More and more products across verticals like sales, hiring, and user research are working with the audio and video from meeting platforms. This usually means building a meeting bot.
I’ll be walking you through the pros and cons of hiring a freelancer to build a meeting bot for your product vs. building the tech in-house.
Pros of hiring a freelancer
A quick search on Upwork, the most popular freelancer marketplace, reveals that the average cost to get an integration built is $1000. This is significantly cheaper than the month+ of in-house developer time you’d be spending.
You can focus on your core competency
A freelancer working on building your meeting bot frees up your developers to work on other parts of your product. Your team can focus on their core competency, which is what you do with the meeting data, not how you retrieve it.
You own the code
Your company owns the code and IP. This means you can add features and make improvements on the bot later down the line.
Cons of hiring a freelancer
Low quality code
Freelancers don’t have the same incentives as full time employees to deliver high quality software. Freelancers typically won’t be working with the code in the long term, which results in low quality code. This makes it difficult to integrate their code into your codebase, while making debugging and adding new features unnecessarily painful as well.
Lack of reliability
Although the freelancer’s initial delivery may work with internal testing, there are always more bugs that will be only be found when customers are using the software in production. If the bot crashes or fails to capture data in any way, customer data is lost.
If you’re working with your freelancer on an ongoing basis to have them fix bugs, you’ll need to wait until they have time, resulting in downtime until your freelancer is available.
If you’re not working with your freelancer on an ongoing basis, your team will be tasked with the burden of untangling messy code and sinking hours into fixing bugs.
Furthermore, platforms like Zoom and Google Meet frequently update their APIs and UIs, which means an endless stream of maintenance.
It’s expensive to maintain, improve and add features
The real cost of building a meeting bot is in the maintenance. On average it takes a team of 5 full-time engineers to keep the bot bug-free at scale, while also adding new features.
It’s possible to outsource the maintenance to freelancers as well, but expect a slower pace of improvements. They are typically juggling multiple other projects at once, which results in turnaround times of weeks to months. And you don’t want to fall behind your competitors by months.
A third option
If you’re considering using a freelancer to build a meeting bot, you’ve already recognized that there isn’t a point to having your own developers spend time building integrations.
Recall.ai is a unified API that lets you launch meeting bots. You get a fully developed meeting bot integration that doesn’t require any maintenance. It has the pros of hiring a freelancer without the cons.
In summary, the pros of using a freelancer to build your meeting bot is that it’s cheap to receive an initial integration, your developers can focus on the core product, and you own the bot code at the end of the process.
The cons are that the code delivered is usually low quality, unreliable, and still ends up being extremely expensive due to maintenance.
Using a third-party API like Recall.ai gives you the benefits of using a freelancer without the downsides.