Guide to action, ultimate checklist, and 10 pro tips.
Companies, businesses, and startups can no longer survive without modern and technological solutions. The development of high-quality software has become one of the keys to success. Demand creates supply, we know. Thus, there are a huge number of software development companies on the market that provide such services. And sometimes it is quite difficult to make a choice.
This article is about how to find a reliable technical partner, how to choose the most suitable development company to achieve your business goal, how to determine the reliability of a custom software development company and verify its credibility.
Where to begin? The primary search for potential candidates is carried out through referral links (pieces of advice from your partners, colleagues, friends, acquaintances); and on the Internet (using relevant search queries such as “software development company”, “custom software development agency”, “software house creation”, and due to special services or outsourcing platforms as well).
Let’s speak about how to organize the search and ranking of potential candidates: from fundamental market research and the selection of software agencies that are suitable on general grounds to the technical analysis of candidates and personal communication with each of them.
So read on, and make a fully educated decision about your business.
Explore the company’s portfolio
Nothing says more about the company than examples of its work. Therefore, after choosing the proper options, the first thing to do is to check their portfolios. All information can be found in the public domain — on the company’s website. Allow sufficient time for this research and browse the completed projects to a nicety. Let’s review crucial points you must focus on when exploring the company’s background.
Identify the technologies this custom software agency has worked with and its experience. Investigate the agency’s experience with the technology and custom software house you want to release. Find out if the company has practice in creating products specifically for your industry. This is not all in the context of learning a case study, but even that will be enough.
Moreover, you may find projects that can be tried out (demo versions and ready-made applications, websites, programs that are available on the market). Do your best to check their quality yourself (design, usability, validation, and so on). This will allow you to objectively assess the activities of the custom software development agency and, hence, will bring you closer to making the decision. The right decision.
Detect the price policy
It’s obvious that in financial matters, first of all, you should proceed from your capabilities, but that is not all. The price does not always correspond to the quality. You know.
We advise to skip the cheapest options right away, as you will most likely end up with a low quality product. At least that is exactly what happens in practice. The most expensive options are also likely to be unnecessary for you, unless, of course, you are going to develop software for Apple or Microsoft. Such companies are ready to overpay several times for maximum quality and maximum performance. But do you need it? This is the question. Anyway, remember: expensive is not always good, but saving too much on custom software development (especially high-quality) is not a good idea too.
Read the customer reviews and feedback
Figure out what the customers say about each software development company that you deem suitable. Today, finding such information is not difficult at all. Reviews of real people can be found directly on the software agency’s website, in search engines, in specialized forums or platforms, as well as on social networks. You can trust the responses left if the full name, company, position, contact information and / or other data are indicated.
To get the most out of this research, try to contact the reviewers. Find their phone numbers or social media accounts. Thus, you can not only make sure that they are not bots, but also get the first-hand information about the quality of the developed product, the cooperation procedure, and the professionalism of the software developers. Rest assured that if people didn’t like something, they would be happy to tell you about this.
By the way, if in the future someone contacts you to ask about a company you have chosen, tell the truth and only the truth. Thus, you will help the market improve the average quality of provided services and eliminate indecent, unreliable, and dishonest software developers and custom software companies.
Study the stack of industries and technologies
This analysis can certainly give no less than a check of the cases and works. No software company will hide its skills. It is even needless to say. As a rule, the site is full of data about the services and industries the team specializes in. By the way, we are talking not only about programming languages, frameworks, and databases, but also about technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality. Some custom software agencies also provide information on the industry standards that they follow during developing the software house. Study this section as well.
In addition, do not hesitate to inquire, which devices are used by the company’s specialists. If they have only a couple of laptops at their disposal, then there is a high probability that you have stumbled upon intermediaries who will transfer your order to the freelancers. There should be a lot of equipment, and it should be of high quality, professional, and expensive.
Match your goals and company specialization
It is important to find not just a good software development agency, but one whose direction matches your request. What does it mean? How your future application or software will run depends on the skill and practice of the software development company that builds it. Choosing the proper agency is crucial to achieving your desired business targets.
Ask about the availability of experienced software developers in a specific field or technology. It may be, for instance, web or mobile development, design or QA & testing, DevOps or machine learning development — whatever, depending on what fits your project requirements.
