What to Look for in a Software Company

When someone says “software”, do you think Silicon Valley and California? Or do you know that there are now many other competing states doing just as much if not more? In fact, New York also boasts one of the highest numbers of developers in the US. Not only that, but software companies in New York are just as competitive.

What to Look for in a Software Company

Searching Software Companies in New York and Elsewhere

Where do you even start though if you are looking for a web development agency? Today, the criteria is not just about the technology these developers can provide. It also involves understanding who they are and if they can understand your business and needs correctly. Whether you are looking for software companies in New York or elsewhere, the important criteria are detailed below.

Important Criteria when Considering Software Companies

  • Expertise and Offering
  • Presence, location and Target Customers
  • Approach, Methodology and Intellectual Property
  • Team and Testimonials
  • Post Implementation Support

These criteria will help you get a sense of who the developers are and how you can work together.

Expertise and Offering

It almost goes without saying that choosing a developer who understands your industry and domain will make a difference to your overall success. A good way to ask some of these questions or data points:

  • Examples of projects they have previously worked on.
  • Does their service offering cover what you are looking for?
  • Do not hesitate to ask about the programming team’s experience.
  • What type of technology are they comfortable with?
  • How many specialists do they have covering each technology?
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Also, it is worth noting that some companies will be more technology focused and perhaps less strategic or business savvy. Get to know the company’s goals and mission and see if it aligns with your own values, objectives, and overall strategic approach.

Presence, Location, and Target Customers

Whilst you might have decided whether you want to work with a local or a global company, it is still worth considering how fast they can deliver and how they plan to communicate with you. For example, software companies in New York could be anything from a start-up to a large corporation, both of which offer a very different style of communication.

In addition, these points will give you an idea of how they might work with you:

  • What kind of market presence do they have?
  • What type of customers do they work with?
  • Can you relate to these customers?
  • What is the developer’s performance record with these customers?

Make sure you understand both their successes as well as where they might have not succeeded as well. A developer that can learn from its mistakes is one that is adaptable and forward-looking.

Approach, Methodology, and Intellectual Property

Different companies will use various approaches with different pros and cons that may or may not suit your own style of project management. It is important to remember that your teams need to collaborate with the software developer. A common language and methodology can therefore be an added advantage.

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Make sure the developer knows your model and methodology and ask them how they propose to complement the approaches. To give you some examples, here are some common development strategies although of course, you will have your own approach:

  • Waterfall
  • Iterative
  • Scrum or Agile
  • DevOps – combines software development with IT operations
  • 6 Sigma – a data-driven systematic continuous improvement approach

Finally, be clear about the ownership of the final software and how things would work if you ever need to change developer, for whatever reason. Conflicts around Intellectual Property of your system are not only frustrating but will also harm your business effectiveness. No one wants to do an overhaul because of intellectual property technicalities.

Team and Testimonials

It sounds simple but at the end of the day, you need to be happy to work with your developer and their teams.

  • Do you feel there is a culture fit with your teams?
  • Do you feel you can trust them to deliver on their promises?
  • You can also ask for testimonials and to talk to previous clients.

It is always interesting to see how comfortable a company is to allow you to talk to one of their previous clients. The response usually speaks for itself.

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Post Implementation Support

It is a simple fact of life that things sometimes go wrong. However, the more you can preempt and maintain systems then the less likely you are to face problems.

  • What is the developer’s approach to maintenance?
  • How do they gather the data and what assumptions do they make on that data?
  • What is their risk appetite and how do they advise you on approaching your own risk?
  • Do they have an ad hoc post-implementation service or a complete ongoing maintenance mentality?

Your overall system quality will depend on these questions.

Final Thoughts on Software Companies in New York and Elsewhere

We know it is not easy to find the right developer but take your time and ask at least 3 to pitch for your project. As you review the different developers, whether these are application performance monitoring tools or elsewhere, remember that you are looking for a holistic approach.They should be able to cover not just the technology and expertise but also their methodology and approach. In addition, do not underestimate the importance of their team competencies as well as their long-term support capabilities.

Finally, can you trust them and do you see yourself with them for the long haul? All true partnerships are founded on trust and on the mutual understanding of a shared success. So take your time and find the best team for you. Before you know it, you will be on that growth trajectory you dream of.