Whether you've ready to execute on that brilliant app idea you've been mapping out for months, eager to launch a new website for your budding start-up, or have decided that your existing company website needs a visual and functional facelift, choosing a developer for your project can be daunting. To try to eliminate some of the guesswork and help you choose who to approach, we've summarized the three general categories of developers below.
1. Powerhouse Developers
These are the companies who land the dream clients and accounts. They pull in the metaphorical whale and create the great (and not so great) high-profile campaigns that many of us see online. While not affordable to the average start-up, if you have Steve Jobs amounts of cash and a million-dollar idea, these developers have the experience to create seriously impactful results on a massive scale.
Good for: Clients looking to take the next step up with their established product or service.
Great for: Large organizations with a wide scope, lofty goals and limitless resources.
Not so hot for: The budget-conscious client, start-ups and pilot projects.
2. Small Tactical Team Developers
These are small to mid-sized agencies who take on the occasional big-time account, but mostly will deal with established clients with average budgets and expectations. Smaller, specialized teams are associated with projects built with attention to detail in mind. Most of the great products and software we use on a daily basis was developed by a core of group of talented, efficient developers who have the experience, time and latitude to get creative and test new and innovative ideas.
Good for: Start-ups with healthy budgets, and clients seeking value-added teams to tackle next-level projects.
Great for: Established, focused organizations who want to get things done.
Not so hot for: Tiny-budget seekers, and projects with massive scope.
3. Hired Gun Freelancers
These are developers who take on budding start-ups and clients who can manage their own projects. You'll get a basement bargain price, but be prepared to take on the role of project manager. To complete a larger, more complex project, you'll likely need to hire several freelancers who each specialize in different niches. This comparatively lowest-cost option makes creating great products and services within anyone's reach. It's the great equalizer for motivated clients looking to pilot their own idea, without losing their house in the process.
Good for: Established developer groups needing extra skill sets and a boost of development power.
Great for: Start-ups and pilot projects, and the self-motivated task manager.
Not so hot for: Clients needing to feel automatic stability, and who require project management.
With all of this in mind, it's evident that there is no such thing as a one size fits all solution when it comes to your next web development or enterprise software project. Making a comprehensive list of your project requirements, evaluating your expectations, and pinpointing any tasks you might be willing to tackle yourself (such as project management), can help in determining which of the developer options above are right for you and your project.