Milagros ElhordoyApr 30, 2018

Freelancer or Software development company

Once a software idea comes into your mind, the next step to define is: who is going to develop it? The 2 main options you can consider for this are: a Freelancer or a Software Development Company, also known as Software Development Agency.

In this post, we wll explain you the main difference between them, and the advantages and disadvantages each one present.

Freelancer:

A Freelancer is a “self employed” person who does particular pieces of work for different organizations, or have their own personal clients. They are “multitaskers” as they are in charge of developing, designing and testing.

Advantages of hiring a Freelancer:

  • Costs: generally, Freelancers offer lower rates than Software Development Companies, as they practically don’t have to pay office costs as companies do. The difference between the hour rates is 20%-30% less approximately.

  • Specified in one area: generally, Freelancers specify in one area. This point can be considered as an advantage or disadvantage depending on your project. I mean, if you need to finish a project similar to those they’ve already worked, they can be a good fit. But sometimes, when you hire a Freelancer, you end up hiring another, because the first one can’t finish the task you need. So, depending on your project, they can be a good fit or not. Probably, if you are starting a project from the beginning, hiring a Software Development Company will be the best option, as they have different developers that specify in different tasks.

Disadvantages of hiring a Freelancer:

  • Availability: typically, Freelancers work on several projects at the same time, which means it can be difficult to “ping” them whenever you need them. Moreover, if a Freelancer gets sick, probably the project development will standstill and you’ll waste time, money or even have to look for another developer. On the other hand, if you hire a Software Development Agency, they will be the ones in charge to solve the problem.
  • Fake Profiles: some persons tend to exaggerate their talent on their profiles, so be careful when you choose the candidate.

Software development companies:

Companies specialize in building web and mobile products for different clients. The main difference they have with Freelancers is that they assign groups of developers to work 100% in a project. In these groups, you’ll probably find developers and designers.

Advantages of hiring a Software Development Company:

  • Availability: Software Development Agencies, are used to assign different teams to develop a project. This means that if you hire a Software Development Company, you’ll be working with a team from the beginning till the end, which is going to be only working on your project. Frequently, Freelancers work in more than one project at a time.
  • Latest Technologies: Software Development Companies usually work with the latest premium technologies, and adapt to their updates. They are in permanent contact with software trends and new programming languages. At the end of the process, the final product can have quality differences, depending on the technology that have been used to build it.
  • Easy to follow: once you hire a Software Development Agency, you´ll get in touch with the team designed to work on your project, see their demo, ask them questions, approve their work, or tell them the changes you want them to make. To summarize, you´ll receive and give feedback.
  • Long term relationships: Software Development Agencies are used to build long term relationships with their clients.This means that they help their clients maintain and update their products.
  • Experience: When you hire a Software Development Company you hire a team of developers and designers with different experience, skills and knowledge, that help themselves if they have any doubts or problems. On the other hand, you also have the certainty that those developers, had been contract by the company for their abilities. Indirectly, they are the ones who make the selection for you.

Disadvantages of hiring a Software Development Company

  • Costs: As mentioned before, Software Development Companies offer higher hourly rates than freelancers. Despite this, the hourly rates depend on the location of the business. For example, companies located in US are more expensive than companies located in Latin America.

To conclude, the best option of hiring a Freelancer or a Software Development Agency, depends on the product you want to develop. On one hand, professional Freelancers can be a great fit for specialized tasks, but on the other hand, for more elaborated projects, probably, a Software Development Company would be the best fit.

Despite this, in my opinion if you are short of time and want to avoid lots of headaches, Software Development Companies solve problems quicker, and are more controlled than Freelancers, as they have a team manager in charge.