Software development houses market is full of great solution providers racing to become the best SDH out there. The competition is tough, so SDHs use innovative approaches to product development, creativity and top-notch skills that can help them to get noticed. Software development houses are mainly focused on designing and building custom software solutions for a specific set of users, functions or organizations. Choosing an outsourcing partner like SDH, you should think not only about technical aspects and development methodology but also some soft elements of collaboration. As one of our clients, Myron Weber the CEO at Northwood Advisors stated: “I look for 5 key things in a software development partner: great programmers, consistent quality, excellent value, a responsive management team, and fun experience.”
It is a no-brainer that if the development team delivers high-quality code, gaining client’s trust and satisfaction more and more companies will be interested in working with them. Because of the huge number of software houses, it is easy to find those lacking experience and writing poor code. With software development outsourcing you usually want to speed up your projects, gain specific skills, scale the team, add new features or just build the application form scratch. In all the cases you expect the code will be delivered on time, have the least bugs possible and be written clearly. The code quality should be guaranteed by automated tests and peer reviews. Our client Piet Neirinck, founder of the 9TEAMS, remarks that a company that depends on testing heavily can boost code quality to the highest standards. You can also check if a company benefits from pair-programming to resolve major architectural challenges or more complex issues.
Almost every article about outsourcing says that communication is the key to outsourcing success. If you communicate well, there is no space for misunderstandings, setbacks and failures. It is super important for the developers to stay in touch with the client, constantly informing them about the progress made or challenges encountered. And when I write developers I mean developers - the people who actually do the job - not project or account managers. If you can speak directly with programmers you eliminate all unnecessary communication layers and are more likely to get exactly what you want. This direct approach will allow you to build mutual trust and boost engagement. According to our client Henrik Lindberg a CTO at Studentvikarie Sverige AB, it’s important to allow developers to take responsibility for their work, give them free rein to follow their instincts when solving things. You should be able to trust them as your own team.
Agility is about creating a product as a result of a collaborative effort of a self-organized and cross-functional team together with its clients. It is about constant delivery of business value and the ability to respond to change. Agile software development includes practices like pair-programming, test-driven development, daily stand-ups, sprints and planning sessions. By making use of those practices software development teams are able to be more productive, motivated and happy. All developers should be not only familiar with such agile approaches as Scrum or Kanban but be aware of agile philosophy and principles as well. Our software development experience teaches us that agile and customer-centered approaches are great for :
- successive iterations,
- close collaboration with clients,
- lowering costs and risks,
- minimising waste and maximising value delivered.
If you contract a software house and would like to get a custom software solution, you, in most cases, will expect to get a finished product by the end of the contract. That means, that the software development team will be responsible for each step of the development process. This is why you should look for a software outsourcing partner which is able to deliver both front-end and back-end developers together with UX/UI and graphic designer. It’s also important to check if you can leverage SDH’s internal experts' skills and industry expertise to speed up the product time to market.
A good software development house is a flexible software development house. With the constant changes occurring in the programming world, development companies have to stay on top of things. This means, changing technologies, adapting the approach to the current trends and be ready to listen to the client’s demands and act accordingly. One of our clients Keith Roberts, COO of SquadLocker emphasizes that at first, he needed the team comprised of 3–4 engineers but as the project was growing he wanted easily expand it to 10–11 people, including a full-time designer, and a full-time Scrum master. It’s also worth checking what is a company technology stack, ask if they perform any R&D initiatives and are able to offer the best solutions to your needs.
To choose the right SDH you have to think, about code quality, trustful communication, agile approach, full-stack teams and flexibility of the vendor. The question is, how you can check the above elements. Before choosing your team I encourage you to arrange interviews / pair-programming with all team members to check their tech level and communication skills. Another great option is reading client reviews which were gathered by the independent consultancy. One of services like this is Clutch. It offers trusted reviews of Software Development Houses. You can use it as a reference source, check how other clients review various SDHs and make your own decision.