What is the Cost of Hiring Data Savvy Software Developers?

How much will you need to pay for a software developer with a strong background in the data sciences?
cost of hiring a software developer with a background in data sciences
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The market for big data is growing rapidly. According to a recent report, companies around the world are expected to spend $50.1 billion on big data this year.

As the demand for big data continues to grow, the need for software developers that are knowledgeable about data science will rise as well. The biggest question many software developers with a background in data science are asking is what their earning potential is.

How Much Can a Software Developer with a Background in Data Science Really Earn?

Nowadays competitive firms of all sizes are financing custom-made software solutions to extend effectiveness and productivity, establish new business areas and increase innovation. These software programs are strongly dependent on new algorithms that incorporate data science capabilities.

How much does it cost to develop custom software for your company? Should you hire a local freelancer or a small consulting firm? Do you hire one of the specialists? Does the developer have a solid background in the data sciences? Will your business afford its immense software developer hourly rates?

There are six different types of custom software development companies with proficiency in the data sciences (applies to US-based domestic firms):

1) “Enterprise-Class” Custom Software Development Companies

The largest, enterprise-class consultancies have lots of developers and consultants. They work with Fortune 500 governments and companies that can afford to pay their highest fees. They have some of the most knowledgeable experts in the world, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a team with a solid background in the data sciences.

Typically, they take a “waterfall approach” to software development and make the complete program instantly. Although it is better to use a flexible approach where you create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and add extra functions later.

The size of the projection ranges from the US $500,000 to US $100 million. If you are working on a particularly complex data analytics or AI application, then it could easily skew towards the higher end of this estimate.

The hourly rate is from $250 to $850 per hour which rely upon the developer’s level of experience. Taking this into consideration, such a company will get a superb outcome.

2) “Big Business Class” Software Development Companies

Large business consultants work with other companies that cannot afford the costs of enterprise-class stores but have large budgets. They have from 100 to 1000 developers and few offices worldwide.

They are slightly cheaper than the Enterprise Class. Here the pay ranges from $200 to $300 per hour for projects between $125,000 and over $5 million.

The downside is that they don’t always have the most experienced data scientists on their developer team like enterprise developers. However, they still have some that are knowledgeable about data science.

3) “Mid-Market Class” Custom Software Development Companies

Middle-class consulting is the best balance between cost and quality. They have 10 to 100 employees and partner with small and medium-sized businesses and sometimes Fortune 500 companies. Payment is from $125 to $175 per hour for projects ranging from $50,000 to $5 million.

You should still be able to find some developers with a background in data science in these companies. However, you may have to specifically ask for them, because they aren’t present everywhere.

4) “Small Class” Custom Software Development Companies

These firms run very economical businesses with few employees (2 to 10 employees and company owners) and low costs.

They work with start-ups, small local businesses and medium-sized companies. Their prices reach from $75 to $175 per hour for projects from $10,000 to $500,000.

It is hit or miss whether or now you will find developers with a solid background in data science when working with these smaller companies. You need to shop around a bit to make sure that some have the experience in data science that you are looking for.

5) Freelance Developers

Do you have a small project that can be managed by one person and does not require teamwork? Do hire a freelance software developer.

There are two types of freelancers: a new developer who recently completed a development training course and a seasoned professional who has worked from 9 to 5 but is fed up with the job and has chosen to go it alone.

While there are certainly some freelance developers with a background in data science that enable them to develop AI software applications, you are going to have a hard time finding them. You need to really do your research and look at their resumes carefully.

5.1 Newbies

Newbie freelancers are very excited and passionate about their newly acquired skills, so they are ready to take any job anyway.

An inexperienced freelancer would have to pay $50 to $75 an hour that is $1,000 to $50,000 in size.

5.2 Seasoned Pros

They have been developing software for a long time, have known many programming languages and have worked on many custom software projects.

They are ready to work on your project but are asking for a premium for their time ($100 to $300 per hour for projects between $5,000 and $100,000).

Hiring a freelancer has several advantages:

— Savings;

— There are lots of freelancers on some sites.

About the disadvantages of hiring a freelancer:

— They are good at one thing. But for the success of the project, you need them to be good at everything.

— They get bored and quit the project. It won’t be easy to find someone else to complete the unfinished project.

— It is risky because there is no resource.

— They can run away.

6) Offshore / Nearshore Development Companies

These are software development companies of various shapes and sizes, but often they are large organizations with 100-1000 developers worldwide.

Offshore development is between $25 to $50 per hour.  Software development on the nearshore may rise in price, so rates here are from $40 to $75 an hour.  The size of the project is from $10,000 to over $1,000,000 for both.

You can find some very talented offshore companies. Many of them are experienced with data science projects, but you have to do your due diligence and review previous projects carefully.

The development of offshore territories can be both profitable and risky.  The majority of offshore projects go bankrupt due to:

1.  Communication

Clients undervalue how difficult it is to correctly communicate their vision to the development team.

2.  Code quality

Many offshore stores have 100 developers and are focused on launching numerous inexpensive projects using old technologies that produce low-quality software applications.

3.  Team size

Most mid-sized projects will require:

a) Front-end developer

b) Back-end developer

c) Project Manager

d) Business consultant

e) Quality Assurance Specialist

Low hourly rates overwhelm the project with excess resources in result has the real hourly rate being higher than indicated the actual hours worked.

4.  Time Zones and Schedules

Offshore development projects often run out of budget and pass time-limit through ineffective interactions between time zones.

6.1 The Right Way to Hire Offshore Teams

— Hire a consultancy based in the country with offshore /nearshore offices.

— Check and make sure that you are actually communicating with managers from your country and not foreigners.

— Discover a team with an innovative technology developer from your country who leads nearshore developers.

— Go nearshore instead of offshore.

Understand the Cost of Hiring a Software Developer with a Background in Data Science

Building custom software with complex data science capabilities is arguably the best way to increase efficiency and innovate your business. There are many options for hiring software developers and you should hire the right consultant for your project.

Dariia Herasymova
Dariia Herasymova is a Recruitment Team Lead at Devox Software. She hires software development teams for startups, small businesses, and enterprises. She carries out a full cycle of recruitment; creates job descriptions based on talks with clients, searches and interviews candidates, and onboards the newcomers. Dariia knows how to build HR and recruitment processes from scratch. She strives to find a person with appropriate technical and soft skills who will share the company's values. When she has free time, she writes articles on various outsourcing models for our blog.