Freelancers or а Software Development Company

Freelancers or а Software Development Company

November 28, 2017

What to hire? Freelancers or a Software Development Company?

You’re responsible for the successful delivery of a software project and you need:

1. additional resources to finish it on time or
2. add the knowledge your team is missing or
3. to outsource the entire software development because you want to focus on your core competence which is sales, marketing, etc…

What’s the solution? Probably you’re now considering hiring freelancers or a software development company to help you out. However, you’re wondering which is better? Below are the pros and cons for both.

Freelancers Software development company
  • + Easier to find if you’re looking for a single freelancer
  • + Freelancers are more open to take smaller projects
  • + Higher chance to start the project from today
  • + Possibility to turn into an employee later
  • + Cheaper than hiring someone from a software development company
  • – Often work on several projects simultaneously. Not dedicated
  • – No one except him/her is responsible for the delivery of his/her job
  • – Management overhead especially for the scrum master who has to work with a team of people that never met each other before
  • – Often devs lose motivation and the freelancer can quit with all the knowledge
  • + Entire team of people that are bonded together and have delivered successfully projects before
  • + Dedicated team working only for you. There’s a person from the company responsible to make that sure
  • + Teams formed by many different roles – backend, frontend, DevOps engineers + scrum masters, tech leads, account managers, etc.
  • + Agility – when you need more people the company will take care
  • + Different layers of accountability which leads to better and on time delivery
  • + Developers lose motivation and the company can provide substitutes seamlessly without knowledge loss
  • + Established and proven delivery processes
  • + Company is liable for any damages regarding intellectual property and data protection
  • – Hard to start from today because proven companies don’t keep people idle and may need a month or two to assemble a team
  • – Management cost overhead
  • – Almost impossible to hire the team later as your employees
  • – Proven companies hardly work on short term projects

Additionally, you must consider several things for best results about both:

1. The culture must be similar – meaning that If you are in the US or Europe hire freelancers or companies with the same mentality as yours.
2. There must be at most 4 to 6 hours difference between your local time and the people you work with
3. Consider the relationship as partnership not transaction (more on this later)

Based on the above, if you’re looking for just a single person it’s cheaper and easier to go for a freelancer. However, if you’re looking for a long-term commitment and you need a team of several developers it’s better to go for a software development company. Especially, if software development is not your core competence, a software development company is a must because it’ll help you not only with the development but also with establishing the right processes and team composition.

Moreover, it’s very important to build a partnership no matter whether you hire freelancers or a software development company. You must educate them on the business side and what’s the business value the software is providing for your company. Additionally, being partners mean the other side isn’t treated just as coders. You must be open to suggestions because these people have huge experience and may share some insights about building it in a better, more efficient and resilient way which can lead to more sales, satisfied customers and cost optimizations. Invest in face to face meetings, having a dinner and several drinks together (this works best). My next article will be about “How to bond with your remote team(s)”.

Thank you for the read and don’t hesitate to add a comment below if you have any questions or want to add more pros and cons in the table!

Stoyan Mitov

Blogger at JAXenter, business development director at Dreamix, co-founder at and active sportsperson by passion.

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