How to Choose the Best Custom Software Development Firm in Texas
Software Development in Texas Is Booming
According to Indeed, at this very moment, there are 7,255 software development jobs and 15,882 software engineer jobs available in Texas, the majority of which are located in Austin. These numbers are a good indicator of the demand for custom software development in Texas.
Most companies lack a fully-developed IT department with engineers, designers, and developers. Even those who do may find their team lack certain required skills or expertise on newer systems or methodologies. Outsourcing is often a better option, but how do you choose the best custom software development firm in Texas to fit your needs?
Choose the Right Custom Software Development Firm in 5 Steps
1. Go Local
It may be common for companies to outsource their custom software development overseas but staying local has its advantages. Yes, you may pay more for a Texas custom software development firm than you would for one based in India, for example, but the final product is usually worth every dime.
If your organization is based in Texas, a Texas-based custom software development firm will be able to meet with you face-to-face, in person, on a regular basis. This is important to build a relationship based on more than a contract. They better understand your company culture, your vision, your goals and your customers. Nothing is lost in translation and communication is effortless.
2. Meet Your Team
With so many companies hiring custom software expertise, it’s apparent there is plenty of talent in Texas. It’s a good idea to meet with the people who would be assigned to your project before you sign on the dotted line. You want to know what each team member will contribute and if they have the chops to do it right.
Meet with them face-to-face, preferably at their facility, so you can get a good idea of how the team works together and what technology they have at their disposal. If some or all of their people work remotely, you need to know that. Will it slow your project or present any friction? Decide what matters to you and choose a firm that has the structure you desire.
3. Lay Out Your Vision
Many companies have a vision for what they want a piece of custom software to do. When you are vetting a custom software development firm, your vision shouldn’t be set in stone. Do they nod their heads and say, “No problem,” or do they ask you tough questions?
A team that simply says yes to everything you present may not be the team you want developing your software. You need experienced pros who will play devil’s advocate to find any holes in your idea, any alternatives that could improve the product or the expected ROI. You want a team who will look at your vision from every angle and ensure everything has been considered. You are paying them to not simply do what you say, but provide insight into how things could possibly be done differently or better.
4. Discuss Budget and Timeline
Software projects are notorious for running over budget and past deadlines. While some companies can recover, up to 17 percent of IT projects get so far off track, companies simply fold. Before you hire a custom software development firm, be sure you choose a team that will be aligned with your goals.
When interviewing your potential team, ask what methodologies they implement to manage projects. Do they have rigorous quality checks? Gated phases? The required talent who has the appropriate bandwidth? The right technology? How many other projects outside of yours will your team be working on or are they dedicated to you? Can sticking to a budget and timeline be incentivized?
5. Ask for Examples of Work and Referrals
It goes without saying that your prospective team should provide ample evidence of their skills and the quality of their work. If you are needing an automated inventory management system, for example, ask to see one the firm has recently built. Don’t just hear about it, experience it, if possible.
Be sure to ask for referrals as well. While they likely will only give you the contact information of their happiest customers, you can learn plenty from a brief conversation with their customer(s). Even though the end product may have been a success, their customer(s) can explain how the process went, how adversity was handled, roadblocks, team collaboration, ROI and much more.