Software development is one of the most in-demand skills in the 21st Century. Developers work their magic on just about every piece of modern technology, improving it and tweaking it as they go. For a non-techie, the work they do can almost seem arcane. So it can be very easy to become intimidated by the technicalities and assume all developers know what they are doing.
This can be one of the worst opinions you can have when you’re looking for a software development company for any number of needs. Unlike the Spectrum basic cable price, all developers aren’t created equal. There is both pros and cons side. This blog will try to show you how you can minimize the chance of hiring the wrong development firm.
Choosing the Right Software Development Firm for Your Needs
Why is it so important to choose the right software development company the first time around? There are several very good and very obvious reasons. For example, businesses invest significant amounts of time and money in getting software developed for their needs.
In return, they expect a quality product that delivers exactly what they need. More importantly, they need the product (software) delivered on time, since many business needs are time-critical, and delays in the development process could very well translate into lost revenue and inefficiency.
Of course, if you’re new to working with development firms, you may not have the necessary experience yet to spot a bad firm from a good one. The right choice usually means a smooth development process with minimal delays and quick delivery. The wrong choice, on the other hand, could throw all your business timelines in disarray.
That’s not to mention the increased risk of getting low-quality or buggy software at the end of the process. If you’re not careful, it could become a sinkhole that you keep pouring money into just to get it to work right. You can see why it is important to make sure you sign up the right development firm right of the bat. Don’t worry if you don’t have the experience to do that on your own. These tips can help you make the right choice:
- Go through Their Website and Portfolio
- Ask Questions About Their Tech and Experience
- Pay Close Attention to Customer Reviews
- Ask for Specifics on Methodology and Development Processes
- Check How They Feel about Confidentiality Agreements
- Ensure the Development Plan Includes Testing
Let’s examine these in more detail below.
Go Through Their Website and Portfolio
Any development firm worth its measure will likely have a website that acts as the digital face of the firm. Whenever you’re considering a new firm, your first stop should be the website. Most websites contain details about what services the firm offers. They may also have specifics on successfully completed projects that can give you an idea of whether the firm can handle the work you want them for. If the website has a functioning blog section, that is a healthy sign that they are serious about working in their niche.
However, if you come across a barebones website with little to no information in the way of past projects, that’s a red flag. Certain firms will try to explain that away by saying their website is still under development or that they have too much work on their hands to upload their portfolio. A firm that has a steady stream of incoming customers and projects cannot afford to have a shabby website. Steer clear of any such firms.
Ask Questions about Their Tech and Experience
If you like what you see on a firm’s website, try reaching out to their customer service department, or to one of their technical leads. This initial call or email exchange is all about gathering information that may not be available on the website. For example, you will want to learn more about the types of technology the firm has experience.
A firm’s technical capability will have a huge impact on how well they execute the project. But don’t fully rely on it. Ask them for past examples or projects that clearly demonstrate their expertise in said technology. Any firm that is serious about gaining you as a client will be happy to showcase their successful projects to impress you. A firm that drags its feet when it comes to demonstrating their capability is something you want to avoid.
Pay Close Attention to Customer Reviews
While Google, Facebook, and third-party review sites like Yelp have made life harder for vendors, they’re one of the most useful things for prospective customers. A look at customer reviews on various platforms will give you a very good idea of what to expect from a firm you are considering. Consistently good reviews imply the firm is competent, punctual, and experienced in delivering projects. On the other hand, firms that have too many bad reviews may likely not be a good fit for your needs.
Ask for Specifics on Methodology and Development Processes
Once you have decided a particular firm seems to have what it takes to execute your project, you should reach out to their representative again. This time, you can expect the exchange to be much more detailed. You should primarily focus on getting information on two key areas. The first area is the type of methodology the firm intends to use in the development process. For example, firms may either use Agile or Waterfall methodologies. Both are different, with their own advantages and drawbacks.
The second point of interest is the development process itself. You want to get details on possible timelines when to expect deliverables, the level of transparency, and how frequently the developer will touch base with you. Ultimately, this exchange will leave you with a better idea of how the firm goes about planning and executing a development project. If it meets your software needs, you have your answer.
Check How They Feel about Confidentiality Agreements
Many businesses have proprietary information that their competition would love to get their hands on. Custom-built software and solutions are important tools that can offer a competitive edge to your business when used correctly.
Unfortunately, there is nothing stopping the developer from pitching the same solution to one of your competitors, unless you sign a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement. Check how the firm you are considering feels about this. Professional, ethical firms will usually have no problem signing such agreements, respecting your right to keep sensitive information under wraps. However, a firm that avoids getting into NDAs could be a potential problem.
Ensure the Development Plan Includes Testing
You might think that the development process ends once the final product is completed. In fact, many firms will try to hand it off to you at this point and exit the scene. Don’t let them. Extensive testing and debugging is a big part of the development process.
Without thorough testing and quality assurance, there is a higher chance that the finished software will have flaws or will be unfit for its purpose. Always insist on full technical and usability testing being part of the development plan. Otherwise, you may have to enter into a separate agreement or even find a new firm for the testing phase, which will add more delays, not to mention cost more.
When choosing a development firm, you need to tread very carefully. Unlike Charter Spectrum, which offers the same high standard of service as Spectrum cable company the US markets, there is really no standardized measure for developers. There are very skilled ones, lazy ones, inexperienced ones, and mediocre ones. But the steps above can help you refine your search and ensure you end up hiring a firm that is capable of meeting your needs appropriately.