Finding good software and app developers is hard, building long-term relationships with them is even harder. Here’s how to get it right from the start. Read full blog post at http://blog.enabled.com.au/hiring-devs-dos-donts/
How to choose the right software developers - 18 Dos and Don'ts
18 pointers to look out for
WHEN THINGS GO WRONG
Software development can be daunting when things go wrong.
Stretched Budget Unfinished Project Confused Team
Often, it comes down to the
The following list of 18 pointers is divided into three sections:
1. What to consider before meeting potential software developers
2. What to ask during the selection process
3. What to consider as warning signs
1WHAT TO CONSIDER
BEFORE THE MEETING
Do your homework on screening candidates
DO THEY HAVE AN
Even if the developer has not designed a scrap of the
graphical interface themselves, do their app or web
projects feel like the favourite ones that you use?
Are they smooth or jittery, tight or clumsy?
Does anything look out of place?
DO THEY OFFER CLIENT
If they do, great, but go a step further and ask for
contact details of the clients from their portfolio.
A developer who offers this information willingly shows
they have nothing to hide, and you stand a good chance
of receiving a similar result compared to their portfolio.
A developer who is generally interested in you and your
business will add value to your ideas with relevant
This is especially true with those who have many years
of experience in business themselves or have studied
more broadly than the core technology they use.
ARE THEY ABLE TO TAKE AN
INTEREST IN YOUR BUSINESS?
CAN YOU FORM A LONG‐
TERM RELATIONSHIP ?
Most successful software needs to be honed to become
optimally functional and should evolve to stay relevant.
Breaking up with your developer could mean restarting
from scratch, causing your timeline to be reset. Choose
carefully from the start, or give them small challenges to
Lowest cost option can be more expensive in the long
run. The biggest reason for a failed development is
because the developer completely underestimated the
scope of work, sometimes to the point of not having the
required skills to able to finish the job.
DON’T SHOP BY PRICE
DO THEY THINK OF THE
WHOLE PACKAGE, NOT
JUST THE CODING?
If you are extremely successful in finding a good
developer you will notice they are obsessed with more
than just the code, e.g. User Experience. They will also
bombard you with questions to understand how the app
will be used, and what conditions it will be used under.
2WHAT TO ASK
Specific questions for interviewing software developers
METHODOLOGY DO YOU
You should expect a mention of either Waterfall / Agile
or a hybrid of these. Take the time to read up on the
basics if you can. What you should hope is that your
developer knows something about both and can present
a case for which one suits your project most.
WHAT IS YOUR QUALITY
ASSURANCE (QA) PROCESS?
If their answer includes the use of Unit Tests to ensure
that each build they create will go through a series of
automated tests so that they didn’t leave any loose ends
untied, this is a good start.
Be sure to ask them how they conduct usability and
interface testing too.
DO YOU USE VERSION
Ask them which version control system they use,
common ones include: Git, Mercurial and Subversion
(SVN). While you are at it, set up an account with a
source code repository like GitHub or Bitbucket and ask
for access to the code. With this you can also see how
often they are working on your project.
DO YOU HAVE A
All experienced developers will have one of their own. If
you want to be able to own your future, make sure you
consider the clauses about Intellectual Property (IP)
The warranty they offer will also be an important
indication of how the developer values their own quality.
HAVE YOU WORKED WITH
This question will determine if they are effective at
working with other people. These designers could be
good referees of what it is like to work with the
developer. It will also indicate how much importance
they place on how an app looks and feels.
DO YOU HAVE A SUPPORT
Software will always require additional attention after
its initial release, it is important to know how the
developer will assist you into the future and how they
will respond and charge. This may be included with their
development agreement, otherwise, ask for it.
Look out for these red flags at any stage of your project
BE WARY OF AN
INDIVIDUAL WHO SAYS
THEY CAN DO IT ALL
As development includes several activities such as User
Experience, Graphic Design, Interface Design, Databases,
Scalability and Server environments (Cloud included),
finding a very versatile person who can deal with each
of these adequately is possibly quite rare.
THEY DON’T PROVIDE A
If you have been provided a quotation, this developer
should also be able to provide you a schedule. Commonly,
your own availability can have a significant effect on a
Thus, this schedule should also factor that in.
TIMELINES ARE DRAWN
It is not entirely unusual for a project to escape its
planned schedule. Do expect this as a distinct possibility.
However, if you continually receive “we are almost
finished” as an update, then be concerned. You should
expect a revised delivery date and a demonstration of the
progress actually been made.
THEY PROVIDE YOU A
BUDGET TOO QUICKLY
Unless it is an extremely simple mobile app, a good
developer will be very reluctant to pull a figure or time
frame out of the air.
This demonstrates that they understand the iceberg
analogy: there is more complexity waiting under the
surface of a simple app idea.
REQUEST A LOT OF MONEY
It is acceptable for a developer to ask for a deposit.
After the deposit, ensure that the rest of the budget is
broken up into logical payments, which can be attached
to the delivery and demonstration of a functional area of
IT IS HARD TO GET HOLD
Not being able to get a voice call with your developer
from time to time could certainly be a warning sign, even
with those in other geographical locations. That said, you
should also be sensitive to your developer by giving them
room to operate. Too much communication can slow a
T H A N K S F O R R E A D I N G
C R E A T E D B Y
Read full blog post at: blog.enabled.com.au/hiring-devs-dos-donts/