What is the difference between a dedicated developer and a freelance developer?

September 20, 2023

Tags: IT Staff Augmentation

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software developer


In today's digital age, the demand for tech talent is higher than ever. Businesses of all sizes look for software developers to create and maintain applications, websites, and software systems.


When addressing this need, organizations face an important question: should they hire a dedicated developer or a freelance developer? Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice depends largely on your company's needs and resources.


We will now look at the key differences between a dedicated developer and a freelance developer to help you make an informed decision.


software developers


Characteristics of a dedicated developer and a freelance developer

Let's analyze the profile of the dedicated developer

A dedicated developer is an IT professional who works exclusively for a particular company or client. This person is a permanent member of the company's team and is fully integrated into its culture and projects.


Here are some key characteristics of a dedicated developer:


  • Full time employee

A dedicated developer is a full-time employee of the company. This means that he works at the company's facilities and follows his regular work schedule. He often receives benefits such as health insurance, paid vacations and other incentives that permanent employees typically receive.


  • Long term commitment

The relationship between a dedicated developer and the company is often long-term. Dedicated developers are ideal for long-term projects that require ongoing commitment and close collaboration. They can engage in troubleshooting, optimization, and ongoing maintenance of systems and applications.


  • Integration in the team

A dedicated developer is considered part of the company's team. This means you participate in meetings, collaborate with other team members, and contribute to the overall growth and success of the company. Team integration can foster effective communication and cohesion in the workplace.


  • Greater control

The company has greater control over the work and tasks of a dedicated developer. You can assign specific projects, set priorities, and closely monitor progress. This can be beneficial for critical projects that require more direct management.

dedicated developers


This is the profile of the freelance developer

A freelance developer, on the other hand, is a self-employed professional who works independently and often takes on projects for multiple clients. Below are some key characteristics of a freelance developer:


  • Project contract

Freelance developers are usually hired on a per-project basis. When a project is completed, the client can decide whether they want to renew the contract for future projects or not. This flexibility makes freelance developers ideal for short-term projects or specific tasks.


  • Independence

Freelance developers are independent and work from their own location, whether from home or an office of their own. This often allows them to set their own schedules and work with multiple clients at once.


  • Variety of skills

Since freelance developers work with multiple clients, they tend to gain a variety of skills and experience in different types of projects and technologies. This can be beneficial if your company needs diverse expertise for specific projects.


  • Less long-term commitment

Unlike dedicated developers, freelance developers are not committed long-term to a particular company. This can be advantageous if your company is unsure how long you will need the services of a developer or if you only need one-time help.

freelance developer


Comparison: Dedicated Developer vs. Freelance developer

To make an informed decision between a dedicated developer and a freelance developer, it is important to consider the specific needs of your company and the type of project you are tackling. Here is a comparison of the two approaches:


1. Cost:

Dedicated Developer: Typically has a higher cost due to their full-time employee status and associated benefits.

Freelance Developer: Can be cheaper on short-term projects, as you pay per project or hourly without the additional costs of a permanent employee. “The average salary for independent developers varies because they can set their own pay rates”, they also noted in an Indeed article.


2. Flexibility:

Dedicated Developer: Offers less flexibility in terms of schedules and short-term commitments.

Freelance Developer: Provides greater flexibility in terms of availability and duration of projects. “A good freelance software engineer should be able to adapt quickly to new technologies and programming languages, as the software development industry is always changing”, they noted in this LinkedIn article.


dedicated developer


3. Specialization:

Dedicated Developer: May be highly specialized in the specific field of the company.

Freelance Developer: Tends to be more versatile and can bring a variety of skills and experiences.


4. Long-term commitment:

Dedicated Developer: Suitable for long-term projects and continuous collaboration.

Freelance Developer: Ideal for short-term projects or intermittent needs.


freelance developer


5. Control:

Dedicated Developer: Allows greater control and direct supervision by the company.

Freelance Developer: Requires less supervision and can function more independently.


Ultimately, the choice between a dedicated developer and a freelance developer will depend on factors such as the duration of the project, the available budget, and the need for specialization.


Some companies choose to combine both approaches depending on their changing needs. The key to making the best decision is to clearly understand your goals and communicate effectively with the development professional or team you choose to work with.


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