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Discussion

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What we like to do - is hire a "designer." By that - we mean someone who can start the project - and has a big picture understanding of 'design' - and can help figure out "what to do." You should be able to prototype things out - and then decide what types of things are needed. Do you need a server written in Go? Do you need to plan a CMS? Are there a lot of visual considerations? Do you need to get someone working on SVGs? How complex is the app? How soon will it need to scale? Can we test with users early and often? How many people are needed? How can we keep it lean and focused? Some teams are GREAT! and other's are just juggling. Some design/programming leads are great - and others aren't. So, it's not a 'solo' or 'team' - but more - the right people - and usually (for us) the best way to find those people - is to add each person/role one at a time - and to work with their strengths as needed.

 

This "designer" should be called an "architect", "tech lead" or "CTO"?

 

CTO is the "Chief" - meaning the person in charge (turns out most chiefs of native tribes were women) - / so the main person in charge - of "technical things." Chief Technical Officer. They are responsible for the whole technical side of things. "Architect" just sounds like a designer - but related to buildings / historically.

 

I was a question because where I live the meaning of the word "designer" is not used for such a complete role within the project. They use "architect" or "senior developer". Or just "CTO".

Maybe architect would fit / or product designer. I suggest that you change the words they use. If someone is designing something - they are a 'designer' -

I completely agree, but here In Brazil, "designer" is related to "graphical designer", a different and artistic role.

Yeah. Well, the word "designer" isn't being used properly - in the US - or Brazil. What they are calling "designers" are really "production artists." They make graphic representations of what they think a 'website' is - and aren't really designers - in most cases. : )

In that situation of the question, I was building nothing personally. I was just looking for a front end developer for a friend of mine. I searched and presented several options, including two software houses, but in the end, he stayed with a developer that he met himself. So I wondered and asked here whether "it is better to hire a solo developer or a software house". And I received several great inputs, by the way :D

 

I think solo developers are the most efficient / cost efficient – no overhead for team work, company policies, etcetera. Some projects are too big though for a solo developer, or sometimes the stakes are too high.

A company I know hired a developer to create a new dashboard-type product and paid him well to keep developing it. The dashboard was one of their most important projects for the business. But the developer grew tired of developing it and decided to quit the contract. Suddenly, they were stuck with a dashboard that has gotten some tech debt, a bunch of paying users responsible for a large part of the revenue, and no one to develop it. That's quite a risk. They wouldn't have developed the product with a software house because it would be too expensive.

So moral of this story: they should have hired an agency sooner, but starting with the solo dev allowed them to validate the idea with relatively low cost. So if you have an existing product or something you know already is crucial to the success of the business? Consider an agency. Otherwise, I'd prefer a good freelancer.

 

Thinking about that scenario, what could they have done to avoid the technical debt because of the quit of the developer? Used a more mainstream technology? Hired more than one developer?

 

Yeah, the tech debt occurred when the project started getting some traction. The dev couldn't keep up and was overloaded with 'important' feature requests. That I'm sure caused some debt. Code was pretty solid though, so it was relatively easy for an agency to step in.

So what could have been done? Using more mainstream tech might have helped but I think the main takeaway is that once the project started getting traction and the first signals arrived that the dev couldn't keep up, that's the moment you hire someone additionally (or start moving toward an agency). Instead, they kept him solo for way too long and had some pain migrating once he quit.

Could have gone worse btw. But if your business depends on a certain piece of software, it makes little sense to have to sole responsibility for the software with one freelancer.

 

Rewrite the project with a software house or rewrite it themselves after the project has been validated

Yup, that's a solid way of dealing with it. They kept the agency on it for two years and after that started plotting an in-house rewrite (which is a sensible move in my book).

 

All else equal—though I think this is most certainly an "it depends" situation—I'd hire a solo developer.

Hiring a shop is more overhead, possibly worse communication, and generally riskier a lot of the time. But of course, it depends.

 

I think you should start definitely with a solo developer and let him/her learn everything about the project thoroughly. As the project grows you can add other assets, but this single developer can run the show with minimal direction and management.

 

solo developerrrr coz we need more experience and we usually doesnt restrict anybody with complex payment then job done you like it pay us if you dont like it we will fix it until you like it and a solo developer usually also a junior so by hiring them you give them more chance to rose in software development technology