In any project, it is important to choose a contractor who can achieve their objectives – to implement a certain set of functions, within a timeframe or budget. If a contractor is selected incorrectly, all goals may not be achieved and customers will lose time and money.
When a team is short of individual specialists or does not have a development department at all, the choice is whether to use freelancers or go to a Custom Software Development Company one of which is Lampa. Each option has its pros and cons and is suitable for different tasks.
Criteria for Choosing a Contractor
Cost and Quality of Work
Finding a freelancer for a specific task is cheaper than working with the same specialist through an IT company, where there are always overheads. But the difference is small, usually 25-35%. If we are talking about highly skilled freelancers or a “gifted individuals” with rare skills then the difference can be even smaller – 10-15%.
An acceptable quality of the code of a company programmer is often higher than that of a freelancer. In a company, one developer writes part of a program, another 3 conduct code reviews, and testers check all functionality, during this time the next part is being prepared. A freelancer can only manage to write the code simultaneously. Some freelancers test their code, but it stretches the project: you can’t write and test simultaneously.
A customer works directly with the freelancer, personally with a performer. A company always has an intermediary – a project manager. Often customers do not even know who exactly is working on their task. This feels like a tainted telephone: tasks get distorted while they are reaching the performer.
However, it can be easier to work with a manager. Often IT people are introverts; communication is not their strongest suit. A manager helps both – client and contractor – to understand the task: he/she asks correct questions to formulate a sensible ToR and explains to a customer what a contractor is doing understandably in the process of a job.
The lack of guarantees is serious trouble with freelancing. A contractor can disappear at the most inopportune moment: fall ill, leave for another project, or just not get in touch. Even if a contract is signed, the return of money for unfulfilled obligations is not so simple. Few people will sue over a small fee, especially if the freelancer is from another country: legal costs will be higher. Freelance exchanges are preferable in this sense: they protect the client`s interests. However, they will not save you from being a bad performer either: if a freelancer has merged with all work on the project, you will have to start from scratch.
If the main performer on a project falls ill, goes on holiday, or quits altogether, a development company will find a replacement right away. In addition, the company is a legal entity. It will not disappear and will be liable in full for all its obligations.
Dealing with a Company vs. Collaborating with a Freelancer
The main advantage of working with a freelancer is saving money. It is cheaper to make an application with a freelancer than with a studio or in-house developers.
Disadvantages of working with a freelancer:
- Lack of guarantees. A freelancer can stop contacting you, blow a deadline, drop everything, and go to Bali.
- Difficulties in scaling up. When you hire a freelancer, you get one person. But soon you may need more people, such as designers and testers. All the performers are difficult to tie together: they may live in different time zones or lack teamwork skills. You will have to spend a lot of time training and coordinating all the implementers.
- Low code culture. Code culture is the unspoken code of developers. If it is written competently, not only one who made it but also another specialist can develop and refine an application. A freelancer usually does not care about what happens to the application next.
- Difficulties in development. A freelance developer completes one project and moves on to the next. This means that he usually doesn’t take on maintenance or further development of the application. So you’ll have to find another contractor, once again wasting time and money.
If you need to test a hypothesis or do a small project quickly and inexpensively, you can work with a freelancer. This option is also suitable if you are prepared to spend a lot of time communicating with contractors and managing the project.
Benefits of collaborating with a development company:
- Teamwork of qualified specialists. You’ll get all the expertise, including analytics, design, strategy, and testing, at no big cost.
- Guarantee. By entering into a contract with a client, a studio undertakes to fulfill its obligations on the terms, scope, and quality of work. And you, as the client, can control this.
- Easy communication. When you work with the company, you communicate with a project manager. He controls all work: monitors deadlines, shows interim results, keeps track of payments, and so on. The project manager is always in touch by phone and messengers, ready to listen to your wants and claims, translate them into the language of programmers, and get them to fix everything. Communicating with the manager is easier and more convenient: he is responsible for the team’s work, and you set tasks and accept the result.
If you have a large and complex project with many stages or a project on which the success of your business directly depends, it is easier and more profitable to turn to a development studio.
You can collaborate with a freelancer if you need to quickly and inexpensively test a hypothesis, do a small project, and if you are willing to spend a lot of time communicating with contractors and project management.
Contact the studio if you have a large and complex project with many stages or a project on which the success of your business directly depends. This is the easie