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Should You Hire a Full Stack Developer or a Team of Specialists?
Who should you hire for your next project?
- A full stack developer
- A team of specialized developers
- How should I know?! I’m overseeing an important project with a limited budget and my deadlines are approaching. Help!
Did you choose C? Fear not! Judge is here to save you the guesswork. Before we dive deeper, let's discuss the differences between both options.
A full stack developer is a jack-of-all-trades — an individual capable of handling the full umbrella of development by themselves, including front-end and back-end, markup language, and UI/UX design. In contrast, a team of developers is composed of individuals with expertise in interdependent fields of “dev.” Both options come with advantages and disadvantages, which explains why neither has run away with the crown.
Ultimately, your decision should depend on the unique nature of your project. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:
How Big is Your Project?
The size of your project affects the kind of developmental support and expertise you’ll need. Many companies, especially startups, hire full stack developers for relatively small projects like web application development. When it comes to larger projects, a team of developers is often better suited. As the sheer complexity and volume of tasks increases, it becomes difficult for a single developer (even an exceptional one) to handle all the work required.
How Complex Are the Tasks?
Large projects aren’t the only ones that can benefit from work carried out by a full team. Even relatively small projects can consist of many moving parts. Projects like these often require specialized skill sets — making a team worth considering. For smaller projects characterized by common coding tasks, full stack developers can often deliver excellent results without compromising quality or deadlines.
What’s Your Budget?
Naturally, hiring a single developer is usually more affordable than hiring a team. But use caution; making decisions based on budget alone can impact the overall quality of work and cost you in the long run. Make sure your decision accommodates the size and complexity of your project before thinking about ways to cut costs. Hiring a single full stack developer is likely the more economical option; but if cost were the only factor, we wouldn’t be writing this article!
How Flexible is Your Project?
If project parameters aren’t fully set in stone, it might be wise to consider a full stack developer who is open to change, can easily take new instructions, and has the ability to turn on a dime. While it’s certainly true that teams can be flexible too, it’s sometimes difficult for project managers to coordinate adjustments across multiple team members — causing delays and budget issues. In more stable situations, teams are often better able to maintain systematic processes and pay close attention to detail.
What About Quality?
Under the right circumstances, both options can provide great quality. Ultimately your decision should reflect key considerations such as project size, complexity, and flexibility. Make the right choices around these considerations and you’ll maximize your chances at receiving high-quality work.
Working with full stack developers vs. teams of developers have pros and cons. At the end of the day, it’s all about transparency and trust. Seek a developer or a team who can demonstrate experience with projects like yours and will be honest about the labor involved.
Whoever you end up choosing, Judge is always here to help.
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