Where to start when picking the right software development company?

Set your goal

Where to look for software development companies?

Step 1: basic research 

Step 2: tech research

Step 3: Meeting the team

What to ask about a custom software development company?

2 extra tips

Our way – a custom software development company

How to choose a software development company?

Choosing the software development company is a turning point in whether or not your product will succeed. After all, they’re the ones who will be accountable for developing it, but you bear the responsibility for hiring them. The right software partner can walk you through the whole path of digital product creation. Making you feel comfortable and happy during a software development project is precisely one of the things that can be done for you by an appropriate software agency.

How to find a company that fulfills your needs? Where to look for them, and what kind of questions should you ask? Also, what exactly can you expect from them? In this article, I’ll answer all these questions and provide you with useful tips to make the outsourcing process easier and more effective.

Let’s check how to choose a software development company that will help you achieve your goals!

Where to start when picking the right software development company?

Starting cooperation with a software agency usually occurs after a thorough comparison of at least several different offers. But before you start looking for them, you should clearly define your needs and business requirements. That will make the selection process a lot easier for you and your potential partner. It will also help you clearly present your idea. Moreover, the software development company will be able to match the software solutions to your needs better, and you will receive more accurate time and price quotes.

Set your goal

What’s your business goals, and who’s your target audience? You should know the problem you want to solve, which requirements are the most important for you, the deadlines, and the budget. Then, based on the information, you can start looking for a company that can help you succeed in your custom software project. 

Where to look for software development companies?

In the beginning, you can ask someone from the industry. Maybe someone has worked with a software development company that they can recommend. If that’s not enough, you can checklists such as Clutch or TopDevelopers, where you can find necessary information about selected suppliers, check the company portfolio and opinions from their previous clients. And if you want to search for more providers, you can always use Google.

However, remember that companies that you can find on Google often occupy the first places in the search engine because they pay for advertising or are just well-positioned. That’s why we recommend specialized portals and lists such as Clutch, packed with verified reviews about the outsourcing companies. You can personalize your research according to location, a number of reviews, and many more. 

infographic on how to choose a software development company in 3 steps

Step 1: basic research 

Let’s assume that you’ve made your lists of requirements, and now, you’re on the lookout for companies. You have some recommendations from your colleagues, and you browse over Clutch or another list. This is part of so-called basic research. Why? Because, here, you’re looking for basic information about given software development company.

When you find your potential candidates, you should visit their websites, check their testimonials, blogs, case studies and other content they share. Here’s what you should pay attention to:

  • Clients’ reviews – as I mentioned before, there are particular websites on which companies publish their current or previous customers opinions. Thanks to this, you can get an idea of how the collaborations looked like. Such review of a particular project may include communication style, tools, technology stack, business processes and many more. For example, here you can find out what our clients say about us.
  • Case studies – you can check whether the given software agency has experience with similar software products. You have a look at their previous projects and the different software development technologies they use.
  • Social media platforms – how they present themselves on portals such as Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram is also crucial. If they’re active on social media, it means that they want to build a community and that they care about their company’s appearance.
  • Blogs – it’s a great source to review the firm’s knowledge, see how a company works, get an insight into their workflow and software development lifecycle. Nowadays, software houses publish articles about their company culture as well as technical and business blogs posts.

Step 2: tech research

Now, you go a little deeper in your research. From the sources mentioned above, you can get information such as:

What development methodology do they use?

For example, at Gorrion, we use Scrum in most cases. It allows us to do step-by-step development and focus on the project. At the end of 2 weeks (this is how usually a sprint lasts), you get feedback on how the process is going from a project manager or product owner.

What’s their tech speciality?

Are they experienced in required software development technologies? What’s their technology stack? What can they offer you in terms of web development or mobile app development?

What project management tools do they use?

Tools such as Trello or ClickUp are great for organizing lists by dates or priority.

What’s their experience in UX/UI design?

Take a close look at their designs. Is it something that you like? You can check it on pages such as dribbble.com.

Step 3: Meeting the team

Now the fun part of the process – meeting your future team. You did your research, and you know what you want and who can potentially give it to you. It’s time to reach to them and ask them a couple of questions.

During this, you should keep in mind that you’re looking for an outsourcing partner – that’s the key point of this whole meeting. After all, you share your idea with these people. You have to trust them and make sure that this cooperation is about transparency. Pick a team that understands your brand values and your goals. Below you can find something that will help you achieve that.


What to ask about a custom software development company?

You can ask for a lot of different things. The point is to know what you can expect from the software agency. To make this process easier, below you can find some useful questions and the right answers:

What does the process of software development look like?

Let them tell you step-by-step how the process looks and what it involves. For example, are the software product tests included? Let them describe the kickoff process. And what about future application maintenance and technical support? Ask them if they offer it.

Do you have similar projects in your portfolio?

They may have experience in various industries and projects, but when they have the one resolving a problem that’s not so different from yours, it’s enough.

What does communication look like during project development?

It’s a matter of how much you’re going to be involved in the development and creative process – ask them how they see your role during the project development. Also, how do they interact daily? What about their communication skills?

And the truth is, in most cases, it’s visible from the very first conversation. Pay attention to things like whether or not they want to understand your business needs. Do they listen to your suggestions and give you honest feedback? Both you, along with your development team, should adjust the communication style to your needs.

Am I going to own the source code?

Here it may get tricky as some software houses don’t give you a license which results in powerlessness when it comes to your product. Make sure you’re the owner of everything that will be created during the outsourcing process, and that means signing an NDA.

What about security?

No matter what the project involves, there will always be sensitive data involved. Security is a vital part of the process, during development and after launching the product. At Gorrion, we know how important it is – checks out what we say about it here.

Can you provide any references from your previous clients?

We’ve already discussed this in the previous section. However, if you haven’t found any review, you can ask about contact information and get a first-hand opinion from the customer.

What does the price include?

Transparency also in terms of the budget is super important. Different companies have different ways of preparing them. Ask your software vendor for precise cost estimates.

You can also ask about the specific technologies they specialize in if you haven’t received such information before. Find out what will happen if you are not satisfied with the services provided. It’s vital for your future cooperation.

2 extra tips

Make sure they’re the right size for you

Maybe it’s obvious, but bigger custom software development companies tend to have different processes and a less personalized approach. This may result in overlooking some of the issues.

Why does size matter when finding a software development company? Read the article and find out.

Avoid the “always yes” people

A team that agrees with everything you say isn’t a good sign. You should pay attention to how the potential custom software developers, designers and project managers react to your requirements – do they question it and try to find a better way? (Of course, up to some point, let’s not exaggerate). Do they offer you different software and business solutions? If so, it’s good. It means you have a team of experts here.

Our way – a custom software development company

We have experience in several fields and many projects. We closely analyze the client’s business to fully understand it and refine the digital product to best suit users’ needs.

Thanks to workshops and constant communication, you’ll get clarity as to what the product is going to look like. During the process, we have an open mind for innovative solutions and pick the ones that best suit the given project.

Our company culture includes transparency of the process, which transfers to the best solution and a long-term relationship. And because we value your time and money, we explain the origin of the costs and make sure that everything is taken care of. Together we’re going to create a product that has the best value.

How to choose a software development company?

Once you get quotes and answers to bothering questions, it’ll be easier for you to choose the perfect software development company.

Searching for a software house can take a lot of time. However, if you’ll remember to provide detailed information and ask questions when you feel that you’re not sure about something, you’ll undoubtedly be able to find the right supplier that will help you achieve your goal.

Editor’s note: We’ve originally published this post in October 2020 and updated it for comprehensiveness.


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