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Freelancers vs Software development company: What should you choose?

Why hire a software house instead of freelancers


Say, you’ve decided to build a software project and now you need to choose between hiring freelance developers and software development agency. It’s quite a difficult issue as both options have their pros and cons. But we believe that in most cases, to work with a software house is more reasonable. And in this article, we’ll explain to you why.


Why should you hire a software development company


We don’t say that freelancers aren’t reliable or their testimonials are hard to verify. There is no risk to apply to them if to use Upwork, YouTeam, or Fivver and check out their reviews and portfolio. However, we do say that it’s much more convenient to work with a professional software development company that will provide you with a team for your project and undertake the whole technical part. Let's take a closer look at why it’s generally better to choose an agency.


1. A full cycle of software development services

Building an app, website, or a complex software solution like CRM or ERP is a comprehensive process that requires specialists in different fields: developers, QA engineers, designers. It’s great when the project communications are well-organized, deadlines are met, and tasks are assigned to the right people. 


A project manager is a person who is responsible for such things as well as removing all the mess from the dev process. A business analyst will clarify your requirements and help prepare a detailed technical specification. It’s pretty challenging to go without testing as at this stage bugs and errors are fixed. In addition, testers ensure that a software solution complies with the requirements and works as intended. So, unlike freelance developers, an agency can take care of your product from idea to launch. 


2. Team cohesion

Team cohesion also matters. When looking for freelancers, you have to create the project team on your own. Here you should note that they haven’t met each other before. As a result, they will have to set up some elements of the development process from scratch, including project management, communications, software engineering practices, and more.


3. Diverse expertise 

Another plus of a software development agency comparing to freelance developers is diverse expertise. Here you’ll find a wide technology stack, one for building websites and web applications, the other for creating mobile apps, and so one. 


Some software engineering companies specialize in delivering e-Learning and e-commerce solutions, some—in blockchain projects, and others—in Artificial Intelligence. And they have industry expertise and will understand your business-specific needs. 


What’s more, they can recommend technologies that will better suit your project. For instance, many web development companies use either PHP or Java in their work. They will help you define in which programming language your web product should be created as well as tailor the type of architecture.


4. Project management

When choosing a software development agency instead of freelance developers, it’s much easier to plan workload and time for building your product. Specialists collect your requirements, analyze them, make recommendations, prepare a technical specification (if needed), and estimate the scope of work. 


They constantly organize meetings to ensure that everyone knows at which stage the project is and avoid mess during the dev process. Also, a project manager takes care of tuned workflow and meeting the deadlines. 


5. Replaceability

Replaceability of specialists helps guarantee that the product will be created without pauses. A software development company is responsible for having their employees accessible during the project. If a team member can’t exercise his or her functions because of illness or for other reasons, a company connects another specialist with similar experience and knowledge. 


Software engineers will quickly explain all the tasks, project goals, and show what has been already done. So, the plus is that onboarding goes quickly due to face-to-face communications and project documentation. In case if your freelancer can’t continue the work, you have to pause it or spend time on finding somebody else.


6. Project maintenance

A disadvantage of working with freelance developers is the fact that they don’t offer post-project support that includes updates and bug fixes (some errors may appear long after the product launch, for example, in the case of an influx of users). At the same time, a custom software development company will always provide you with further project maintenance.


As you can see, hiring an agency provides a higher level of reliability and flexibility compared to freelance engineers. Therefore, cooperation with a software house will be the best choice when you need: 

  1. to implement a complex project
  2. to create an application or website from scratch
  3. assistance in defining the requirements to the product
  4. a post-project support
  5. a wide spectrum of services, from business analysis and prototyping to product development and marketing


When hiring freelance developers is a good idea


Although in most cases freelancers lose to a software house, there are cases where hiring them is a great option. Keep in mind that many skilled specialists leave software engineering companies to receive more flexibility and money. They can be true professionals in some specific areas. Also, such platforms as Upwork and Fivver offer reliability in the sense of reviews and ratings: once the project ends, a client is asked to submit a review.


You can safely choose freelance developers if you need: 

  1. to simply make some improvements in your product
  2. only several tasks to be completed and that’s all
  3. to expand your existing software development team


What do you need to improve the working process:

  1. a detailed technical specification
  2. a technical background or an in-house technical specialist
  3. an experienced in-house project manager


It’s generally assumed that freelance engineers are cheaper than dedicated development teams but it’s a very controversial issuance. One of the main reasons why many specialists migrate to freelancing is that they want to increase their salary. If you need to hire a reliable developer who builds quality software, you should choose one with many positive reviews, 5-star rating, and a large portfolio. And such specialists cost a lot.


Final thoughts


To sum up, the work with a mobile and web development agency presents fewer challenges and offers more convenience. A reliable software house will release you from a headache associated with numerous technical issues, from project management to product maintenance. Fortunately, you can always find out how to choose the right custom software company hat will meet your needs.



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