Gun.io was founded in 2011 by Free and Open Source software developers who wanted to build a place where Professional Freelancers™ could work with excellent clients to build awesome products in a way that didn't scrape the bottom of the barrel on quality and didn't break the bank on price.
We've been improving our model and service ever since, and have worked with hundreds of companies — from recently funded startups to Fortune 50 companies. We have over 30,000 hours of development logged in recent years and are constantly striving to improve the quality of our service offering, which we strongly believe is best in the industry.
Unlike many "hire-a-freelancer" sites, Gun.io does not "match" individual developers with individual Clients. Instead, we staff projects with dedicated teams of Professional FreelancersTM, ensuring you have the right people with the right skills working on your project at the right time.
You'll work directly with your perfectly staffed team, who act as your virtual software and product department. This team includes a project leader, who ensures that all of the team members are working productively and that your project is always moving towards a successful launch.
We don't nickle-and-dime you and we only supply verified, professional developers who deserve fair, livable wages.
Costs vary depending on the skills required for a specific project, but are always fair and completely transparent. Get in touch with our sales department for more information about costs related to your specific project!
How am I billed?
Clients pre-purchase the capacity of their project team one "sprint" at a time.
Clients are free to invest in as much or as little team capacity they need: you control your total dollar investment.
You set the priority of the usage of your investment through a fully transparent view of every dollar invested relative to your priority items, with fidelity and reporting down to 15 minute increments.
You refill your account when it approaches $0.00, moving into a mutually-agreed two-week sprint schedule where you are funding one sprint at a time in a standard cadence. You always control your budget and we make sure it's mapped effectively to your investment and/or cash flow requirements, keeping the focus on the effective launch of your product.
We've worked on hundreds of projects across dozens of industries. Our teams have built everything from simple web applications, APIs and mobile applications to highly complex HIPAA-compliant medical machine learning/AI clusters and data processing pipelines, international payment processing systems, high frequency trading algorithms, embedded systems and elastic critical infrastructure.
No matter what your project is, we can build you an experienced team to make your launch a success.
We’ve helped hundreds of businesses — from Fortune 500 companies like Cisco, NBC and SolarCity, to high-potential small businesses who just made their first $100,000 in revenue. The majority of our clients are small, revenue-positive firms operated by owner teams with $1M+ of revenue or $1M+ in financing. Many more are enterprise VPs utilizing Gun.io to augment their existing product teams in parallel.
After understanding your needs, we create a plan of attack and assemble a hand-selected team of Professional FreelancersTM from our trusted, project-vetted community. We allocate those team members directly to your project, ensuring they are focused and dedicated to your work without other distractions. Once work begins, Gun.io ensures that you stay on time and within budget, handling everything for you — project and product management, payments, and transparent reporting. Nothing will ever be hidden from you or obfuscated in excessive process or management layers.
The way Gun.io staffs freelancers can be thought of as a set of three concentric circles:
3rd circle: The outermost circle is our broadest group of interested freelancers. Every day we field dozens of applications via Gun.io. We filter out 80-90% of these based on English competency, demonstrated proposal and code samples, activity in Free and Open Source software projects, and reviews of their social and engineering (OOS) online footprint. We maintain an email list and database of all of the people who make it through this filter.
2nd circle: Anyone who makes it through that review also gets invited to our private Slack community, "Team Gun.io." In that community there are more than 1,000 active, collaborative worldwide freelancers supporting each other in the development of their practices and business abilities, as well as chatting technology in every conceivable stack or configuration. What's happening here is of the 10,000+ people on the 3rd circle email list, we're asking the most active and engaged to self-select into the 2nd circle. It's not enough to show interest in jobs and pass technical review because our client engagements are all about relationships. The experience we get interacting with and supporting community members as peers allows us a much deeper experience quotient for qualitative factors, and we use those factors for staffing client project teams.
1st circle: We post open roles for client project teams to the 2nd circle Slack team in order to accept applications to join teams on active projects. These applications are for specific roles such as "Backend Django Developer," "Product Manager," or "Front-end React Developer." Team members who are selected join the 1st circle using a specific project and role-based application as well as interviews. This is another private Slack team where we're actually working with and serving clients. These hours are specific billable contributions to project teams. Once a freelancer's in the 1st circle he or she can stay there as long as they perform and we will continue to staff them on new projects, allowing them to achieve income stability as a Professional Freelancer™.
Professional FreelancersTM are individuals who make their full-time income as freelance crafts(wo)men. We do not work with side-hustlers seeking “some hours” after their day job. We perform a rigorous qualitative and quantitative review process through project-based interviewing (as opposed to “tests” that simply cannot measure as many qualitative variables). 85% of our workforce is US-based, with Canada, South/Central America, and a smattering of other excellent talent. We do not discriminate against fantastic professionals outside of our timezone, but we do insist they work client daylight hours.
Once signed on, we will schedule a meeting with you and key members of your Gun.io team, such as a Product Manager and tech lead. Not only is this a chance to meet, but it also allows us to ask important questions to develop a more complete understanding of your project and ensure that the proper team is assembled. These discussions will continue via our communication channels in the days following the meeting, leading up to our mutual agreement on project approach and the beginning of development. "Sprint 0" is our kick-off period, with Sprints 1 and 2 taking shape with actual development. We move quickly with clients setting product priorities in a Scrum model.
You will collaborate with your team, led by your Project Leader, via a private Slack channel, video conferences, calls, private Confluence documentation, and private Jira board, against which all time will be logged and reported. We will not block you from communicating with team members, however we will work within an efficient and effective process.
