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Software Development

Choosing the Right Software Development Company

24 November 2021 by Sara Wahba

Software is a set of instructions that tell a computer what to do and how to do it. There are different kinds of software. They include system software, utility software, shareware, firmware, and application software. 

The software encompasses many different purposes and can be created by different companies. Sometimes companies will reach out to a software development company or software development house for custom software development. A software development company or software development house is a company that provides custom software solutions for a company, business, or industry. 

The software can be created in-house, meaning the company creates the software itself. It can be outsourced, meaning the software is created by an outside company. Or the custom software development can be a hybrid, which means the project is a combination of in-house and outsourced collaboration. Outsourced software development can be outsourced by three different methods. It can be an in-shore, near-shore, or off-shore company. An in-shore company is within the country's borders. 

A near-shore company is a company within another country's borders but is nearby. An offshore company is far away within another country's borders. There are 26.9 million software companies across the globe. How can we know which company to choose?

Let us take a look at some points to look for and some questions to ask when considering hiring a software development company. Some things to check for are available portfolios and reviews on platforms like Clutch, GoodFirms, and others, social media presence, and involvement with the community. Some key questions to ask are how often does the company put up new blog content; Which methodology does the company use to develop software; What project management tools are used; What technology stack is in-house; and what kind of team will be dedicated to the project's completion?

Available Portfolio and Reviews

We always want to check for a company's portfolio and reviews. A company's portfolio will let us know what projects the company has worked on. We want to choose a company that knows what it is doing. An experienced company is more likely to produce the results we want. For example, we do not want a company that is known for producing application software to work on software for our system and vice-a-versa. We want someone familiar with the job at hand. 

We also want to check the reviews a company gets. A company may have worked on the kind of software we need but may have poor reviews. A poor review means the company did the job but did it poorly. We also want to be aware of the type of platform the portfolio and reviews are on. Platforms such as Clutch and GoodFirms are trusted platforms. Different platforms might put up great reviews but are not so trusted. We must be sure that any information we get about a company is accurate and current.

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Social Media Presence

Another factor we need to look for when we outsource software development is social media presence. A strong social media presence is important. It provides reviews and comments about the work a company has done. It also provides a platform for us to reveal our attitudes and feelings about working with a particular company. We can share the experience we went through, what we liked about it, and what we disliked about the entire ordeal from start to finish.

Involvement With Community

We also want to choose a company with strong community involvement. Companies with strong community involvement are often kind to their employees. In turn, they get the best work from their employees. These employees feel important and are happy to be a part of the company they serve. Also, companies that have strong community involvement such as "ask me anything sessions", free webinars, and podcasts tend to be more transparent. Transparency is a key characteristic for a company to possess. At these community events, we are allowed to ask questions and receive answers to issues that are important in the development of software, especially if we are looking for custom software solutions. 

It is at these events that we can find out what work the company has been associated with and how well the project turned out. In addition, events such as podcasts, webinars, and AMA (ask me anything) sessions provide a wealth of information to help us figure out exactly what it is we need and how we want to go about achieving it.

Blog Section on the Website

Many companies have blog sections on their website. This is an important element in trying to choose the right software development company. A company's blog may offer much information about how it develops its software, the methods used, and other information such as how it keeps its costs down. 

Regular updates and posts to a company's blogs also say something about its commitment to keep customers and followers informed about a company's operations and projects. 

It's important to not read up on a company's blog to stay on top of its facts about what is going on with the company. We do not want a company that is having inner turmoil or is behind on projects or doesn't regularly post blogs. Keeping up with a company through reading its blog can provide us with a wealth of information about internal affairs.

Which Methodology Does a Company Use to Develop Software

There are several ways a company can develop software. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. The agile development method is a development method that utilizes creating software in increments. This helps to cut back on a software's bugs, costs, and surprise issues that may occur incidentally. 

Disadvantages may include lapses in documentation, lapses in communications, and sessions that are labor-intensive because each increment must be fully completed before moving on to the next session. Similar to the agile development method is the Rapid Application Development. The Rapid Application Development method is used for projects that must be produced quickly. The planning and development must be well defined. 

The disadvantage of Rapid Application Development is that it requires highly skilled members on a stable team with extensive knowledge of the application. Another method used to develop software is the DevOps method. The DevOps method improves employee efficiency and shortens the time it takes for the software to reach the market. It also improves product quality and customer satisfaction. The disadvantages are that it requires continuous updates and undetected issues can enter into productions when the software is used in different environments. Finally, there is the waterfall method. 

Five phases must be completed at each stage before moving on to the next one. These stages are requirements, design, implementation, verification, and maintenance. The Waterfall method is designed to make the software development process easy to manage and understand. However, this method is costly and is slower to develop than the other methods.

Project Management Tools

Project management tools are resources utilized in the development of software. They include features such as planning and scheduling, collaboration, documentation, and evaluation. Project management tools help plan, organize, and direct the completion of software development. There are many project management tools and the types of tools used can help us determine which software development company to use. Software development companies that use tools such as Jira, Kanban board, or Wrike often waste significantly less money than those that do not.

Technology Stack Used

The software can use different technology stacks. A technology stack is a set of tools that developers use to produce an app. It consists of a combination of languages and frameworks to make an application functional. When searching for a software development company, we want to make sure that the software utilizes the same in-house technology stack we are already using if possible. This will prevent extra costs that are incurred with retraining or reprogramming current systems to use a different technology stack. Some different types of technology stacks are Java, Linux, C++, and .Net.

Team Available to deliver the Project

The type of team dedicated to project completion is important as well. Will it be an in-house team, an outsourced team, or a hybrid of the two? An in-house team may incur changing costs. It also provides limited technical talent that is limited to the current staff of a company. 

In addition, there is a high staff turnover associated with in-house sourcing. Advantages of an in-house team include direct communication, an easy fit into the company's culture, and the ability to quickly change the project. Outsourcing provides a greater pool of talent, faster delivery of the software, and cost flexibility. 

The hybrid team features the benefits of both in-house and outsourced teams but also has some of the disadvantages of both. Small and medium enterprises alike should be careful when choosing a software development company. Asking the correct questions and conducting the proper research can mean all the differences in the cost and the quality of software that is developed. 

One company that can meet software development needs is Kapsys. Kapsys is a software development house that listens to its client’s needs and follows their processes and business values to achieve maximum efficiency. Kapsys does Salesforce automation. It also does integration projects. We would do well to consider Kapsys to provide our software development needs in the future.