Software Engineer Freelance

The importance of having trustworthy freelancer

Software engineer freelance

In recent years, freelancers have changed the landscape of the modern workforce. A growing number of professionals are taking their entrepreneurial spirit with them and diving into the world of freelancing.

Studies show that the US freelance workforce now has around 56.7 million people and most likely tens of millions more around the world. The shift towards embracing technology and online plays a huge part in the increase of these on-demand workers.

With this massive candidate pool, however, it is only important that you find a freelancer who is not only skilled, but trustworthy as well. Especially when it comes to web development and digital marketing projects, you will want professionals who will add value to your team and operations, not just one who would fill a ‘virtual’ seat.

Why do companies need freelancers

As DevsData explains, when building a team for a web development project or something similar, you will want to build an interdisciplinary group that knows how to align with your needs. They will be there to support you and make sure the project stays on track.

Clients, executives, project managers, team members, freelance workers, and other stakeholders should work together to see beyond the code and to understand and realize the objectives.

By 2027 over half of the population of the US will be freelancers or independent contractors. find out why freelancing is the future of work.

The main arguments for hiring a freelance software developer come down to flexibility, agility, and cost-effectiveness. Traditional business operations often rely on in-house employees to function. Hiring a full time software engineer means that aside from their basic pay, you will need to cover benefits, training, and other overhead costs.

Hiring and training are also easier when it concerns freelancers, as these on-demand workers often improve their skillsets on their own and can easily take on new projects without having to quit an office or day job.

Here is a more detailed discussion on why freelancers can be the best option for companies. To make it clearer, we will focus on a freelance programmer In this context.

1. Cost-saving

As previously mentioned, the cost of hiring a full time employee can add up to a substantial sum. Software development for a client is often listed as a one-time project, excluding the need for maintenance and post-implementation support. Hiring a project-based freelancer is a practical option, as they are free agents and not part of any company’s permanent staff.

Unlike full time staff who get paid even without a continuous stream of work (i.e., no projects at the moment, paid time off, sick leave, etc.), freelancers are paid only when they do work. This is a drawback for each software developer, but an upside for companies who contract with them.

2. Flexibility

Freelance software developer delivers fast and quality results when you need them. Unlike a 9-5 employee, it is common for a software engineer to work during odd times, especially for those in the tech industry. When your shop has closed for the day, your freelance software or app development project will likely continue on thanks to your freelance developer.

Moreover, flexibility is also about how your team can adapt to strengthen a weak point. Freelance professionals can be lifesavers if you suddenly need to scale up or focus on a specific part of the development process.

Say you need a full-stack or a mid-tier developer in the middle of the project and for a one-off task, it will likely take a lot of time and resources to hire someone full time. Finding a freelance software engineer for that work will take a shorter amount of time and fewer resources.

3. Work quality

Freelancers thrive on repeat clients — after all, if they want more clients and projects, they need to continuously achieve high customer satisfaction and exceptional quality control. They treat their on-demand work as a business and treat each partner as a valuable client. They will strive to produce great work every time to prove their worth and maintain a good working and profitable relationship with clients

Moreover, these are specialists who proactively update their skills to remain competitive in the market. Upwork studies show that 70% of freelancers in the United States participated in skill training in the past six months. It is unlikely that a software engineer freelance will give you mediocre work. They always aim to deliver top software. After all, no one would want to buy from a store that sells terrible products.

Negative experiences you might have after hiring a bad software engineer freelance

As skilled as software engineers freelance may be, you may still encounter some bad apples that might give you a hard time. As with all professionals, there are some freelancers who are unreliable with their work. Working with the wrong software engineer could mean you will face common hurdles and problems such as:

  • Missed Deadlines – because you do not see them in an office setting, you cannot strictly monitor a software engineer’s work progress (whether he works full time or not). You only have their word (and you trust them) that they will complete their tasks on-time. However, some are notorious for not finishing their deliverables on-time.
  • Bug- and error-filled outputs – There might also be cases where the software developers you hired are not at all skilled. They could deliver undocumented solutions, or ones full of bugs and errors, as well as engineering mistakes.
  • Unsecure apps – Cybersecurity continues to be a growing concern for businesses, especially the ones that do most of their work processes online. In some cases, a bad software engineer could sometimes overlook safety and security aspects when developing an app, which could make your organization and clients vulnerable in the worst case, high risk to work within the best case.

adult apple device business codeThe key is to get to know this person before signing a contract with them.

Checking freelancer’s competences

If you have worked with a mediocre software engineer in the past, he might have left you with a bad impressions. Be it his unresponsiveness, poor communication skills, unreliability, or less-than-stellar output, there is still the chance that the new freelancer you choose may not be the best for your needs. It is a big pool of candidates, after all.

To avoid such grave and costly mistakes, it is ideal to do a little due diligence before you start the hiring process for any freelance software developer. Just as how you would scrutinize every applicant for an in-house position, you should also do the same for on-demand professionals.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind to help you on the right path

1. Make use of your network

Ask some people in the industry if they are familiar with your candidate. Word of mouth is one of the best recommendations and references a software engineer can get.

2. Check their portfolio

This is a good way to gauge if the given software engineer is a good fit for your business. Take note of the level of expertise they display on their previous projects. Go through their portfolio and look for freelance software projects that are relevant or similar to what you need to build.

3. Ask for references and check their reviews

Individual contractors often display client feedback on their profiles or webpages. You can start by reaching out to their previous clients and asking for their opinion about the completed freelance software work. If the candidate has no previous clients, you can ask them for references. The important thing is to get to know this software engineer before signing a full time contract with him.

4. Analyze their work thought processes

Get into their mind to get a clear idea about how a candidate approaches their work. Ask them questions like: How do they start the process? During what hours do they prefer to work? Do they use open source technologies? How much time do they spend on each task? Understanding their work process will help you in managing expectations and tasks.

5. Gauge their level of professionalism, communication, and organizational skills

Before starting anything, it would be good to have a video meeting with a candidate, if face-to-face will not be possible. If not, paid test work would be a good idea. These would give you further security that you are indeed working with a genuine professional in terms of freelance software development.

Supervising a freelancer

Software development is an extensive project that requires time, expertise, and constant communication. You do not need to be an expert in the same field to properly manage a project and your team, even if it includes freelancers.

A good time tracking system and a robust project management tool would make the work a whole lot easier for you. You can use tools such as Jira, Trello, Asana, Pivotal tracker or any other platform that you are comfortable with.

List down your tasks on these boards and update them accordingly to have a clear vision of how the project is progressing.

Set at least two weekly meetings with your freelancer, preferably at the start and end of the week, so you can touch base about progress. Update each other on the tasks that need to be delivered for the week and discuss issues that have occurred during the workweek. Having this regular discussion saves time and gives clarity to all sides.

For immediate communication needs, Slack, Skype, Zoom, or other similar platforms could be used.

Summary

A talented software developer can benefit any business, especially if you are looking to scale your company’s workload in the future. You can find the right skilled person for your business if you do your homework right.

DevsData has several helpful articles that can guide you through your search for tech-related positions. Research, network and do your due diligence to ensure your chances of finding and getting the right software engineer for your needs.
macbookYou do not need to be an expert in the same field to manage your project and the freelancer you hired. All you need is an effective time tracking system and a project management tool.

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