In today’s extremely technological world, everything starts with software development that enables customers to reach out to the company’s services and products via the web. For startups and small businesses, custom software development is required to create a unique and competitive product. In the following guide, we will list the best practices to find custom software development companies and get a professional solution in designing, building, and maintaining the software.
Let’s take a look at some stats: every year, the United States outsources about 300,000 jobs out of the country, which has 85% of American citizens blaming this model for “stealing” US jobs. At the same time, 93% of US firms consider changing the in-house hiring model for outsourcing due to world-class quality for affordable costs.
Moreover, the recent COVID-19 global pandemic forced thousands of companies to cut down the number of employees or switch them to remote work. But very little changed due to the lockdown for those companies with dedicated teams operating globally. They already knew how to manage remote teams and had perfectly established communication; thus, the workflow wasn’t interrupted.
While some companies prefer to develop their software with an internal development team, many businesses go with outsourcing, and here is why:
- Hiring professional developers overseas or within the country gives you a much wider talent pool.
- It allows you to find world-class specialists with the required skills and experience faster.
- You can optimize development and save costs.
- Focus on core business operations, leaving software development for an outsourcing company.
- It provides an opportunity to invade the vendor’s local market.
- A custom software development company helps you discover professionals with rare skills unavailable in your local market.
Hiring a Custom Software Development Firm: Step by Step
Once you have decided that outsourcing is the most beneficial option for you to create your custom software, it is time to learn the peculiarities of hiring a company. The task of finding a perfect match for your project isn’t an easy deal. However, if properly planned and organized, you may achieve a long-term and prosperous collaboration.
Step #1 Brainstorm the Shortlist and Decide on Your Outsourcing Destination
A novice in the world of outsourcing will most likely find it challenging to determine which country to choose and which model to use. Outsourcing can be done via onshore (within the country) or offshore (other countries) models. Many US firms are actively using the services of developers in West Europe, in particular, Ukraine. The many benefits of choosing a company from this area include affordable prices, dedicated professionals, highest-quality developers, and efficiency. Isn’t it great? Well, as you decided that Ukraine is your destination point, it’s time to move on.
Step #2 Find Your Best Match
Among the significant number of offshore outsourcing companies, it is crucial to find the one that will provide you with services that align with your business goals. You want to find a company with significant experience in delivering software solutions across different industries and developers who specialize in up-to-date technologies. With this in mind, here are some aspects to pay attention to while choosing the vendor.
Whether having 3-5 years of experience or 5-10, an offshore custom software development company has a portfolio of solutions for different industries. A respected firm that cares about its reputation will have a list of case studies with a detailed explanation of what was done. Even if the company doesn’t have rich experience, 2-3 success stories must be presented on the webpage so you could see what they offer.
What They Offer in Terms of Talents
The wider the choice of IT experts that your custom software development provider offers, the more chances you will find your match. A successful outsourcing vendor must have top employees specializing in different programming languages, possessing vast coding experience, testing, maintaining, and being ready to precisely follow your requirements.
Jurisdiction Matters a Lot
Software development, like many other services, must align with the law. A company should have particular certificates that prove that the local jurisdiction verifies the services. It matters because you will give access to your sensitive data. Thus, you want to be sure that it is highly secured, and no leakage will occur. An NDA (non-disclosure agreement) is a document signed by both parties in which you, as a client, indicate the vulnerable information that should not be disclosed by the vendor or developers.
Step #4 Time to Choose an Engagement Model
The engagement model is a set of principles and approaches that define the ground for partnership between a company and a client. The primary focus here should lie in what you need and want—the more accurate the engagement model, the more chance you will get flexibility and control.
- Fixed Price Model
Mostly suitable for small short-term projects, this model guarantees all services to be delivered according to your requirements and estimated budget. At the stage of negotiation, you set the ideal terms, specifications for your project, and technologies used, thus indemnifying against undesired changes that may occur in development.
- T&M (Time and Material) Model
The only difference between this model and the one mentioned above is that T&M has no cost limitations. As a client of an offshore software development firm, you pay for the materials and time needed to develop software. The developer usually gets paid on an hourly basis, and the price depends on the experience and expertise possessed.
- Extended Team (or Dedicated Development Team)
This is one of the most common models for perfectly meeting the expectations of long-term complex projects. Your custom software development vendor gives retention to your in-house team by hiring remote developers. In turn, you have a certain level of control and supervision by having direct access to the development team members. The only drawback with this model is that if you do not have a solid technical background, you won’t be able to control the technical matters of the project. However, typically, software development companies offer you the services of a CTO (Chief Technical Officer) or technical consultants.
Step #5 Participate in Interviewing the Candidates
Your bespoke outsourcing provider should allow you to have a one-to-one interview before you hire the candidate. Be sure to access both their technical and personal skills, since cultural differences should be minimized for successful communication and overall understanding. To build trustworthiness and reliability, you should ask candidates to do a test task to prove their skills will meet your industry needs.
Step #6 Project Management Methodology
Once the partner, engagement model, and development team are all set up, it is time to discuss the methodology principles. Each of the following models is suitable for the project’s particular size, duration, and complexity. Therefore, carefully analyze each to define which one will work best for you.
One of the most used models is Agile, which guarantees team collaboration, customer involvement, and improvements at any software development stage. Custom software developers working under Agile principles show timely completion of tasks, more effective task distribution among members, and a well-organized working process, which is especially beneficial for complex long-term projects.
The oldest methodology used by developers is a waterfall. The main principle lies in linear development, stage by stage. It allows you to carefully maintain each stage’s order, organize the collaboration between team members (developers and QA specialists, coders, and project manager), and help wrap each step of the project promptly.
This model is mostly based on Agile methodologies, where each member is assigned to a specific role to be responsible for a particular workflow. Scrum methodology includes constant communication via regular meetings to agree on the changes and innovations your team may have in mind.
Extra Tips to Consider
- Do not solely rely on price. Choosing the vendor with the highest bid doesn’t necessarily mean you get the best services and vice versa. East Europe, for instance, is known across the world for low salary rates of developers. However, their dedication and professionalism guarantee world-class custom software.
- Check the developers’ language fluency. 80% of successful cooperation with your team depends on understanding in terms of speaking on language proficiency.
- Properly research the market. When Googling a software development partner, make sure to read feedback on forums and their official webpage. It gives you an independent opinion of their operation in the industry.