As with most things in life - so with technology you have basically two options.

  1. You can do it yourself
  2. You can hire someone to do it for you

There are advantages and disadvantages to each choice. Because the Pro's and Con's are pretty much an inverse of each other I am only listing the one in the chart - reverse the entries for the other option

Do it yourself
Pro Con
Control Responsability
Flexible options Learning curve
Exact fit Breadth of knowledge required
Learn something new Ongoing learning
Price in $ Price in time

So the question you have to ask yourself is what value do I place on the Pro's and do they outweigh the Con's?

Let us consider each point

  1. Control - if you do it yourself you get to make each and every decision. You never have to wonder if the other guy understands you and your plan because there is no other guy
  2. Flexible options - if you do it yourself you get all the choices, you can customize the solution to meet your requirements - there is no one to tell you "you can't do that" - you can also do it your own way even if no one has ever done it that way before
  3. Exact fit - if you do it yourself you can customize the solution to exactly meet your requirements. You can choose some options and not choose others all dependent on your knowledge and understanding of exactly what it is that you want
  4. Price in $ - if you do it yourself you don't have to pay someone else to do it for you - this saves $
  5. Learn something new - if you do it all yourself then there will be a lot of areas about which you will have to learn. By the time you get done you will know a lot of things you didn't before.
  6. Learning curve - Most areas of knowledge have a practical curve to them. This means that while it is easy to get a basic understanding of the topic fairly quickly and easily (in todays information culture) a little knowledge is almost always a dangerous thing. Knowing just enough to hang yourself is an all too common problem. To get over this one must make it past the intermediate knowledge level so that one has a grasp of a significant percentage of potential problems and pit falls. The more one knows, the more work it takes to learn enough to make it to the next level
  7. Breadth of what you must learn - if you are doing it all yourself then you will have to acquire a set of skills that spans most of the tech industry. Whereas if you were hiring there might be 8 or 10 people that had pieces of the skills needed to do the job - if you do it all yourself, you will have to have all of these skills
  8. Ongoing learning - no field in history has changed as quickly as technology does. While many base concepts and principles remain constant, these principles and concepts are not the ones you know as a beginner. Almost all the underlying principles only become apparent once you complete the intermediate learning level. Until you make it to that point you are entirely vulnerable to being misled into studying ideas and topics of no true long term value. This only increases the learning burden.
  9. Price in time - All that learning takes time - thousands of hours in fact. Time is the one most valuable resource any one of us has - no amount of money will get any more of it - and once it is spent it can never be regained.
  10. Responsability - regulatory compliance
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