It's true, companies are struggling to hire web developers these days as more and more developers are taking it upon themselves to handle end-to-end builds directly with the client. The web development industry in itself is a very communal and collaborative one, so working alone is actually not as lonely as you might think. In both the US and the UK, companies are complaining of an extreme lack of talent in the web development world, but this is simply not the case. It is just that web developers are not keen to work client-side on the same project every single day, and the digital agency business is a fickle one, which is putting it lightly. Almost every day you hear of a digital agency closing it's doors.
Which leads me on to the domino effect this is causing. These digital agencies are not getting the work they need simply because they're being undercut by companies who can supply the same level of work and service, for a fraction of the cost. Who are these companies and how can they do it you ask? Well, the simple answer is; freelance web developers. There are no overheads, you have a direct point of contact and they can usually service the client no matter what time of day or what part of the world they're living in, because freelance web development and remote working go hand-in-hand beautifully.
Then you have headlines like this: Digital advertising forecast for 2016: Brands cut back, agencies double down. Where companies are not keen on investing in digital marketing spend and agencies are only just figuring digital marketing out. Which seems almost too little too late. This is the part of the market that is slowly dying. Meanwhile on the other end of the spectrum, you have digitally savvy businesses figuring out what they need to do internally and hiring appropriate freelance to complete the task.
It won't be long before there are only a handful of digital agencies left and this will be down to natural selection. The agencies will still have their niche and their market and will have plenty of high-end global businesses knocking at their door. But the rest of the small to medium sized business will have realised that choosing a freelance web developer is the most efficient and cost effective way of building their app or website.
One day in the not too distant future it will be seen as normal practice for digital consultants to manage client projects by using freelance designers, developers, content marketers and seo specialists all working together remotely. Essentially becoming the digital agencies of the future, the tools enabling us to achieve this are here today.