When determining who will build your application, the “right” answer depends heavily on your own project needs. Some project ideas can be carried out by an individual developer while others require a team of people to successfully meet expectations.
While developers are responsible for writing the code behind the application, there is more to a great application than simply having “good code.” You may need a team of people with various skillsets to successfully launch a complex system. Consider these 4 points as you make your decision:
1. A developer may be an expert coder, but he may not have other necessary skills – design, project management, QA.
A company that develops software will often bring together a team for each project – a project manager, architect, UX/IU designer, QA and developers. Each member plays a key role in the creation of the software from writing code, to making it user friendly, to ultimately ensuring the solution meets your requirements. A developer may be in over his or her head if the manager believes the developer can successfully do the other roles.
2. A team of freelancers have other projects going on – are you the priority?
If you are considering hiring your own team of freelance developers to cover the various roles, this will often be less expensive than choosing an agency. However, a team of freelancers could be very difficult to manage. You now have more challenges and variables as you establish meeting times and due dates, and you still may not have the experience and leadership needed to successfully build a software product.
3. The collective experience and knowledge a development company innately offers will prevent scope creep and unexpected costs from occurring.
Most freelance developers work off an hourly fee. Some companies offer an hourly price while others will provide a price estimate ahead of time. Working with a development partner will increase the accuracy of project quotes.
4. It can take a long time to find a reliable freelance developer (though it can also take a long time to identify a good development company.)
If you’re planning for an ongoing project or starting a company based on a “bright idea”, it might be beneficial to consider hiring someone internally. Finding the right person can be incredibly time consuming but a worthwhile investment in the long run if you are planning continuous development. You could even work your way up to eventually form your own development.
This is an investment meant for companies ready to take on complex IT projects with the resources to hire. Both agencies and freelance developers could work with your company on a repeat basis.
Whether you hire talent internally or freelance, you run the risk of your key players leaving prior to project completion – and taking the knowledge of your system with them. Hiring an agency with a contract is the least risky option for taking your project from start to finish. Development companies seek a smooth transition with little disruptions and plan for knowledge transfers and seamless handoffs during a team member’s offboarding.
Sometimes a developer is all you need to complete a vision. Other times, a development team can ease communication so your final product doesn’t get lost in the development process. An agency can provide the necessary structure and security to make sure your software turns our as expected.