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I have been hiring digital contractors for over a decade now... I often hire them to get a project started so that I can finish it.. or have them do it entirely. The world has really opened up for digital contractors these days... We are really living in exciting times. Below are some of the things I insist on when hiring a contractor:
1. Complete source code (keeps you from having to be dependent on them, someone else can pick up where they left off)
2. All transactions are to be through Escrow.
3. I NEVER hire anyone outside of a reputable 3rd party contracting service such as Elance, Scriptlance or others.
4. Depending on the project, they are to sign a non-compete and non-disclosure agreement.
I will be updating this post with some live questions/answers with the programmer hidden from view... Stay tuned. I will also post a video of a standard day (reduced to less than 5 minutes) in the life of a general digital contractor.