There have been a lot of nightmare stories circulating about working with remote developers and web-based applications. Many companies describe running into challenges with time differences, language, and the quality of code in the final product. So how do you choose a great software vendor to work with?
Many software services companies promote their use of the Agile methodology, but what’s more important is how they actually employ it. Their ultimate goal should be to collaborate with the client and keep them aware of the work being done. If you choose to work with software developers outside your country, you don’t want to sit and worry about what is happening with your project and feel like there is nothing you can do but hope it is what you asked for.
Softjourn stresses constant customer interaction and frequent deliverables in their use of Agile. This means you will continually see the product as the project evolves, and you will be able to provide feedback and request changes. Dependent on the project time-frame, Softjourn schedules regular delivery dates, so that you can view the progress, as well as weekly conference calls to further involve you in the development process.
Another trait of a great software development firm is their ability to understand a client’s vision. You may not know great code from bad code, but you can envision the end product you need for your business. That’s why it’s so important for a service provider to be able to translate your vision and needs into the appropriate programming and applications. This skill should be easily identified during the bidding process. Offshore developers should be able to take your brief mock-up of the product and requirements and be able to return to you with ideas about how to achieve it along with detailed questions that indicate they really understand you. After all, you are hiring a services company for their contribution of expertise, not to just simply fill an order.
Perhaps most importantly, your service provider needs to prioritize communication. As mentioned earlier, this should be demonstrated by their approach to the Agile methodology: communication with the goal of developing a collaborative relationship with the client. Another factor in communication is responsiveness. Do they always return your phone calls or emails? Do they make you feel like an important client? This is an area in which Softjourn takes great pride. Through strict attention to communication and making the effort to partner with their clients, Softjourn is able to solve problems before they exist. And, to ward off those fears of any language barrier, Softjourn provides the client with a liaison for meetings with the programming team to increase the client’s level of comfort.
It’s important to remember that a software services firm can offer more value than cost-savings alone, if you choose the right company. A vendor that doesn’t make you feel like a small client can mean big returns for your business and your investors. How is your vendor treating you?