Guide to Choosing a Software Development Company
The demand for software development has significantly increased during the last decade. This has inevitably led to an increase in the number of companies offering software development services. But it does not mean that all such companies can help you with what you need. Outsourcing your work to such a firm is like hiring a team to construct your new house. So, you should think carefully before making a decision. Some software development projects are known to go on for a few months or even over a year. Therefore, compatibility in a working environment is of the essence. This post is a guide to help you choose your software development company. It will help you select the top software development companies that will assist your business.
Different Types of Software
We use various types of software every day, which assist us with our tasks. There can be many examples of software. For instance, MS Windows is perhaps the most vivid example. It is something that we notice when we turn on the computer. Just like that, the games that we play on the laptop or even on the smartphones are software. Although you may think there are a lot of types of software, actually two types exist. They are system software and application software.
Software System helps the hardware and the user to interact and operate with each other. It is a software to handle computer hardware behavior. So, it supplies the user with the fundamental functionalities. In other words, we can say that system software is a middle layer between the hardware and the user. Such computer software provides a platform or an environment for the other software to function. This is why the system software is very critical in controlling the whole computer system. So, when you switch on the computer, the system software is the software that is loaded in the system's memory. Note that the end-users do not utilize the system software. It is because it is run in the background. That is also the reason why system software is called "low-level software." Some common system software examples are operating systems, device drivers, etc.
Application software is the type of software that aids users to finish tasks. Such tasks include setting the alarm, doing online research, designing graphics, playing games, and more. Application software lies above the system software. Different from system software, end-users utilize this software. For instance, MS Powerpoint is an application software built to make presentations, particularly. Just like that, a browser is designed to browse the internet. Application software is also considered non-essential apps. It is because the demands for them are subjective. Also, if they do not exist, it does not affect the operating of the system in a way. All the applications that we notice on our smartphones are examples of application software. Various types of application software include web browsers, graphics software, word processors, database software, etc.
Software Development Life Cycle
When you are planning to have a software, it is necessary to know the stages involved here. There are seven phases in the software development life cycle. These are requirement gathering, design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance.
Here, as a customer, you have a meeting with the project manager of the outsourced development company. You explain every detail that you want to see in the application. You should clarify what the purpose of the product is, who will be the end-user, etc. you need to be sure that the development team clearly understands what you need.
Here, the development team uses the information gathered in the requirement phase as inputs. So, the software architecture that is utilized for system development arises.
The development starts once the developer receives the design. Then, the software design is converted to source code. All the elements of the software are fulfilled in this coding phase.
When the coding is complete, the testing phase starts. Here, tester looks for any defects or bugs that are available. All the defects that are found are redirected to the developer to fix them. This process continues until the product is in the state that you ordered. You need to be sure that everything is in line with what you instructed. As a result, you can get what you want from them.
Once the product is tested and found to be ready to serve customers, it will be deployed. Deployment can be done in two ways. The first one will be deployed for a limited segment. It is also called User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Once it passes through the UAT, you can already place it in the market for the use of your client.
Once it is deployed, you can want to change some things in the application. Also, some issues may arise that would need to be fixed. For this, the maintenance phase is there. It is the responsibility of developers to fix any issues in the maintenance phase.
Software Development Methodologies
Agile Development Methodology
The agile development methodology is mainly used to decrease the risks associated with newly added functionality. For instance, when modifying requirements, fixing bugs, etc. Teams build the software in repetitions that include mini-increments of the new features. Many diverse forms of agile development methodology exist. Feature-driven development, Scrum, and others can be examples. The main advantage of the agile development method is it allows to release the software in an iterative way. As a result, it becomes very easy to reveal defects and solve them. In contrast, the drawback of agile is based on real-time communication. That makes it challenging for new users to get the documentation to reach speed.
DevOps Development Methodology
Apart from being a development methodology, DevOps is also a group of practices that supports organizational culture. It helps to strengthen the collaboration between various departments that are responsible for different phases of the life cycle. For instance, development, design, and others can be examples. The main benefit of DevOps is decreasing the failure rate of releases. Also, it enhances time to market the application. Reducing the lead time between fixes is another advantage that you can notice. Note that some clients do not like to receive frequent updates. Also, sometimes when various departments use various environments, some bugs may fall into production. These are the main disadvantages of DevOps.
Waterfall Development Methodology
The waterfall is perhaps the most traditional software development method. It is a firm linear model which comprises sequential stages. All these stages focus on various goals. Also, here, each stage should be completed before the next one could start. Usually, there is not any process to go back any alter any project. Due to its linear nature, the waterfall method is easy to understand and handle. Projects that have clear goals and stable requirements can, therefore, benefit from it. Besides, less experienced project managers can find it useful, too. On the contrary, the disadvantage of the waterfall method is its cost and slowness. These aspects are due to their rigid structure. On account of these drawbacks, software developers may change their mind to use another methodology.
