Regardless of the industry that we are in, most of us have witnessed the rise of affordable services, made possible due to telecommuting and remote working. For instance, it is now possible to get your sales copy written at a fraction of the cost when compared with going to a traditional marketing agency. All one needs to do is look around. Yet, even in this post-freelance, post-telecommuting world of agencies and professionals, there are clear demarcations when it comes to pricing of services. This is especially true when it comes to web and app development.
There is a grand level of inconsistency when it comes to developers’ rates, for the same amount and level of work. The instinctual response is often to choose the cheapest developer available, so that costs can be cut. Yet, this approach can be very problematic in the long term, even if it helps to save money in the short term.
In this article, let us take a look at why hiring inexpensive developers can prove to be expensive in the long term, and what you, as a client, can do in order to mitigate the costs incurred by hiring good quality developers.
Here are three important aspects of programming that you risk losing when you hire a one-time developer who is probably very cheap.
Once a program has been developed, it is not the end of the story. It still needs to be updated and bugs need to be fixed. When platforms are updated, the software needs to be updated too. Cheap developers will often not provide you with this kind of support, and you may not even be able to contact them on a regular basis. Even if they do, the costs will always add up and prove to be more expensive. Experienced IT agencies specialize in updating previously released software, and ensuring that you do not have to contact different developers each time an app needs to be updated.
In order to ensure stability, cohesion and smoothness of a software program, code needs to be centralized. Codes cannot exist separately from other tools that may interact with them. Everything needs to be cohesive. Your inexpensive developer may not take all this into account, and will most certainly not offer to take a look at connecting technologies, projects, etc that may interact or communicate with the current one. This only leads to a situation where you will spend more on tweaking, enhancing and eventually, centralizing the code for your software program.
Inexpensive developers often do not provide maintenance services and even if they do, their charges will add up to more than what you probably would have paid an ‘expensive agency’ upfront in the beginning. Lack of support and failure to customize your app or website as and when required can prove to be a big liability. Running to different developers each time will not only cost you more, but will leave your software project incoherent.
What is a ‘good developer’ anyway? How does one find them?
A good developer is one who is credible, reliable and responsible. Good developers usually have a business address, a firm or consultancy, or a fully-functioning agency. If something goes wrong with your program or software, you will be able to walk-in to their office, and seek their developers’ help, while also being treated to a nice cup of coffee and macaroons. In other words, they are always available even after the first version of the software is released, because as the old saying goes, software development is a continuous process.
Yet, there are a few more things you need to consider before you decide somebody is good for your project.
Web or app development usually requires the skills of a group of developers. Each developer will probably be good at a different language or skill. Pooling together all these skills within a team helps to build great software programs. A team works as a cohesive unit, and this cohesion is translated to the software project they work on.
Most software projects fail because real-time communication (on the Internet or on telephone) is not available. Moreover, lack of accountability leads to more expenses because if something goes wrong, you are left with your project on your own. A good IT service team owns up, takes accountability and provides great communication. This helps you communicate your problems and also seek help when it is required.
Professional agencies place a lot of emphasis on legalities and agreements. This is because; neither the client nor vendor should have to keep guessing about the services that are to be delivered. When there are clear goals and objectives that have been printed and agreed upon, the deliverable’s will be so much more efficient. Always look for teams that will list everything in an agreement and hire those teams that offer continued support, even after the project has been delivered.
Why are credible and experienced developers more expensive?
Look for experience and support, not the initial costs
As we can see from this article, it is easy to be lured into the nets of an inexpensive developer, who will prove to be costlier in the long term. You may spend less in the beginning, but when you have to switch developers because you are not happy with the software program, or when you lose valuable clients and customers because your app or website isn’t functioning properly, cheap developers are always more expensive than ‘expensive developers’. In fact, it is more important to consider continued support, maintenance and the development team’s cohesion and experience before making the jump to sign service level agreements.