What to Look For in a Software Development Company?

September 23, 2022

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You’ve finally realized that you need software to automate some processes for your company. So, you find yourself on Google and immediately get overwhelmed with the number of options available. How do you know what to look for in a software development company?

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With the several benefits that a professional software development company can bring, it’s no surprise that 70% more businesses will outsource their software development projects by 2023. Trying to find a software development partner can feel like a daunting task, and it’s hard to know where to start. But don’t worry, we’re here to help!

To find the best software company for your project, here are the qualities you should look for:

1. Experience in your business industry

startechup software development company quote

A software development company with an industry focus quality knows the challenges and opportunities specific to your field. They’ll be familiar with the jargon and draw on their past experiences to provide insights to help you achieve your goals.

For instance, a company specializing in developing software for the retail industry will know how to streamline order management and point-of-sale (POS) processes.

In today’s competitive landscape, make sure that the software development company understands what you want to achieve and that they have the industry experience you need.

2. A team of experienced and skilled developers

Development teams come in all shapes and sizes. You may prefer to have a team of five developers working for you or more. Whatever you prefer, each member should possess excellent skills in their field.

Here are the roles that you need in your team:

Project Manager

A project manager is responsible for keeping the project on track. They assign tasks to developers, create timelines, and make sure deadlines are met.

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Backend Developer

A backend developer focuses on server-side development. They work with databases, APIs, and application logic.

Frontend Developer

A front-end developer focuses on the graphical interface and user experience. They work with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create a responsive and interactive design.

Full Stack Developer

A full-stack developer has experience with both back-end and front-end development. They’re able to build an entire application from start to finish.

Quality Assurance Engineer

A quality assurance engineer is responsible for testing the software to ensure it meets the requirements. They identify and track bugs throughout the development process.

Above all, the company should instill a culture of innovation and creativity.

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3. Use the latest technologies and tools

The software development industry is growing rapidly, and not all companies are equal. To find out which of them is best for your project, check their technology stack and the number of technologies they work in.

Cloud computing, machine learning, and Artificial Intelligence are the future of software development services. These can produce better mobile apps, for instance, with facial recognition and security features.

With the advancement of technology, new tools, and specific technologies being used in software development, developers create better software products that meet the needs of users.

Make sure that the software development company you choose is using the latest technologies and tools. These state-of-the-art methods will allow you to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise. 

4. Proven software development methodology

Commitment to quality is one of the traits that you want to see from your potential software development partner. How would you know if they have it in place?

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Several popular project management methodologies exist, such as Agile software development, the Waterfall model, and Lean software development (LSD). Here’s a quick run-through of each of them:

Agile methodology

This is a great way to measure quality assurance because it allows for continuous improvement and delivery. If the company follows this methodology, it’s more likely they will have a solid quality assurance process.

Waterfall model

The Waterfall is more of a traditional approach that’s well-defined and easy to follow. It’s often used for large projects with long timelines.

Lean software development

LSD is a methodology that focuses on eliminating waste in the development process. This allows for faster and more efficient delivery of software products.

The company you choose should have experience with at least one development methodology. It determines their ability to complete your project successfully and on time.

5. Can provide support and maintenance services

Application development requires constant maintenance and updates to meet the changing needs of users. That’s why it’s important to find a software development company that can provide security patches and bug fixes.

Choose a good software development company that offers support, maintenance, and backup services. Software maintenance is especially important because it ensures that your software is always up-to-date and running smoothly.

More than that, a reliable software development firm will offer customer support via phone, email, and chat. This way, you can be sure that your product will be well-supported over time and that any issues that do arise will be promptly addressed by knowledgeable professionals.

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6. A detailed project plan

Project managers are the ones who develop a detailed project plan, outlining all milestones, deliverables, and deadlines for the project. When comparing software development companies, always choose the ones that use tools to execute the plan.

The use of project management tools is essential in order to create and track the progress of the project. Without these tools, it would be difficult to keep track of the various tasks that need to be completed and ensure that all team members are on the same page.

A detailed project plan entails:

  • Goals and objectives
  • Project requirements
  • Project scope
  • Project timeline
  • Team members and their role
  • Business requirements

7. Good communication skills

startechup communication quote

The success of any software development project hinges on the communication of both parties. If developers and clients cannot bridge the communication gap, it will negatively impact the project.

Good communication skills not only help to avoid misunderstandings but also ensures that everyone clearly understands what is required from them and what they can expect from others.

With different timezones, they should initialize regular check-ins and update meetings when both parties are free. Agree to keep the lines of communication open throughout the project so that everyone can voice their concerns and ask questions as needed.

8. Fair price for their services

Many software development companies provide their services all around the world. As a result, their pricing may differ depending on where they are located. Choose the service that provides you with a reasonable price, whether you outsource tasks locally or offshore.

To give you an idea about average costs, here’s what you could expect:

Offshore

Offshore software development companies typically charge less than their US or European counterparts. This is because they can take advantage of the lower labor cost in countries like India, Pakistan, and the Philippines.

For example, the average cost for offshore software development firms is around $25 to $50 per hour. However, you should be aware that there may be some language and cultural barriers that can impact communication and project timelines.

