What You Can Expect from a Software Development Company

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If you’re looking for a software development company, you may already know the insights into this ‘brutal’ process. It’s not only a matter of going for the wrong provider but mainly starting the ‘hunt’ without crucial knowledge. Of course, you can ask Uncle Google for detailed information about the company of your choice, check its reviews, customer opinions, but you’re still nowhere close to being able to estimate its future performance.

How do you hire a software development company? It goes without saying that you should ask a lot of questions. Yes, it’s time to talk! But will this be enough? Of course, not. It will definitely resolve certain doubts but you need to be aware of several other elements of successful cooperation with your future software development company. Let’s dig into this vast subject.

What is Exactly that You Need?

When you think about software development, you probably have a pretty clear idea of what such companies do. They produce programs, right? Well, this statement can be a little underestimating as the scope of professional activities goes much beyond it. This is what you, as a hiring entity, should be aware of in the first place. What is exactly that you’re looking for?

Perhaps you’re in need of new software and you want to create one from scratch. Providing none of your employees is a development whizz, you definitely want to outsource it. But producing useful programs is not the only service such a company can offer you. Experts at Entrance Consulting explain that the range of software development activities varies from one business to another. Apart from delivering an entire program, some companies choose to focus on particular aspects of software production such as back end or front end design.

Software development companies can also create solutions to your existing digital issues, build corporate systems, design websites, develop apps, create reports and deliver specific analytics for better performance understanding of the product in use. The last one is particularly crucial in terms of successful cooperation with your software development company. Whatever it is that you need, you should do a little research prior to hiring a provider.

Things to Ask a Software Development Company

Miscommunication can cause you a lot of trouble in terms of cost and time-efficiency. Obviously, you expect a software development company to deliver your product before the established deadline, but things can go pretty messy if you didn’t discuss the project in great detail. Here’s a list of things you should be prepared to talk about with your chosen provider before you decide to hire them.

Identify Your Needs

Here’s the deal. Before you contact a software development company, make a list of what you really need. You don’t have to be very specific as you may not be familiar with technical jargon, but avoid to be vague.

Details of the Development Process

Make sure you ask the company to provide you with specific steps of your product creation. This should help you understand how they work and if they actually care about you as their client. If the company suggests starting with an MPV, you’d be better off with someone else.

Technology Choice

If you haven’t picked any technology yet, this is one of the things you should discuss. Normally, your provider will know better which one you should go for, but if you happen to have a clear idea about this aspect, feel free to share it with the software developer and see whether it makes sense or not. Remember to ask about the type of technologies they specialize in and avoid companies that answer: all of them!

Communication Aspect

In the course of the software development process, you may want to be notified on the progress or simply supervise every stage. After all, you’re the one paying for it, you expect to have access to information. Ask your provider how they’re willing to communicate with you and what the deliverables will be. It’s better to clear all misunderstandings before the product is done.

Establish Cost and Time

This is a tricky one. Developers tend to complain about their clients not being able to understand that the exact cost and time of delivery is hard to estimate at the initial stage. It is, of course, crucial to know the budget and timeline beforehand, but it’s not always possible. Unless the project is well-defined and every detail is included in the contract, you won’t get your answer. Changes in the project occur all the time and you will most likely be the one who demands them. Instead of asking for the total cost, settle on milestones.

Smaller but Equally Important Questions

There’s a couple of questions that are not directly related to the development process of your software but can help you make the right decision whether you want to hire a particular provider or not. It’s important to learn if the company has worked on a similar project before. Ask them to show you their portfolio and the number of developers they’re willing to involve in your project (remember that 5 people is not always better than 2 or 3). Last but not least ask about the contracts and what happens if you’re not satisfied - make sure to clear this up.

The Process of Software Development

Once you’ve made the decision on which company you see fit for the project, it’s time to learn a little about the development process. We will not go into great detail here, as it’s a very vast topic to cover. Fortunately, software developers at Miropoint provided this brief description of the software life cycle.

  1. Discussion and project assessment - this is basically a very thorough discussion between project managers and stakeholders. Gathering necessary information about the software is absolutely essential in order to proceed with the Requirement Specification.
  1. Designing stage - two things are developed here: system design and software design, both based on the information included in the Requirement Specification. This is also when the test strategy is created.
  1. Coding stage - the longest and strictly a developer’s stage. After being given system and software design, an expert sits and codes various units of the product.
  1. Testing stage - once the developer has finished, a testing stage begins. The software needs to respond well against the requirements specified in the document created at the initial stage of the project.
  1. Deployment stage - the software is delivered to the client and beta testing starts. If there are any adjustments, changes, bugs, they need to be reported back to the developer.
  1. Final stage - the software is ready but the process is not over. Issues may occur from time to time and they will need to be fixed instantly. It’s an ‘aiming for perfection’ or maintenance stage.

If you’ve never had a chance to cooperate with a software development company, you may be overwhelmed at first. With proper knowledge, however, you will be able to create a unique relationship leading to a successful deployment of your product. Software creation is a complicated process, and it’s okay if you’re not sure what it entails. The only thing that matters is proper communication so that you know what to expect from your software development company.

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