If you plan to undertake software development, you will undoubtedly face the challenge of finding and managing reliable software and app developers, frontend or backend engineers.
Naturally, since you will be investing a lot of time and money into developing your product, you want to do everything possible to remove the risk that it might fail. This is why you need to find the right platform from which to source developers.
Amongst the list of the many platforms where you can hire a developer or a development team are XB Software, Arc, Gun.io, and DevTeam.Space. Choice is not the problem, rather the real challenge comes trying to pick the best platform to suit your project needs.
To make it easier for you, let’s review X-Team, one of the alternatives to hire freelancers.
Here is a clickable content of the article:
- What Kind of Developer Do You Need?
- What is X-Team?
- The Pros and Cons of X-Team
- When to use X-Team
- X-Team Alternatives
What Kind of Developer Do You Need?
Let‘s start by familiarizing you with the different developer requirements for whatever product development needs you may have. Once this is done, it‘ll be easy for you to see where X-Team fits in terms of the service they offer.
- If you have a simple project, aka a handful of landing pages, then you‘ll probably need a part-time engineer, namely an individual who is focused primarily on small projects and has built similar solutions before. You can purchase a landing page template and they will implement it for you by connecting it to the email forms and your domain name, setting up the server, etc.
- If you‘re building something more complex, let‘s say a simple corporate WordPress based website, then you may need a professional WordPress developer. They will simply adjust one of the paid theme templates, write the backend, set up the server, and complete all other necessary steps in order to launch and support your website.
- However, if you’re launching a more serious website, you may need to hire a complete dev team, or a development agency, or individual specialists and manage them by yourself. They will be able to build a custom website, let’s say a marketplace, for example, using NodeJS for the backend and AngularJS for the frontend. They will use WordPress to set up a company blog for your SEO marketing efforts and link it to the website. With this type of project, your development team will need to have a professional designer, frontend and backend developers, and a DevOps specialist. If you have never managed a project before, it may be tough and risky to build the whole team yourself. In this case, it would be easier for you to hire a complete dev team.
- The next level of complexity is developing a mobile application. For this, you will need to hire a complete mobile development team, mobile experienced designer, and web developers for your backend infrastructure and the server environment. Your project could require the development of mobile apps for both iOS and Android as well as a website. This will increase the complexity of the team you need even further.
- Lastly, you may require a complex Java or .NET based software solution for your enterprise-level SaaS product with multiple microservices and complex API integrations. The project may also involve some data engineering, artificial intelligence integration, or a blockchain-based solution. At this stage, you will need top-level experts to work together as a team. They must have all the relevant expertise and experience in cyber-security, high-availability systems, and different server architectures, etc.
It is likely that your project will fit somewhere in between the examples above. However, these are the most likely examples of the typical types of projects that you may need help with and so serve as an excellent guide.
What Is X-Team?
The Australia-based company, X-team, was founded in Melbourne in 2006. X-Team.com is a software development platform that provides freelancers for companies to help add scalability to their permanent teams.
They can provide you with dedicated teams or individual programmers for your projects, according to your needs. They offer this service for both web and mobile application development projects.
They can provide developers who specialize in the following skills:
- Ruby on Rails;
As an international company, X-Team has a policy of supporting their software engineers’ skill development. They incentivize their developers in various ways to continuously improve and upgrade their skill sets. In the software development industry, where today’s niche skill quickly becomes a redundant skill tomorrow, this is certainly a positive.
X-Team also claims to have utilized their decade-plus worth of experience to build a reliable hiring process. They claim to only hire good developers. Naturally, this is an attractive claim to all companies as they are trying to find high-quality developers.
Furthermore, the platform also claims to have an internal development process that ensures high morale among its employees. Their X-Outpost practice is claimed by the company to maximize worker output while also keeping them motivated. The X-Outpost employee plan allows their workers to travel to remote locations throughout the world while still working.
X-Team will provide you with a dedicated account manager to manage your engagement with them. This is certainly helpful as it allows you to easily raise queries and issues with them.
X-Team offers flexible contract options. They also offer monthly billing features. You might find it easy to manage your ’Time & Material‘ (T&M) engagements better with this feature.
X-Team mentions some of their client history on their website, which includes Kaplan, and Fox. These companies have provided positive feedback about X-Team remote development teams that worked for them. It is always reassuring to read positive testimonials from such large businesses.
Now that I have described what X-Team offers and what their main areas of focus are, we will move onto the company’s pros and cons. This way, you can more accurately judge whether X-Team can support your software development requirements.
