But then we hear all the time that people can't get jobs, we have site owners who can't get coders.
 

Isil`Zha

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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.
I help run the forums with Xon1 and, well...

ai.imgur.com_MxtZ6Z1.png

Consistently increasing active user base over a 2 year span. Xon started making add-ons to fill our needs. Our needs continue to grow, and he's overloaded at this point.
 

sbjsbj

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Consistently increasing active user base over a 2 year span. Xon started making add-ons to fill our needs. Our needs continue to grow, and he's overloaded at this point.
When was your forum founded? 2014?
 

Alfa1

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My forum was founded 14 years ago and in recent years has increased from 1 million monthly readers to 4 million per month. So I don't see the forum usage in decline at all. People are using the internet more and more and forum use thereby increases. Many eat, sleep and wake with the internet. There is a lot more competitions from forums like reddit, stackexchange and facebook groups nowadays.
But there still is more than enough room for sites to grow and developers to support that. The concept of a stock forum software is just not up to the task of fulfilling expectations of internet users. Its exactly the change in the way the internet is used and the contemporary needs that community users have, that requires developers. A platform like XenForo is an excellent foundation to build upon.
 

sbjsbj

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Good for you.
I used to be the highest mod of a forum with 5 million registered users (not bots), with over 10 million traffic. It declined so much. Other websites I visit a lot had the same destiny.
And by the way, the traffic of readers increased, yes, but this is a bit cheating and misinformation.
Cause even though the amount of readers increased, due to globally internet connections were made available everywhere in the last 10 years, creating content (posting) didn't increase proportionally to that, it declined.
Everybody is commenting on youtube, facebook, twitter, reddit or other platforms. But when it comes to forums, people don't post anymore. They don't upload their pictures anymore or care for their signatures.
Maybe all of this is not happening to you, maybe my observations are wrong, but I am pretty damn sure that the usage of forums declined globally drastically.
If your forums are skyrocketing, good for you.

So while I totally agree with you that the usage of internet has increased more and more and there is enough room for sites to grow, I don't think that overall the usage of forums increases. Sure, if you happen to have a big board and it is successfull, sure, you'll gain more naturally. But these are the exceptions.
On reddit for example I can find a single thread within 10 seconds which has more comments than this forum creates in 1 day. I could actually apply this almost to any forum I know of.
(Btw, is it ok for you to send me in private your forum link? I'd like to see by first hand the activity on your forum, if this is not a secret or something.)

And I agree, that the concept of a stock forum (until yet) is just not up to the task of fulfilling expectations. And that is why developers are needed. Totally agree with you.

But on the other hand, the bigger problem is that the software creators (XF, VB, IPB, etc.) must come up with innovations to be able to compete in the market. And this is what I think all of them are failing to do. I wrote many times the same thing, I write it again.

The only reason why people use forums is, that it is interactive information exchange. On Wiki you can go find information, but you have nobody to help you out. On social media you have chit-chat. But on forums (now in some degree on reddit, stackexchange) you can contain information AND have interacting.
So forum softwares must focus on delivering in a good way information. But how it is now, it is almost impossible to find something you are looking for. All stuff is burried in old threads deeply. Search system is godawful, it never gives you what you are looking for.

Now back to topic. The biggest addon owners were Brivium and Waindigo. One got banned, the other left the scene. Also you guys got burned by Daniel Hood, who also was a big contributor in addons. In the development section I've seen other devs who had contributed a lot of addons, who are not around anymore. All left. Why? Besides that 1 who got banned, all left this community.

What is the reason behind this? There must be something. And as it looks now, I think the market is just too small for devs that they don't care much about XF. Else everybody would be happy to grab some cash, right?

But forums in general are a dead horse right now. Exceptions are exceptions. And XF is the best forum software to build upon, which has ironically no kind of developer manual. If you ask for help or some introduction, XF team still directs you to Kier's 6 year old videos which he made back then when this stuff was pretty active. Since then nothing changed (the software did but they didn't care to update those handful of tuts). And from what it looks now, 2.0 won't have a documentation, too.

So to answer your question, to repeat myself, the pool of devs is just too small. Easy as that. You could name what, maybe 5 high caliber devs. Chris, Xon, Bob, cclaerhout and who else? Definitely non of them have enough time to code for projects in general (maybe you as a big board owner will have a connection, but not for the rest of us).

