7 Tips for Choosing the Right Software Development Partner

Companies worldwide have accelerated their digital transformation initiatives to cope with pandemic-driven changes to their operations. In the process, they have created heightened demand for talented software developers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for software developers is projected to grow by 22 percent through 2029 as organizations look to provide new software and services for increasingly remote and mobile workers. In particular, most organizations are looking for expertise in the development of web, mobile and desktop applications to extend their team collaboration, document management, remote network access and project management capabilities.

The success of these projects will largely depend on having a qualified developer on the job. Because few companies have the resources to keep a full development team on staff, most will need to find a good outsourcing partner. That’s easier said than done, however. Unless you have some development expertise yourself, it can be difficult to know how to properly evaluate and vet potential development partners.

Beyond the Basics

Developers are often assessed on their proficiency with specific programming languages and development platforms. However, selecting developers or a development team on the basis of an impressive résumé won’t ensure a successful project. Here are a few suggestions for improving the selection process.

1.      Understand your project. Because they lack in-house programming expertise, many organizations choose a developer before they fully understand their goals for the project. Before evaluating or hiring developers, you should spend time with key stakeholders in the business to understand pain points and specific improvements you’d like to make. Only then can you accurately assess a developer’s ability to deliver what you want.

2.      Look for relevant experience. Don’t just look for experience with programming languages or frameworks — look for someone who has a track record with the specific type of project you are considering. If possible, find developers who have done projects for other businesses in your particular industry.

3.      Check their references. Talking to previous customers is a straightforward way to get a picture of someone’s abilities, work ethic, character and reliability. You can usually also find reviews through a variety of online resources. Yet, research shows that up to three-quarters of companies don’t take this simple step.

4.      Talk to friends and associates. A referral from colleagues, friends, customers or partners who have undertaken similar projects can often put you on the right track. Enthusiastic word-of-mouth referrals from trusted acquaintances jumpstart a lot of lasting business relationships.

5.      Ask about coding standards. Programming languages have specific best-practice coding procedures. They are meant to ensure a high level of consistency during the development process. Standards help prevent programmers from writing complex code that only they can update, modify or maintain.

6.      Evaluate their testing processes. Testing should be conducted frequently throughout the development process to uncover any problems or issues before the app goes into production. It is essential for gaining objective information about the quality of software and its potential risks.

7.      Don’t shop on price alone. IT budgets are tight, and cost-efficiency is always an important consideration. However, there’s no value in poor software that frustrates users or creates security and operational risks. Price is certainly a consideration, but not at the expense of quality.

Quality software development projects can help companies streamline operations, bring innovative products to market and improve productivity. Conversely, a poor development can waste time, money and manpower and put your company at risk.

SSD has a strong track record of providing custom software development for customers in a variety of industries. If you’re looking for a development partner, we’d welcome the opportunity to demonstrate how we can provide the expertise and support you need.