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I think the issue is more about how well you “scope” the project than about where it’s done. That, and your ability to oversee the milestones and objectives.

The problem is usually that the layperson has no real idea of the building blocks required and how to define the problem domain properly.

Many programmers will take you “literally” … they’ll produce what you asked for (as they understood it) … which may or may not, be actually what you wanted.

If scoped properly then an OS operation may be cheaper, but if they think you’re talking about apples, and you actually wanted oranges … well, you could waste a lot of “cheap” labour to find out.

Communication rules, unless you fully understand what you need to achieve (technically).