Are you a CTO of a growing company, a co-founder of a startup, or a product development manager in a multinational organization?
Well, no matter what is your position, if you have ever tried to undertake software development, you will undoubtedly have the same challenge finding and managing reliable software and app developers.
Naturally, you are trying to make the most informed decision regarding hiring developers. You will be seeking the most talented and reliable developers to help create the best possible product for your company or clients.
There are many different platforms from which you can hire a developer or a development team, for example, ValueCoders, XB Software, Gigster, and DevTeam.Space. The challenge is not finding one but working out which platform will be best for your specific project needs.
Investing large sums of time and money represents a huge risk for any company, especially if the project should fail. This is why doing as much research into where you go to hire elite developers is so important.
To make it easier for you, let’s review Gun.io, one of the alternatives to hire freelancers.
Here is a clickable content of this article:
- What Kind of Developer Do You Need?
- What is Gun.io?
- The Pros and Cons of Gun.io
- When to use Gun.io
- Gun.io Alternatives
What Kind of Developer Do You Need?
In order that we deliver the best possible value to you from this article, let‘s start by outlining the different developer requirements for each of the main types of product development.
Once you have read this section, you should understand what your project will involve and how Gun.io needs to fit these needs:
- Let’s start with the simplest kind of project, i.e. a set of landing pages. For this kind of development, you will only require a part-time software engineer. An individual who is small-scale project focused will suffice, provided they have the relevant experience. In regards to the process, it can be as straightforward as buying a set of landing page templates and asking your developer to set them up for you. They will connect them to the email forms and your domain name, etc., as well as setting up the server. This is about as straightforward as development gets. The entire process can be completed in a very short space of time.
- The next step up in terms of development is the simple corporate WordPress-based website. If you plan to build such a site then you will need a professional WordPress developer. Your developer will most likely take the approach of adapting one of the available design templates. After which, they will write the backend, set up the server, and complete the remaining steps required to get your site up and running.
- The next step up in project complexity takes a giant leap in terms of the skills required. If you wish to build a complex website then you will need a team of programmers that you manage in-house. This could be single developers or an entire dev team. Alternatively, you could choose to outsource to a development agency. This will allow you to build a custom-made website such as an online marketplace using AngularJS for the frontend and NodeJS for the backend, for example. During the process, your team will also create a company blog using WordPress to help you with your site‘s SEO. For any project of this complexity, you will need a professional designer, frontend and backend developers, and a DevOps specialist. If you have never managed a software development project before, it is both difficult and risky to build the whole team yourself. The safest option is to get professional help and hire a complete dev team.
- Next comes the challenge of creating a custom mobile application. This will require an experienced group of programmers. If you don’t already have one, you will need to hire a complete mobile development team, mobile experienced designer, and web developers to handle your backend infrastructure and the server environment. In most cases, your project will need both a mobile app (for iOS and Android) and a custom-made website. Naturally, this will increase the complexity of the team you will require even more.
- Larger companies sometimes choose to create Java or .NET based software solutions for their enterprise-level SaaS product. Usually, this will incorporate multiple micro-services and complex API integrations. Such products generally involve some form of data engineering, artificial intelligence integration, or even blockchain-based solutions. This makes them complex. For this reason, you will need a team of top-level experts. Your team must have all the appropriate expertise and experience in fields such as cyber-security, containers, high-availability systems, and different server architectures, etc., in order to successfully complete the project.
What is Gun.io?
Gun.io is a freelance software development platform, based in Nashville, Tennessee. The company‘s website is somewhat vague about its business model. However, it does state that they help companies hire remote software developers for their projects.
This makes them a standoff freelance platform that simply connects client companies to their approved freelancers.
The idea behind this model is to offer companies the scalability and flexibility to complete new projects without having to employ additional engineering teams on a full-time basis.
The company began life back in 2011 with a focus on helping companies develop high-quality software products.
In their FAQ section, the company states that “Our teams have built everything from simple web applications, APIs and mobile applications to highly complex HIPAA-compliant medical machine learning/AI clusters and data processing pipelines, international payment processing systems, high-frequency trading algorithms, embedded systems, and elastic critical infrastructure”.
Gun.io is designed to best serve the needs of individuals with short-term projects. To give you a better idea of whether Gun.io fits your project development requirements, let’s dive into the pros and cons of the platform.