The Pros and Cons of X-Team
Certain companies will find X-Teams‘ ability to quickly provide skilled programmers in a flexible capacity very useful. The company offers development teams and developers with a range of skills that cover most kinds of normal development. Their model, therefore, offers scalability and the chance to simplify the hiring process.
However, while X-Team developers have created high-quality websites, APIs, mobile apps, there are a few questions that remain unanswered. While X-Team seems to have the coding side covered, project initiation and management are all left to you, the client company.
This means you will have to contend with numerous important questions even before you start your development phase that X-Team won‘t help with. For e.g.:
- You might have high-level business requirements, but you need them to be translated into technical requirements.
- Your product plan may be ready, but you need help with outlining and setting up the infrastructure side before development starts.
- You may have a complex ’First of a kind‘ (FOAK) project where you need to choose the best architectural approach.
- The project may have many iterations, with frequent releases after your ’Minimum Viable Product‘ (MVP). Hence you may need to have properly managed development, test, and production environments.
- You might need to set-up a robust DevOps environment by yourself.
- There could be many architectural decisions to make, for e.g. which database to use.
- You might have high customization requirements and need to decide whether you will use available APIs or build new ones.
- Your team might already be focused on your core business operations. This might mean that your project manager will not have sufficient time for your software development project. If this affects the development of your project plan or project control and tracking, then you will have problems.
If you already have sufficient expertise and flexibility in your team, and are happy to take care of these tasks, then X-Team might suit your project. In such a case, contacting the platform to learn more about hiring skilled programmers from X-team makes sense.
After you have their developers onboard, your project manager will manage the project and give day-to-day directions to your X-Team coders. Once your development phase is over, you may choose to continue with X-Teamers for post-implementation support, etc. Otherwise, you can close the contract with them and manage everything in-house.
Now it’s time for the disadvantages of X-Teams‘ model:
What if you don’t have the resources to address all the non-development tasks mentioned above? In such a case, you will need a service provider with the following capabilities:
- Their business analysis should translate your business requirements into technical ones.
- An infrastructure architect from the platform‘s side should draw up your infrastructure design. Their infrastructure team will need to implement it.
- Their product development architect should select the architectural approach that is best for you.
- An environment management team from the platform should set up the required environments.
- Platform‘s DevOps engineer should set up the release pipeline management process along with scripts.
- Their project architect will need to decide product architectural decisions. The architect will also need to find the right set of APIs or supervise a team to develop them.
- Platform‘s development project manager will need to manage the project end-to-end.
- They must provide you with the tools to oversee your project development.
X-Team doesn‘t claim to have any of these capabilities. During our research, we couldn‘t find a single instance where a client had engaged them for such tasks.
If you are an inexperienced team or don‘t have the resources available to manage the entire project, then if you engage X-Team you will likely face schedule slippage or cost overruns.
- Depending on the nature of your project, sometimes you may need specific industry experience.
Some industry verticals are unique. For e.g., the telecom sector has its‘ ’Business Support Systems‘ (BSS) and ’Operational Support Systems‘ (OSS). These systems are markedly different from other industry verticals.
If your development team has experience in these areas, the project development process will be much easier.
To take another example, the healthcare sector deals with sensitive medical data of patients. It must conform to stringent data security regulations.
Developers with healthcare sector experience can easily appreciate the technicalities of a project in that sector. This means they will be much better at avoiding roadblocks etc. If your project requires industry expertise, X-Team may not be the right provider.
Neither their website nor any feedback provided by its clients demonstrates that X-Team has much in the way of specific industry expertise.
Let‘s now look at specific scenarios where it makes sense to engage X-Team.
When to Engage X-Team
X-Team is suitable if you need to augment your development team. In such a case, your existing team could develop the requirements, design the architecture, arrange infrastructure, and set up the necessary environments.
Provided you have an experienced project manager who has the time and resources to manage a new project, X-Team is a suitable option when trying to onboard freelancers.
In most cases, this limits the viability of X-Team to very small projects or to companies with project managers who are experienced in managing remote freelancers.
X-Team 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|
In the intensely competitive software development industry, the good news is that there are always lots of choices. This means that you can study different providers and make the most appropriate decision for your requirements.
In this section, we will examine a few X-Team competitors. We will look at how they compare to X-Team and what is unique about each provider. We will start with Upwork.
