Primary how to choose a reliable tech partner 02
Primary how to choose a reliable tech partner 02

How to Choose a Reliable Technology Partner

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Daryna P.

Copywriter

Collaborating with a proficient technology partner is a smart way to develop a first-rate product on time and within budget, create innovative solutions, or even launch multiple projects at once. Leaving the development to a software development company, you can focus on acquiring new customers and strengthening relationships with existing ones.

Your technology partner plays a significant role in the success of your product. The technology stack they choose will determine your product’s functionality and convenience. So if you want to release a product that’s the perfect fit for your target audience, you must track down your ideal partner among a diverse set of providers.

We’ve come up with a seven-step screening process to help you find the best software development company.

Step 1: Look through their website

A company’s website is a great resource to collect information on their years of experience, previous and current customers, and types of services they provide as well as to see valuable details on projects they’ve developed.

A development company’s website usually contains client testimonials. They can give you an insight into the company’s competence. Of course, companies put mostly positive reviews on their websites to project a successful image. But you can also ask a potential digital technology partner to provide a client reference from a project that didn’t go so well. It’s important to know how a company deals with conflict situations and unsatisfied clients.

Also look through the blog of your potential technology partner if they have one. If a company is consistently creating useful content for their target audience, this shows their authority and expertise.

Step 2: Study their experience

A diversified portfolio indicates that a software development company has worked with different technologies and knows the peculiarities of various industries. Breadth of experience improves the chances that a development team can meet the requirements of your unique business.

Obviously, quantity doesn’t automatically translate to quality. Who cares if a company has produced 1,000 apps that crash? One successful project can lead to sufficient subject knowledge, understanding of market needs, and creativity. So be sure to realistically estimate a company’s previous work.

Step 3: Examine their domain expertise

Check the technology stack and technical capabilities of your potential technology partner to make sure they correspond to the scale of your product. Sometimes, software development companies take projects that are too large and that they can’t cope with.

If a company has domain expertise, meaning they specialize in a specific field, that’s an indisputable benefit for your company. Companies with a particular technology focus have deeper knowledge of hidden pitfalls in a particular field and can select the best toolkit to guarantee high conversion and sales rates. Besides, narrowly focused specialists produce 10 times higher quality code than so-called generalists.

There are numerous types of specializations, including specialization in languages, platforms, methodologies, technologies, and industries. For instance, we specialize in Ruby on Rails. We chose this framework back in 2011 as it’s startup friendly and provides lots of free ready-made solutions to implement basic functionality. Ruby on Rails also has one of the most developed communities.

Step 4: Read reviews on specialized sites

There are lots of sites that can help you check the reputation of a potential digital technology partner and estimate the quality of services they provide. Among the most popular are:

  • Clutch ‒ Offers ratings and reviews on more than 7,000 companies worldwide in over 500 categories including marketing, web and software development, and mobile app development.
  • Upwork ‒ Connects businesses and independent professionals. Upwork features work history on each professional and displays its own success score calculated based on feedback and overall contract history with clients. Look for the Top-Rated badge to easily identify professionals with a 90 percent success score or higher.
  • Glassdoor.com ‒ Provides reviews by employees and former employees on numerous companies so that you can get insight on a company’s hiring practices and culture.

You might even find open discussions on Yelp devoted to a software development company you’re thinking about working with. Yes, this platform isn’t only about restaurants and dentists.

Step 5: Check their social accounts

Check out a company’s accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. These social networks can provide you with valuable information beyond the official corporate message.

On a company’s LinkedIn page, for instance, you can find a list of new hires, recent promotions, and departures so you can get an idea of how the company is organized. LinkedIn also features employees’ career tracks and skills confirmed by other specialists. This data can help you identify the average level of employee proficiency.

Apart from official corporate accounts, you can read through the tweets and blogs of CEOs and higher-ups at software development companies you’ve shortlisted. Get to know their lines of thinking. These are the people driving the companies.

Additionally, we run free Ruby and Ruby on Rails courses. The goal of these courses is to form a solid community, set quality criteria, and cultivate the best Ruby developers. We often hire developers who have successfully finished our courses.

Conferences and events are one more place to share knowledge. RubyGarage has helped organize international conferences including RubyC, Ruby Meditation, and Rails Girls.