Rapid Application Development
Rapid application development (RAD) is the last major software development method used by developers. It is a condensed development process that provides a high-quality system at a reasonable cost. In general, RAD allows developers to adapt to the shifting demands in the fast-changing market. It is worth mentioning that different from other methods; RAD includes four phases. These are planning, design, building, and cutover. Note that here the design and building stages repeat until the user acknowledges that the product responds to all criteria. Also, this method can be beneficial for projects with well-defined objectives. It is useful for small and medium projects which are time-sensitive. On the other hand, it will be a disadvantage for developers that are not well-knowledgeable about the application field. So, those without thorough knowledge in the condensed development timeline will have to go for another method.
Why Outsourcing to a Software Development Company is Beneficial?
You might think, "why should I outsource software development work to an outside company?" Don't worry. You are not alone. Most people have certain misconceptions in mind that make them doubtful of the term "outsourcing." But by doing so, you are missing out on a myriad of benefits that outsourcing has to offer. Outsourcing your project to the top software development companies can help you in a number of ways.
Concentrate on Your Business
The primary benefit of outsourcing this work to a software development entity has got to do with saving time. The last thing you want to do is to spend all your time working on software development. So, leaving this task in the hands of the best software development company lets you concentrate on your own thing. You should consider that development is just one aspect of the operation. Note that once you reach the end of the project, you will need to get everything done by then. For instance, in case you do not market your product until then, then all the efforts will be a waste. That is why we recommend you work with a company specializing in development. By this, you will explain to them what you want and will get back to your work.
Diminish Costs Significantly
Maintaining costs at the minimum level is the goal of every business. Yours will not be an exception either. This feature also helps companies to increase their revenues considerably. Hiring a top software development company is essential in decreasing your expenses, too. A lot of costs will be coming together with full-time developers you recruit. First, you will have to pay for their salaries. Second, there will be payroll taxes, which will have to be paid by you. Adding up other expenses such as insurance, will increase your overall costs substantially. For sure, it is not what you want. Therefore, hiring one of the best software development companies is highly advisable.
Benefit from Expertise and Experience
You are already familiar with some of the critical advantages of hiring a professional development company. But so far, many businesses outsource their development work for mainly one reason. And this is the expertise and the experience that the top software development companies have. These companies work with firms from diverse industries. It helps them get a lot of knowledge in many fields. Also, it allows them to gain extensive experience in their sphere. So, the best software development companies can help any business regardless of their product.
Moreover, note that there is a high probability that these companies have previously worked with similar projects to yours. This factor will make it easier for them to help you. As a result, you will be the primary beneficiary of the process.
Hire and Delegate Easily
Another advantage of hiring an outside company is hiring and delegating quickly. Precisely, you can go global and hire any company you want. Gygzy would help you a lot in choosing a company in different parts of the world. For instance, you can hire from LA-based top software development companies. You can do it irrespective of your geographical location. Or you may want to cut costs keeping the quality high. In such a case, you may hire a company from Seattle. You do not have to limit yourself. Your business can benefit from the best software development companies in the world. Additionally, companies would be ready to assist you on occasions when they do not have the developers you need. In such a situation, they are known to coordinate with other developers to ensure your work gets done right.
Market Your Product Faster
Last but not least, you can market your product faster by relying on a quality software development firm. Such companies will help you market your product more quickly thanks to the combination of Agile methodologies and development process expertise. It becomes more critical when we take into account the fact that every day new technologies appear. So, you have to ensure you not only get a well-developed product, but also something successful. In this regard, outsourcing development work is the key. Do not forget that here you should again count on the best software development company.
How to Choose Your Software Development Company
No company is perfect. That is why no firm can give you the ideal product. But it does not mean that you should get an inferior product. You should still strive for the best possible outcome for your company. For this reason, there are certain aspects that you should consider when hiring the best software development company.
Refuse the Cheapest
You may not agree with this statement. Yet you will see why you should avoid the cheapest offer. That is something like purchasing a product on Alibaba or eBay. Every time you get the cheapest Samsung cable, it becomes useless in a few weeks. It is the same with the services, as well. You may select the cheapest offer. But you will surely pay a lot more when the project finishes. You wonder why? Here are some reasons:
First, you will be loaded with technological debt. For instance, there will be a poorly written code and inadequate number of tests. Further, it will be hard to work on the software and keep it. The lack of documentation will be another minus.
Second, there will be a source code ownership issue. You will get a code pack. Or the software development firm will propose you to license the product although you pay for the development.
Lastly, communication will be a problem. The cheapest offer you get will obviously be inexperienced. Their team will have insufficient communication skills, which will be a major issue down the road. Also, it would be crazy to expect complete transparency from such a team.
