Cloud Team VS Freelancers: Who's Better to Work With?
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Nowadays, your promising team is no longer confined to your local developers or random individual freelancers. The important question is, how to hire the best developers with a guarantee of services' quality? I’d like to show you what we personally do to achieve it and what advantages we have as a result. Let me begin with a small introduction to our team. We’re a “cloud team”. When you need some web project to get done and you’d like to be sure that it will be done properly and by the most effective way, you definitely should try our “cloud team” in work, actually we’re consists of developers who could become freelancers but they chose to be a part of our team by some reasons I’d like to clarify here. Such developers’ collaboration is very efficient and it works very well for 8 years pleasing our developers as well as our customers.
I'd like to say that I know very smart, talented, motivated and experienced individual freelancers, and I don't like to offend anyone, but I think there are some obvious cons that you may experience when you hire an independent freelancer and you should take these cons into consideration when you do that. We think that you have to ask yourself some questions that I mention here before hiring a freelancer.
A freelancer can get sick, it just happens and usually, it happens unexpectedly. What if a hired freelancer gets sick or even suddenly disappears? Remote agency usually have some developers in reserve, who are always ready to replace a sick developer for some time, so you won’t even notice. The human factor of imperfection won’t affect your business by any means!
A freelancer can have a vacation and he definitely should get a vacation once or twice per year at least, but most of the projects have deadlines, and usually, deadlines aren’t going to take freelancer’s vacation without consequences. You don't have to think about it, we'll take care that our developer will get a vacation and we’ll provide you with a smooth temporary replacement. What if an independent freelancer would go on vacation? How would you replace him for 2-4 weeks?
We have a road map that each developer should pass with a certain period of time, each step out of 5 mostly looks like an exam, most of the time it takes about 3 months of preparations and 5-8 hours of examination in the appointed day. It includes but not limited to:
- Web: HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, Databases + different languages and frameworks (depends on the developer’s specialization);
- Theory: Operating systems, Web technologies, Algorithms, and Data Structures, OOP;
- Tools and side hard skills: Task tracking tools, Deployment tools, Cloud computing services, Development environment, Debugging tools, Virtualization(Vagrant/Docker), Command Line Interface, Dependency management, Best practices of making project's documentation and project's estimation;
- Soft skills: Communication, time management, development's methodology, licenses, and NDAs;
So we encourage developers for growth very much and we have a lot of successful examples of developers transformation from Junior to Senior for 3-5 years. Is there any guarantee that a freelancer will grow day by day? Even experience is not always equal to real growth. I understand that your main intention is to successfully implement your project, not freelancer’s education, but if a developer doesn't deepen and broaden his knowledge, there is a high chance that he tries to solve your business problems by not the most efficient way. Some freelancers neglect theoretical basis knowledge and they not always intend to be involved in any form of education because often when you learn you don't earn money and this state of things is not an option for each freelancer.
4. Technology stack
This point is a direct consequence of the previous one. When you come to a freelancer his main intention could be to choose a technology stack that he has already known even if it’s not the most efficient way to develop your project. He could have no motivation to learn new technologies since it takes a lot of time, so he may try to convince you to use the one that he’s already experienced with. Our “cloud team” has experts of various technology’s stacks and all together we always try to choose the most efficient option during the initial stage of the project’s assessment, we always can make an assessment for different technologies stacks describing their pros and cons with all specificity regarding to your project to show you the big picture from different sides.
Each of our developers has a mentor who has a Master's Degree or Ph.D. in Computer Science and more than 10 years of commercial experience. Even the most experienced freelancer can make a mistake and an extra pair of eyes into the code, simple advice or complete code review are essential despite the years of experience. Most freelancer work at home all alone without encouraging advice from his colleagues as well as without an opportunity to discuss his technical decisions with more experienced developers, so it can affect their quality of code and motivation. We insist that our developers should work from our office hand by hand with other developers. It motivates them much more, they have a chance to solve difficult problems quite fast if they get stuck, they can discuss a problem with teammates to find the best solution and it allows us to put our finger on the pulse.
We have 30 developers in our “cloud team”. You can find back-end, front-end, full-stack developers amongst them, but besides we have QA specialists, web designers, and UI/UX designers. We’re a team, a large and powerful unit! If your project would be expanded and you need an extra pair of “coding hands” or you need some design/QA stuff to do, we can guarantee that we would help you with it. A new assigned developer will be the one who is working in the same room with developers who is already working on your project, they already know each other very well and it makes the introduction process of new developers for your project significantly smoother. If you need more than 1 developer or you have some work to do for a designer, you have to gather them all one by one in the hope of they will find common ground without pointing fingers at each other if something goes wrong.
Even if a freelancer has a lot of positive feedbacks you can not say for sure that your project will be the one where he won't get sick, go to vacation, lose motivation or just disappear. 75% of our projects are from clients who have come to us after they had a huge disappointment after working with independent freelancers. Usually their main argument to hire a freelancer was the lower price, but they often lose a lot of time and money, usually, their only option is to rebuild everything from scratch or to make so significant code’s refactoring that would be equal to development from scratch.
Checklist: “Before you’re going to find an independent freelancer”:
Here are some points:
- What if a hired freelancer gets sick or even suddenly disappear?
- What if a freelancer would go on a vacation? How would you replace him?
- Is there any guarantee that a freelancer expands his knowledge day by day to make your web or mobile app works better and better as a result?
- Are you sure that the technology stack an independent freelancer has chosen for your project is the most appropriate one?
- Are you sure that a freelancer wouldn’t spend an extra 10 hours because he’s stuck and there’s no one to help him?
- What if one day you need more developers or design’s/QA work for your project?