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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Working as a developer for a web consultancy vs a SaaS company

    I realized that I don't want to keep churning out client websites and do something more with my potential abilities as a web developer. Currently I work for a web consulting/design company and their bread and butter is providing clients with an online presence. Is it just my company or is it the nature of these types of companies to not expect a lot of technically intense work?

    My aim is to work in a group of developers for an SaaS company, or at least any company that creates their own services with an online component. From what I've seen, companies whose business follows SaaS are more willing to invest in highly skilled developers while consulting firms see developers as overhead and so try to cut costs there first. The barrier of entry seems higher, too. Their interview process is usually more rigorous and the tests (if any) are more difficult. Because I'm drawing from my own experience, I cannot tell if this holds true everywhere. Can someone outline the differences between each type of company as a job for a web developer?

  2. #2
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    What you describe makes perfect sense. Keep in mind that most standard web development firms are providing exactly the product that the majority of the market demands: a basic website. While it's not as much fun to create as a web-based application, it serves its purpose.

    If you're looking for something more complicated, something that requires critical thinking, then you have two options. You could work with your firm to land larger accounts. For the most part, larger accounts will have more demands and more customizations. Building a website with Drupal requires more technically intense work than WordPress, in most cases. The other option is to simply find a new development shop that is more tailored to web-based applications. Firms that sell custom ecommerce soltuions immediately come to mind as something that you might find interesting.
    TAKE A WALK OUTSIDE YOUR MIND.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    I have also read that web consultancies usually see the software (websites) that they make as a cost center, whereas SaaS companies see their software as a profit center. Makes sense to me. I think what I am really looking for then, is a company that has a profit-center outlook on what their developers produce.

    My current company has entertained the idea of bringing in some Drupal work before, and even some custom .NET work, but that was in a time when we contracted senior developers more frequently. We were a younger company with less money, and went overbudget with contractors too easily so we scaled back for a while and underwent that growing pains phase where nothing interesting happened.


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