Custom Software Apps & SharePoint Consulting

Why a One-Man Army is Bad for Software Development

You’re a midsized company.  You’ve got the need for some IT staff, but not much.  You’ve got somebody managing your email and whatnot.You’ve got a small custom app, either a mobile platform or some line of business functionality living between your off-the-shelf pieces.  So what do you do?  You hire a part time dev from Fiverr, or maybe bring in someone full-time to support you.

Why not? The software is a core part of your business, and having a dedicated person to keep it running smoothly is only smart…right?


The truth is, with the same expense you put in on a full-time-developer, you can get a team of experts to step in when needed, then get them out of the way again.

The Good Things About an In-House Employee

Hiring an employee to handle your IT needs in-house means that you have a number of obvious advantages. 

They’re On Call, Dedicated, and Full-Time

An in-house IT specialist will spend 40+ hours per week dedicated just to your system. They’re on call when you need them and available to answer any questions that you might have, regardless of when those questions arise. Having a full-time, in-house IT specialist also means that you don’t have to worry about small questions or solutions. 

100% Familiarity with Your Code Base

When you have an in-house IT specialist, they are completely familiar with exactly your tools, your code, and your information. You know that they know your code inside and out, which means they may be able to make changes quickly when needed. 

The Bad Things About an In-House IT Employee

While having an in-house IT specialist certainly has its advantages, it comes with some key disadvantages, too. 

They’re Full-Time

When you have an in-house IT professional, you’re paying for full-time service, even when you don’t need it. You’ll also have to pay for:

  • Benefits (including health insurance, PTO, etc)
  • Office space
  • Equipment

And all the other potential costs related to a full-time employee. 

Stale Skillsets

Many times, in-house employees don’t have the tools to expand their skillset–or you’ll have to pay for training for them to go out and learn those skills. In many cases, you may find them experimenting on your project as they attempt to expand their skills and grow. 

Experience Challenges

Sometimes, you may find yourself overpaying for the experience you need, since you may struggle to get the right team–especially if you’re hiring a single employee to take care of your coding needs. In other cases, you may hire someone who simply does not have the skillset you need. Good developers need to grow, and you have a set ceiling for your needs that  may influence the way you interact with your developer. 

One dev also means that you’re dealing with one person’s experience. There’s no one to talk issues through with at the company, at least not anyone with a signed NDA, and any individual developer may not have the specific skills needed to achieve your goals or to handle the problems you may face.

Hiring Developers Isn’t Your Core Competency

You likely don’t specialize in coding or IT, which means that it may be difficult to even determine whether you’re hiring a developer with the skills you need. You don’t know what you don’t know–and you may not know how to ensure that you’ve found a competent developer. 

Support and Coverage Gaps

When you have a single developer on your project, you don’t have anyone to cover during holidays and illnesses. As a result, you may find yourself scrambling to handle any problems that crop up during those times. 

Entrance Can Help

The Army of One strategy might not work as well as you might have hoped when it comes to software development. By working with Entrance, however, you can get the support you need. 

The Retainer SLA Gets You Help When You Need It

Call in when you have problems and let us take care of them, no matter when they might occur. 

Employee Longevity Helps

Our employees tend to stick with the team long-term, which means we’re still familiar with your code base even after years have passed. 

Fresh Ideas, Current Standards, and Comprehensive Support

Our large team is constantly learning and growing. When you don’t need us, we’re busy working on other projects, which means that we’re constantly learning more about our field. We’ll be able to bring fresh ideas and current design standards to your business, helping you to continue to grow and stand out in your field.

In addition, we’re ideally positioned to provide the specific support you need, including a team with a diverse skill base. Get an architect when you need one, and a developer when that’s the skillset you really need. 

Burst Development Helps

Burst development helps get your software out the door faster–or take care of any problems immediately. One developer is always one developer, no matter how many tasks you put on your employee’s plate. With Entrance, on the other hand, you can get the unique configuration of team members you need at any given time. We can be one architect, then three devs, then .25 dev-hours, depending on your specifc needs. 

Get Built-In Oversight

Not only do you get the developer support you need, but that developer has the whole Entrance organization to call on, complete with architect support and oversight.

Who does the guy in your server room call when he needs help? At Entrance, there’s always someone to call on when things aren’t going according to plan. 

Better Total Cost of Ownership

When you’re considering the cost of hiring a consultant, make sure you understand your actual costs. The general rule of thumb is that consultant costs are around 1.25 to 1.4 times the salart of a standard employee. A retainer for $80k, for example, is approximately the same as the cost of a $56k employee when you consider the cost of equipment, computers, workspace, and office space, even if they don’t get extra benefits. 

The Middle Way

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing! We have some clients with a one-man army that have hired us to back them up, providing all those benefits while they keep an in-house specialist as the manager and first line of defense. The first 40 hours of work a week go to him, while the variable amount past that goes to us. That means that the in-house specialist gets to leverage our team for backup, including for vacations, and has access to an architect for discussing designs as well as ongoing support as he manages his daily challenges.

Are you ready to start making more out of your software development solution–to shift away from the one-man army approach and try something new? Contact us today for more information.

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