Warning Signs of a Software Company That You Should Avoid
Whether you’re looking to create a software to help your organization run smoother or as a new product to sell, choosing a competent software development company is always the first step. This also typically makes for the most important decision throughout the entire project. A great software development company makes improvements to your original plan and delivers a software that works with every feature you requested. However, finding a company that actually does great work continues to get increasingly difficult each year with self-taught developers and new companies looking to learn on the job. So, to avoid these hobjob shops and make sure you hire a company staffed with experts, watch out for:
- Firms that do not ask questions
- A seemingly random portfolio
- Low-ball estimates
- Poorly defined development and QA/QC methods
Warning Sign #1: A Lack of Relevant Questions
Avoid any software development company that jumps straight to a quote after you send them your project scope. Any competent software development company will have at least some questions about your project. Whether they ask for clarifications about how you want the project complete or recommendations based on their past experience.
Anyone who jumps to provide you a quote most likely plans to figure out the minutiae of the project while they’re developing it. This leads to buggy and bloated code as they won’t have a clear plan on their development process from the start.
Warning Sign #2: An Unrelated Portfolio
To make sure you receive an end product that performs every function you require, you need a software development company with expertise in the type of software you are looking to create. If the company cannot show you relevant examples of their past work, it means they do not have any relevant samples. Finding a company with expertise in your area of work allows them to better understand your objectives to deliver you a software that really fits your needs.
Warning Sign #3: Low Estimates
As tempting as low-ball offers can be, they almost always end up costing more than accepting reasonable offers that still fall within budget. Every low-ball offer comes with hidden costs such as debugging, heightened maintenance costs, and higher resources required to run the software. They typically save their costs by foregoing the QA/QC process and only worrying about delivering a project that barely runs. This leads to bloated code requiring constant updates that never seem to make things right.
Warning Sign #4: Unable to Clearly Define Development and QA/QC Methodologies
Clearly defined methodologies allow a software development company to continuously improve their process. Without well-defined methods, a company has to create a new method for each project. This leads to a messy project schedule and minimal QA/QC efforts. You can expect delays and change orders throughout each step of the project when using a development company without clearly defined methodologies. To avoid this, simply ask your development company for their detailed development and QA/QC methods. They should provide you with clear documentation of how they approach every project they receive.