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React development: Freelance vs Outsourcing


By Michał Tyszkiewicz

When looking for the right React devs for your project, sooner or later you’re going to arrive at the basic choice of either looking for a skilled freelancer or a complete team. This will for the most part be determined mainly by the size of the project and the amount of work needed to be done. The big issue is getting to know that, since what might seem like a simple idea can turn out to be a really complex project needing tons of work. You might think that the obvious response to that is just getting more freelancers, but let's just say it isn't exactly as simple as that.

Freelancers

When looking for freelancers the first step is self explanatory, doing the research and checking the resume. Things to look for are experience and past projects, what they worked on, what their role was, was the work for a startup or a large company etc. If that information isn't readily available through a simple search it's always good to ask for those details during an interview. As for interviews, they’re a natural way of checking out soft skills like communication, motivation, teamwork or attitude. For hard skills you likely either need to know the ins and outs of React or have someone who does conduct the interview to know whether the interviewee has all the required skills or not. While that might sound easy it's good to keep in mind the overall pros and cons of going with a freelancer, even if you do find one who has all the required skills.

  • Cost: While freelancers are usually not expensive a good rule of thumb to go by is: the cheaper the freelancer the worse their skills.
  • Flexibility: There’s no commitment so upsizing or downsizing the team is no problem. Freelancers work either hourly or on fixed price projects, which means without a really detailed plan tracking their work will not be possible and a precise daily/hourly timesheet might prove too restrictive.
  • Maintenance: Due to short term commitments being the nature of freelancing, expecting anything after the project is finished, aside from maybe ad hoc bugfixing, is pretty unrealistic.
  • Quality: Freelancers are judged and hired based on the quality of their work and most are experts, so this usually should not be an issue (unless research was lacking) However due to the dispersed nature of freelancing, industry standards do not apply as everything is done according to personal preference. This can mean a lot of potential issues down the line especially if integrating or upscaling the project.
  • Control: With a single person working on the project decisions will be made quickly and instinctively. A team of freelancers however can need a lot of supervision and may even require a person dedicated to exactly that as some form of a project manager.

Outsorucing

The alternative to freelancers is outsourcing the project to a React development company. Those will simply assign a complete and experienced team to work on your project from start to finish. Yes it is a more hands-off approach, as those companies and teams have usually done a number of such projects before and will have their own internal process and practices. While this might seem like having less of an influence over the project the opposite is actually true as your input focuses on the result of the work and not the way it's being done. You can request an MVP (minimum viable product) and get a basic idea on the viability of the project quickly and you enjoy long term support so any issues shortcoming or updates to the projects just come down to communication. Basically instead of being forced to micromanage everything and do constant oversight you just oversee the end results and judge how it fits what you requested.

  • Cost-effectiveness: With freelancers you’ll need to navigate and micromanage an entire patchwork of people working separately on various parts of the project in the way they see fit. Outsourcing the entire project means saving tons of time and effort, and in consequence money.
  • Quick turnaround: The key reason to outsource is speed, you’ll see the project done quicker and without sacrificing quality either. A battle tested team which has handled a number of such projects works like a well oiled machine, a developmental crash course for a ragtag team of freelancers can hardly compete with that.
  • Hands-off approach: The team will have everything the project requires, UI/UX designers, graphics designers, frontend developers, backend developers, mobile developers and a Project Manager to oversee all that. No need to monitor all the work, you just see if the results are satisfactory and fulfil your requirements.
  • Superior solutions: An experienced company will have dealt with a large number of similar projects, their issues and any problems that might arise during development. It will also have a tried and tested stack and know all the kinks of React and its associated technologies to work as fast and efficiently as possible. This means that they will be able to provide the best, well-tested solutions during the development process. Maintenance, scaling, fixes and updates will also be easily handled and your project will enjoy long term professional support.

Focus on the result not the process

In short, unless you’re really hell bent on micromanaging a group of freelancers along the entire way, outsourcing is simply more efficient. Sure if your project is really small or you need only a bit of help from one person on some particular thing, hiring a company would be overkill and in those cases by all means go with a freelancer. If you need a complete project though, it's way better to hire a company which will provide you with an expert team to take it from start to finish. Efficiency is not the only argument as by turning your attention from the intricacies of the development process to its actual result makes it much easier to control what comes out of it. Instead of compromising here and there because of developer shortcomings your focus is entirely on the finished product so that you ensure you get exactly what you wanted.

author

Michał Tyszkiewicz

Content Ninja

When his head is not between the hoops, he's busy creating content & planning the next marketing automation.

Could use some help with React JS?

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