So who else is (semi)active?
Nobita, ThemeHouse crew, Yoskaldyr, au lait, wang, Allan, XFA, Dragonbyte crew, SneakyDave, Snog, Jaxel, Dadparvar, Liam, Siropu, Brogan, Lawrence.

Probably there are 2-3 more I forgot to name here (sorry, nothing personal).

So how many users XF has? 100k.
For 100k people you have how many devs? I could name 20 people. But half of them don't do custom works (not enough time or other reason) or is just inactive for longer periods. So it leaves you with 10 people you can work with. 10 devs for a forum with 100k registered potentially XF license holders (probably not even near half of this, but it doesnt matter).

So to sum it up, as you see, the pool of devs is just too small. And I tried to explain why this is like that. If you agree or not, doesn't matter. XF community is not attractive enough for some reason...
 
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Xon

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When was your forum founded? 2014?
No, but Sufficient Velocity (which Isil`Zha is also an admin on) is a very similar to SpaceBattles and has a very large cross-pollination of the member base.

users.png


My forum was founded 14 years ago and in recent years has increased from 1 million monthly readers to 4 million per month. So I don't see the forum usage in decline at all. People are using the internet more and more and forum use thereby increases. Many eat, sleep and wake with the internet. There is a lot more competitions from forums like reddit, stackexchange and facebook groups nowadays.
But there still is more than enough room for sites to grow and developers to support that. The concept of a stock forum software is just not up to the task of fulfilling expectations of internet users. Its exactly the change in the way the internet is used and the contemporary needs that community users have, that requires developers. A platform like XenForo is an excellent foundation to build upon.
Exactly. The two forums I run are very heavily modified for their niche.

This niche is interactive role-play (or collaborative writing, it gets blurry), fiction and fanfiction discussion, and lots of fanfiction being posted. This means we have a lot of primary content producers for our niche, and the consumers of that content directly interacting with them to provide a very fast and rewarding feedback cycle.
 
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pierce

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BTW I just want to say the stats shown here are extremely impressive and thank you for sharing.
 

sbjsbj

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100,000 ? Where did you get that stat ?
Well I just looked up the stastistics on Xenforo.com.

upload_2016-9-29_0-52-22.png

To repeat myself:

(probably not even near half of this, but it doesnt matter).
As you see I also acknowledged that this stat is not representing the truth as probably not even the half of that registered people have a license. But it doesn't matter for my point. Cause the dev pool is sooo small, that any number proves it.

Look, let's say there are only 1000 XF license holders. You still have only 10 devs available for 1000 forum owners. Look what kind of relation that is. For every 100 forum you have 1 dev available (if). Of course outside of the community you can hire devs, sure, but I am talking about what the XF community can provide from itself, not from outside. And the community itself can only provide 10 devs. If there are 1k, 10k or 100k license holders, doesn't matter much cause the amount of devs is soo small that it proves the point.
 

Goodfella

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truth as probably not even the half of that registered people have a license.
Keep in mind that some registers users have multiple licenses under one username. I myself have 3-4 under one username. Trying to predict how many xf licenses are out there based on the number of registers users is not a good way to go about it.
 

sbjsbj

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No, but Sufficient Velocity (which Isil`Zha is also an admin on) is a very similar to SpaceBattles and has a very large cross-pollination of the member base.


Exactly. The two forums I run are very heavily modified for their niche.

This niche is interactive role-play (or collaborative writing, it gets blurry), fiction and fanfiction discussion, and lots of fanfiction being posted. This means we have a lot of primary content producers for our niche, and the consumers of that content directly interacting with them to provide a very fast and rewarding feedback cycle.
But Xon, isn't this a bit unfair to compare your forum with the rest of us? Cause almost none of us can modify our forums as like we want it. We just can rely on the core software and cross our fingers to have some addons developed. You on the other hand have infinit access to your coding skills, so you can modify it however you want and you also are agreeing/saying that it is heavily modified.
We can't do that, we rely on the mercy of the devs community.

So I wish the best for your forum, but I think in this context it is unfair to compare yours with thre rest of us.
 

sbjsbj

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Keep in mind that some registers users have multiple licenses under one username. I myself have 3-4 under one username. Trying to predict how many xf licenses are out there based on the number of registers users is not a good way to go about it.
I know and you are totally right. I was gracious and even didn't talk about that 1 registered user can hold multiple licenses. But again, this doesn't matter to prove my point. I don't have to predict the numbers of license holders. If it is 1k or 100k, doesn't matter much, when you only have handful of devs available to work with.
 

