How to Find a Software Developer for your Startup
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With digital advancement in the modern business world, every business requires digital solutions to cater to the needs of their customers. Even if you are not a tech startup, you are still dependent upon digital solutions. Whether you are building a SaaS application, mobile platform, website or any other software, you will need to hire a company or freelancers to build your software. Finding the right software development team is not easy, it requires you to know several parameters and run the process to get the best match for you. In this blog, we are going to walk through the different approaches to hiring software developers for your startup.

Things to do before you hire software developers for your startup

1. Define your requirement

It is important to create a blueprint of the software product you are planning to build before you get involved with the process of hiring a team. It gives a better understanding of the scope to you and the team you will hire. You can better communicate your project and convince your developer that your project is worth it when you have a well-defined scope. You may not have to have a detailed requirement document, but you should at least cover high-level points. See some of the critical requirements you should have ready;

  • UIUX Design requirements
  • High-level feature list
  • What type of platform: Mobile or Web or both?
  • Type of cloud infrastructure
  • Targeted audience
  • Expected timeline and budget.

2. Company Vs Freelancer

Once you have your requirements well defined, the next step is to choose between a company or a freelancer software developers for your startup. Both the options come with their own merits and demerits. It is important to consider some of the major factors that influence the decision between both approaches such as communication, cost, project management, quality, face-to-face or remote, long term or short term, your experience in the field, post-production support, and more. Considering these factors helps you to make a better decision between hiring a company and a freelancer for your software development project. We have created a table which shows the comparison of both. Company’s tends to be more expansive but better managed and comes with multiple talents. Whereas, freelancers are economical but difficult to hold accountable to process and quality.

Company vs Freelancer developers

3. Consider the location

For a software development project, it is necessary to consider the location of your development resources i.e local or nearshore, or offshore. There are certain benefits and disadvantages associated with each type of location. For example, a local team in the USA is often costlier but they can work in the same timezone and communicate more easily.  Nearshore is less expensive than the USA-based team and the timezone is the same. Offshore is the least expensive but you may have communication and quality issues. You may have to review the legal aspects as well for nearshore and offshore locations. Another model that has evolved in the last decade is the global shoring model, in global shoring, the senior team will be in the USA with developers offshore. 

OnShore vs Offshore

4. Have an NDA in place

You should have a Non Disclosure Agreement ready before you start talking to potential developers for your project. NDA helps you to protect your idea. You can find several standard NDA templates on the internet that you can use.

Where to find software development company/team

1. Use Clutch or GoodFirms for reviews

Clutch and GoodFirms are B2B research platforms, which rank software development companies based upon their past work.  These listings give you access to useful insights such as company portfolios, detailed reviews given by clients, hourly rates, focused areas, and contact details. These research and reviews can help you to identify reliable and top software development companies worldwide. Companies are listed in an easy-to-understand manner, You can access their categorized directories to quickly find your desired software developer.

2. Use Upwork, Freelancer to find an agency/company

There are many companies/agencies listed in the freelance platforms such as Upwork and Freelancer, that are helpful for companies and individuals to choose the best-fit company/agency according to their requirements. Upwork is highly recommended for hiring an agency/company because it is one of the most trusted, popular platforms with a wide range of options. These freelancer platforms allow you to filter through companies/agencies based on reviews, job success rate, locations, pricing, and other pertinent criteria. If you hire companies on these platforms, you get the additional oversight by Upwork/Freelancer in terms of money and quality.

3. Use Google search to find local companies

Searching on Google is one of the easiest ways to find the software development company for our Startups. You can search for a software development company or team by entering different queries on google like Top software development company, best software development company, the software development company for startups, software development company near me, and many more. Google will show a list of results, but you have to compare and thoroughly check them before hiring. You can pick the best software development company from them by comparing their Expertise, Team size, Pricing model, Past projects, Experience, Client reviews, Technology used, and Location.

Where to find freelance software developers for startup

1. Freelancer sites

There are many freelance job platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr that are helpful for companies and individuals to choose the best-fit talent according to their requirements. Freelance job platforms allow you to filter through candidates based on reviews, job success rate, and other pertinent criteria. It allows you to access a wider pool of talent and choose the best candidate who can take over your software development process efficiently.

