Software development is a highly complex and quickly evolving industry. Even the strongest development teams sometimes struggle to keep up with the latest technologies, skills, and trends.
That’s why it’s no surprise that being a lone software developer is especially challenging. You have to wear a dozen different hats, including coming up with ideas, concept development, programming, visual design, testing, documentation, hosting, and more.
Developing a complete project by yourself is no small feat, so it’s good to know your options if you ever need to outsource something. It will help you address the solo developer problem effectively.
In this article, you will learn how to outsource the hosting part of software development and all the benefits that come along with that.
Introducing the Solo Web Developer Problem
If you’re a developer, you’ve likely heard of the lone or solo developer problem. If not, here’s the short version.
When an individual programmer builds a complete project by himself, it’s hard for others to maintain or build on it later.
Dozens of reasons contribute to the solo developer problem, including social isolation, increased stress levels, psychological biases, and more. You will learn more about them in the next segment.
Challenges of Being a Solo Developer
Here are some common challenges that solo developers struggle with.
- No feedback on your ideas from other people.
- Lack of code reviews done by other people.
- Absence of brainstorming sessions and ideas suggested by other people.
- Confirmation bias or the tendency to seek out information and make decisions based on your existing knowledge and beliefs.
- Inefficiency because no one is equally skilled at all aspects of creating a software product.
- Social isolation reduces your ability to create something relatable to others.
- Being overwhelmed can cause you to make more significant and frequent irrational decisions.
- Picking the tools you’re familiar with instead of the best ones for the job.
Now let's take a closer look at these challenges.
Limited Resources and Support
With limited resources and support, you can have a hard time with your projects as a lone developer. You are limited to using the tools you are familiar with because you can’t afford to invest a lot of time learning new technologies. Furthermore, you lack the support of a diversified team equipped with different skills and proficiency levels.
Social isolation can cause a whole host of problems. First, without the proper feedback from others, it’s hard to create effective, relatable solutions. Then, when you have to cover a dozen different skills by yourself, you can’t produce the same level of quality as a team would. Finally, learning new development technologies without a mentor is very time-consuming.
The lack of human interaction during a project can increase your stress levels for a lot of reasons. That’s because you don’t have anyone to turn to when running into issues in areas you’re less experienced in. Furthermore, it’s very hard to fix bugs without getting input from another person, which is a major stressor for many developers.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to tackle the solo developer problem. You can bring in more developers or outsource part of your project to freelancers and agencies.
Bring in More Developers
If you’re a small business owner, you could consider the option of hiring other experienced developers to assist you on your projects. This can help you focus on what matters most and what you’re good at.
Depending on the project's complexity and what you need help with, you could consider hiring junior developers to do the job. Doing a cost-benefit analysis can help you make the best decision on the level of expertise you can afford.
Another option is to outsource a part, or multiple parts, of your work to freelancers or agencies. For example, you might not enjoy or be very proficient in interface design or software testing. In that case, why not hire a company or individual to take over that aspect of the project?
Leveraging Managed Hosting for Your Web Apps
Managed hosting is especially beneficial if you’re a web developer. Here’s why.
Hosting company support teams are trained to work with server stacks made for websites and web apps. They know how to configure, optimize, and suggest the best software and solutions for your web development needs.
Furthermore, hosting support engineers are very effective at recognizing and troubleshooting any server-side issues. They can save you from the headache of trying to discover what's causing an issue, whether it be the application, server, or server software stack.
If an error is caused by the application, they can still help by providing you with the relevant log messages and pointing you in the right direction.
You will learn more about the benefits of managed hosting in the next segment.
Benefits of Managed Hosting for the Lone Developer
As a lone developer, choosing a web host can be daunting. Managed hosting, however, provides various benefits that can make this decision a lot easier for you. One key advantage is the level of technical support provided, allowing you to focus solely on developing your project without worrying about server maintenance or downtime. Additional benefits include:
- Support engineers will fix any server-side issues for you, letting you focus on what matters most.
- Automated monitoring eliminates the need for you to run manual tests and frequent checks to ensure services are running as intended.
- Support engineers will help you reduce the time needed to investigate whether an issue is on the server or application side.
- You can avoid configuring the server software stack and keeping up with the latest trends in this industry and instead rely on support to do this for you.
- Network and DNS issues and configurations no longer need to cause you a headache, as support engineers are well-versed in these two areas.
- You get notified of the recommended software updates and are provided with the necessary update assistance.
The Cost Factor in Choosing Managed Hosting
Depending on your budget, a managed support service is a significant addition to the initial server price. But consider all of its benefits and the enormous time-saving potential down the road.
Being a lone developer is a very time-consuming profession. So imagine how much value you’re getting when you outsource the hosting part of software development to a managed support team.
It can also get quite stressful if you aren’t an expert at server administration, networking, and server software stacks. But it doesn’t need to be if you have 24/7 access to professional assistance.
Finding the Right Managed Hosting Provider for Your Needs
There’s certainly no lack of hosting providers today that offer a managed hosting service. But with so many providers to choose from, it can be difficult and time-consuming to find the best one for your needs.
There are several factors to consider when picking a managed hosting provider, including pricing, support levels, support channels, and availability.
The price of managed support plans can vary from provider to provider. In some cases, the managed support service is included in the hosting plan’s price, while in others, it’s marketed as an add-on with its own pricing and even multiple plans.
Some hosting providers or plans only support maintaining and configuring their server’s basic software stack. Others provide additional services such as cybersecurity, migrations, and even application-level support.
Managed hosting support can be provided through several different channels, including phone, chat, and email (ticket) support. Make sure you get all three, as you might prefer different channels in different situations. For example, calls might be the fastest way to report issues, while chats are convenient if you can’t afford to talk out loud in a business setting or during an online meeting.
Being a solo software developer can be challenging due to the many responsibilities and tasks involved in developing a project alone. The solo developer problem is characterized by social isolation, increased stress levels, and a lack of feedback.
However, there are several solutions you can consider in addressing this problem, including bringing in more developers or outsourcing parts of the project to freelancers or agencies. Another effective solution is leveraging managed hosting, as hosting support teams can provide expertise, troubleshooting, and optimization for the hosting part of development.
Managed hosting helps solo developers focus on other critical aspects of their projects and ensure that their development process is running smoothly.
Choose Liquid Web for the Best Managed Hosting Support
If you’re looking for the industry’s best-managed hosting support provider, look no further. With over 25 years of managed hosting experience, LiquidWeb is the hosting partner you can trust.
Liquid Web Security Operations tech Joseph spends his days cleaning up malware and doing his part to keep the Internet safe. He is interested in all things Linux and always looking for something new to learn. In addition, he enjoys cooking and playing guitar, is an avid horror and sci-fi reader, and is a fan of black metal music.
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