The time has come! You’ve decided to create a mobile application or website for your project. After defining the purpose of your project, identifying your target audience, and thinking up different ways to monetize, you’ve finally begun your search for the perfect development team.
This search can be a tough one though, especially if your technical skills and knowledge aren’t quite up to snuff. A quick search on Google will give you hundreds of companies to choose from, making the choice even more confusing.
Here are our top 9 tips on how to choose the best development company for your project!
Tip 1: Scan the market
There are a number of websites that feature development companies, helping you search through many companies at once. You can start by checking out what is available on Clutch.co, Appfutura.com, and Linkedin.com.
Catalogues like Theymakeapps.com, IT-Suppliers, and CrunchBase are another resource you can use to search for the right development company.
Design portfolios on Dribbble or Behance also feature development work. Both sites display companies, as well as freelancers for hire.
Tip 2: Narrow down by location
Once you’ve seen what’s available out there, narrow down your search by choosing a geographical location that suits you best. Prices, professional styles, and approaches to work will differ from region to region. It’s important to choose a team that meets your expectations and collaborative approach. Consider time zones, language barriers, and cultural differences to narrow down your search.
Tip 3: Сhoose the right technology stack
When you have scanned the market and decided on the team's location, it’s time to choose an appropriate technology stack.
If you’re sure that you want the product to be developed in Python, for instance, include it in the list of project requirements. If you’re not sure about the benefits of tools available on the market, your development team should, after listening to your project development requirements, offer the most suitable technology stack for your project. In this case, we advise you to listen to the team, as their decisions will be based on years of experience and knowledge of current technology.
Tip 4: Set a budget
Compare costs for hiring various companies. Even similar companies from the same region can charge differently. You should find a company that has the skills to do a great job bringing your project to life, without breaking the bank. Keep your budget in mind when making your selection.
But sometimes businesses make a mistake. They simply choose a company with the lowest hourly rate. If you don’t want to pay twice, you should focus on quality, delivery timeline, support services, and the technical stack witch your development company uses.
Put quality first and be ready to pay for it to not kill your app.
If you are looking for a company, pay attention to the software development companies in Ukraine. IT companies in Ukraine have highly qualified programmers, they use modern technologies, all necessary legal documents, comfortable working hours, and charge $29-50 per hour.
Tip 5: Do your homework
Once you’ve found a manageable number of companies to choose from (5-8), take a look through each company’s portfolio carefully and with a critical eye. Portfolios will give you an overall impression of what the company is capable of. Do they pay attention to details? Are they using the latest in development technology and UI/UX design? Take into account every aspect of the work featured in the company’s portfolio and think about how it would translate to your own project.
Keep in mind that your application’s success will depend on how users interact with it. Search for featured portfolio projects and check out their reviews to get a sense of how users like the end result. A company that makes beautifully designed websites that are impossible to navigate through is probably not the best choice.
Case studies are another great way to find out what a development company has to offer. Case studies should look something like these examples from our own portfolio: Possio, Photoblog. By looking through a case study, you should be able to better understand the purpose of the project, how it was developed, and where the company’s skills lie in terms of current market trends. A modern development company should be able to show you various projects that look and feel professional, complete, and effective.
Interested in extending your development team? Read about Steelkiwi's staff augmentation services.
Tip 6: Check out the reviews
One of the most important indicators of a development company’s success is customer feedback. Websites like Clutch.co and Goodfirms.co display project reviews from actual clients, giving you an idea of the company’s performance on former projects. Testimonials on the company’s website also highlight the relationship between past clients and the team.
If you want to go a step further, you can even reach out to former clients via LinkedIn or Facebook to ask them about the company directly. As they say, knowledge is power!
Tip 7: Make your shortlist
After narrowing down your search to around 3 companies, you need to determine the criteria which will help you choose the perfect company for your project.
To be sure ask the offshore company some general questions:
- What comes with the price?
- Who will be the source code owner?
- Are there coding guidelines and conventions in place? If yes, ask to see the coding guidelines and conventions documentation.
- What is their software development infrastructure, and are there any processes for continuous integration and delivery?
- What documentary standards are used at the company?
- What are the company’s approaches to simplify product support and scalability?
- Special code or architecture documentation?
What is the company’s approach to using third-party solutions (both open-source and not)?