2. LinkedIn, AngelList

You can have very good success in finding freelancers software developers for your startup on LinkedIn and Angel.co. Freelancer developers mention in their LinkedIn profile, you can easily search on LinkedIn based upon the skill sets. Angel. co is a network for Startups with founders and service providers. Several of the freelancers have listed themselves on Angel. co. These platforms allow you to access the required information such as background information of the candidate, testimonials, and information about their skill sets. With this information, you can short out the candidates that are equipped with the skills required for your software development.

3. ProFinder by LinkedIn

LinkedIn provides an entirely different section dedicated to freelance work called ProFinder,  this section of LinkedIn is separated from the job portal. You can find desired freelancers with the help of this service because it allows you to access the entire resume, degree of desperation, and recommendations. There are 433 million registered users on the platform and increasing continuously.

Questions to ask before hiring a software developer or company

There are several issues with hiring an offshore or nearshore company/agency such as lack of personal relationships with the team, fewer interactions, and trust issues. In order to solve these issues, there are some important parameters you need to check to successfully hire a software developers for your startup. You should ask some of the basic questions before hiring a company/agency for your software development project.

1. What is your approach?

It is important to ask your potential company/agency about the approaches that they take when it comes to software development and their approach to avoid difficult situations.

2. How will you keep me updated on progress?

If you hire a nearshore team, you can have face-to-face interaction with them once a week or once a month. If you hire an offshore team, chances are you can never have a face-to-face interaction with them. It is important to finalize a good communication channel so that you can be aware of all the progress in the development. 

3. What similar work did you do previously?

Past performances predict future results to a large extent. Looking at the past performances you can also understand the skill level of your potential company. It is important to go through the case studies and project demo videos. It will help you to analyze if their expertise matches the need for your project. Also, if you work with a company/agency that has experience in your industry, it will be easier for them to comprehend the problems that your software will solve. If they have previously worked with the same technology and features, it will be easier for them to find solutions if they run into any difficulties during development.

4. How do you keep up with the latest programming languages and technologies?

Every month a new programming language is introduced and every week the language gets updated. With new libraries, frameworks, and programming languages constantly evolving, It is important to ask whether the potential software development company/agency prioritizes working with new technologies and advanced programming languages. Working with new technologies keeps a company/agency relevant to the trends which result in the efficient development of the product.

5. Can I have a quick call with some of your previous and current clients?

 Satisfied and dissatisfied customers are the most credible source where you can get information about your potential software development company. You can talk to them about the quality of work, cost, project management. If there are any areas where the concerned company has the potential to improve. You can also look into websites such as Clutch and GoodFirms to get an idea of their performance. It will give you a better understanding of your potential company and result in better judgment. 

6. Will you provide post-production support and do I own the code?

After the final delivery of the software, maintenance is the most important part which includes releasing new updates, fixing bugs. Adding new features and functionalities to streamline business operations, removing outdated functions, and more. It is important to ask your software development company/agency about the post-production support they provide and how much they charge for it. 

There are some additional questions you can ask to evaluate a company/agency

  • What technologies are you specialized in?
  • How many resources can you dedicate to my project?
  • What is the size of your company?
  • What is the code deployment process?
  • How is the whole team generally structured?

Also Read: 13 Questions To Ask Before You Hire A Local App Developer

Get an estimate and make a final decision

You can ask for the estimation of your software development cost from all the potential companies or freelancers and compare between different estimates. Companies or freelancers can provide estimates based on hourly cost and fixed cost methods or both, you can compare and choose the costing method which is suitable for your project. It will give you an idea to shortlist companies that can complete your project within your expected time and budget.

Once you have estimated and compared the different companies or developers. You can make your decision and choose the company or freelancer that has the required expertise.  You should sign a Software Development Agreement that lays out the legal rights, scope of work, estimated pricing, timeline, and payment terms.

If you follow the aforementioned checklist and best practices, you can improve your chances of making the right selection. Sometimes you might be tempted to skip the checklist and try to make the selection process faster. But it can bite you back later if you ended up making the wrong selection. I strongly recommend following the proper process in selection in order for you to make the best hiring decision.

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Piyush Jain

Piyush Jain is the CEO and Founder of Simpalm. He leads the business and engineering team to build the mobile and web product solution for clients. He loves to write thought leadership articles on IoT, Mobile, Blockchain, BigData, Web and other software technologies.