In brief, you do not need the cheapest service. What you need is a cost-effective one. You may concentrate on cutting from the budget as much as possible in the beginning. But be sure you will have to pay at least two times more in the future. At worst, you will have to create the program from scratch. You obviously do not want this. So, leaving the work to the top software development companies is necessary.
Ensure They Sometimes Say "No"
Companies that say "yes" to everything are not sincere. You do not want an insincere partner that will make promises and will not keep them later. That is why make sure you avoid the yes sayers. You want to have a truthful working partner who will say "No" when needed. For instance, the top software development companies will tell you, "No, you must not make this element first - you will lose both your money and time." Or they will say to you, "We do not work on Java, we use Python as the language." As a result, you will know which companies are genuinely eager to help you. You will also know which firms want your money only. Take this small but essential aspect into account while choosing a software development company.
Pay Attention to Communication and Integration
The next tip on choosing the best software development company is communication and integration. Ensure you find a company that strives to enhance the process of development continuously and learns from retrospective meetings. You should communicate with the team regarding what you anticipate from them and what they anticipate from you. By this, your partner will be able to integrate faster and in a more cost-effective way. In general, according to Accenture, clients today look for quality and communication before the price. Also, there are some important processes that the top software development companies implement recently.
The first one is the Scrum/Agile development process. Today, more than 80% of IT companies work in Scrum. Therefore, concepts such as sprints, daily standups are a must. The company you outsource the development work has to possess it.
The necessary instruments are the second part of these processes. It does not make any difference what project management tools you utilize. As long as your outsourcing company uses it, too, your work will be a lot easier. Besides, you should easily access the software development firm. For this, both of you should use a tool like Slack to have access to the other anytime.
Outsource to a Similar-sized Company
This may sound strange, but it does help. Selecting a firm that is similar to your company has several benefits. The biggest one is that you can expect to be treated as an important client. It is what a similar company will do.
Companies that are not too big, might not see you as essential enough. So, you will not get what you want from them. If the company is too small, they are probably inexperienced. It is not a must to work with the oldest company in the industry. But a company possessing adequate experience will help you a lot in achieving your goal. We should also mention that the top software development companies are not always huge. You can choose a top software development company that is not huge, but is able to deliver what you need.
Check How Sensitive They are with Security
Security is something that is never too much. It is important for apps where customers have personal and payment information. A reliable software development company will have a settled security policy. At the same time, they will possess full control over the process. Apart from this, it is beneficial for you to know about ISO/IEC 27001. It is a globally accepted information security standard. ISO/IEC was developed by the International Organization for Standardization. It determines the way to organize the information security and assist firms in assessing security threats. Note that most of the top software development companies will be compliant with this standard. So, you can choose one possessing it to ensure the quality of your security system.
The language issue is one of the last things you want to experience with your partners. Communication is the base. So, you have to ensure there is no gap in communication with your outsourcer company. Note that English is a must today. That is why, regardless of the fact that the company is among the top software development companies, or not, they must be fluent in English. It is essential to remind you that the company will be your advisor apart from the code writer. You want to hire a team with impressive language skills that are also great problem solvers. So, it is essential to think several times before outsourcing to a country like Vietnam. Where would you like to outsource your development work?
Questions You Should Ask
The last part of this guide consists of the questions that you should ask the top software development companies you shortlist. It will help you significantly to know which firm you should continue. The first one is, "how do we contact each other to know the PPP"? These are progress, plans, and problems. Note that there has to be a procedure to guarantee you are aware of what comes next in the project. You should get updates at least twice a week. You should also know when things go wrong. It is also relevant to the next question.
This question to a software development firm would be, "How do you guarantee we are aware when things go wrong"? Also, you can ask how they have dealt with such a situation previously. Keep in mind that no one wants to tell the negative news. Just ensure the company has a mechanism in line. Additionally, do not forget that there is not anybody perfect. That is why there must be a previous case that went wrong. Just ask what they learned from it. Lastly, note that people do not like surprises. So, be ready for the challenges.
Another question to ask is a bit technical. It would be "Tell us how you will resolve/create a…"? It may look like a bit of an uncertain question. But what you have to do is to give an example. For instance, tell them about the specifically tricky part of your app. Then ask the potential outsourcer how they will approach it. Their answer will tell you if they are a top software development company.
The last critical question to ask would be about their previous clients. You can ask, "Can you provide any references from former clients"? Do not just ask this question and sit idle. Have a video call with one of their previous customers. Check reviews on Facebook. You can also Google to get some insight. Moreover, ask them about the size of the businesses they have previously worked with. It will also give you a good understanding of this firm, and you will know if this company would be able to assist you.
