Building a Software Team vs. Hiring Local Software Firm
When a company, whether large or small, is looking to build a new software or app, they are likely considering two options:
- Recruit and hire an in-house software team
- Find a local development partner
The right choice for your project will depend on a wide range of variables, including budget, timeline, staff capacity, and you or your company’s familiarity with developing software.
At SOLTECH, we have experience in being that local development partner and with helping companies staff their IT departments. While no option is wrong, it’s best to know the pros and cons of each before deciding.
An in-house software team is best when you need complete control over every aspect of the development process and have the resources to recruit and hire the necessary staff to do so. An internal team will be entirely focused on developing and optimizing your project, and you won’t have to worry about them being distracted by deadlines for other clients. They’ll be around for the long haul and you’ll know who to turn to when something stops working.
To develop a quality product you’ll likely need to find at least:
- Solutions Architect / Senior Engineer
- Project Manager
- 1-2 developers
- User Experience (UX) Engineer
- Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer
You may not need everyone to be full time to start, but it can be very difficult to manage an entirely part-time team who has never worked with each other. You’ll need to consider:
- Advertising job listings
- Event fees
- Recruiter fees
- Travel expenses
- Signing bonuses
- Annual salary
- Employment taxes and insurance
- Can be less expensive than hiring a software firm as you can negotiate your own rates/salaries
- More control over the vision and direction of the product
- Team will be more responsive to your product’s needs as it will be their sole focus
- Can build a team from the ground up that believes in your product
- Recruiting the right team with the right skill sets
- Heavy competition for qualified workers
- Needing to create a cohesive and productive company culture
- Overhead including salaries, healthcare, office space, insurance, utilities, etc.
- Scaling to the needs of a growing user base
Local Development Partner
Hiring a local development partner will get you a software team that has all the pieces you’ll need already in place and is very familiar with the planning and development process. They will have more experience working with each other which leads to smoother and more efficient product development.
By hiring an agency you’ll likely gain access to a wider range of developer skill sets than you would by hiring a few experienced developers yourself. You won’t need to scramble to find an expert on a specific language. Finding a local partner who you can meet with in person on a regular basis will allow you to build a relationship with people who understand your business objectives and product vision.
You’ll want to find a partner that truly understands your product vision from both a business and technological perspective and can translate that into specs for the development team. You’ll likely need to start with a Discovery phase to design the product.
You’ll be working with your partner on a regular basis for the next few months (if not years), so make sure to vet them for a good fit!
- Access to an experienced, cohesive team
- Work with wide range of experts
- Can scale more quickly and easily
- Can be less expensive
Work with a wide range of experts
- Aren’t truly part of your team and culture
- May be working on other client projects
- Potential personality clash with other internal teams
The answer to “which option is right for me?” is it depends. Regardless of which direction you eventually take, the first step should be understanding what factors are important and how to approach the decision. When we meet with clients, we always make sure to work through their needs to ensure that they’ve considered all of the pros and cons, and we are happy to guide our clients in the best direction for their business needs.
If you’re looking to build a cohesive, talented in-house software team, let’s talk! At SOLTECH, we’ve staffed small start-ups, all the way to Fortune 500 companies with tech experts for years.
Or, if your company would better benefit from a local software partner for your next software project, we’d love to talk to you. For 19 years, we’ve built profitable custom software for people just like you, and we’d love to hear your ideas.