These days your business will benefit more from outsourcing the IT development services than by doing it in-house. Why? It saves time, spares the resources, and expands the field of possibilities when you turn to professionals of the industry. And as your need for bulletproof software increases (whether it’s a mobile app, a website, etc.), it’s likely that you won’t go without a software house.
So, you decided that you need professional help. And this is where the problem of today’s post begins - how to assess the quality of a software house's work? How to choose the reliable one from thousands of potential partners? In this text, we will give you some ideas outside the box that will help you make the best choice.
We know what you are thinking - there were supposed to be unusual ways, but we give you the most prosaic one - check the price. The thing is that we want to encourage you to change your thinking a little bit. When looking for any business partner, price is often the deciding factor. A service either fits within your budget or it doesn't. Simple as that. Low price is an obvious advantage, however, it’s not that simple in the case of working with a software house. It has been known for a long time that the services of programmers are expensive, and experienced specialists won’t work for low pay. An extremely attractive price should be a warning sign for you that something is wrong.
When the popularity of software services started to grow, the market was full of "experts" who started developing products without experience and proper knowledge. In some cases, top quality is not the most important criterion, but the software is a different thing. An application may look fine at first glance, but as you use it, more and more bugs will appear, more functions will not work, and you will sink funds into a product that not only fails to do its job but also harms your PR. A badly designed and cheap product turns out to be much more expensive in the end than a high-quality, scalable application. When looking for a software house, remember that quality costs money, but it is worth its price.
One of the main sources of disagreement between cooperating companies is the issue of proper fulfillment of the contract. Usually, the contract states WHAT will be done, while the question of HOW it will work remains unclear. As a result, the client is put in a situation where the final product does not meet the expectations. There are industries where the production process is so easy and transparent that there is no room for such doubts. But software development is not one of them. The creation of a digital product requires a huge number of complicated operations, not only at the stage of its development but also later testing and maintenance. Therefore, trustworthy companies offer quality assurance documentation. Namely, it contains the confirmations of the exact requirements to be met so that the final effect is satisfactory for the client. It confirms the reliability and competence of the company and is one of the most effective ways to check the quality of work of a software house.
One of the basic issues in verifying the quality of a software house’s work is, of course, the portfolio. Whether it's a furniture manufacturer, hairdresser, restaurant, marketing agency, or software house, feedback from people who have used the service of the company will be invaluable to you. There are many sites where you can rate software, like Google Play or App store, G2, Capterra etc. Check out the portfolio of the software house you are interested in, what products they have developed, and then look for user reviews of them. After all, their opinion will be the most important for your future app as well. Don’t forget to check the average rating and comments.
The thing is that any company that knows it can be proud of its achievements will surely boast about them on its website. That’s why you should always check the opinions of previous clients of the software house when considering cooperation.
Also, there is one more thing you should pay attention to specifically when working with the software house - user feedback about the applications that the company has developed. This will allow you to verify the quality of work of the software house, learn about its strengths and weaknesses, and find out what to pay attention to in case of potential cooperation.
You cannot expect effective, reliable work from a company that does not control the quality of its product. When you consider cooperation with a software house make sure that it has procedures to check the software it develops. Of course, different working models and technologies used require individual ways of verification. We will present here some of the most popular ones:
Code Churn (or rework)
This is one of the most important metrics. It shows how often a particular piece of code has been changed recently. Usually, too high code churn is not a good signal and suggests that the code caused some problems which may be a predictor of future bugs. However, code churn cannot be interpreted the same for all code - in older, large code, a rework may be related to the introduction of a new feature, for example. To facilitate classification, code churn is therefore counted within three weeks of the code's creation.
Shows the number of errors in an application detected during development. To make the metric effective for codes of different sizes, the number of bugs is measured per 1000 lines of code (the so-called KLOC). A lot of bugs usually means a longer testing period and delayed implementation.
Is a graphical representation of the work that remains to be done relative to the time it should be completed. It's a key metric to monitor schedule adherence and task completion within the schedule so the software house can more easily avoid delays.
The ideal business partner exists... you just have to find it
Checking the quality of a software house’s work is not an easy task, especially for someone who is not a developer himself. No one wants to learn from their mistakes when time and money are at stake, so it is very important to be able to accurately assess a company even before you start working together. Fortunately, there are ways to choose a software house you want to entrust your project to. We are sure that if you follow them, you will find an ideal business partner, with whom cooperation will meet all your expectations.