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Don't Sit On Your Ideas…

How to Select a Software Developer: 8 Tips that Really Count

Pratham MittalPratham Mittal

A good software developer is crucial to any company. The right one can add great value to a project, but, the wrong one could impede its success significantly. That’s why it’s important to tell the difference between a developer who’s really good and one who just markets himself well.

In this outsourcing software development guide, we’ve compiled the criteria that we use in house to vet service providers. We hope you’ll find it useful.

1. Portfolios

We are not only talking about the names of past clients but also real links to websites or apps that they have created. Judge if they match the “look and feel” standards you are looking for.

2. Relevant work

Have they worked in your industry? If you’re building something niche, like something related to mobile payments, it helps to work with a company that has experience in the space.

3. Focus

Does the company specialize in your technology? If you’re building something in WordPress (or any other CMS/framework), investigate their familiarity with those technologies. Small to medium sized companies may not be “great” at many technologies and usually specialize in a particular niche.

4. References

While looking at the portfolios, request an intro to a random client(s). Talk to them and ask specific questions about their experience. Generic questions don’t reveal much. Get specific! Ask questions like:

  1. How responsive and proactive were their developers?

  2. Did the developer manage the changes smoothly?

  3. How did the company manage problems or conflicts that came up?

5. Open source contribution

Open source contribution from a firm’s developers portrays a love for technology. See or request their Github, BitBucket repos or Google them on stack exchange, Quora etc.

6. Trial period

Date before you marry! Some firms strongly oppose a trial period, but you must try to begin with a trial period or a smaller project before committing to larger ones.

7. Fluency in English

It goes without saying, but you will be talking to them a lot! You definitely want to make sure you will not have any trouble communicating with them and nothing gets lost in translation.

8. Responsiveness & Professionalism

Responsiveness is a huge factor when it comes to remote work. So make sure they are prompt in responding to emails. Do they reply within 24 hours? Are they reading your messages thoroughly? Do they have the courtesy to follow up with you?

Once you’ve properly whetted the software developer on these criteria, we’re pretty sure you’ll come across a professional you’ll be comfortable working with.

Have more questions about outsourcing software development? Download our Ebook that covers the basics on how to outsource and how to do it right. Have your most important questions answered by experts who have extensive knowledge in this field.

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Pratham Mittal is a Co-Founder at VenturePact and an angel Investor to B2B tech start-ups. He is passionate about globalization, outsourcing, and technology.