Wondering if hiring an outside development agency might be right for you? It can be a difficult decision. How do you know if you’re making the right choice? Let’s discuss what your options might be, and how to know when hiring third-party developers (like Bonzzu!) is the correct move.
You’ve got problems. Can outside developers solve them?
There are a number of reasons why you might be thinking about hiring third-party developers. Here are a few possible problems you’re trying to solve:
- You’re building a brand new application or product and don’t have your own development team.
- You want to build something new and you do have a team of developers, but they’re busy working on existing products.
- You need to get development work done more quickly to meet deadlines.
- You’re trying to hire developers to build or expand your team, but it’s taking too long.
- You have hard problems that are outside your development team’s area of expertise, or you want to introduce a new technology into your wheelhouse.
- You have concerns about your developers’ work, and want an unbiased code review or security audit.
Contracting with the right development agency can help you be the hero in tackling any of these problems (plug: Bonzzu has helped companies with all of the above). However, could you tackle these problems without a third-party development agency? Maybe. Let’s explore some of these issues and how to know when it’s a good idea.
You’re an entrepreneur with a great idea, but no idea how to build it
Let’s say you’ve got an idea for a great app. You’ve explored the market, come up with a business plan, and have a good idea of what your app needs to do—BUT you have no idea how to get it built! You’ll certainly need development help and most likely design work too. If you’re new to the world of software, you would probably benefit from some help understanding how applications are built and how to define your MVP (minimally viable product).
One option would be to hire your own team to build it for you. Not being a software developer yourself can make it especially challenging to know who to hire for your development work because there are tons of different programming languages and processes and you want the right fit for your application’s needs. How do you know? Because a good development agency has worked on a variety of different applications, they will be well prepared to help you make the right technology choices for what you’re building. In the same way, hiring your own team can also mean that you don’t get the range of expertise that a development agency can offer.
Hiring a development agency like Bonzzu gives you the benefit of working with people who help define product focus, who know how to build an MVP of a product (or a 1.0, or a 2.0…), and who’ve figured out how to build great software.
Your development team is busy or doesn’t have the experience to make your new idea or initiative a reality
You’re a product owner or maybe even CTO at a software company. Your product is doing well – so well, in fact, that you need more features built! Perhaps you or your boss has an innovative idea, but your team is too busy cranking out all those features and staying on track with development to pull people off to work on something else. Maybe your new idea is different enough that your development team isn’t even sure how to build it properly. Your options here are:
- Give up on your new idea.
- Hire more developers internally.
- Hire a development agency to build it for you.
Giving up on this great idea is not really an option, is it? There’s no way you want to give up the chance to try something that could make your company even more successful! What about hiring some more developers? As we all know, it can take significant time and investment to hire expert developers. Are you ready to put your idea on hold for that long? In addition, hiring your own team implies that you’ll probably keep them around for the long-term. If you’re ready to do that, great! BUT, what if you could start building your new idea while you’re hiring this new team? Even better! Contracting with a development agency for these kinds of situations lets you get outside expertise that your company may not have, shortens the time you’re waiting for development to start, and, if you’re hiring, gives you the time to hire the right team – not just the quickest team you can assemble. Because development agencies can work outside of your normal software process and cycle, we can usually build things more quickly than your own team. Of course, if you prefer that your development agency team participate in your agile process, that’s definitely something we can do too!
You’re having a difficult time hiring
So, you’ve got some developers but need more to meet your goals of getting your app or features built by a deadline. Your team is working hard and can’t keep up. You want to hire more developers, but are having a difficult time hiring. Maybe you’re pushing your team to work even harder to meet those goals. Or, maybe you’re resetting your expectations of when things will be done. If you do nothing, you’ll be faced with missed deadlines. Other potential problems that might be happening:
- Your existing developers feel overworked, behind schedule, and overwhelmed. Morale is dropping. If things continue, you’ll see your best developers go elsewhere, only exacerbating your hiring problem and making it even harder to ship features.
- Because your team feels under the gun to get things out the door, they might (will) start taking shortcuts, introducing technical debt and bugs that affect your end users.
These are bad problems. Don’t let them happen! So, what do you do instead? First, you need to step back and really try to understand why you’re having hiring problems and how you can solve them. Second, hire outside help. You’ll get that velocity boost you’re looking for but unable to hire. Do you hire contractors or a development agency? Contractors, whether freelance or via a company, can provide instant staff augmentation. However, going with a development agency like Bonzzu will provide more than just staff augmentation. Bonzzu provides a service we call “Experts on Demand”, which means our developers jump onto your teams, participate in your agile process, and work side-by-side with your developers. We won’t just be warming your chairs for eight hours a day. We’ll be engaging with your team, providing ad-hoc training of team members by suggesting best practices, pointing out process problems, and encouraging high-quality, pragmatic code.
What you’ll get from great third-party developers
Let’s be honest: not all development agencies are the same quality (or price). In this game, you get what you pay for. A good development agency will help you achieve your goals. A great development agency will also leave a lasting impact on your product, your process, and your code. Do you want a temporary band-aid for your problems, or do you want developers who will help you improve the overall health of your application? Because yes, there are some nifty freelance platforms out there like Upwork.com with some very talented individuals, but you’re not going to get the invaluable infrastructure and proven processes that come with working alongside a development agency. The Bonzzu way of engineering prioritizes pragmatic problem solving, writing high-quality code, and constantly improving what we do. Because we work on different kinds of projects and integrate with different development teams, we’ve learned to recognize problems in both code and in agile process. When we work on your project, our outside perspective helps us to recognize things that could use fixing! If you let us, we’ll help you improve your process, your code, and help your team follow best practices, all while increasing your velocity. We’re not just developers, but evangelists for good code and good process. One more thing to note: when you hire Bonzzu to work on your project, you might be paying for the work of one or two developers, but you’re getting the experience and knowledge of our whole engineering team. Because Bonzzu has a collaborative culture that emphasizes learning from each other, our collective experience provides an amazing ability to problem-solve in innovative and robust ways.
So, when is it a good idea to hire a development agency like Bonzzu? When:
- You need work done but don’t have the team you need
- When you have challenges that no one on your team has the capacity or ability to solve
- You want help making your own development team more efficient and higher quality.
Still not sure if hiring a development agency is the right move? Give us a call or send us an email and let’s discuss it!