The development of a large web project requires the involvement of several specialists. In theory, everything can be done completely on your own, but the quality of execution will suffer, and it will take much more time. For more efficient work, some tasks are given for execution to other specialists, that is, for outsourcing. Usually, the project manager is responsible for the distribution of tasks between developers. However, sometimes the developer who is fully responsible for closing the project can also do this. In this case, he tries to outsource some tasks to other specialists.
What is outsourcing
This is the transfer of the entire project or some part of it to another specialist who is not on the staff of the company. A third-party employee can be either a freelancer or a representative of a company. In the IT market, there are companies focused on pure outsourcing production. They can specialize both in one type of work, for example, layout, and in a complex of tasks, for example, frontend. They are united by the refusal to control the final product.
When should you seek outside help?
The task of a web developer is the technical implementation of the project. Search and work with personnel (even on outsourcing) are not included in his duties. However, this need arises in the following cases:
- The task must be completed in a short time and the developer outsources part of the work. When several people work on a project, it turns out to be completed faster.
- The project has a clear division into types of development: design, frontend, backend. In this case, it would be wiser to give each type to be performed by the appropriate specialist in order to get a better result.
- The task is too voluminous, because of which one person will cope with it for too long. It is recommended to break it down into several stages and outsource some of them.
- The project has tasks for which the developer does not have enough competencies. For example, you want to write some block using the C language, but you only work with Python. Such a task can be taken out as a separate subproject and given to another performer who understands this better than you.
The need for outsourcing often comes to web developers who work on their own and mostly with large projects that can be easily broken down into several modules. There is often a requirement to be proficient in several technologies, there is a clear division into stages, it takes a long time to complete, and the client is not ready to wait too long. In this case, the developer is forced to take on the role of a project manager, dividing one large task into several small ones and giving them to other specialists to complete.
Earnings on outsourcing
Of course, if you perform outsourcing tasks, then you can earn. But is it possible to make money if you are forced to give part of the project to the side? Quiet. The fact is that you yourself appoint a reward to a specialist who you trust with part of the task. Let’s look at a specific example:
- You have a project that is generally estimated by the customer at $3000. For one reason or another, you decide to give about 10% to a third-party contractor.
- Logically, you should “share” 10%, that is, pay him $300. However, no one bothers to set you a price less: $150 – $200. As a result: you will “earn extra money” a little.
Such a scheme is very common, since a separate task, divorced from the main project, can cost less. Often, some outsourcing agencies work this way: they take some big project for one price, break it into components and transfer it to their developers, spending from 50% to 90% on paying them. The rest is taken as income.
There is nothing wrong with making money on the price difference. The main thing is that this does not affect the quality of the final product. To avoid this, it is recommended to study the market well, its pricing and try not to order third-party development at a price below the average.
What Web Developers Outsource
First of all, this is everything that does not concern development: design, text writing, marketing research, promotion. The developer must receive a ready-made design and wishes, based on which he will develop. Text writing and promotion usually take place after the completion of all technical work.
However, often clients order the development of a site on a turnkey basis, that is, the webmaster will have to not only make up the finished design and make sure that all the intended functionality works as it should, but also develop the design itself. Further support of the site may also be required: filling it with content, promotion in search engines. It would be more productive to divide such tasks among several people, each of whom specializes in one area.
Most often, web developers outsource:
- Creation of page design;
- Implementation of some separate functionality;
- Error testing;
- Filling the finished site with content;
- Promotion in search engines.
How to find an outsourcing contractor
Since not only the execution of the next project is at stake, but also your reputation, the choice of a third-party contractor must be taken responsibly. Ideally, if you or your fellow colleagues have already formed a pool of proven developers who can be entrusted with some of their tasks. However, you may not have them. In this case, you will have to spend time looking for an artist.
First, let’s highlight their types.
1. Specialized Agencies
They specialize in outsourcing tasks in one or more directions. For example, they take into work everything related to design and frontend. They either have their own employees in the state, or their own database of proven performers.
Benefits of working with agencies:
- You do not need to look for a specialist – the agency will do it;
- It is easier to give a large task to complete;
- You do not need to think about management, just accept the finished result or send it for revision;
- Proven specialists will work on your task.
