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Guide to choosing the right software development company

Reading time: 8 min

Hiring the right software development company can be a challenging and time-consuming process. Since you want to receive a high-quality end product, you have to spend some time and resources on finding the best-fitting company viable for the job, as each project has different characteristics.

It is highly important not to choose the software developer in a hurry, rather be thorough with your research and gather as much information as possible. Look for reviews, think of what type of outsourcing would be the best for your project, define your requirements, evaluate potential partners. All of those aspects and the systems used for resolving them will be covered in detail in this article.

In-house developers, freelancers or a custom software development company?

All of these types have their advantages. The thing you need to do is select the right one for your project. There are many aspects to consider when making such a decision. They include things like the project’s spectrum and requirements, the lifespan of the project, your budget, deadlines and security.

In-house developers

When deciding to hire in-house developers you need to know the project and all its requirements. One you have that, choose the best candidates for the job and hire them. This option is the most relevant for big, long-term projects. It makes your life easier, as you are in constant contact with the developers, you meet them every day and you can call meetings whenever you need. You also get complete ownership of the code, as they are indeed working for your company for the time being.

On the flip side, though, you need to cover many aspects of hiring in-house developers. You need to pay them their salary, cover all the equipment they need, provide them with space, handle the taxes, insure them and do many other things linked with hiring. The whole process is quite expensive and there is a lot of paperwork, which is very tedious. If you are a small startup, that is an option you probably can’t afford.

Freelancers

Freelancers are easy to find and even easier to hire. They are best for short-term, hastily done projects that need flexibility. They are a rather affordable choice, so if you’re a little business that wants a small app done, go for the freelancers.

There are downsides, though. Most of the time they have other projects they need to attend to, so reaching them can sometimes be tough. You don’t have as much control over what they do, and the quality can sometimes be mediocre, as the freelancers probably will not test the code themselves.

Software houses

If you have enough money, a complex project and would like to focus on other aspects of your core business, hire a software development company. They have all the competencies and resources required for handling your project. There are more than enough software houses on the market right now and in order to hire the right one you need to research their previous projects, check their experience and references.

If you want high quality that comes in pair with a lower cost – consider outsourcing out of your country. Look into Central Europe’s software houses – especially Poland.
You can also consider staff augmentation, which lets you hire engineers to suit your needs.

Different types of outsourcing

Another thing to take into consideration would be the type of outsourcing you decide on. There are few to choose from but we will focu on the three most common ones: nearshoring, farshoring and onshoring. Again – each of them has different characteristics and you need to determine what you will be going with.

Farshoring

It is also known as offshoring – this happens when companies decide to take their project to companies based in locations such as the Middle East, China or India. That allows for lower costs, as the IT services there are cheap – this is the most significant benefit of hiring developers from there. There can be many issues though, such as the language barrier, contact problems and other difficulties depending on what company you decide upon.

Onshoring

Onshoring is when you hire a software development company that is based inside your country. This time, the costs of work are significantly higher but you have much less of the issues mentioned above. Hiring a company that is based outside of the country’s capital is a good practice, as you can save some money. Most often, capital-based software developers are a bit more costly.

Nearshoring

This is an outsourcing method that is getting increasingly more popular. It consists of hiring a software development company with origins in countries that are close to yours – linguistically, geographically and culturally. All of those aspects provide the benefits of both onshoring and farshoring. This means lower costs, much less language barriers and high quality of the end-product.

Choosing the company’s location

Deciding on which location would suit your needs, remember that there are many attractive countries to choose from – especially in Europe. Selecting the right development team depends on what you want to achieve with your project. The aspects you should consider in picking the most fitting country for you would be again – to see if the language barrier is not an issue, if the country is stable, and how far is it from your home location. Based on the above you can easily choose the right country for you.

One of the most attractive countries to outsource in is Poland. They have second-best developers anywhere in Europe, low prices and high reliability. It allows for stable investments, fine environment, business and technological openness.

Defining your requirements

Defining your requirements is crucial in order for the software development company you hire to work well. It would be best if you were as thorough and as detailed as possible, when providing these requirements.

There are quite a bit of approaches for selecting an IT partner. One of them is an RFP (request for proposal) which is a document listing the project’s requirements, your expectations and the terms and conditions of the contract. RFPs are usually sent to a small number of software development companies that you have handpicked. The companies propose a solution for your project, and on that basis, you choose the most fitting one.

Another thing that can help you is an RFI (request for information). It covers a broader spectrum of requirements and is usually sent only to the companies you would like to find out more about.

There are templates that help you create RFP and RFI.

Reading client reviews

It is vital to familiarise yourself with the opinions of the people who have already worked with the company you would like to choose. Reading customer reviews can give you a lot of information and allow you to draw conclusions. It is essential to find bias-free reviews from trusted clients to ensure that the information is accurate.

One of the sites to use for that would be clutch.co. Their reviews and rankings are very reliable and you can freely use that site as a basis for your further decisions in hiring the right development teams for your project. To make your choice even easier, clutch.co also covered the top Poland software development companies.

Contracts

There are many important things to cover in a contract. It is critical to have it written the right way so that it contains all of the terms and conditions both sides agree upon. Your cooperation will depend on the contract, it will specify the scope, the price, the deadline, etc. It can also specify the relations between the partners themselves.

While entering the cooperation and signing the contract you also want to protect confidential information about your firm. In order to do that you need a well-prepared non-disclosure agreement (NDA) – there already exists a reliable template for that.

Conclusion and summary

Before you choose the software development company you will work with, be sure to do thorough research, look for information in many different sources mentioned above, send RFIs and RFPs to the software companies and, using all of that data, select the best fit for your project.

Look for the most successful software development projects and draw from them. See which companies helped to make them possible and assess if they suit your needs, your budget and expectations.

Define your requirements as best as you possibly can, so that the companies know what sort of work they will be doing. You can’t leave them with a shortage of information on a project – it is on your end to provide that.

Consider the location as well. There are many different characteristics of each type of outsourcing, be aware of that.

Now you know the basis upon which you can choose a custom software development company. Good luck with finding the best software development company possible!

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