- What type of quality assurance testing is in place and what methods are being used to do bug testing and fixing?
- Are there any included guarantees?
- How will post-release support be implemented?
Other basic criteria should include:
Developing a minimum viable product
Companies that are interested in working with you on your project should suggest an MVP development model. This model will allow you to test your idea on the market while also saving you time and money. The company commits to a smaller initial project and can help you figure out the most basic, but critical aspects of your product. MVP development should allow for scalability and further development, giving you the freedom to continue with the project at a more transparent and affordable pace.
Establishing an efficient way of communication
A professional development company should be more than just developers. They should be managing your project and communicating with you with the aid of a tech-lead or project manager, dedicated to your idea, so that developers can focus on developing.
The most efficient way to collaborate is through a project manager, or PM. The PM should maintain sufficient contact with the client to control the development process, determine priorities, monitor quality, and coordinate the development team. A dedicated PM should keep you informed of the progress of your project and should work together with you to establish markers of success.
Ensuring the necessary resources exist
Some companies try to do it all with limited resources, putting a potential strain on your project. You should make sure that the company you select can provide you with the necessary staff to make your project a success. A complete development team includes at least one project manager, a backend and frontend developer, a tech-lead, a designer, and a quality assurance (QA) expert.
The advantage of hiring a company over a freelancer is that most development companies have complete teams available. While a team of freelancers may be more affordable, it is much more difficult to keep multiple people in multiple locations organized and on track, and the burden lies heavily on you, the client, to do so. A development company is most likely located in one office and can easily discuss and make decisions about the development process. Changes can be made quickly and collaboration is simplified; multiple freelancers cannot ensure fast or constant support, wasting your time and efforts. That’s why it is better to have a dedicated team available to you.
Agile Software Development: Iterations and divided results
Development companies often use a specific approach to project management, allowing them to stay on track of various projects at once. One such method (and our favourite) is Agile software development in which a project is broken up into multiple sprints. Clients are able to check in with the project regularly to ensure that everything is still on track. Corrections and changes can be made as needed, before it is too late or modifications become too difficult or complicated to make.
The greatest advantage of development using sprints and other Agile approaches is that inaccuracies or issues can be identified at the beginning of the development process, making it 10 times cheaper to correct than discovering them towards the end of the development cycle.
Make sure you are aware of each company’s post-launch product support. Companies vary in what kind of support they offer to clients once a project is realized. Some offer 24/7/365 support, which often comes at a premium, while others offer on-demand support, and some might not even offer any support. Be aware of the offers that candidate companies provide. Usually, on-demand support should be enough to ensure you have the help you need after product launch.
Web-hosting services available
There are three main options for hosting web applications like your product.
- A company may possess an infrastructure of its own, allowing you to host your project using their hosting services and resources.
- You can choose to make use of hosting companies such as Amazon or DigitalOcean to rent a virtual or dedicated server that hosts your project.
- You can use a Platform as a Service (PaaS), such as Heroku, OpenShift, etc. to host your project. PaaS is a ready-to-use ecosystem, obtained from a web-server, database, message queue, and other modules. This option has large scaling capabilities and configuration is simple, but it can turn out to be an inconvenient option if anything beyond its capabilities is needed.
Access to a project management system
Professional companies usually have an interactive tool that helps them manage their various projects. You should be able to request access to this tool, allowing you to follow the development process and monitor the time spent on tasks, giving you visibility into what you are spending your money on.
Tip 8: Listen to the gut feeling
Developing a website or mobile application is a long process. You should understand that you will communicate with your team a lot of times. Try to choose the company with whom you feel comfortable and at ease. Bad communication is a way to your project's failure.
Tip 9: Get a second opinion
Many of your questions about the qualifications of various companies will depend on your technical knowledge. If you know that tech isn’t exactly your area of expertise, you can hire an independent consultant to help you evaluate the tech skills of the companies you’ve chosen. An independent consultant should be able to ask the appropriate questions and translate the answers for you so that you have the information needed to make the right choice.
Still not sure? You should now be ready to make your final choice, hiring the best development company for your project. Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions regarding selecting a great development company or if you’d like to see if we can help you bring your idea to life!
Contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Skype, username: steelkiwisales.
We hope you’ve found these tips useful and we wish you the best of luck with your next project!