Software Development Languages
Today, developers use a number of software development languages to serve their customers. We will make you familiar with the top programming languages.
One of the most prominent software development languages is Java. It is an object-oriented language that developers can write on any device. One of the unique sides of Java is it operates on a cross-platform basis, too. Being the basis of the Android operating system, Java is widely used to develop mobile applications. It is also one of the languages that most of the top software development companies utilize. Java is also known for its strong security and user-friendliness.
Another very prominent programming language is Python. It is used for general-purpose programming. The best software development companies use Python to create diverse applications, such as prototyping, web applications, gaming, and more. Python makes it feasible thanks to its dynamic characteristics and automatic memory management. Also, testers like using this language since debugging is pretty easy in it. The main benefits of Python are its user-friendly data structures and portability across operating systems.
Besides being one of the most popular software development languages, Ruby is also a very simple programming language. It does not demand one to learn commands or programming vocabulary. Developers mainly use Ruby to build smaller websites. Its major downside is Ruby does not perform well on large sites. Testing a program built utilizing Ruby is easy, as well. That is because Ruby possesses a full-stack framework. The main advantages of Ruby are its efficiency, speed, and ease of use.
SQL is one of the programming languages that has seen a rise in use and popularity so far. Dominant companies in the tech industry, such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM, are using SQL in their systems. SQL is a standardized program that is utilized to implement relational operations and functions. Since it is an open-source and easy-to-use language, it is also one of the favorite languages for software developers.
The last software development language featured in our list is C. C is also considered the father of all contemporary programming languages. Note that it is one of the most difficult languages for software development. That is why a developer who has a deep understanding of C can learn other languages easily. Another notable feature of C is that it is a machine-level language. Therefore, a tester with C knowledge does not struggle to test a program written in other software development languages.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Software?
The cost of software is one of the most vital aspects you should consider before ordering. Note that it is not cheap at all. You will have to incur approximately $20,000 - $250,000 for it. Obviously, numerous factors affect the cost of the application. One of the main components in this regard is the size of the software. So, as you understand, the larger a software, the more costly it will be. But the size is not the only factor affecting software price.
The number of functions and pages that are available on the software are also impactful factors. For instance, the number of screens matters a lot. Note that every unique page is a different screen. In smaller applications, there are, on average, 10-12 screens. When the software is large, the number of screens will be over 40. Needless to say, an application with this number of screens will cost you a lot.
Another important nuance that affects the price of software is the integration of other technologies. For instance, you may need to integrate your software with PayPal. It will also add up to the total cost of your software.
As you can see, software development costs quite a lot today. To ensure you cut costs as much as possible, we recommend you limit yourself with the features you need. If a simple design does not affect your user interaction, keep it as simple as possible. It is because the more complex design will make you pay more. So, by building the software based on the functions you need, you can save pretty much money.
How Long It Takes to Build a Software?
Do not expect to get your software ready in a week or month. You need to be patient, and it takes time. You are already aware of the software development life cycle. We will go through them shortly here, too. The first one is the requirements and design. This one is supposed to take around 2-5 weeks. As a client, you know what features and designs you want to see there. Here, you will mainly collaborate on main ideas with your IT team. Also, you will have to discuss what your users want to see and feel. Any last-minute changes will be there, too. So, this stage should not take more than five weeks.
Planning, Architecture, and Development
The second and more important phase is the planning, architecture, and development. In planning, you, with the IT team, will plan how the thing will be done. For instance, if some points can be made at the same time to save time. The planning part will take around 2-3 days. After the planning, the architecture part will have to be done. Here, you will have to decide which technologies should be used. Unless there is some complexity, the architecture phase should be quite straightforward. Ideally, it will not last beyond 1-3 weeks. Finally, there is the development phase. That is the main part of software development. This is where the developers will have to code to give life to your app. We estimate it to be around 3-6 months.
That is the last phase you should look at. Note that it is not less important than any of the stages mentioned above. Here, a tester does his/her job to make sure there is not any bug or defect. Still, you will have to test the software, too, to ensure it is ready to present to users. In general, there are multiple types of testing that can be done depending on the project. The first one is the user acceptance test. It is done by you as the last walkthrough. Here, you will go through everything to be sure that it works properly. Further, load and performance testing can be done. The load testing will show if your app can handle heavy loads or not. Performance testing, on the other hand, will check the areas that work slowly. In short, testing should not take more than 3-6 weeks.
The increasing demand for apps also enlarges the market for software development. It is understandable that the top software development companies are not the cheapest ones in the market. But as already mentioned above, going after the most inexpensive option can make you suffer a lot later. That is why we also recommend using the services of the best software development companies. Note that you can get familiar info on Gygzy's website. There are some other related articles on our page. If you found this one helpful, you should check them out too.