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By 0to5 • October 17, 2014

An Alternative to Hiring Full-Time Engineers

Imagine you sign a new client project after giving an estimated delivery of 9 months. Congratulations! But wait – you're already at capacity and have spent the past two weeks fighting off the major scope creep your new client is stacking onto your shoulders. The stress is piling up and you consider hiring new engineers, but haven't found a match during your preliminary search.

You know this project is somewhat like a first date, and that if you exceed expectations you're likely to be offered a waterfall of groundbreaking work – but here you are with no idea how to deliver!

 

Just when you thought there was no hope at all, we're here to tell you otherwise.

 

What if you could take this 9 month project and have it shipped and delivered in less than a third of the time, without having to go through the exhaustive process of hiring new developers?

From the onset, this is a difficult topic to approach. However, it's something that comes up in our daily lives as we grow CloudMine into a leading technology solution for agencies and enterprises. We've talked with agencies employing teams of engineers all scrambling to get their projects out the door. One agency was so strapped for development bandwidth that it had PHP developers writing Objective-C, HTML/CSS developers cutting their teeth on Node, and iPhone developers building Android interfaces. While it's great to have a team that tackles any problem thrown their way, we can't help but note that there must be a better, more efficient, less stressful way.

 

We've also had several conversations with prospective partners who are looking to expand their engineering team, specifically by hiring one or two back-end engineers to help maintain large multitudes of server-side stacks that have been cobbled together over the years. While this is the way business has traditionally been done — hire when you want to grow — we're here to tell you there is a new, technological solution to your problem. First, however, let's take a moment to run down some bullet points on traditional hiring and on-boarding processes and how they may stack up against a Backend-as-a-Service solution.

 

  • Hiring Process

    We've learned this takes an average of 6-10 weeks (per engineer) and a tremendous amount of time, energy and effort from many members of the current team. Additionally, hiring is often responsible for delaying engineering progress. Sourcing candidates, first-round phone interviews, face-to-face meetings, offers, negotiations and finally, acceptance – this is a long arduous process to endure for each new hire especially when in the middle of crunch-time.

  • On-boarding, Training & Ramp Up Time

    On-boarding can take, on average, 3-4 months. What will your new hire be responsible for? How will she blend with an existing team? Who's going to take time out of their workday to train the new employee and bring her up to speed on current projects? How long does it take for a new engineer to become comfortable in her new environment, with her new project and her new mission? This last piece varies greatly person to person.

  • Salary, Benefits & Equipment

    It's a known fact that full time employees cost significantly more than pure salary expenditure. Taxes, healthcare, 401k accounts and other benefits eat up a lot of these costs. Additional expenses like equipment, office space, digital services and more are also all rolled up in the total cost of a full time employee (Source). For example, here in Philadelphia it costs around$123,500 per year to employ a single full-time senior engineer. And in San Francisco, it's even worse: it can cost upwards of $161,200 (or higher, where competition is fierce) per year.

  • Actual Development Time, Labor & Costs

    Once your new team member is hired and brought up to speed it's time to actually start digging into the task at hand. This will include writing code, creating or expanding technical architecture to meet the company's ever-changing needs, and making sure everything is working all the time. Maintenance is perhaps the largest nuisance of all. Servers have to have OS and security patches applied, firewall rules monitored, performance tweaked and re-tweak, and software tested and deployed. And when those servers crash, your employees are pulled off of their primary objectives and sent into crisis mode to discover and fix whatever went wrong. All of this costs significant time and money that would be better allocated to improve the product in ways that more directly affect the end user.

  • Risks of Hiring the Wrong Person

    Hiring mistakes are often considered the biggest expense a company can face, but these expenses are more than just monetary. Bad hires suck energy from companies and breed distraction, process disruption, and can have strong negative impacts on both company's morale and overall productivity. If done properly, a good hiring manager will know how to choose the right person for the right position; but bad hires happen quite frequently, and as a leader you'll need to be prepared for the fallout. According to one source, one bad hire could cost a company two and a half times their annual salary, turning a $100,000 salary into a $250,000 expense. Crazy! (Source)

 

There is another way.

 

When you make the choice to step away from all this nonsense you'll find that there's a much better option. One that doesn't require seeking out talent, crossing your fingers that there's a culture fit, waiting for ramp-up, dealing with churn, managing any other unforeseen difficulties thrown your way, and then finally hoping the product gets delivered on time.

 

By leveraging CloudMine's solution and expertise, you and your company are free to create what makes you and your product unique without needing to scale your back-end engineering team. Gone are the days of breaking your back to provide your customers with the data they need on the device they want. Simply plug existing data sources into CloudMine and your information is immediately available to be accessed by any endpoint imaginable: mobile apps, APIs, wearable computers, smart watches— the list is endless.

 

Any device. Any information.

 

Let CloudMine be your entire back-end and data integration suite, ready to go out of the box. Say goodbye to sourcing resumes, awkward interviews and "hoping the newbie works out", and say hello to a new world of product-oriented bliss.

 

Come talk with us to see how we can help.