Things to consider when choosing a software development company
- We can’t afford to buy cheap shoes
This is an old phrase my grandmother used to say. Software projects are often working on limited budgets, particularly when getting a new idea to market where it will later generate revenue. Sometimes it is better to pay more for a pair of shoes that will last a decade than choose cheap ones that you will replace in ten weeks.
This is especially true in software development. We are not saying you should pay for services that you simply can’t afford. Rather, most failed projects and drained budgets come from an initial decision to go with the cheapest software house from those that pitch for the business. You’ll often find that you abandon all hope after a few months and then spend years paying to get out of the hole.
In fact, in our own portfolio, we specialize in rescuing such projects. It’s never pleasant to see the life sapped out of a good business idea by one mistaken choice of vendor. In such circumstances, we love helping businesses bring their project to a successful conclusion with limited resources of time and money.
- Check case studies
Recommendations and case studies are some of the main things to consider when choosing a software development company. Check the company’s case study section on their own website and read about the projects they have been involved in, as well as about their own initiatives. On our site, for example, you can read about our cooperation with ImmoScout, Tier or Siegwerk.
Of course, it’s also worth checking the customer reviews. It is known that they are the ones who know best what it was like to work with a software provider. At ValueLogic, after every closed project we interview the client and ask for an honest feedback on our work.
If you can, write a friendly message on LinkedIn to the CTO of a company they have built an application for and ask how he or she felt about the cooperation at the time and how they feel now.
I would highly recommend working with ValueLogic as an IT service provider, they offer us a great team mixture with different skills and focuses. VL is very agile and responsive, so they accompany us in all stages of our product development with the right amount of support.
Franziska Schmidt, ImmoScout24 Project Manager
- A way of working that you will appreciate
You need to consider the difference between a sub-contractor and a true partnership. A sub-contractor will tick off tasks from a list, whereas a partner will add value to your project and perhaps even integrate fully with your team.
Choose a partner who knows how to build a responsive team for your IT project. The development team should easily adapt to your organization, have a remote collaboration model worked out to perfection, and operate not only in an agile methodology, but flexibly respond to your needs
Our ValueExperts smoothly enter a new workplace environment and easily communicate in English. Thanks to their high level of expertise, our clients often take their advice on choosing the best technology. Innovation requires discussion and brainstorming. It requires face time and collaboration. Therefore, it is also preferable if you can meet with your partner in person when necessary. Choose a partner with whom you are comfortable.
- Do you speak the same language?
We are not talking about English or Spanish or Chinese. We are talking about business people and technical people being able to translate their needs and expertise to one another. Speaking to IT experts can be intimidating for many people who are not from a software development background. Developers use short-cuts, acronyms or technical terms and, rather than saying they don’t understand, many non-technical people nod along to not lose face.
If you need to do this, the partnership is doomed from the beginning. Be straight about what you understand and what you expect to be explained to you in simplified terms. And if the software development team can’t make you understand their work in the beginning, you can be sure that you won’t be able to cooperate with them in the long term.
Yes, that is perhaps unfair to hard-working and talented developers if you have to get rid of them because they can’t dumb it down enough for you to understand. However, you are cutting the checks and you need to make informed decisions to make the right choices for the business. You need software teams who understand your business well enough to translate their activities into your language.
- Don’t tell them what you want to build
One surefire way to check out a software development company is to not give them the whole blueprint for your application or software solution up front. In the first meeting, start by giving a little background about your business challenges and the results you want to achieve.
You can tell them your whole idea later on but, first of all, just provide them with a brief overview and see what they come back with. How quickly do they understand your domain? Did they listen carefully to the problems and come up with some interesting solutions? Were their loose concepts even better than your own? Did they show you something you had missed?
See for yourself what Joshua, the creator of EatApp, said about working with us. He brought us an idea, which we turned into a product.
This is incredibly important because there is only one guarantee with any software project: it will never go exactly the way you planned it! There will always be challenges, pivots, fresh ideas, and changes along the way. The worst kind of software company is usually the one that delivers a carbon copy of what you laid out in the original blueprint. You rather need a partner that can understand your business needs and adapt and change, as well as bringing you their own ideas and perspectives during the build.
The right approach to innovation
These are our top 5 things to consider when choosing a software development company. Of course, the technology they use, as well as price of services, will always be major factors. However, if you have a number of companies to choose from, cultural fit, availability and openness to innovation are crucial factors for success.
If you like our tips, it’s already a good signal for us to have interesting conversations. Contact us. We have a smart business team that will tell you about cooperation with our developers and look for new opportunities.
Contact us to get the conversation started.