The Pros and Cons of Gun.io
Advantages of using Gun.io:
- Gun.io allows companies quick access to its verified community of experienced developers. This saves companies a significant amount of time when trying to onboard developers for their projects. Gun.io claims to vet each and every developer to ensure that they meet the required standards before connecting them with clients. This vetting process also allows them to match the most suitable developers to specific projects. Gun.io claims to only hire top developers who have 10 years or more worth of experience.
- The platform has a vast amount of experience in everything from simple web applications to complex high-frequency trading algorithms.
- The company scores reasonably well in terms of client satisfaction, as the image below shows.
While Gun.io has a good business model for companies that need to quickly onboard some extra developers to their team, their approach may not be ideal for companies that need a more structured approach in terms of managerial oversight or for those with more complex projects to develop.
Let‘s take a closer look at some of the potential drawbacks to using Gun.io:
- Gun.io offers little in the way of project management processes, methods, and tools (PM&T) to help its clients. Without any project management support, you will need to manage developers entirely on your own. This is not only stressful and time-consuming but can result in project failure if managers are inexperienced.
- Gun.io offers very little information regarding its business model on its website. In fact, there is little information to be found anywhere. Their FAQ section only briefly covers their approach and simply directs prospective clients to call the company if they want more information.
- Despite some reviews claiming that Gun.io has worked with some major companies, there is no information or feedback available on its site. This is slightly worrying as it could imply that this information is false. Without any references on its site, there is no way to tell what kinds of projects the platform has been involved in.
- Gun.io only offers individual freelancers and not complete development teams. This means that companies wishing to quickly put together such teams will likely end up with a group of freelancers who have never worked with each other before. This is very risky.
Those are the pros and cons, now let‘s look more closely at when it‘s appropriate to use Gun.io.
When to use Gun.io
The main reason you are likely to undertake a software development project is to try to improve your company‘s internal processes or to develop a new product to get the edge on your competitors. In either case, you will need to act quickly and decisively to get the project finished on time and on budget.
The task of creating even a simple web or mobile app can involve lots of developers, particularly if it requires multiple features or a complex UI design. Most companies employ just enough full-time staff to manage their existing infrastructure. Therefore, they frequently lack the human resources and indeed the skills to start new projects. This means companies must hire extra staff.
Gun.io provides dedicated developers to help companies of all sizes to get around this problem.
Unfortunately, in regards to the information required for this review, there was a problem.
We couldn’t find any information about how many freelancers Gun.io actually has access to. The company also offers little explanation on its site about how it matches its freelancers to its client‘s project requirements. Therefore, we can’t comment on this.
We were able to discover that Gun.io aims to connect freelancers to the client by the next working day, but little more.
The company claims to have a strong background in mobile app development, web development, and all other kinds of development. If true, this means that Gun.io are well-qualified to provide freelancers for just about any kind of project development.
However, once again, we could find no information or references to confirm this. We can only suggest that you contact Gun.io if you wish to learn more.
Gun.io Alternatives: Comparison Chart
|X-Team||Upwork||Arc (CodementorX)||Value Coders||DevTeam.Space|
|Community||Software development teams and developers||All sort of freelancers||Freelance developers||Freelance developers||Field-expert development teams|
|Main Focus||Software Development||—||Software Consulting||Development||Development and support of complex software products|
|Dedicated Account Manager||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Data-Driven Agile Process||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Daily project updates||By request||No||By request||By request||Automated bitesize updates with roadblock tracking|
|Weekly project updates||No||No||No||Yes||Data-driven project performance reports|
|Developers work for you full-time||No||Yes/No||Yes/No||Yes/No||Yes|
In today’s free market, companies have the pick of service providers. Gun.io has lots of competitors in the software development market for companies to choose from.
For you to learn more about the best alternatives to Gun.io, the most obvious approach is to compare them with their closest competitors. We will start with X-team.
Gun.io vs X-team
Founded in 2006, X-Team is an Australian company that specializes in providing skilled freelancers for web and mobile app development.
Like Gun.io, X-Team is an unmanaged freelancing platform. They claim on their website that they have straightforward contracts, with no hidden fees, for hiring developers.
While Gun.io doesn‘t specify whether or not they incentivize their employees to learn new development skills, something that adds value to the client experience, X-Team claims that they offer cash incentives to promote their developers‘ personal growth.
Whether or not this is a bonus to clients really depends on exactly how X-Team focuses on individual development.
If the platform simply throws developers into general courses that don’t specifically target individual weak points then they might just be wasting their time for the sake of some being able to make positive marketing claims.
