Software Development Companies – How To Choose A Software Developer

Software development companies are able to help in a number of ways; you may have an awesome app idea but not sure where to begin or you may want to automate your business to improve digital efficiency and productivity. 

Choosing a shortlist of software development companies that understand and support your business needs is essential as choosing the wrong team can lead to a delayed project, a waste of money and an inadequately built application.  

Finding the right software development company may seem overwhelming, especially if you are not particularly tech savvy, however we have prepared a few key points which will help you confidently choose the right software development company for you.

Software Development Companies – Prepare A Brief

Having a clear idea of what you want and what you need will help both you and software development companies know immediately if you are the right fit for each other. Preparing a brief with some notes about what you are looking for is a great idea. 

All good software development companies will begin with a Discovery Call; this is where both you and the consultant will have an opportunity to have an initial conversation about your project. In some cases the company may not work in the technologies you need or they may not be able to fit your required time frame due to their current workload. Knowing what you want from the beginning will assist you with making an informed decision at the end!

Note – If the value lies in the idea make sure you protect yourself with an NDA (Non Disclosure agreement)

Software development companies

Software Development Companies – What’s Their Communication Style?

The first few interactions you have with a software development company are key. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. And these first impressions will set the tone of what you can expect in the future. 

  • Did they respond to your enquiry in a timely manner? 
  • Do they speak in a language you understand? 
  • Did they answer your questions clearly?

It’s important you as the client feel comfortable as the development process can be lengthy and requires open communication and collaboration from both sides. The right technology partner will make the whole process a positive experience that you both enjoy. Don’t forget though, it is just as important that you are a good communicator too. During the process you may be asked to provide additional information, logins for accounts and various credentials, constant, prompt communication from both sides will ensure the project runs smoothly.

Software Development Companies – What’s Their Process?

Feel free to ask what you can expect in terms of the company’s procedures and processes. If you are someone that likes to be involved every step of the way, ask about how much collaboration opportunity there will be, especially in the initial scoping and design phases.

  • Does the company insist on having UI/UX prototypes in place prior to moving to development?
  • What will the process be for milestones, sprint releases, and demo’s?
  • Do they practise an agile development process?

It’s important to have a point of contact with someone who you can build a relationship with and someone who will make themselves available to guide you. We all know how frustrating it can be dealing with various different team members or even worse, being handed over to a complete stranger once you have been onboarded. Find out if you will have a dedicated project manager throughout your project.

Business acumen 

Now you don’t necessarily need your software developer to be your business confidant however it is reassuring if they have previous experience in your industry. An experienced software developer will be able to look at your business model from a different perspective, challenge your thought process and make recommendations based on what they believe is best for your custom software application and in turn the success of your business.  

  • Ask yourself if you have found yourself engaged in these initial discussions and were they beneficial?
  • How successful are their previous projects?

Do your due diligence on the company’s previous projects, reviews and most importantly if they have completed a similar project in terms of technologies and features.

Software development companies

Technical expertise

Find out about the company’s technical expertise. The team must have the knowledge, skills and resources to deliver your project successfully. Different companies use different programming languages (also known as technology stacks), ensuring that these technologies align with your specific requirements early on will pay dividends. The best development teams are balanced and diverse with individuals having the various skills sets and experience necessary to deliver your application to schedule. Ask about the development team.

  • What is the team structure?
  • What is the development process? 
  • Which programming languages do you work with?

Trust

The success of your project depends on finding a software developer that is reliable and trustworthy. All good business relationships are built on trust. Remember, this team may potentially be your technology partners for years to come. Choose a team that has a great reputation, a good company culture and most importantly a team that is passionate and cares about your goals. You will need to be honest and open in return about your limitations and budgets so you can work together effectively. 

  • Do they treat you with respect?
  • Are they ethical?
  • Do your values align? 

Final Thoughts

Choosing a software development company is a decision which is going to affect your whole business. Take your time and ask as many questions as you want. The right team will be more than happy to accommodate you and make you feel comfortable. A software developer is tasked with bringing digital innovation to you and your business, if it doesn’t feel like the right fit then that’s ok. Building an application for the first time is an exciting experience, digitally enhancing your business is also a huge milestone. Find a team that is just as excited as you are because you are the client and you deserve “the tiffany experience” of app development! 🙂