X-Team vs Upwork
Formerly known as oDesk, Upwork has completely rebranded itself after merging with Elance, another freelancer platform. Upwork is now the largest freelancing platform in the world.
Note that Upwork is not exclusively for software developers. It‘s a generic freelancing platform for many different professions, for e.g., graphic designers, software developers, content writers, project managers, etc.
Upwork can connect you with remote developers from all over the world, most of whom have chosen to work in this manner as it offers a life of freedom and other perks. It doesn‘t take any responsibility for the quality of freelance developers.
When you post a project in Upwork, you will need to evaluate each bid and interview the candidates that you find most promising. You have complete responsibility when selecting a candidate for your project. This makes Upwork rather perilous.
You also have the option to negotiate rates with freelancers. You can hire freelance developers on an hourly basis, or you can set up a fixed price contract.
Once you hire a freelance programmer via this platform, managing his or her work is entirely your responsibility. Upwork provides no project management support or tools.
A huge drawback is Upwork requires you to always communicate through its messaging system, which is poor and totally unsuitable for development teams.
Upwork doesn’t screen freelance developers or any freelancers for that matter. While it is possible that you may find a very talented developer at a lower rate, the downside risks of using unvetted freelancers are enormous.
Remember when hiring freelancers on the Upwork platform that they often take up multiple projects simultaneously to improve their earning potential. This could cause issues, and you are the one who will have to manage the fallout.
In summary, you may find a few good bargain freelancers on Upwork. Though that is an advantage, X-Team claims to only offer top-rated freelancers which will minimize the risk of you getting a bad one. Though you can expect to pay more with X-Team, you need to balance risk vs. reward.
X-Team vs Arc (FKA CodementorX)
Arc is a freelancer platform that is focused exclusively on software development. The company claims that they have only high-quality programmers on their platform.
They use a peer-approval process to vet new developers. Arc offers client companies access to its developers and software development teams, all of whom are freelancers.
They claim to match your project to a developer within 72 hours of submitting your project requirements. The platform uses an ’Artificial Intelligence’ (AI)-powered process to match developers to your project needs. Arc also offers a risk-free trial period.
Additionally, and for a fee, Arc also provides a code-vetting service where an expert team from their platform will review the code to ensure it is bug-free. That really sums up what Arc offers. They don’t provide any management support for your project.
You hire freelancers from their platform and then manage your project on your own. Of course, the likelihood that you will get a good developer who has been vetted by their experts is a huge positive. However, as with X-Team, the platform offers no management tools or any other form of management support.
If you have everything else in your project already under control and only need a few high-quality developers to augment your team then, like X-Team, this platform could work for you. However, if you need a complex project delivered end-to-end, Arc isn‘t the right choice.
X-Team vs ValueCoders
ValueCoders is a software development company based in India. They have a credible track record of delivering software development projects for over 13 years. They have clients from many different market segments, for e.g. small businesses, medium-sized companies, and enterprises. The company has 450+ developers.
They offer the following services:
- Custom application development;
- IT Consulting;
- Application maintenance;
- Application Modernization.
Like X-Team, they can provide you with developers, and development teams. If you hire developers from them, you can access the following skills:
- React Native;
- Xamarin framework;
ValueCoders has industry experience in banking, automotive, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and a few more industries. Depending on your project, you may be lucky enough to be assigned developers experienced in your sector. ValueCoders’ hourly rate is around $25m.
ValueCoders claims to have project management expertise, including in modern methodologies like Agile. However, when you read the testimonials that their clients have provided, you will find most of the time clients engaged them simply for their development teams.
Being a managed software development company, ValueCoders can deliver greater value to you than Upwork or CodementorX.
X-Team vs Devteam.Space
The most ideal solution, which none of the above platforms offer, is to hire developers or development teams from a development platform that only employs full-time developers.
DevTeam.Space is a data-driven agile software development platform that offers access to its extensive full-time community of developers and dev teams. We have tailored our process to allow companies to quickly scale their teams with the skills and expertise they need to succeed.
These developers can be onboarded and offboarded in the same way as freelancers, however, they work full-time with us. This allows us to guarantee the quality of work that they produce.
At DevTeam.Space, you‘re 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 will 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.
X-Team operates a standoff model that has no managerial oversight other than assigning you an account manager. Unlike DevTeam.Space, it offers no project management, no tools, no reports, etc.
Simply by accessing your 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 what is going on.
We can easily scale development teams from a team of 1 to 100+ engineers in no time. This allows us to help clients with even the most complex projects.
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 request to learn more.