Choosing a Developer: Finding the Right Fit

I know Software and Web development projects can feel overwhelming and exciting. On one hand, you have a great idea and on the other hand you are nervous about finding the right partner to bring this vision to life.  Can they do the work? Will they deliver? Can they make it better? Can they steer you around the potholes?

When you find the right fit, the project can be a success. The wrong fit can make it feel like a sludge.  So, how do you find the right fit?

Here are the top things to consider: Communications, Experience, Approach and Pricing

Communications: Communications will make or break a project; nothing is more important. Software projects can involve a lot of decisions and technology talk.  It is important that you understand your developer and you feel comfortable asking questions. Also, they need to understand you.

In the best relationships, I’ve clicked with a client from the first call.  I understand their project and can talk about our approach and processes so they get it.  But I’ve had conversations with new leads where I simply can’t quite get their vision.  We just seem to be talking past each other, not a good fit.

Take the time to find a development company where communications go well.

Experience: You want a custom software development company that build the features and functionality that you need. Now, this doesn’t have to be a one for one.  Meaning they don’t have to have built the exact project for a company in the same industry.  You are looking for a developer that can show you projects that have the same kinds of things you need.  If similar features or comparable functionality are in past projects, then you can see that they have the right kinds of experience.

For design, the important thing is to see quality and variety in their work.  Custom designs are created for each client and are unique and specific to their needs.  Your user interface will be unique too.  You want to see past projects where you like the approach and where the user experience is thoughtful. You also want talk to the designer to see if they get your vision.  Variety is the spice of life. Don’t be afraid to let a designer try something new if the rest of their work is solid.

Approach: Every vendor has their own approach.  Finding the right approach to development can be difficult if you haven’t been through a software project before. To start, listen to each developer and how they work. Does it sound like it would work for you? For instance, we anchor projects with a weekly meeting and our clients are very involved.  Our clients love this approach, but some people prefer a more hands-off approach.

Pricing: Pricing will be dependent on each project and vendor. The important thing is to understand how a project is billed and how changes (which are inevitable) are handled.  I expect that clients will have questions on pricing, and I welcome them.  Make sure you can communicate pricing with your vendor in a way that works for you and feels productive.

If you consider Communications, Experience, Approach and Pricing for choosing the best development company for your project then you will find a vendor that will be a great fit.

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