By sharing experience, a company learns new views and approaches and sharpens its skills. Active contributors to the developer community have a wider range of techniques to meet the requirements of your project.

Step 6: Look through their development activities

Сheck the coding standards and certifications of your technology partner. Good source code is visible in high-quality products. A company’s GitHub account can be a great place to examine the quality of their work.

Top software development companies usually like to share their experience and knowledge with the community. RubyGarage, for example, is an active contributor to the Ruby and Ruby on Rails communities. We not only create informative tutorials that we post on our blog but also develop in-house projects and gems that include:

  • ShopApp ‒ an open source application that provides an interface for transferring a Shopify-based store to a mobile app
  • ApiStruct ‒ an API wrapper with response serialization
  • Scrummer ‒ an app for Scrum poker available for iOS and Android
  • AuthorizeMe ‒ an iOS library that lets developers implement social login in a few steps
  • MediaWatemark ‒ a GPU/CPU-based iOS watermark library for video and image overlays

Additionally, we run free Ruby and Ruby on Rails courses. The goal of these courses is to form a solid community, set quality criteria, and cultivate the best Ruby developers. We often hire developers who have successfully finished our courses.

By sharing experience, a company learns new views and approaches and sharpens its skills. Active contributors to the developer community have a wider range of techniques to meet the requirements of your project.

Step 7: Learn their workflow and best methodologies

Your potential technology partner must have expertise in product development, understand the entire product life cycle, and apply management best practices. Typically, the product life cycle consists of six stages.

1. Requirements engineering

Before product development, each software development company must run a thorough requirements engineering process. During this process, a company elicits, specifies, and verifies requirements. Yet requirements elicitation is much more than just gathering requests. It involves:

  • Stakeholder meetings and interviews
  • Questionnaires
  • User observation
  • Workshops
  • Brainstorming
  • Role-playing
  • Business modeling
  • Prototyping
  • … and more
Requirements Engineering

The main goal is to define objectives for the product, what services it should provide, and how it should be used.

2. Designing the user experience

At this stage, your technology partner delivers a UX prototype that addresses the needs of the target audience. A thoughtful UX design makes the product usable, accessible, and pleasant to interact with.

Designing the user experience involves the following activities:

How to Design User Experience

3. User interface design

Тop software companies follow a human-centered approach to design, which ensures that the user interface (UI) lets people access all services with minimum effort. A complicated UI can disorient users, hinder them from finding the right information or service, and thus affect the overall conversion rate.

For instance, when we create a web application we use the responsive design approach so that the app fits all kinds of screens. For a mobile app, we provide users with an experience native to their platform.

4. Project implementation and development

To build high-quality products as efficiently as possible, your digital technology partner must have a well-structured release management workflow and apply best practices of Agile software development and software architecture design.

At RubyGarage, we’ve established a clear and consistent workflow and apply leading development practices:

  • Extreme Programming (XP) ‒ an Agile software development framework that focuses on producing high-quality software that can adapt to the ever-changing needs of both customers and clients
  • Clean Architecture ‒ a set of recommendations on how to build an app that claims that architecture must be testable and independent of frameworks, interfaces, and databases
  • Domain-Driven-Design (DDD) ‒ a software development technique that simplifies the development of complex applications by connecting related pieces of software into an evolving model

5. Quality assurance

At the quality assurance stage, a software development company monitors the software engineering processes and methods to guarantee that quality requirements are fulfilled. Quality assurance involves diverse testing methodologies for software such as behavior-driven development and test-driven development. The most common types of testing include unit testing, regression testing, functional testing, and acceptance testing.

6. Post-analysis and support

Once a product is ready and released, a technology partner proceeds to post-analysis and support activities. The development team should constantly scrutinize the existing product, removing unmaintainable solutions, correcting errors, and enhancing functionality so that the product works properly and meets the requirements of the core market.

Post-release Support

Work with professionals

We’ve shared an effective screening process to identify the best software company for your business. This seven-step process will help you look at a possible technology partner from different perspectives, checking their reputation, evaluating their experience, skills, and methodology, and learning about their company’s atmosphere, hiring processes, and culture. Put this knowledge to good use!

If you have an idea for a product or if you need to upgrade an existing product, contact us and we’ll do our best to realize your vision.

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