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Is it ok to suggest pre-built scripts from a place like codecanyon to a programmer who is building a startup web app? Or is it more likely to offend?

I don't expect that a whole web app could be built from bits and bobs purchased from a site but I'm unsure of whether its the right thing to ask someone to do.

Also, I am not a programmer.

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Who is doing the requesting? –  jcmeloni Feb 14 '12 at 21:54
Myself, as a non-programmer because i wouldn't like to get the idea into my head of being able to get it done that way to then find out that the person that i want to do the job might be appalled at the thought of doing that. –  user47729 Feb 14 '12 at 22:14
By "request", do you mean "mandate" or "suggest"? Also, what do you do for a living? How acceptable is it for others that are not in your profession to "request" you to do your job in a particular fashion? –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Feb 14 '12 at 22:14
@John The reason I asked is that framing a helpful answer would depend on whether or not you were a programmer being asked by a client to do it, or if you were the client asking a programmer to do it. SpencerRathbun's answer sounds most appropriate for this situation, given limited knowledge of particulars. –  jcmeloni Feb 14 '12 at 22:17
@John - There is a good chance that the scripts are not completely suitable for your application for reasons that would only be clear to a developer, because the parts you can't see may not be good. It might be a security risk, buggy, not play well with other code, be hard to debug or change, etc. On the other hand it might work, and in either case it's a great way to communicate what functionality you are looking for to a developer. –  psr Feb 15 '12 at 0:37
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closed as not constructive by Jarrod Roberson, FrustratedWithFormsDesigner, Walter, ChrisF Feb 14 '12 at 23:32

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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Ultimately, as the customer you can demand that they make you a website out of baling wire and scotch tape.

This may decrease the number of people who apply.

I would suggest, if you have someone in mind already, that you discuss the purchase with them. If they want the script(s), go ahead with the purchase. A professional developer may look at the scripts and tell you that their functionality is replicated in some open source package.

You are free to do whatever you want, it is your business decision to make. However, you are presumably hiring the developer because they possess knowledge and skills that you do not, and it would behoove you to take advantage of the service you are paying for.

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The fact that my question is marked down already is partly the reason i ask, im not at the stage of having something built yet, or approaching anyone yet but because im outside of the community i guess you could say, i dont want to approach someone when im ready in the wrong way, even though im paying for it of course, i agree with your suggestions that im probably best to discuss it with the individual at the time and see how he/she feels about it. –  user47729 Feb 14 '12 at 22:23
@John: Part of the reason you are getting marked down might be that this is bringing back memories of non-technical managers who micro-manage on technical subjects that they have no business dealing in. In my experience, no one in any profession likes to be micro-managed by someone else who doesn't know the subject. –  FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Feb 14 '12 at 22:33
I can understand that, im very open to suggestions on what not to do, hence my question and caution even at this very early stage of just thinking certain things through at the moment. –  user47729 Feb 14 '12 at 22:38
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Developers might prefer you tell them that the scripts are available for use, rather than use these scripts. Developers are lazy though and they will copy/paste anything and everything they can get away with rather than re-type something, they also like having at least the illusion of free will.

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Its interesting to read that, ive had a slightly different picture in my mind of how developers might be, from your own and the other suggestions here im beginning to understand that if im polite enough with who i might hire and ask the right way and stay open to suggestions that its still ok to discuss with them possibly using scripts. –  user47729 Feb 14 '12 at 22:31
It's OK to point them out. It's OK to ask questions about whether or not they are suitable. But if you trust your developers (and if you don't, you shouldn't hire them), you should take their answers to those questions into account when deciding if you will use these scripts. –  Adam Jaskiewicz Feb 15 '12 at 15:17
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