To sum up, keep in mind that X-Team, like Gun.io, doesn‘t manage project development, nor do they provide any PM&T for this. This is likely to be a central concern for client companies who don‘t have the relevant managerial expertise available, and so make X-Team as unsuitable as Gun.io.
Gun.io vs XB Software
XB Software is based in Minsk, Belarus. They have been in business for just over 10 years, so can rightly claim to have plenty of experience.
The company‘s business model is also very similar to Gun.io. However, they claim to have industry experience in the following areas:
- Fleet Management Software
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software
- Data Visualization Software
- School Management and Administration Software
Gun.io makes no such claim. This expertise, if true, would give XB Software a definite advantage over Gun.io in these key areas of development. If your project is in one of these areas, it would be wise to consider XB Software over Gun.io.
Another area where XB Software has the edge is that they offer managerial tools like EnjoyCSS and XB Chat, which, while not as good as the comprehensive PM tools used by managed software development companies such as DevTeam.Space should go some way towards helping client companies cope.
Depending on where your business is located, you may also find the larger global reach of XB Software advantageous when compared to Gun.io. XB Software claims to have operated in some 65 different countries, making them a good choice for companies based outside the U.S.
XB Software‘s technical expertise does seem quite broad. For e.g. their front-end expertise ranges from React.js to Webix, and their backend expertise ranges from Node.js to .NET.
This makes them a good option for most types of general project development. However, the company seems to lack experience in more complex projects like blockchain-based solutions, etc.
Gun.io vs ValueCoders
ValueCoders is an India-based freelance development company. They now have over 13 years’ worth of industry experience and claim to have around 450 full-time employees.
The company claims expertise in most areas of general software development. This includes mobile app development, web development, blockchain solutions, AR and VR development, among others.
You can choose to hire independent freelancers or full development teams. Should you choose a development team, naturally at a higher cost, then ValueCoders will assign a project manager to oversee the development process.
This sets them apart from Gun.io and makes them a much better option for companies who don’t have a project management team on hand to oversee individual freelancers.
ValueCoders do claim to have Agile expertise and high project management competency, however, they don‘t have a data-driven agile development process to streamline project development.
ValueCoders‘ breadth of past development experience, along with their large permanent workforce, is a definite plus. For complex projects, or for those companies without the required development experience, ValueCoders represents a better choice than Gun.io.
However, ValueCoders lack of sophisticated project management tools and processes is a huge drawback for those wishing to undertake complex projects.
Gun.io vs DevTeam.Space
Differing from Gun.io and the other platforms outlined, DevTeam.Space is a data-driven agile software development platform where you are matched with the most relevant field-expert development teams.
The project management process is agile and data-driven. As a part of the process, you‘re guided by a tech account manager and a tech project manager at no additional cost. During the project development process, you‘ll receive daily bite-sized updates and weekly performance reports.
Check out DevTeam.Space’s customers‘ feedback here.
Learn more about the DevTeam.Space process here.
Gun.io does not offer any of these management tools or real-time project oversight to its clients. Nor does it offer anything like the detailed daily or weekly reports to its clients that DevTeam.Space does.
Simply by accessing the project dashboard, you can see reports about the ongoing sprint that include everything from project performance scores, team performance breakdowns, and project progress information.
All this means that you will always be 100% aware of where your project is at and how we are performing. This means that all our clients sleep well at night.
DevTeam.Space‘s service is designed to quickly scale depending on a client‘s business stage. We can easily scale from a team of 3 people to 100x of engineers in a very short space of time.
Such projects require a data-driven approach by design in order to ensure maximum possible quality, speed, roadblocks tracking, and cost-effective product development.
These factors are the backbone of product development and are as equally important to a growing internet startup as they are to a large-sized business.
By offering this complete package, DevTeam.Space takes away all the stress and time-consuming effort that goes with complex product development. This means that you can focus your time and efforts on developing your marketing strategy and on business growth.
Several of our past clients have called DevTeam.Space the AWS of software development. Want to find out why? Simply submit your project requirements to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gun.io is a freelancer software development platform which connects businesses to freelance developers.
There are numerous alternatives to Gun.io. The company’s reputation stands up when compared to its freelancer competitors, however, it falls short when compared to the leading full-time software developer platforms such as DevTeam.Space.
Project owners simply need to submit a project request to the company. After it is received, Gun.io will assign a developer and let you get on with it.