May 29, 2024


The Joy of Technology

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“Good quality is cheap; it’s poor quality that is expensive”

Freelancers seem economical upfront, but they soon become a liability and cause more problems than they solve. Many businesses regretted taking their pivotal projects to freelancer developers in the post-pandemic remote hiring season. The lack of domain-specific expertise, on-time communication, project management, and other drawbacks created issues that eventually toppled the project.

Businesses fail to realize that a software engineering company’s project management ecosystem – from discovery to deployment can’t be matched by freelancers. The tools, certifications, resources, expertise, and other strengths of a dedicated software development company are unparalleled, and no freelance developer can offer the same level of professionalism.

Today we’ll dive into some shocking stories of promising starts on projects that turned into abysmal finishes with freelance developers.

Nightmare stories of working with freelance developers – Why projects go bust?

They go incommunicado - Horror stories of going direct - ISHIR

They go incommunicado:

A developer that left the client hanging. After accepting the project and partial payment to initiate it, the freelancer disappeared – wouldn’t respond to calls or messages and never tried to reach out. All the client got was an email with the code that was buggy. Plus, they showed the audacity to demand full payment and weren’t willing to fix the errors either.

Their refusal to get on project management sites, collaboration tools, or worse, not share their phone numbers, makes it difficult to get in touch. Sudden cut-offs make it hard for clients to go after them if something doesn’t seem right with the work. Tracking them down is also an issue, even if they were all in the same region.

You are not a priority to them - Horror stories of Going direct ISHIR

You are not a priority to them:

You reach out to these freelance developers, but they seem occupied with something else. Yes, project managers often come across freelancers who are tied up with other projects. Plus, they don’t reserve a block of time to talk to you either. Right when you need them, they seem busy with multiple deadlines. Many even show up late to project discussion calls. According to Website Planet, 40% of freelancers hope to improve their networking skills.

They don’t belong to the project, meaning no ownership - Horror Stories of Going Direct ISHIR

They don’t belong to the project, meaning no ownership:

The desire and commitment of most freelance developers are questionable. It’s only a gig that brings the next paycheck. A client was disappointed in how the freelancer got done with a vital aspect of the website. The integration that should’ve been owned and executed straight through fell on their shoulders.

This wasted time and effort of their IT team and created monetary losses as part of the investment in the freelancer. In the end, the release happened after the senior developers got involved. Most businesses expect a freelancer to own their side of things outright. The failure to do so results in companies utilizing extra resources unnecessarily.

Making more money is the motto, project success is not - ISHIR

Making more money is the motto, project success is not:

Freelancers are packing more than they can chew. Constantly juggling multiple projects means they find it hard to do justice to either. The mindset is more money-minded. Their end goal is to grab a client and get paid. A lack of focus on the in-hand engagement means they rarely deliver on par with the client’s expectations. Most freelancers’ projects aren’t success stories – a feather in the cap. Instead, they treat projects as a monetary source.

Missing competence and working in Silos not helping them solve the problem either - Horror Stories of going Direct ISHIR

Missing competence and working in Silos not helping them solve the problem either:

A project manager of a small business couldn’t brief the freelancer enough – it took hours and hours of “hand-holding” to see some progress. After a couple of more exhausting hours of coaching and guiding, the team decided to disconnect. The project wasn’t meant to be a crash course on Java. Freelancers hope to learn “on the job,” which sadly creates delays.

There have been many instances of freelancers accepting and not delivering or delivering a botched project. Their enthusiasm doesn’t match their skillset. The eagerness fueled by greed to grab a client is super-strong, but that doesn’t manifest into technical proficiency. Freelancers will often accept projects beyond their scope – only to realize they don’t have what it takes.

No testing - Horror stories of going direct ISHIR

No Testing = Clumsy Job:

They fail to deliver an error-free project. Plus, find it hard to do proper testing and documentation, remove unused libraries, transfer the site to the client’s host, diagnose deployment issues, work without corrupting the database, and more. Their deliverables are plagued with bugs that require additional hours, making it hard for the manager. They rarely bring up their inefficiencies for fear of losing a valuable client, which creates problems for managers overseeing the project.

Wait, they may not be the same people who you met online - Horror stories of going direct

Wait, they may not be the same people who you met online:

Freelance developers may not be all that they seem. There have been times when project managers ended up hiring candidates based on online tests and portfolios. The portfolio was fake, and the online test was attempted by someone else. You want to keep a watch on the credibility of the freelancer; many shady people are trying to rip off employers.

The freelancer you are about to hire may not even be the one working on your project. A manager found out the hard way when mails from the “actual” freelancer were forwarded as it is, and the signature on many of them proved to be a dead give-away.