The direction of the custom software development agency is not less important than its approach and professionalism, cases and satisfied customers. Remember: the company you choose should certainly have the specialization that fits your business objectives.
Pay attention to the location
On the one hand, modern technology has erased time and space constraints, but on the other hand, the direct presence of software developers may be required for realization of your solution. This may indeed be necessary, but today’s opportunities clearly negate any geographic restrictions.
Furthermore, in many countries, software development costs much less, and the quality is not worse or even better. For example, Dutch IT specialists are in demand all over the world. They are known as highly qualified and experienced professionals. And the prices for their services will definitely impress you. Let’s compare the outsourcing rates. The average software development price in Europe is no less than $50 per hour. Prices for the same level of service in Netherlands are lower in significant numbers. You can hire a high skilled development team for $30-40 per hour. And Netherlands ranks 5th among the best software developers in the world!
Therefore, it is definitely not worth discarding the software development agency just because it is located in another country. Situations are different, but, as a rule, this is not a hindrance, and the risk is justified.
Thus, the location does not affect either the speed of work, or the promptness of the team’s responses, or the quality of the developed product. It doesn’t matter where you live, what language you speak, what your time zone is. Moreover, you can also spend time together due to transferring calls and meetings to the online format. Fortunately, technology allows.
And it turns out that you do not lose absolutely nothing, but you can win. First of all, in the price, but also in the quality. Think about it.
Estimate the size
Choosing a company by the size is primarily a confrontation between large and medium-sized ones. It is obvious that the key plus of big software development companies is their vast experience. They probably have completed many tasks and solved a lot of challenges.
Nevertheless, medium-sized companies can be no less interesting. Such software agencies benefit from more than just how they approach customers and how they do business in general. Among others, the following advantages can be highlighted:
- proper allocation of resources;
- relatively few parallel projects and software houses;
- personal attention of the CEO for each customer;
- constant and continuous support;
- loyalty, customer focus, and willingness to consider almost any option for cooperation.
Therefore, approach the choice consciously and do not just give preference to a large custom software development agency. Compare all the pros and cons and only then make your decision.
Ask about testing
The developer may have many years of experience in similar developments, the chosen software development agency may be the best on the market, but even this does not guarantee the creation of absolutely error-free product. Testing during development is a very important part of the entire process: it lets developers quickly find bugs and fix them. This way, your project will not only be finished on time, but it will also have no errors after deployment.
Investigate the public activity
In practice, a good deal of highly qualified web developers actively stand for the development of the market as a whole and take part in the growth of the IT community. This is one more indicator of the high position of the company.
So, you can be sure of the professionalism of the custom software development agency if it conducts seminars, webinars or meetings, takes part in the development of open source software or creates educational programs and posts useful content. If the software developers speak at industry conferences, forums, meetings or other thematic events, have specialized awards or honors, this also means that you deal with serious and decent IT market players.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that if a software development company does not conduct public activities, and the developer does not have the status of a speaker, this in no way can mean that the team creates a low-quality product. It is an advantage, but it cannot be a disadvantage. It is just one more benefit that may become a decisive factor if others are equal.
Browse the blog and social media
Yeah, previous benefits are optional. However, this cannot be said about what will be discussed below. The way a company (any, including a custom software development company) is presented on the Internet is one of the crucial factors of its reliability and expertise. That is why all agencies work out their online presence to get the most out of digital marketing. But each does it differently.
What should you pay attention to? Corporate website and social media accounts. It would be enough.
Regular posts on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and especially on the blog show that the custom software development team has something to say. It can be analysis of practical cases, reviews of current trends, useful informational materials or even educational content.
The main thing you should pay attention to is the frequency of publications and the quality of the content. And if the author of the articles is indicated, this must increase your trust in this company.
One more crucial moment is the company culture. It can say a lot and is an important point in any partnerships, so it’s best to pick a team that has a culture similar to yours.
Take an interest whether your chosen custom software development agency has any quality assurance on board. If so, mark it as a bold plus.
Choose the team that is sincerely inspired by your project, has the same vision of solving your challenge as you do, and realizes the value software should deliver to customers.
Still have any questions? Let us know!