Are all software developers the same? How to choose the right software developer for your company
Know your needs first
Before choosing the company responsible for implementing a new software in your business, it is crucial to understand what your real need is. This is easier when we look at what the market has been practicing and what are the results obtained from the investments made. Contact with other organizations in the same area, whether direct competitors or not, and check out what they have been using. That is a good starting point to figure out what are the needs of your own organization.
The important thing is to see how they are solving their problems and what can be leveraged in the company. This could save you a lot of turmoil when defining the scope of the project and helps to target the most appropriate software supplier type.
Search for top industry-related developers
Software development is a very broad area, many companies work with different technologies, and those could be used to solve the same problems, but they might not be fit to solve some business needs. After knowing the type of software you need, it is essential to narrow down developer options based on industry experience.
When developing custom software there is a greater requirement for knowledge about the business and the activities relevant to it. Therefore, it will be advantageous to find a company that is already prominent in serving organizations in areas that are similar to yours. Some business types have specialized requirements that would have to be met by the developer. If your industry has specific rules or demands, hiring a developer that is outside of that arena might be an additional risk, as they will have to spend more time into research than a company that has already been dealing with your industry specificities.
Ask for references and recommendations
The best way to find reliable suppliers is through recommendations from those who already know them. Start with your network, which can consist of:
- business partners;
- personal contacts.
Also, search on the internet and social networks. Specialized forums are also great resources when looking for good recommendations, but keep an eye out for information provided in places you don’t usually go to or that are not popular. Keep a critical eye on compliments and complaints, seeking to identify what is concrete and what can be overrated in each review. Also, if a software development company is nowhere to be found online, that could also be a red flag.
Check their reputation
This is one of the most important points to guarantee the quality of the service provided. Check the company clientele, look for online reviews and even better: look for personal reviews. Either an email or a simple call, just asking how satisfied with that developer a company is might be enough to show if the they are trustworthy or not.
Know how long the company has been in business
By being in business longer, it is more likely that the company has overcome more challenges, and through that experience, gathered greater knowledge. Thus, the chances of atypical situations arising are very small, since most of the possible problematic scenarios can already be solved based on the experience of the hired professionals.
Check out how other implementations went
The best way to gain insight into what the software deployment process will look like in your company is to learn about those who have been through your current situation. Again, contact with previous clients of the developer company and ask them how the project worked. Remember to ask about how their relationship with the developers were so you know if their communication style works for you.
Take some care in drafting the contract
Finally, even if all previous steps were taken properly, it is important to note that we are talking about a business relationship, no matter how friendly. As such, it must be governed by a service contract – which, in turn, needs to be evaluated very carefully. Follow through our series of articles Is your web developer holding your website hostage?, they cover more details on how you can prevent misfortunes from happening to your business.