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How to choose a programming company?

How to choose a programming company?

Your company wants to be developed and to be more and more modern. You have an idea for a program design, an app, a modern platform, or a website. There is just one step that is between you and realizing the idea – finding the right programming company, which is going to accept the job, and, what’s even more important, is going to deal with it fast and to the highest standard.

The IT industry is developing at a dizzying pace, due to which there are plenty of options. The choice might even be too big! There are plenty of agencies, software houses, and freelancers offering their services to potential customers. Everyone advertises themselves as the best and tries to convince you that they are the number one in the programming world. How to choose? It’s worth starting with a couple of questions that are going to help us to establish what our expectations are.

What exactly do you need?

You should start by thinking about your needs. Ask yourself a question – what does your business need?

Do you want to create an advanced mobile app which you’re able to spend a bigger chunk of your budget?

Or maybe you’re just thinking about refreshing the page?

Maybe it’s an online shop, with a computer and a mobile version? Think about the money you’re able to spend on your goal and how much time you have. The more specific you are, the fewer companies you’ll have to choose from.

Additionally, specifying the characteristics of the project even after choosing the right software house will also be helpful. We need to establish what our expectations are so that the programmers will be able to ensure that we’re satisfied with the result.

A programming company will know exactly what to do so that the finished product will not differ from what you expected. If you don’t specify what you want, you may ask for project X and get project Y.

Imagine commissioning an artist to paint something for your living room. It’s supposed to not only match the interior but also look just breathtaking. Of course, even if you’ve shown the picture of your living room to the artist and specified your expectations, it’s possible that your vision will be different that the idea of the painter. When you said: “a breathtaking painting which matches my interior” you were thinking about a seaside landscape, but you got a canvas with a blue elephant.

A similar situation may happen in a software house. Both sides are frustrated – the commissioning and the commissioned. You, because you expected a different effect and the company because they did the job according to your guidelines. Now, if you want to make some changes and corrections, you’ll need to reckon with waiting longer and paying more.

Think about your budget! It’ll make the cooperation way easier!

When you get in touch with the programming company of your choice, it’s worth to think how much money you’re ready to pay. What’s more, it’ll allow the software house to establish if it’s enough to create a project which will satisfy you. Be honest and clear while speaking about the budget.

When it comes to the offers from various software houses when you need an executor, you need to remember that price is not always the best factor. After getting a set of offers, the pay rates will probably differ quite a lot. You’ll surely try to compare them with one another, but choosing the cheapest option is not always the smartest. You need to remember that:

  • 1.The better the programmer is, the higher are his competences and skills, and, consequently, his rates.
  • 2. Higher hourly pay relates to:
  • The fact that this hour will be used for good quality, advanced job, in contrast to weaker and less advanced programmers.
  • The fact that a better programmer will be able to write a more thought-through code that will be the base of a reliable program.

That’s why it’s important to remember that low price doesn’t always mean good quality.

Do some research about programming companies

To do it, use plenty of sources. Create a base of firms that interest you and which meet your technical requirements. Make sure that the software house you choose is trustworthy and perfect for your project.

Recommendations

The advertising of a company very often happens through recommendations. The opinions of people involved in a certain industry seem to be a reliable source of information. A similar situation happens with the recommendations coming from our friends. It’s also the quickest and the easiest way to find a reliable company suitable for our cause. So, when a friend advises you to contact a software house, take it into consideration. It’s worth using the network of acquaintances that you already have because they can help you to verify whether a company is worth your attention or not.

Other customer’s opinions

The internet will tell you the truth. Not always, of course, but in most cases, opinions written online are worth to be taken a look at. Stats prepared by Spiegel Research Center say that 95% of customers use some of the basic recommendations left by other people. Those opinions are often persuasive, too. If a company has more negative ratings than positive, it's better to stay away from it and look for someone else.

Believable portfolio

It’s definitely a key point that should be verified. As a potential customer, we want to know that our project won’t be the first one done by a particular company. A reliable company will have some finished projects in its portfolio. You should pay attention to whether the jobs are similar to yours or at least done using the technology which interests you.

If you want to commission a mobile game, for instance, look for software houses that have had some experience with this topic and not ones that only worked in the medical field and crate software strictly for it.

When you’re already in touch with a particular software house, drill them about some of their projects, especially ones they’ve worked on recently. You can also ask about some details of projects similar to yours. Find out how long it takes to finish them, what specialists worked on them, what problems they met, and how they dealt with them.

Project phase

Every programming company, which does its work in a reliable and trustworthy way and delivers projects of good quality, has its project phase thought through. It makes working on a particular project easier and less chaotic due to set phases. It helps to organize the team, due to which the work is more efficient. What is more, the client can sleep soundly knowing what’s the plan and that it’s going to be executed well.

Working on more advanced projects like building a mobile app from scratch, opening an online shop or a more complicated website is a long-term task. That’s why it’s important to have the project phase well thought through and done in writing. Usually, the Project Manager will guide you through the documented implementation process.

They should also inform you about the contact methods the company is going to use with you to keep you up to date with all the changes and eventual problems.

Ways of payoff

IT companies have various methods of payoff. There might be a particular sum for the project as a whole or an hourly pay. With the former, it’s worth checking whether the company sends reports, tests the product, and maintains it after opening.

With the hourly pay, you should ask about the eventual prolonging of the project and if the stakes change. In the end, choose a software house that offers a payoff method that suits you best.

Have a meeting

No matter if in person or online, you need to get to know the software house you want to work with, and emailing is not enough. Select some companies from your base (usually, not more than 2-3 of them) and have a meeting. A live conversation will help you verify the knowledge of the people and whether they’re prepared to tackle your project.

Ask about the team which is going to work is the task – what’s their experience and skills. You might want to ask about a so-called “blind CV,” a resume with no personal data, but with the experience, previous projects they’ve worked on, languages they operate, and other important details. You should also check the hour of work of a particular company because, in the IT industry, those differ from company to company.

Set your goals

Together with the software house you should set a goal – KPI (Key Performance Indicators). It’ll help with managing work in the future. KPI is a goal that you want to achieve with the finished product. It might be the digitalization of your business, more profit, or customer satisfaction.

It should be established at the very beginning so that the programming company will be able to stick to it at all times while realizing the project. With the finished product in your hands, you’ll be able to compare it with the KPI and see if the goal was met.

Here’s a short cheat sheet about choosing a programming company for the job!

If you’re still not sure how to choose the best programming company for your project, check this short summary out:

We remind you what aspect are especially important while choosing an IT company to cooperate with:

Aspects of a software company evaluation

And what questions it’s worth to ask to ensure that the cooperation will be satisfactory:

Basic questions

There is a multitude of programming companies on the market. The choice is huge, but we hope that with this article it’ll be easier for you to make the final decision.

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Oskar Pawlicki
14/10/2021
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