Welcome to our 7th news blog from Lakeshore Operations GmbH.
In one of our previous blogs we wrote, that software development done by freelancer was one of our biggest mistakes in software projects.
Because of that, we got a lot of different reactions. In this news blog we want to explain in more detail why this was a mistake and what we learned from it.
Are freelancers qualified enough?
Freelancers are highly qualified and able to deliver the highest quality software development. As in any industry, there are some black sheep here too. But we want to neglect it.
Freelancers are relatively inexpensive to get for each subject area. If someone is able to communicate in English, then a freelancer is certainly a good choice for the actual programming work.
Everyone should pay attention to the following points when choosing their programmers.
Important for anyone who wants to develop software!
Software is in our eyes a living object that is subject to constant change. These factors are often unaffected and driven by external factors.
A new update of the operating system could force an update of the written software. A security hole has been found in the program code that needs to be closed, or even business processes changed. The software has to be adapted to it or for some reason it suddenly stops working as expected.
In all these cases, the help of a programmer is necessary.
What happens if the freelance programmer suddenly fails?
Since a freelancer is generally only a single person, this person can simply fail due to illness, vacation or short-term work stoppage without notice. The freelance programmer can switch to a fixed job and won’t be longer available for further programming jobs.
So, if someone wants to develop software, they should be clear on the beginning of the support and the maintenance with the developer on mid/long term. Otherwise the situation may arise that the software has to be adapted - but the former programmer is no longer available. Then all the source code has to be passed to another programmer. It may take weeks or months to get in to it.
Can freelancers work together as a team?
Furthermore, it may become necessary that someone needs several developers as a team for their software projects who need to work together.
For individual freelancers, this can be difficult if they are to spread across the world, perhaps even across multiple time zones effectively cooperate without really knowing each other.
Have you regulated the handling of copyright?
The third point is the question of copyright, which must be clarified beforehand. This point is not only to be considered by freelancers, but to be considered as an important detail in every programming work.
If the copyright is not regulated, then it is generally in person with the developer. The developer may, if he wants to block the further development, prevent any change to the software code in court, so that a continuation of the project would be seriously compromised, or not possible.
We are here no legal advice and cannot guarantee the accuracy of our statements. We just want to point out that everyone has to inform in advance and the individual rules on copyright or right of use in a contract should necessarily set in writing.
Now it is getting complicated!
Things can become quite complicated when you have your own employee who develops software from a non-IT department and the software will be used in production.
It would not be the first time that the employee, when leaving, suddenly wants to enforce legal claims for the development of this software. Quite apart from this, further development of the software in these cases is quite impossible.
Where does the use of freelancers make sense?
In some cases, the use of freelancers is very useful.
If an already existing software team needs additional capacities or if a team has been knocked out due to dismissal or illness, freelancers can very well close the resulting gap.
It is important that this ensures that the existing team of own employees can later supervise and develop the developed source code of the freelancer.
You should pay attention to this!
It should therefore be checked before working with a freelancer, whether the future support is guaranteed in the long term.
Especially software companies that have been on the market for several years and have various developers at their disposal are often the better choice, even if the daily rates are a bit higher here than with a freelancer. But even with the prices, there are a variety of ways to save money. For this we can report more in a later blog.
Fortunately, the decision of who you work with is ultimately up to each one of you.
Exciting for you!
The Lakeshore Operations GmbH is a software house, which was founded in 2016 to support companies in the digitization processes. We can draw on more than 20 years of experience. With IT experts from Rostock and Hamburg as well as programmers from Poland, Lakeshore Operations GmbH has a powerful team to support large or small companies in their IT or software projects.
Which way do you want to go?
Have you decided to bring your company up to date with digital progress? Do you want to find the right solutions so that you can shorten your work processes? Then you are exactly right here.
This will enable you to overtake your competitors and secure a place in the market. It is not the big one who eats the little one, but the fast one who eats the slow ones.
We wish you much success!
Jürgen Möller & Gunnar Bock