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How to Choose a Software Development Company

If you want to know how to choose a software development company that will help your business reach its desired goals, there are several factors that you need to consider. That’s because the software development agency you pick will play a bigger role than just offering you a service, as they’ll also be an important partner, resource, and part of your team. That’s why we’ve compiled the following steps to help you with this process, read on to see what they are.

Define Project Objectives and Timeframes

The first step that you take before you start looking for a software development partner is understanding what your project’s goals are. You can do this by defining what problems you want your software project to fix. For example, you can assess whether you want your development project to make your operations more efficient, offer important information to customers, or boost revenue. Once you’ve defined what it is you want your software solution to do, you need to start working on the project’s scope by outlining the functions and features you want it to have.

After defining what you want your software solution to do, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with how long it takes for the project to be ready for deployment. Factors that usually impact the actual time spent on creating software solutions are usually how big a software development company team is and how complex the project is.

Once you know how long the development process will be, you need to set milestones that the software development company will have to meet. The milestones will be the checkpoints you’ll use to evaluate the project’s progress by comparing them to the work that the development company has done.

What you also have to factor in when setting these milestones is if the project has a specific launch date so you can plan backward from that date. For projects with a set launch date, you also need to ensure that the development team software development company you choose will be able to meet the deadline.

To ensure that deadlines are met, you’ll need to find a software development company that has a transparent communication style. A software company that will meet this criteria will offer frequent progress reports and updates and is always open to suggestions or discussions.

The right software development company will also be open to working closely with your team to ensure that beyond meeting deadlines, their development team does things according to your specifications. That would mean a potential software development partner will be able to adapt to changes in what’s expected from them, address any concerns you have quickly, and ask you for your input.

Find the Right Software Development Company

The next thing that will help you with how to choose a software development company is a multi-step approach. The first step of this approach involves you using your current network of industry peers to look for recommendations so you’ll find a reliable software development company some of them have already worked with.

The next step of this process involves browsing Google business profiles of different software development companies. When looking at their business profiles, you’ll need to keep an eye out for previous client reviews and see how they’ve responded and solved issues for unsatisfied clients, if there are any. Also, keep in mind that a good software development firm will have more positive reviews than negative ones.

In addition to browsing Goggle business profiles, you can explore software development service marketplaces. One of the most popular of these marketplaces is Clutch, which has helped many businesses find the right software development partner. This platform has been able to do this by offering software development company ratings and extensive reviews. Alternatively, you can also browse another popular marketplace called G2, which has detailed software development company comparisons, reviews, and rankings. Whilst these two marketplaces are the most widely used, there are other options that you can consider, such as Serv B2B Marketplace, GoodFirm, and UpCity, to name a few.

Lastly, you can use LinkedIn to find a software development company by searching for their profiles on this platform. You can also search for hashtags relevant to software solutions used in your sector to find a software development vendor that can build these for you.

Check Their Portfolio and Experience

After finding potential software development companies, the next thing you must do is assess their experience by looking at their portfolios as their portfolios will show you the quality of their past work. What you need to look for to determine the quality of their work is whether the sites or apps they’ve developed look good, are bug-free, and user-friendly. You can also check how efficiently their past projects perform and if they function smoothly.

When looking at software company portfolios, you’ll need to look at how diverse the projects they’ve worked on are, as companies who’ve developed software for different sectors are more adaptable. However, even if you spot a software development company with a portfolio that has projects in various sectors, you still need to see if they have developed projects in your domain. That’s because the best software development company for your business will be one that understands what’s required by organizations in your field.

Reviewing a company’s portfolio also helps give you an idea of the technologies it uses in its software development process. This information can provide you insights into the technical expertise of a potential outsourcing partner you want to develop your software solutions, such as the development methodology they use. What makes this important is that each development methodology has a stack with different applications, for example, there’s the LAMP stack, which involves the use of Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP technologies, which are utilized in building server-side programs. Contrarily, MERN, and MEAN stacks are used for building both server-side and user-facing applications.

Looking at a company’s past projects can help you choose a software development company that offers the services you need, as they can differ. An example of this is a custom software development company that specifically offers front-end services and only develops user interfaces. On the other hand, some companies specialize in backend services and only develop server-side solutions like databases. However, many companies also offer full-stack services and build app interfaces, databases, and APIs.

Assess Communication and Collaboration

Once you’ve reviewed the portfolios of the companies you’re considering working with, the next step that will help you choose a software development provider is assessing how they communicate. That’s because understanding how different companies communicate will result in seamless collaboration, which will streamline the project development process.

To understand how the software development companies you’re considering communicate, you need to know the communication methods they rely on, such as the chat tools, collaboration platforms, and video conferencing apps they use. Also, consider how fast these companies reply to your inquiries before you work with them, as this can be an indicator of how professional they are. Another factor that you need to consider before choosing a company to offer you custom software development services is how well they articulate themselves, as misunderstandings can result in projects getting delayed.

After establishing how the companies you’re considering communicate, you need to understand the approach they use in their project management pipeline. Some of the most common project management approaches software companies use are Scrum and Kanban, which fall under the Agile development methodology. Both approaches have their benefits and drawbacks, for example, the Scrum approach is best suited for complex projects as it sorts the work required to develop different parts of the software you need into timed sprints. However, the Kanban approach works best with steady workflows as it organizes tasks into a continuous flow of tasks, which is why you need to ask the companies you’re considering which one they use.

Additionally, you also need to know the tools that the companies you’re considering use, such as Asana, Trello, or Jira. Knowing the tools they use will allow you to understand how you’ll track the project’s progress and be on the same page with the company you choose throughout the software development journey.

Security Practices and Quality Assurance

The last step you need to take when choosing a software development company is assessing whether the companies you’re considering are implementing proper security measures and best practices to reduce the risk of having vulnerabilities that hackers can capitalize on and to protect user data.

One of the things you need to look for when choosing a software development service provider is whether they will maintain the solutions they’ll be building for your company. What makes this essential is that if your software is properly maintained, this will reduce the chances of vulnerabilities popping up in the future.

You also need to assess the quality of the code the companies you want to work with produce by asking an independent professional to review their previous projects. Ensuring that the services you’re considering write good code will make your software safer, as bad code is difficult to secure.

If your software product will be offering web services, it could have vulnerabilities that might expose user data containing sensitive information. That is why, in that case, you need to get a company that also specializes in web development that will secure your software online to prevent unauthorized parties from accessing this data.

In addition to securing your software, you need to ensure that the companies you’re considering have a quality assurance (QA) team. That’s because doing quality assurance will be crucial in keeping your software stable and operating reliably. QA teams make this possible by pointing out and fixing issues with the software throughout its development cycle. QA specialists are also vital even after a software project has been deployed, as they can ensure that any changes in operating systems or new features you might want to add won’t affect the functionality of the solution’s current features.

However, just having a QA team shouldn’t be the only parameter you’re looking for, as you also need to know how the software companies you’ve shortlisted carry out their QA tasks. One of the things you must look out for is how early these companies start planning for quality assurance. That’s because steps like defining quality standards, their measurement criteria, and writing QA guidelines should be done before development commences.

Another factor you need to consider to help you choose a company to develop your software products is whether they let independent security experts or testers do external quality assurance reviews. What makes allowing these professionals to conduct QA reviews beneficial is that they can spot issues that internal teams might have missed.


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