While digitizing your operations, you may come across the need to create a software solution, create a website, or develop an app. The skills required to do this are unlikely to be within your staff pool, so you may need to hire outside help. Considering that software development isn’t your forte, you may be wondering how to evaluate and choose a software development partner. Here are a few tips:
Talent, Of Course!
Determining the developer’s level of skills should always be the first step. Before you get to the nitty-gritty, you want to know if the software developer has the talent and expertise to carry out the task. Always ask for a portfolio that you can review, with an emphasis on the type of work you need the developer to complete.
Look for what previous customers think of their service. Do thorough research on their work so that you won’t have an unpleasant surprise once you have hired them. Most software developers offer free consultation and samples, and you can use these offers to gain insights on their capabilities.
Note that not every developer can do everything. Each developer has their specialty, target market, and project scope. Some developers are specific to industries, project size, geographic location, or technology type. Create a list of your needs and match your needs with what an agency offers.
The ideal software developer is passionate about their work. Their passion not only drives their work ethic but their eagerness to learn. Coding software is continuously evolving, so try finding an NYC software development company or a California-based agency, where those in the tech industry stay on top of new trends.
Coding can be grueling work with long hours, so developers need to stay focused in front of a computer for extended periods. They should also be able to avoid distractions since they work on deadlines, and work could be easily pushed back because of a bug.
If you choose to partner with a software development company, insist on interviewing the engineers who will be working on your account. Establishing a relationship and understanding early in the process will be necessary.
Not Scared of Tough Work
Software design is both an art and a science, so getting it right takes a balance between pragmatism and creativity. If your request is particularly sophisticated, you don’t want someone that believes they will create the perfect code on their first try. A myopic mindset will get that developer frustrated and stuck.
You want a problem solver; someone who actively tests and fixes errors. Testing the code is how good developers become great ones because testing can reveal bugs in the system. Debugging is a natural part of coding, and you need a developer that appreciates that.
Willingness to Understand You
A good software developer takes the time to understand what your business needs thoroughly. They should be able to come to you with a clean template, rather than try to fit you into a template. There is a tendency by some software developers to sell ready-made solutions. While there may be ready-made solutions that can work well for you and reduce costs, you may still find you need a software developer to build a custom solution.
Although software developers know their stuff, they don’t know yours. You have an understanding of your products, industry, and customers that they don’t have. So be the advocate for your company’s vision and customer needs. Remember, the developer is there to turn your ideas into reality, not theirs.
Explaining your idea, having it heard, and then made into software requires excellent communication. You want someone that can clearly explain complex topics along with understanding your needs. The developer should be able to demonstrate their work and process without confusing you with jargon – after all, the end product is yours.
You shouldn’t get someone who agrees with you all the time or will do anything to please you. You need an expert who can intelligently and respectfully express their technical ideas or opinions. Ideally, communication should be a two-way street with a constant exchange of ideas and solutions.
Develop the Right Partnership
So when you are thinking of your next app, website, or software design, think about the type of developer that will get you there. Get someone with experience, passion, and communication skills. This will reduce project completion times, ensure code quality, and make the experience less nerve-wracking.