Why You Shouldn't Use Upwork to Hire Software Developers

Why You Shouldn’t Use Upwork to Hire Software Developers

Does your company need software or app?

It’s tempting to log onto freelance websites such as Upwork to find freelance web developers or freelance software developers.

Isn’t it less expensive and faster than using an IT hiring agency?

Sure, you may do fine with an Upwork-sourced software developer when there’s a small project and you know exactly the tasks that need to be completed.

Most IT freelancers prefer short-term software projects where they have clear jobs and responsibilities.

If the project is larger, however, it’s often wise to avoid using Upwork to hire developers.

It’s not unusual for a freelancer hired in this way to disappear in the middle of the project. Or, there may be extensive delays because the freelancer has too many irons in the fire.

For those who are still thinking about hiring freelance developers on Upwork or other freelance platforms, let’s examine more reasons this may not be wise.

Technical Expertise Is Needed To Evaluate Developers on Upwork


If your team wants to hire a developer from Upwork, it’s vital to have someone you can count on with the technical skills to thoroughly evaluate the candidates. That person should probably be named the project manager so someone with programming and development skills in your company has direct control and oversight.

One of the essential aspects of an early development project is ‘discovery.’ That’s a legal term usually, but it applies in software development, too. Discovery gets a dialogue going between your company and the hiring entity. This is necessary so they know the kind of developer you need so you get the right talent, and they can devise an accurate bid for you.

However, Upwork expects that you know everything about your software project from the beginning. You have to come up with a project proposal on your own, which is put on the project details on Upwork.

The project description is what developers review to see if they have the skills and interest to do the work. Also, they need these vital details to plan development and sketch it out. Only then can they provide an accurate cost of the project.

When the project plan loaded to Upwork doesn’t have enough information, your company is at risk of wasting a lot of resources that matter most – money and time. When the smallest detail is left out of the plan, you could hire talent that lacks the IT skills you need.

This leaves you in a quandary where you have to clean up the mess on your end, and who knows if Upwork will listen to your appeal and refund part of the cost.

Having a technical type to screen your candidates on Upwork is essential. You will get a LOT of developer applications on Upwork, so you need someone in the know to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Upwork’s methodology for verifying and rating talent isn’t fool-proof, either. There are online rumors that some contractors purchase accounts that bring in clients. But the positive reviews are fake. Unless you have a technical expert and IT developer on your staff to qualify each candidate, it’s possible the outcome of the project could be a disaster.

There are other issues that some users find with Upwork:

  • So-so security: Many reviewers on Upwork note there is an abundance of scammers on the platform. You might find that someone who promotes herself as a Python developer isn’t. Some folks will even nab someone’s photo and resume and pretend to be them!
  • Intellectual property: As of this writing, Upwork lacks a way to ensure you own the work the developer did for you. Say a freelance developer applies for a patent for the work he did on your company’s project.

None of this is to say that Upwork is of no use at all – it surely is. When it comes to software development, though, many believe that it’s best to add temporary help to your project team when they’re overworked. Or, perhaps bring in an Upwork developer if the project scope grows or changes – and we all know how often that happens!

Alternatives To Upwork

Now let’s go over some of the popular alternatives to Upwork for people needing a software developer:


Arc.Dev is a website that connects developers with companies and organizations in need of developers. It offers a search engine for finding developers based on skills, experience, and location, as well as a job board for listing open positions. Arc.Dev also offers a blog and resources section for educating developers about new technologies and trends.

The search engine on Arc.Dev is one of its most powerful features. It’s easy to find developers based on their skills, experience, or location. You can also search by keyword or filter by category. You can find direct hires, remote workers or hybrid work options.

The job board on Arc.Dev is another great resource for finding work. It includes listings for both contract and full-time positions. You can also browse by category or keyword.

Arc.Dev also offers a blog and resources section for educating software developers about new technologies and trends. The blog covers a variety of topics, from Android development to web design. The resources section includes tutorials, case studies, and whitepapers on a variety of topics.



Upstack also lets you hire experienced developers and add talent to your project team. And you can begin with a no-risk free trial for 14 days before you purchase a hiring plan.

Upstack doesn’t sell itself as the largest place online to find freelancers. Instead, it claims to provide the ideal matching experience for employers.

How it differs from Upwork:

  • Upstack carefully reviews every developer who applies. The site claims that only the top 1% of developers are hired. All current developers must go through a tough hiring procedure to be sure they have the skills, experience, and personality to handle your projects.
  • Upstack simplifies scaling software developers. If your project gets larger, it will only take a few days to bring a new developer on board.
  • Upstack uses artificial intelligence to find the best software developer for your project. It does so by providing a list of developers that look like could fill your needs. That’s a time saver because you won’t need to go through 8 pages of developers to find potential candidates.
  • The slack bot will track all of your project deadlines and tasks. This is a critical tool that tracks each developer and tells you if they’re delivering on time.


Freelancer.com is a website that connects freelancers with people who need work done. Freelancers can find work in a variety of fields, including writing, design, and programming. People who need work done can post projects and receive bids from freelancers. Freelancer.com takes a commission from each project to cover the costs of running the website.

Freelancer.com was founded in 2009 by Matt Barrie. Matt was a programmer who had been working from home for several years and had become frustrated with the lack of quality work available online. He decided to create a website that would connect freelancers with people who needed work done. The site grew quickly, and by 2010, it had over 1 million users.

If you’re looking for work, Freelancer.com can be a great Upwork alternative. The website has a database of freelancers who are available for hire, and it’s easy to find work in a variety of fields. Here are some tips for finding work on Freelancer.com:

1. Browse the list of projects and find one that matches your skills and interests.

2. Read the project description carefully and make sure you understand what is required.

3. Submit a proposal outlining your qualifications and experience.

4. Wait for the client to review your proposal and award the project to you if they like what they see.

5. Once the project is underway, be sure to communicate with the client regularly and meet all deadlines.

What About Hiring A Full-Timer?

The last alternative to hiring a developer from Upwork is to simply bring on a new full-time employee. This is a major business decision that you should consider carefully. Hiring a full-time developer is a long-term commitment and how they do the job will reflect what the job will be like down the road. And there is the concern about health insurance and retirement plans, too.

Sometimes the best option to consider is to hire outsourced software developers. They work the same way as your full-time developers but you save the costs of benefits. And there isn’t a long-term commitment.

Now you know more about Upwork for hiring developers as well as possible alternatives. With sufficient planning, you’re certain to find the ideal candidate for your upcoming development project.

Ryan is the VP of Operations for DEV.co. He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations--delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.
Connect with Ryan on Linkedin.
Ryan Nead