As often as you like.
As we operate in an Agile framework, "milestones" are not directly relevant. We work in sprints, inspecting the results and adapting for the next sprint; as Product Owner, you’ll work in close collaboration with us throughout the process, speaking to the balance of speed, scope, and significant dates all along the way.
Why is this a terrific model? As software is developed and demonstrated, it is well-proven that ideas for adding, subtracting, revising - in short, changing - the requirements is inevitable. By building software in this way we begin with a basic roadmap for the end-product with the knowledge that we’ll adjust features, functionalities, and priorities all along the way. For our clients that means no cumbersome "change orders" or other expensive deviations from your prioritized work.
While we love working with everyone on our team, we understand that sometimes people just don't "fit." We're prepared to address these contingencies efficiently, making sure your team always has backup performers in place should a conflict arise. We take full responsibility for this on the cost and process side. You will not be charged for any additional onboarding required by a personnel shift.
While the vast majority of our Professional FreelancersTM work very successfully from remote locations, there may be some circumstances where we can discuss your specific needs and determine how we can help. It is, however, rare that we do onsite staffing as the majority of our workforce and systems prefer and are built to manage a remote scenario. If you haven't worked with a remote team before, give us a chance to show you all of the benefits and don't be scared of the change. You will find it fast and effective.
We at Gun.io go beyond mere estimates of your technology spend, and build customized ROI models to help you understand your options.
Our risk-adjusted models will help you inform your technology investment, turning the storm of disparate data points into a clear, risk-premium-adjusted view that enables apples-to-apples comparison based on data models we’ve created and perfected from industry and internal data (more than 30,000 hours and counting of billable project time).
We are exceptionally self-evaluative in terms of quality, and we'll very often call this out before you even know it (even if you would never know it). We always fix errors or ineffective budget uses at our cost, which means your effective risk premium approaches zero over time. We adamantly defend your investment as if it were our own.
Thus, we have created the closest thing you can get in this industry to a risk-free proposition. We have a 7% documented "defect rate" over the trailing 30,000 hours of billable work. That's calculated as a percent of revenue given back to clients (in the form of hours) when/if we make a mistake or misallocate a segment of our client’s budget. How does 7% defect rate compare? Widely documented studies have shown up to 68% of software projects fail entirely. Our defect rate is almost 10 times lower, and we fix that 7% at our own cost.
Every project launches with an effective suite of QA procedures matched to your budget including partner and development code reviews through automated testing protocols linked to effective DevOps setups.
With Gun.io our clients pre-purchase the capacity of their project team, one "block" of hours at a time. A block of hours is called a “sprint”. You are free to invest in as much or as little team capacity as you would like. You will also control your total dollar investment. You will set the priority of the usage of your investment through a fully transparent view of every dollar invested relative to your priority items, with fidelity and reporting down to 15 minute increments.
You will refill your account when it approaches $0.00, moving into a mutually-agreed two-week sprint schedule where you are funding one sprint at a time in a standard cadence. If you have less money when your sprint is complete, it is up to you how you use it.
We do not guarantee you will get 100% of what you want (scope), nor will we guarantee your timeline (deadlines) until we have worked together with you to align budget, scope, and time, a balance that we will maintain throughout the project. This allows you the flexibility to change, but not so much flexibility that your project fails under the weight of bad assumptions. Our initial Sprints 0 through 2 ensure we can collect the best data possible in a controlled environment with controlled cost.
We will send you a Letter of Engagement (LoE) using HelloSign for your secure digital signature, which includes your contact information and your credit card or ACH to which we charge the first block. You are never locked into a contract with us.
The only reason you stay with us is if you are extremely happy with our services. You are free to go at any time for any reason. You own all of your code and all of your hosting infrastructure.
Of course! We know you ideas are important to you and you should feel safe sharing as much information as possible with us so that we can do our job properly. We have a standard NDA , or if you have one of your own, we'd be happy to review it so that we can move forward with talking about your project.
You will own all of your hosting (even if we manage it) and all of your code repositories. You will accrue your intellectual property in real time as it is developed, with no risk of “code escrow” or its more insidious cousin, “code hostage”. Our model does not incentivize holding back quality and deliverables.You own everything the instant we write the code because of our unique billing model that protects you and aligns incentives for everyone involved.
We are confident that you will be thrilled with the work and the code provided. If for any reason you are not, you own all of your hosting (even if we manage it) and all of your code repositories. You will accrue your intellectual property in real time as it is developed, with no risk of “code escrow” or its more insidious cousin, “code hostage." Our model does not incentivize holding back quality and deliverables. Our simple promise is we always make it right for you. We are your partner and we will never leave you hanging. We stand behind our work and our performance in every case.
We will not work for equity. You must be able to fund your project in order to receive work.
We have a 7% documented "defect rate" over the trailing 30,000 hours of billable work. That's calculated as a percent of revenue given back to clients (in the form of hours) when/if we make a mistake or misallocate a segment of our client’s budget. We are exceptionally self-evaluative in terms of quality and we'll very often call this out before you even know it (even if you would never know it). Our simple promise is we always make it right for you. We are your partner and we will never leave you hanging. We stand behind our work and our performance in every case.
You can get started right now! Fill out this form and schedule a call with us. We will discuss your project in more detail and talk about your options. Once we have decided on a path forward and the LoE is signed, you will be immediately sent onboarding materials and brought into our collaboration environments with kickoff happening within a few business days.
Our head office is located in Nashville, TN, but we operate from all over North America.