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How to Choose a Software Developer

Finding the right software company which will suit your specific needs, understand your industry and communicate in a transparent way is absolutely pivotal to your own success. But what do you need to know and what should you ask potential candidates?

Specify Your Own Needs Clearly

Since software is a personalized, business-specific asset you should first of all assess what you need and expect.

  • Do you have other software you need to integrate with?
  • Is this new software, will there be a lot of experimenting?
  • Will this technology help your business and how?
  • Will this technology be your core product?
  • How often would you like to meet with/ talk to your engineers?
  • What style of communication do you prefer (remote/face-to-face etc.)?
  • What is your budget?



Choose Your Preferred Work Model

In the software development world there are two main work models: Waterfall and Agile.


  • Waterfall


waterfall process graph

Source: Blocher Consulting


This model involves a steady flow of processes in order and downwards. Going back to re-design or fix mistakes is almost impossible. This model is well structured but not very flexible.


  • Agile


 agile development process graph

Source: Blocher Consulting



This methodology is much more flexible than Waterfall and is perfect when changes are needed or the needs are discovered during the creative process and not firmly specified in advance. It also leaves room for improvement or changes at any point of the cycle.



Will you choose a local company where you can meet regularly at little effort? Or will you cross geographical barriers and go for who you think is best even if they’re thousands of miles away? Modern technology enables us to stay connected at all times, no matter where we are. Working with a remote team of developers is definitely not an issue and many companies are willing to send teams to their clients, too.


Portfolio, Values and Ownership

Who will own the code once the project is completed? What successful projects have you completed before and how did you to it? What kind of maintenance can you offer and what values drive your business?

If you run a business based and marketed upon certain values or traits, you should make sure your developers share those. You wouldn’t want to be associated with someone who represents the opposite of your brand.


Buying software is a serious decision which is why you should really think it through. Once you find a talented trustworthy developer or team agree on the pricing. Don’t be afraid to ask for a detailed billing report which will specify the number of hours worked and tasks completed. This will give you a good insight into what you’re paying for.