There are a lot of different roles people can play in the tech world, and many positions can overlap. Most people can't tell the difference between a computer scientist and a software engineer, for example. More people are clueless about the difference between software consultants and software developers.

It's understandable for the average person to not understand the differences. Yet, as a company, not knowing how they're different can end up costing you thousands of dollars. Without knowing what software consultants do and how they're different from developers can end up with you hiring the wrong one for your needs.

Save yourself time, money, and effort by reading below to learn the differences between software consultants and software developers.

Software Consultants Are Contractors

When you hire a software consultant, you're not bringing on a new member of your company. Instead, you're hiring a contractor much in the same way you would hire one to renovate a room in your home. They work for you during a set time, for a set time, and to do one specific thing.

They're not a full-time employee, and you won't need to pay them benefits and a salary as if they were one. However, they'll lack the intimate knowledge of you and your product which can benefit your products.

Keep reading below to learn about what software consultants do, and how they can help you.

They Work on Small Scale Projects

Most software consultants don't work on whole projects unless you specifically hire them to do so. They likely won't build your entire app. Instead, they'll build some of the components it may need in order to run.

You just need to specify what components you need in the contract you agree to beforehand. It can vary from a UX design to core functionality, and they will likely set their rate based on how difficult it can be to finish.

They Give Professional Advice

Sometimes, consultants will do more than just work on a project. They only get to be consultants after earning years of experience in their fields. That means they can discuss your product with you, and refine your vision for it. They offer software consulting services which you can't find anywhere else.

They can recommend new approaches to difficult problems, and evaluate your code as a whole. And best of all, they won't have any biased opinions. You can trust them, and use their advice to improve your product.

Software Developers Work on Full Projects

Unlike software contractors, software developers are full-time employees with salaries and benefits. When you hire one, you're committing to them for years. You may even expect them to rise to a management role, and lead the development of future projects. 

Since software developers work on entire projects, they have a better understanding of how components work together. They use more complex development tools, often tailored for specific platforms. With such a deep level of understanding, they can produce overall better products - not just components.

Choosing Which To Go With Depends On You

Your needs are unique — you're the only one who truly knows what needs to be done with your project. Whether you need to hire software developers or software consultants is totally up to you.

However, a good rule of thumb is to simply refer to how far along you are with a project. If you've already begun working on some software and you're just having difficulty with a specific problem, you may want to hire a software consultant. However, if you haven't begun on your app, or are still in the early stages, a software developer may be the way to go.

Whichever you go with, you'll need to work with them somehow. For that, we offer a host of collaboration and productivity tools to help your team achieve their best! And we'll be there to help you use them; we're here to support you and your consultants on your next project.