When choosing who should design and build your Minimal Viable Product (MVP), the options seem endless. A simple Google search will bring up millions of results. But who do you choose and why? One option is a development shop or agency. Or you could hire a single developer (freelancer).
To make an informed decision, consider the following differences between a development shop and a single developer.
The Power of a Development Team with a Minimal Viable Product
Development shops are normally teams consisting of individuals with varied experience and specialized skill sets. This team of technology talent includes engineers, database administrators, programmers and designers.
To build a solid minimal viable product, you will need multiple skill sets and a range of expertise to get a project off the ground. For example, there are several different programming languages. It is likely that a development shop will have among its team a programmer versed in the language you need for your MVP.
With a development shop like AppCore Labs, you get a project manager, who will keep the team on track, communicate with you, the client, and document all activities, in cases where you need knowledge transfer from one developer to the another. The beauty of a project manager is that he or she knows and understands your business needs. As a bonus, the project manager will often educate the non-technical client, so you gain a better understanding of the process.
Some agencies use an offshore team (which is common). In those cases, the project manager handles all the communicating with the team, so you do not have to deal with time zone differences, cultural differences or any communication issues.
A Single Developer Can’t Do It All Well
A single developer is a one-person operation. The drawback is that he or she operates in a silo and all information and knowledge is in the developer’s head. A solo developer will typically forget to do the fundamentals, like put notes on code or create a specification document (blueprint), which will make it difficult for anyone to take over the project. Freelance developers like to do things from memory and just execute, which can be advantageous on time but horrible on knowledge transfer.
Because single developers work alone, they lack perspective from a business person. In addition, the creativity that comes from sharing insights with a team member simply is not there. If a problem arises, a single developer does not have another programmer to work through the problem or offer a solution.
It is virtually impossible for a single developer to be an expert in every system, technology and programming language.
Working with a development shop offers important benefits that cannot be ignored. You can produce your MVP faster and at a higher quality with a team versus a single developer.