The person you hired based on their expertise will not develop anything. These freelancers exploit their clients’ access and acquire a project, only to have someone more inferior work on the project. Why? They are more occupied with high-profile clients that pay premium amounts.

Be ready for the extortion in case they seize your codebase and digital assets:

It’s quite common for managers to come across freelancers who refuse to share the code, forward source files, or even release the work and demand extra money. This generally pops up in the final phase, after the freelancer demos the revised and final version. Despite the agreement, they arm-twist small businesses to pocket a higher wage. This results in companies paying more than they intended to. Link

Missing Accountability:

If someone works directly, they take it upon themselves to deliver. A food delivery app’s project manager realized quite early that freelancers weren’t nearly as dedicated as their internal peers. When performance issues of the app rose, these independent contractors shifted responsibility, made excuses, and ran for the hills.

No Confidentiality guarantee- Horror stories of going direct ISHIR

No Confidentiality guarantee:

Who’s to say the last freelancer you hired won’t use the code block, script, and other deliverables with the next client. Compliance seems to be a growing concern for most managers, who can’t ascertain if the sensitive info will be passed down or not. The Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) can also only do so much.

Passing down original specifics to a freelancer may not be in the best interest of your business’s growth. Ingenious, unique, creative ideas and minuscule details shared with a freelancer can fall into your competitor’s hands. Even retaliating through statutory procedures may not be the best move, considering how getting into a legal tussle eats your cash flow.

Start up Software ideas CTA - ISHIR

Security Risk of your sensitive data:

A project manager once changed his mind about handing over sensitive data to a freelancer for the fear that their system could be compromised. Even if the freelancer had honest intentions, their device sits vulnerable and can be hacked easily. These freelancers work out of remote networks that can invite all kinds of breaches and hacks most of the time.

Clients request remote desktop virtualization or screen sharing in some cases, but most freelancers aren’t too keen on doing this. Their privacy seems more important, and they aren’t too keen on logging into somebody else’s system either. This makes it hard to get real-time insights, encrypt their system, and secure the endpoints of a freelancer’s system. Some of the SaaS security risks and concerns every business should consider.

Not in the best interest for Marketing Agencies - ISHIR

Not in the best interest for Marketing Agencies:

Managers in marketing agencies have difficulty dealing with freelance developers. Such agencies may have a sound infrastructure for marketing, sales, PR, paid promotions, etc., but they lack an in-depth awareness of software engineering. Their sole reason to opt for freelancers stems from financial reasons.

Many managers regretted picking a freelancer. It came to a point where their esteemed clients were on the verge of canceling the contract for their inability to deliver a proper project – multiple iterations later, they still couldn’t get it right. The freelancer’s incompetence in stepping up their development to meet the client’s requirements meant the marketing agency paid a heavy price.

Find their back against the wall when the project volume rises - ISHIR

Find their back against the wall when the project volume rises:

A project manager of a well-known eCommerce brand hired an hourly freelancer and regretted it. The freelancer couldn’t handle the size of the project after committing; the project went over time and cost the brand a missed opportunity on Black Friday. The pages weren’t up on time. The site itself went through severe downtime. Link

They lost visitors, but they also lost an immense amount of Customer Life Value (CLV). Freelancers all by themselves can’t keep up with the load; they can’t run, test, and deploy on time. If you have a heavy-duty project and time to market matters, then going to freelancers may not be the best decision.

Why a trusted development company makes more sense?

Relying on a pool of skilled developers in a development company guarantees quality work and ensures absolute peace of mind. With its robust ecosystem of cutting-edge applications and hardware, a software company is much more equipped to guarantee top-tier delivery. World-class teams and outstanding operational excellence make them more reliable for your project.

Cosmetic changes or custom advanced integrations – a development company packs more strength to complete any project. Each milestone is achieved on par with your expectations. Their backup systems ensure that there’ll always be someone available to take over if anything goes wrong. Innovative and committed, they are the best allies to close projects.

Table Horror Stories of Going Direct ISHIR


Businesses need heroes that fight for them. Most struggle and burn a gaping hole in their coffers in the mammoth battles of complex software development, usually due to coordinating with freelancers. These unreachable developers with minimal expertise, divided focus, and zero trust are not what you want to waste your time and money on.

Drop the uphill battle to coordinate with independent contractors. Instead, reach out to a certified company for absolute peace of mind. Sit back as our astute developers take over and address your requirements to perfection. Our professionals build from the ground up just as well as they modify. The best part, they deliver tailor-made solutions on par with your expectations.


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