Should You Work with a Contract Software Engineer?

By this time, you should have recognized the fact that the best software engineers are either working for another company or are busy working on other contract assignments on their own. As a result, you might have been experiencing difficulties in finding a software engineer who would work for you exclusively.

Now, you ask, should you work with a contract software engineer?

These factors suggest that you should do:

Flexibility

One good reason for you to hire a contract software engineer is flexibility. During peak or lean periods, you can conveniently increase or decrease the number of software engineers that you need without additional costs and possible legal problems. You can even select a software engineer based on the current stage of your project and then move on to another one as your project progresses.

Cost-Effectiveness

Hiring a contract software engineer is also cost-effective. You pay only for the actual scope of the project, considering things like languages, technology, platform, and API integration. You won’t have to pay for Social Security, Medicare, workers compensation, and unemployment insurance. You just pay by the hour for work spent on your project. You also benefit from their hundreds or even millions of lines of codes and recyclable internal libraries that they have run across throughout their tenure. Because their areas of expertise may be broad or specialized, including debugging, reporting, analysis, and software stack, you won’t have to shoulder training costs.

Transparency

Believe it or not, working with a contract software engineer could actually mean greater transparency. Experienced contractors often have an extensive and up-to-date work portfolio that displays not only their past projects but also the unfiltered feedback from previous and present clients. Expert contract software engineers also have a specific way to document and report work progress to impress you.

Mutual Benefits

Contract software engineers may work harder than full-time software engineers because of mutual benefits. The reality is that some software engineers employed on a full-time basis do not feel a sense of ownership in the company’s project and do not appreciate mutual benefit if they do well in their job. On the other hand, contract software engineers tend to have a greater sense of ownership of the project. If they do well in the project, you’ll end up giving them positive feedback which increases their likelihood of getting hired for similar projects. Your project is a success, and another satisfied client makes their work portfolio more solid than ever-mutual gains.

Before you post that job advertisement for a software engineer to fill a permanent vacancy, try looking for contractual software engineers first.

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I am currently the founder of Echo and a couple of the marketing automation startups in the past. I like sharing my experience and useful insights on the company blog.
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Lou Reverchuk

Entrepreneur, Marketer, Writer

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