How do I choose the right Software Developer Company to partner with?

How do I choose the right Software Developer Company to partner with?
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Let’s face it. Choosing the right software developer is fraught with risk. In fact, getting it wrong can be very costly to fix. Worse, people’s reputations are on the line. We’re not trying to scare you. Instead, we just want you to fully appreciate how important it is to choose a Software Development Company that is perfect for you.

As with all key business decisions, when comparing Software Development Companies, endless questions spring to mind. Laneways.Agency Founder, Jerome Rault, says it can feel like finding a life partner.

“If you’re considering a relationship with someone, you would be asking a lot of questions right from the first date. For starters, do we share the same values? Also, are we “equally yoked”, to quote the The Good Lord! Further, are we on the same trajectory?”

Ultimately, in any relationship, these sorts of core values are more telling and important than the details. In the same way, matching with the right Software Developer for you is a big commitment. For example, you may have a very long and involved relationship with your Software Developers. That’s why you need to get it right the first time.

Good thing you’re reading this article! It’s designed to help you to make the right choice when selecting a Software Developer Company. In this article, we’ll outline and clarify the underlying essentials when selecting your software partner for life. Let’s get right into it.

Know who you’re making a baby with!

It is never wise to jump into bed with a stranger. No matter what the latest Hollywood blockbuster would have you believe! Similarly, meeting your potential software ‘partner’ for the first time is like going on a first date. Except you know something for sure. That is, that you are looking for a software ‘partner’ who will help you create and raise your ‘child’ (your project) together with you.

That’s one heavy first date!

To work this somewhat strained simile, let’s use this simple comparison to compare the pros and cons…

Dating

  • Chat online
  • 1st Drinks at a bar
  • Well presented?
  • Meet their friends
  • Do they love their job?
  • What are their personal values?
  • Meet the family

Partnering

  • Initial Skype meeting
  • 1st Meeting at their office
  • Professional office?
  • Meet the team
  • Are they proud of past work?
  • Can they clearly state their ethics?
  • Meet existing clients

You get the idea… Spend time with the developers. Get to know them. Do you feel they know what they are talking about? More over, do you feel confident in teaming up with them for the long haul? Finally, do your homework and ask for referees. If they don’t have a good relationship with their existing clients, what does that tell you?

How do I know they’ll do quality work?

As we say, an organic and strong business relationship is the best foundation. However, how do you know this potential software development partner will do a great job for your company in the long run? How do you know they have done a good job for previous clients? Well, good news: People just love to talk about their experiences and thoughts.

Should I rely on online Reviews?

No, but they are part of the research process. Google is a good start. Google reviews are not the end all but generally you would get a balance of people posting reviews and leaving comments with star ratings. They may say things like “it was a delight working with them”. Or maybe “avoid like the plague!”. It is now normal practice for the company to respond to both positive and negative reviews. In this way, you can see how engaged they are.

However, be careful when looking on a company’s own website for reviews or at reviews from sites that are not explicit about how they review and rank companies. After all, what organisation is going to put bad reviews on their own site? Also, many review sites are little more than paid advertising. It makes more sense to go to their Google reviews first, where you will see all their reviews (not just the best ones).

What are their ethics?

Good, you’ve had your first meeting. It was a success. Then, you’ve seen their office and it looks professional and comforting. You can picture yourself working with them. The next question is, how do you know this particular software development company will be right for you?

One word; Ethics.

Now, this is very important. You can’t expect mummy and daddy to approve of the relationship if you don’t like the way your partner treats you and the way they behave, right? Similarly, you need to understand the way in which the company operates and how they will help you achieve your goal.

Note: We don’t think there is one ‘right’ way to manage a software development relationship. However, we do think that for any relationship to thrive it must be based on mutually shared values. For example, some companies are very formal in their processes. If you want to make a change to the specifications of your project you may be required to fill out forms and undertake a formal review/costing process. This can take a lot of time and add costs but keeps things very well documented. Other firms are more flexible and accomodating. They may be willing to make changes on the fly, with little notice or review. Neither way is ‘best’ as such. In fact, larger projects on tight deadlines might be better suited to the prior. Contrarily, smaller projects in fast moving industries may benefit from the more flexible approach. Some software companies are happy to take either approach, some are not.

The point is, find a partner who will match well with your needs.

Another consideration is size and how important a client you are to them. Ask yourself, will you get the priority service you need? Will they be right by your side and communicating with you every step of the way, with total honesty and transparency? Communication is a corner stone of any intimate and meaningful relationship.

In Summary

Now that you’ve read this, we hope choosing the right software company to partner with has become that little bit simpler for you.

Know who you are jumping into bed with. Look for that professional software company who you naturally connect with. This will reflect through their level of communication & efficiency, working with you as well as for you.

Also, don’t forget to see what others have said about the company. Check out Google reviews and the company websites. This will help separate the good from the bad.    

Finally, look into company ethics and values. Understand if they will be right for you for the long haul, through good and bad, or if you’re just another one night stand!

Do you feel that Laneways.Agency can help with re designing and optimising your company website or software solution? If so, please call (03) 7016-1301 or fill in our form by clicking here.

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Founder of a group of companies in Software and Media. I innovate leading software solutions for diverse industries such as Aged Care and Insurance Underwriting.

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