Cons of working with agencies:
- The price is higher than that of single performers, as it includes an extra charge for project management, an agency extra charge;
- May not accept small tasks;
- You communicate with the manager of the agency, but you cannot always communicate with those who will directly perform your task.
2. Single performers
These are freelancers who work alone. By analogy with agencies, they can specialize in one or two main areas, but since they work alone, they are unable to take on many tasks.
Advantages of working with single performers:
- More flexible working conditions;
- The price is lower than that of agencies;
- There is an opportunity to independently assess the competence of the performer;
- Even small tasks can be given.
Disadvantages of working with single performers:
- You depend on one person – if something happens, then there is a risk of disrupting the Delivery of the entire project;
- Large tasks take longer to complete or are not taken on at all;
- The organization of the workflow may suffer.
Where to look
In fact, in the same place where developers are looking for projects, but only to act no longer as a freelancer, but as a customer. It is recommended to pay attention to:
- Thematic communities in social networks. Somewhere you can publish your task for free, and somewhere you will need to pay a symbolic amount for publication. This is a good option for searching both for one-time tasks and for ongoing cooperation. However, it will be difficult for you to filter the performers and you will have to look at each response, and possibly have a dialogue with several people at once. Almost always single performers will respond.
- Freelance exchanges. It is very convenient to search for performers here, as you can immediately see a resume, portfolio, reviews, reputation of a person on the site. Some platforms provide a “safe deal”, when the performer finally receives the funds only after the task is completed, therefore, the chance of being deceived is minimal. There is usually no charge for publishing, but if you pay through the exchange website, you will have to pay a commission. It can be partially or completely shifted to the performer. Suitable for both singles and agencies.
- Job search sites. It is recommended to consider this option if you are going to regularly outsource tasks to one person. You can both open a separate vacancy with a contractual payment so that potential performers respond to it themselves, or look for specialists in the catalog with resumes.
- Direct request to search engines. More suitable for those who would like to outsource their projects to an agency, and not to any specific contractor. On request in the search, look for the specialists you are interested in, or rather their website. An agency with a good reputation must have it.
How to make a choice
The rules are the same both for choosing one performer and for a team:
- Analyze portfolio. The works in it will help to understand what the person has previously worked on, what approach he used. See also the description of the work in the portfolio. Ideally, it should describe what the task was originally, how it was carried out and why it was so.
- Look at the reviews. If you search on freelance exchanges, then there is always a corresponding block. In other cases, finding reviews can be problematic – if you don’t have some popular specialist or agency in front of you, then hardly anyone will write reviews about them on third-party sites on the network.
- Chat with the performer. If he shows interest and asks questions about the case, then this means that there is a basic understanding of the task and the goal of doing it well.
- Negotiate payment terms. Will you pay per hour of work or upon completion? How will you make payment? Will you use intermediary services? Do you work with or without prepayment? All these issues need to be discussed in advance. Make a choice in favor of the artist who gives the most transparent payment scheme.
Most importantly – do not make the mistake that it is better to choose the cheapest performer. It is not a fact that such an approach will allow you to save money, as this can be fraught with the failure of deadlines, poor-quality performance of the task. Better spend more time and money, but find that person who has all the necessary competencies. If you needed to outsource part of your project once, then most likely you will also partially outsource future projects. It is better to spend a lot of time once and choose a good specialist whom you will trust in the future.
How to interact with an outsourcer
In the task that you give to an outside specialist, if it is critical for the functioning of the entire project, it is important to mention this. In this case, it will not be superfluous to dedicate the contractor to the intricacies of the entire project and explain the situation. This way, the person can better understand the task and consult with you on important issues. Agree on organizational issues: where you will communicate on the project, in what form to throw off the finished result, how quickly the contractor should respond to your comments.
Correctly drawn up terms of reference is the main key to successful cooperation with outsourcers.
Outsourcing part of your work is one of the important components of the professional growth of a web developer. Someday there comes a phase when it is not possible to independently carry out incoming projects with high quality. Sharing tasks with other specialists in this case is the most reasonable way out – you will be able to do your job better, which means that in the future you will be able to claim a higher price tag, plus you will gain experience in managing a team of specialists.