How to choose the right software developer November 21, 2018 RICCentre The Top 5 factors to consider It’s something that we see every day: an entrepreneur with a game-changing software idea, but that lacks the technical skills to bring their vision to life. So, they set out to find the perfect software development firm that can create it for them. However, there are dozens upon dozens of firms out there, and the stakes are definitely on the line: less than 0.01% of mobile apps will be successful through 2018. Development isn’t cheap either, with a basic app often starting at a minimum of $25,000. Choosing the right development team can make or break your business, and here are our Top 5 factors to consider when finding the right developer for you. Past work This is one of the most critical places to start your search. Have a look at the list of clients the developer has completed work for. Browse their websites. Download and play around with their apps. What kind of experience did you have? Was it user-friendly and intuitive or frustrating and unnecessarily time-consuming? You can take this a step further too and reach out to the clients directly. Ask them about their experience working with the development team and see what kind of response you get. Frequent demos A good software development firm should be as eager to show you their work as you are to see it, right from the get go. Each sprint of development should be followed by a demo – at least weekly. This transparency benefits both parties: features can be modified, added or scrapped completely; layouts can be redesigned; and you both end up with a product you are happy with. The developers should feel like a part of your own team, and should be communicative every step of the way. Business acumen ≥ programming skills Effective software development requires more than just stellar programming and design skills. Do the developers truly know what you want from them, or are they just focused on making things pretty? The ideal development team understands your needs and is able to integrate them into business-enhancing functionalities, creating software that makes processes easier and that frees up valuable time for you to focus on other areas that matter. The quote There is definitely a balance that needs to be achieved here. As a start-up, you need to conserve every penny you can, but you also want a firm that is going to deliver quality. In general, reject the cheapest quotes you get. With a cheap price often comes a cheap product – poorly written code, difficulty operating the software, lack of experience, lack of transparency, just to name a few. Often you’ll end up paying 2-3 times more to fix the problems. Look for the firms that don’t offer the cheapest solutions but rather the most cost-effective. Putting a bit more upfront may be difficult to stomach initially but investing in a quality, tested solution will save you much more in the long run. Maintenance Once you’ve got your software up and running, maintaining it is as important as the final product. Bugs will pop up. Systems will crash. Hacking attempts will occur. Your software will require routine fixes and patches to keep it up to date. Be sure to ask about after-sales support and associated costs for software upkeep long-term. Think you’re ready to find a software developer? Here are a selection of firms across the GTA: Below are the software developer firms featured on the asset map above: 247 Labs Inc. https://247labs.com/ Apiqu http://www.apiqu.com/ AppStudio https://www.appstudio.ca/ Architech https://www.architech.ca/ Askida https://askida.com/ Auxano Global Services https://www.auxanoglobalservices.com/ Blank Space http://blankspace.ca/ Borne Digital https://borneagency.com/ Brainvire Infotech https://www.brainvire.com/ Clearbridge Mobile https://clearbridgemobile.com/ Code Creators https://www.codecreators.ca/ Connected Lab https://www.connectedlab.com/ Coretec https://coretec.io/ DCCPER http://dccper.com/ Debut Infotech https://www.debutinfotech.com/ DINO Tech Solutions http://devdino.com/ DOTh Solutions https://www.dothsolutions.com/ Enginess https://enginess.io/ Essential Designs https://www.essentialdesigns.net/ Evenset http://www.evenset.com/ Evolution in DesignZ https://evolutionindesignz.com/ Firestitch https://firestitch.com/ Functional Imperative http://www.functionalimperative.com/ Guaraná Technologies https://www.guarana-technologies.com/ Hardboot http://www.hardbootinc.com/ Hipo https://hipolabs.com/ Hyperflow Labs http://www.hyperflowlabs.com Insighty https://insighty.studio/ iQlance https://www.iqlance.com/ ITW Consulting https://www.itwconsulting.com/ Jonah Group https://www.jonahgroup.com/ Kaspian Innovations http://www.kaspian.ca/ Konrad Group https://www.konradgroup.com/ LeverageIT https://leverage.it/ MB Creative https://mbcreative.ca/ Nascent http://www.nascentdigital.com/ Net Solutions https://www.netsolutions.com/clutch/ Norbsoft http://www.norbsoft.com/home/ Olio Digital Labs https://oliodigitallabs.com/ OPTASY https://www.optasy.com/ Osellus Mobile http://www.osellus-mobile.com/ Plastic Mobile http://www.plasticmobile.com/ Simplistics Web Design https://simplistics.ca/ Spiria https://www.spiria.com/en SupraITS https://www.supraits.com/ Synergo Group http://www.synergogroup.net/ TheAppLabb https://theapplabb.com/ TWG https://twg.io/ Valtech https://www.valtech.com/ VerticalWave Solutions https://verticalhq.ca/ Vordik Digital https://vordik.com/ Webtye http://www.webtye.com/index.html Whitecap https://www.whitecapcanada.com/ ZeMind Studios http://zemind.ca/ About the AuthorRiley CoxBusiness Development CoordinatorRiley is a student in the Master of Biotechnology program at the University of Toronto with a passion for science, business, and entrepreneurship. He has previously run a company in the entertainment industry for several years, and is interested in how emerging technologies can help entrepreneurs & start-ups to achieve growth and success.