Isil`Zha

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When was your forum founded? 2014?
Technically circa 1998 under a different owner. Early 2000's Keir actually took ownership of it - for a while the XF forums even shared the same server with it. He handed off ownership about 2 years ago - it was already on XF, but was on a low-end 2008 server that could not remotely handle the load. Activity at that time was.... stable, but not growing on huge account that the forums were constantly down or very very very slow to respond due to massive overload. We moved it to much better infrastructure (Linode, mutiple nodes, SSDs - all for much less than the cost of the dedicated server host) and the growth shown has been that way ever since.
 

GTB

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Look, let's say there are only 1000 XF license holders. You still have only 10 devs available for 1000 forum owners. Look what kind of relation that is. For every 100 forum you have 1 dev available (if). Of course outside of the community you can hire devs, sure, but I am talking about what the XF community can provide from itself, not from outside. And the community itself can only provide 10 devs. If there are 1k, 10k or 100k license holders, doesn't matter much cause the amount of devs is soo small that it proves the point.
It's impossible to look at number of users on XenForo and predict how many licences have been sold. Along with some having more than one license per account. Not everyone joins XenForo to buy the software, some might be users that joined using a pirate version trying to get answers to problems, some might have joined just to talk and don't own a license at all. Some might even be spammers who slipped the net, they didn't spam the forums and went unnoticed listed as users. Some may be people with two accounts used, such as mod devs using one for selling and another for general chat
 

Isil`Zha

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It's impossible to look at number of users on XenForo and predict how many licences have been sold. Along with some having more than one license per account. Not everyone joins XenForo to buy the software, some might be users that joined using a pirate version trying to get answers to problems, some might have joined just talk and don't own a license at all. Some might even be spammers who slipped the net, they didn't spam the forums and went unnoticed listed as users. Some may be people with two accounts used, such as mod devs using one for selling and another for general chat
Xon1 and I are under the same two, along with a few other accounts (at least two I can think of) that have XF accounts using one of the same licenses that I'm under.
 

sbjsbj

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It's impossible to look at number of users on XenForo and predict how many licences have been sold. Along with some having more than one license per account. Not everyone joins XenForo to buy the software, some might be users that joined using a pirate version trying to get answers to problems, some might have joined just to talk and don't own a license at all. Some might even be spammers who slipped the net, they didn't spam the forums and went unnoticed listed as users. Some may be people with two accounts used, such as mod devs using one for selling and another for general chat
I know.
I acknowledged this already in my initial post, then after that again. Then again by quoting Goodfella and now for the fourth time. Totally true. And to repeat myself, it does not matter. My point is not based on the perfect prediction of license holders.
For an easy start, just imagine there are 1k license holders (which is definitely a safe low number). My point doesn't change. Please for the sake of the debate, let's focus on the main part, so we can answer Alfa's question.
 

sbjsbj

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Technically circa 1998 under a different owner. Early 2000's Keir actually took ownership of it - for a while the XF forums even shared the same server with it. He handed off ownership about 2 years ago - it was already on XF, but was on a low-end 2008 server that could not remotely handle the load. Activity at that time was.... stable, but not growing on huge account that the forums were constantly down or very very very slow to respond due to massive overload. We moved it to much better infrastructure (Linode, mutiple nodes, SSDs - all for much less than the cost of the dedicated server host) and the growth shown has been that way ever since.
I see. So probably the turn around came in 2014, and until then it was declining. So you broke the diving and I am happy for you guys, specially for Xon, who provides so much for the community, so you guys deserve it.
But again, your case is definitely an exception.
I am still holding on my point that forums are declining. The young generation doesn't even know what a forum is (a bit exaggerated said). They live with social media and reddit. And if they do need information, Wikipedia and Google.
 
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Danielx64

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It's impossible to look at number of users on XenForo and predict how many licences have been sold. Along with some having more than one license per account. Not everyone joins XenForo to buy the software, some might be users that joined using a pirate version trying to get answers to problems, some might have joined just to talk and don't own a license at all. Some might even be spammers who slipped the net, they didn't spam the forums and went unnoticed listed as users. Some may be people with two accounts used, such as mod devs using one for selling and another for general chat
And it also possible to have more than one forum account attached to a license too.
 

Digital Phoenix

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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?
Have you considered the fact that devs just might not want to work with certain people?
 
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