Dev Shopper is a free online platform for finding a dev shop partner for one's software development project.

Dev Shopper

Portrait of the maker

Lazar Stojkovic

Maker

Maker
  • The users don't care what technology you used to build your product. As long as it works the way they expect it to and delivers value, what's under the hood is completely irrelevant to them.

  • Having built a marketplace/SaaS web app on Bubble, I see the platform as a visual IDE for modern web development. Building complex, production-ready web apps is still not for the faint of heart and requires a decent understanding of web development fundamentals, but—if you know what you are doing— Bubble definitely speeds things up and empowers individual indie hackers to ship things at the speed previously reserved for entire teams.

  • There have been a lot of sneering comments in the developer community about no-code tools. However, in the end I believe the devs themselves will end up being the biggest beneficiaries of the paradigm shift. Productivity will skyrocket and collaboration will become much easier. For what it's worth, I've already noticed a growing number of traditional dev shops—especially those focusing on building MVPs for startups—who have started retraining some of their in-house talent to build with Bubble... and I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of that in the years to come.

Expert level
335
hours to build

Build a production ready app without writing code using Bubble

What is it:

Dev Shopper is a free online platform for finding a dev shop partner for one's software development project. It has a pool of reputable service provider firms from around the world that the users can anonymously discuss their projects with and get bids from within 48 hours. Unlike big freelancing sites, Dev Shopper comes at no cost - it's 100% free and there's no commission.

Maker Insight:

"- The users don't care what technology you used to build your product. As long as it works the way they expect it to and delivers value, what's under the hood is completely irrelevant to them.

- Having built a marketplace/SaaS web app on Bubble, I see the platform as a visual IDE for modern web development. Building complex, production-ready web apps is still not for the faint of heart and requires a decent understanding of web development fundamentals, but—if you know what you are doing— Bubble definitely speeds things up and empowers individual indie hackers to ship things at the speed previously reserved for entire teams.

- There have been a lot of sneering comments in the developer community about no-code tools. However, in the end I believe the devs themselves will end up being the biggest beneficiaries of the paradigm shift. Productivity will skyrocket and collaboration will become much easier. For what it's worth, I've already noticed a growing number of traditional dev shops—especially those focusing on building MVPs for startups—who have started retraining some of their in-house talent to build with Bubble... and I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of that in the years to come."

What did I learn:

1. What is the advantage of no-code?

"Building complex, production-ready web apps is still not for the faint of heart and requires a decent understanding of web development fundamentals, but—if you know what you are doing— Bubble definitely speeds things up and empowers individual indie hackers to ship things at the speed previously reserved for entire teams."

I think this is really good wisdom from Lazar. My number 1 recommendation is to start with the goal of getting validation first then build. How you get that validation first is best on where you are most comfortable. Generally, though the higher fidelity app you can build the higher quality of feedback and validation you will get in return.

No-code can help with this because the effort to make a a fully fledged web app comes down. However, using an app like Bubble requires a larger learning curve. There are more than one way to go forward.
1. Use smaller learning curve tools to create a scaled down version of your app but has the core part of your app that you want to test and validate
2. Build your app with a larger learning curve tool. It's okay to do this, but if you fail to do one critical thing or don't have access to your target customers to test it and use it while you build it, you run a massive risk of building a completed app that is not validated. And building something without direct input from your user/customers is your single biggest risk while building.

If you don't have unique access to a user/customer who is willing to give their time to give you feedback, building a smaller scale app that accomplishes the core of what your business does is an option that can help you mitigate building something that no-one wants or needs.

2. Product flow - Onboarding and activating new users. There were some valuable things I picked up going through the user onboarding flow for this project.

Typically, when looking for development talent or contractor the marketplace is open to purview. That was the opposite approach taken and I learned a lot from this. It accomplishes two very important things for the user and the Dev Shopper:

1. Focuses the user on completing the core action, and activate. Submit a project. Every single thing you add to this page that is outside of the user completing a project will decrease the likelihood that they complete the submission.
2. Dev Shopper doesn't exposure who their network is. This gives them greater defensibility as a marketplace. Because as a user, the only dev shops you become aware of are the ones that respond. ( I do not 100% know this, but am assuming based on what I learned from the sites landing page this is how it works)

Here are some fundamentals that this onboarding flow nails:
1. 4 step process visual progress meter at the top, shows that even though Dev Shopper is requiring the user to think, it gives the user something to drive towards as it motivates them to complete the submission.
2. Visual, the first step and second step use imagery to help the user self select.
3. Build from small to large in the amount of data points you are asking from your user. The first step is a small amount of data, the second is more project general information and the second to last step is, the project details was succinct but free form to allow the user to describe what they are looking for.
4. Review step before submission.

3. Bubble feature highlight - Payment within Bubble. Why use Paddle instead of Stripe? Paddle beats Stripe when it comes to ease of taking care of sales tax, VAT, etc. Essentially the problem is if you sell a product INTL, figuring out sales tax can be a major headache.

As I am discovering with using Stripe for my own e-product I have got to figure out a way for accounting how I am going to take care of sales tax. I wish I had known about Paddle more in this regard. When I was shopping payment processors, this feature wasn't something that I had thought about ease of figuring out taxes per transaction. Paddle takes care of the headaches for you.

If you're not lucky enough to use Paddle, and are using Stripe, there are work arounds like connecting with TaxJar or Bench.co to help with your book-keeping. When in doubt there is always twitter advice, linked below. But I would recommend consulting a tax accountant for help. Here is a tweet I noticed just the other day of someone looking to see if there is an easy way to see how many non US purchases their business had this year: https://twitter.com/TaraReed_/status/1334625760901017601?s=20

More on payments: Speaking from personal experience, I would highly recommend if you are creating a marketplace to use the plugin's that come with Bubble or Sharetribe.

The reason is from my experience I have used Sharetribe before and they make it very easy to set the commission % for the vendors that sold on my marketplace. Further, when I set up finding an expert on SideProjectStack.com which is built in WordPress, I found the Wordpress Stripe plugins to work poorly and missing key features. If you are doing any three way transactions, the WordPress Stripe Plugins could not handle that type of transaction. Shocking, I know! But in talking with Kieran who runs Launch.MBA and others that a Bubble Plugin for payments handles three way transactions well.

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