Why a one-man freelance web developer is better than a team

Syed Anees Khan
5 min readDec 9, 2021

Diary of a Programmer Part 2
(part 1)

This discussion came during a meeting with a client, as a freelance web developer. As expected, a client will judge the strength/capability of a web development company by asking the all-famous question: HOW BIG IS YOUR TEAM?

Photo by Grzegorz Walczak on Unsplash

Nothing wrong with that, because I used to hire external web developer companies or freelance web developer as part of my employment company and I asked the exact same question before. Surely that must be a good indicator of how good they are, right? Most times, yes, I do agree with that. But this article is about those times when this thinking just won’t stand.

Example 1:
I have worked as part of such a “team” before. I wouldn’t call it a team exactly. It was just a group of us programmers put together, and as the sales guy clinch up new sales, the project will be pushed to one of us, not caring how many we already are handling.

So, me being just an employee, I have to clear all these jobs before I can go home. So, despite my best intentions, I had to cut some corners, knowing full well, that that action is going to come back as a bug next time. But next-time issues are issues for another day, right? I need to show something today so that I can go home, right? I might not even be employed here when next-time comes, right?

So, that’s the type of working style I HAD to follow. Even though it’s not something I’m proud of to admit now.

So, in summary: it was more of a patch-based, short-term development, rather than looking at the long-term stability and objective of that project or even caring about the company behind the business or how this will affect their business.

Example 2:
When sh@t happens, then what? In other words, when issues arise or things go wrong, the client will call the helpline which they might have been given. Typically a ticket help desk system, and not a phone number to call immediately.

There was one time, when a sign-up section was “just not working”. Client submitted the helpdesk ticket. The ticket handler had to find out who was the programmer for that project. And much later, found out…

Syed Anees Khan

Syed Anees Khan is a freelance web and mobile app developer, and a software developer, for the past 28 years, and is running Getcha Solutions (getcha.com)