Every day we hear about companies and individuals who have great difficulty getting even the smallest software projects done. In this blog, we’ll share with you the things that you should keep in mind before you choose between a freelancer and a software development company.
For the purpose of this article, we will be using the following definitions:
- A freelance designer is a person who either designs websites, webshops, or apps.
- A freelance developer is a person who develops software such as websites, webshops or apps.
- A software development company offers the same services as freelancers, but its services are performed in the company’s office and by the company’s employees.
A consultant is a person who advises on how a task should be performed, e.g., an SEO consultant who advises a client on how they can achieve a better ranking in Google.
How to get the most out of software developers
The fewer suppliers you have to work with on your software project, the better. Getting web development from one company, app development from another, and design from a freelancer complicates project management and guarantees delays and costly misunderstandings.
Here are some things to keep in mind before hiring a freelancer to do your jobs:
- You should only give the freelancer well-defined tasks where the scope of the job is within their expertise. Asking a WordPress freelancer to do Magento development is not going to work in the long run.
- Freelancers have other clients and can get very busy. This can affect the delivery time because they alone have to solve the tasks.
- Freelancers also need a holiday so make sure you know who will help you when your freelancer is offline.
- Many freelancers end up getting regular jobs when they get their own family. Have a plan on who will help you when your freelancer suddenly stops.
Software development companies
Here are some things to keep in mind before hiring a software development company to do your jobs:
- Find out if you’re dealing with a reputable company or with a company that just distributes work to freelancers (see the challenges above).
- Work with one project manager per project type. If you have two Magento projects, make sure it is the same project manager who handles both projects.
- Unless you have a good technical understanding, do not work directly with the developers. It is guaranteed to lead to misunderstandings and be a waste of your time and money.
- Find out who has administrator access to your systems. If your supplier forwards your work to a freelancer, make sure you have contact with that freelancer and know how their relationship with the supplier is. If the supplier is not willing to give you that kind of information, you should not use them as a supplier.
- Find out who is backing you up if your contact person gets sick, goes on vacation or leaves the company. Find out if the vendor has backup staff.
- Does your supplier have a support system in place? Unless you are a technician or have technical staff employed, you will need to be able to call someone after the project is complete to get help.
- Also remember to find out what the response time is:
- during normal working hours.
- outside normal working hours.