A software idea is about as useful as a rocketship without gas—it’ll only take off if you know how to give it fuel. That’s where a custom software developer comes in. The right developer can adjust your software to fit your company’s needs, whether that means rebuilding a specific program, guiding you through complex systems like Microsoft Azure, or even making software from scratch.
Not sure how to find the right custom software developer? We’ve compiled a few tips that can help. Before you know it, you’ll find an expert who can take your idea all the way from liftoff to the moon.
Know the Difference Between “Need” and “Want”
In an ideal world, you’d find a custom software developer who could do it all—deploy your software in record time, prioritize your project above all their other clients, and do it for a fraction of the average cost.
We have some bad news: It’s not an ideal world, so you’ll probably find that developer hiding with the leprechauns, unicorns, and the world’s other mythical creatures.
But there’s good news, too. It’s easy to find the developer you need to get your project done, even if it’s not the developer you read about in fairy tales. All you have to do is prioritize three different factors: price, time, and availability.
Don’t have much left in the budget? That’s fine! Plenty of quality developers offer services for small budgets. Just know that they’re likely in high demand (low availability) and will focus on higher-paying projects before tackling yours (longer turn-around time).
Let’s say you need the project done fast—as in ASAP. That’s completely doable. But because your limiting factor is time, you’ll need to be prepared to pay more (high price) and be less choosy about who’s able to take on the work (low availability).
You’ve been burned by low-quality developers in the past and are a little pickier this time around. You need someone with a good reputation, so you’ll probably pay a little more (high price) and have to make peace with the fact that you’re not the developer’s only client (low turnaround time).
The truth is that custom software developers are human, too, and even the best ones can’t do everything at once. By differentiating your biggest need from your other wants, you’ll be more prepared to find the right developer without all headaches.
Check Past Work from the Custom Software Developer
Treat your search for a developer the same way you’d hire an employee. Any developer worth their salt has an online portfolio—often on their website. If you can’t find one, don’t be afraid to ask.
Navigate through these portfolios to see some of their past work, and keep an eye out for these specifics:
- Type of work (e.g. websites, mobile apps, internal company software)
- User-friendly features (how easily and intuitively you can scroll through the portfolio)
- Design style
- Appeal of the developer’s full website
Find a developer who’s already done the kind of work you’re looking for. That way you’ll be confident in their abilities once you actually hire them.
Not sure what a good portfolio should look like? Check out our software development examples and use them as a baseline against other developers.
Find a Local Custom Software Developer
Close location isn’t a necessity in the software industry, especially now that over 80 percent of company leaders plan to allow remote work after the pandemic. But it can definitely make your life a little easier.
Think about it this way: Software developers rely on a lot of back-and-forth communication with their clients, and that process is significantly slower when you work in different time zones. You’ll likely have to rely on video conferencing for much of the development process—and though that shouldn’t be a dealbreaker, it certainly won’t be as beneficial as in-person testing.
When you hire a local developer, you give yourself the ability to choose between in-person and remote feedback.
Of course, remote development is still a viable option. If you choose that route, just be sure to accept the limiting factors of remote communication beforehand so you’re not surprised later on.
Consider Company Values
A company’s values can tell you a lot about how they work, who they work with, and who their products appeal to.
Most companies have mission statements online. Check out their social networks, past reviews, and interactions with other companies, then ask yourself if they live up to their mission statement.
If they do, you can rest easy knowing that your developer does what they say. More importantly, you’ll know they hold themselves to a higher standard of integrity.
Partner with Clear Launch
If you’re ready to hire a custom software developer, reach out to Clear Launch today. We’re an established custom software development firm based in Austin, Texas who can solve your custom software needs—whether it’s creation, deployment, or even maintenance. Reach out to our team to learn more about what we do and how we can help.