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Nearshore

Usually, a nearshore company costs around $50 to $70 per hour. These firms are located in countries that are close to the US, such as Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

The main advantage of working with a nearshore firm is the time zone difference. This can make it easier to communicate with developers and avoid miscommunications.

Onshore

Onshore software development companies are based in the US or Europe and typically charge $130 to $200 per hour.

The main advantage of onshore firms is that they are located in the same time zone as their clients. This can make communication and project management much easier.

Local Developer

In the same or similar manner, a local developer costs in a slightly higher range. Typically, they charge $70 to $150 per hour on average.

The main advantage of working with a freelancing local developer is that they are easy to communicate with and typically have a similar culture. This can make the project go smoother since there are no language or cultural barriers.

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First-Grade Agency

If you want to work with the best of the best custom software development companies and are willing to pay for it, then a first-grade agency is the right choice for you.

The price for a first-grade agency can get as high as $250 per hour, and their prices justify their high-quality services. Some offer a package that includes pre-development, development, and post-launch. Furthermore, they have leading experts in web app development, business analysts, project managers, and more.

Keep in mind that the price is not everything—you also need to make sure that your outsourcing partner can meet your specific needs.

Whichever potential partner you choose, remember to ask for a pricing structure. It would be difficult to manage your budget if you don’t know how much each task will cost.

9. Remarkable feedback from professional developer directories

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GoodFirms, Clutch.co, and UpCity are some of the reliable review websites where previous clients of various software development companies can provide their experiences.

Development platforms are where you can find honest feedback and service ratings if you want to know what to expect from a development team. These are reliable because some companies may only include positive reviews to display on their website.

clutchco website page

When looking for a software development company to work with, it’s important to consider what their previous clients have to say about them. After all, these are the people who have actually worked with the company and can speak to their quality of work firsthand.

10. Company culture

It’s not uncommon for software development projects to take months or even years to complete. For this reason, you should consider the company’s culture and see if it is on the same level as your own values and business perspective before taking on a long-term project.

One of the best ways to do this is to read customer reviews and blogs to see what kind of values they espouse. Do they value creativity and innovation? Or do they place more importance on meeting deadlines and delivering high-quality products?

If you can’t find anything on their website, you can always reach out to them and ask about their company culture. You may even want to speak to some of their current or former employees to get a better sense of what it would be like to work there.

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5 Tips to Find the Right Software Development Company

You’ve got a great idea for your next software development project. Maybe it’s a mobile app that will make it easier to order takeout or a program that will help businesses keep track of inventory.

Whatever it is, you’re eager to get started on its software development process—but first, you need to find the right software development company to bring your idea to life.

Here are four tips to help you find the right software development partner:

1. Do Your Research 

To find the best software development companies, you have to do your homework. Visit online review companies and compare different portfolios to get an idea of their work and whether or not they’re a good fit for your project.

Once you’ve narrowed down all the companies, reach out to them and ask for quotes. Other online directories provide contact information so you can easily send them an email. This will give you a better sense of what each company charges and what kind of timeline they’re looking at for your future project.

a woman in a phone meeting

2. Ask for References 

In addition to reading online reviews, another great way to vet potential software developers is by asking for references.

Reputable software firms should be able to provide you with a list of past clients who can attest to their quality of work and professionalism. This will give you peace of mind knowing that you’re working with a company that has a proven track record of success.

3. Consider Your Budget 

Of course, one of the most important factors to find software development company is budget. You’ll want to make sure that you have a clear idea of how much you’re willing to spend on your project before reaching out to different companies for quotes. That way, you can narrow down your options based on price and find a company that fits your budget and needs.

Don’t forget to consider the cost of maintenance and updates down the line as well. Once your project is completed, you’ll likely need to budget for a development team for regular software updates to keep up with the latest technology.

4. Communicate Your Goals 

It’s important that you communicate your goals clearly from the outset to find software development companies that align with your attitude.

Be as specific as possible about what you’re looking for in business app functionality and design, and make sure that the company you choose is on the same page about your vision for the project.

By doing this, you’ll avoid any misunderstandings or disappointments down the road.

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5. Get Everything in Writing 

Once you’ve found a software development company that you’re ready to work with, be sure to get everything in writing. This includes the scope of work, the timeline for completion, and the price you’ve agreed upon.

Intellectual property and non-disclosure agreements are also nice to have when outsourcing development services. Having these details in a written contract will protect you in case anything goes wrong during the development process.

StarTechUP as your Custom Software Development Company

With the rising demand for digital transformation, you don’t want to be left behind. As early as now, you want to have a reliable development team by your side!

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StarTechUP is the best software development company that specializes in custom software development, web development, and mobile app development.

We have a team of experienced developers ready to take on your next project and a proven track record of delivering high-quality products that our clients love. You can rest assured knowing that your project is in good hands.

If you’re ready to get started, book a free consultation with us today!

About the author: Andrea Jacinto - Content Writer

A content writer with a strong SEO background, Andrea has been working with digital marketers from different fields to create optimized articles which are informative, digestible, and fun to read. Now, she's writing for StarTechUP to deliver the latest developments in tech to readers around the world. View on Linkedin

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