App Planning

5 questions to ask before you hire a software development firm

Finding the right software partner isn’t an exact science. There are a lot of different methodologies and languages for building software. You need to find someone you trust. You need a process in place for receiving and reviewing milestones throughout the project as they are met. You need to understand how a transition period will work if you intend to hire your own in-house developers at some point.

It’s important to chose wisely, especially when you’re building a new product. Crafting the right strategy is half of the battle.

We’ve put together five suggested questions when you’re interviewing a new software development firm:

1. Will it scale?

No one builds a new software product assuming it won’t ever be used. But, sometimes, products get unexpected success early. You need to understand how your software will scale. What will the first version support, and what will break it? Explain your growth goals, how you plan to get there, and ask questions about how the software will match that.

There’s a strategy behind building something as a proof-of-concept that can’t handle a sizable user base, but it may not be a wise choice if you hope to start making revenue with it. Building a prototype is very different than building a minimum viable product. Clearly communicate your intentions for the app to your developer, and then make sure their plans align with those goals.

2. How do you decide which frameworks or languages to use? What are your in-house philosophies?

The technology language your firm uses to build your product will stick with you. If you plan to transition it to an in-house team in the future, you need to understand from the beginning which engineers you’ll be looking to hire. A change in language or framework will involve a complete rebuild, which is a substantial undertaking.

Some development teams build every app in the same language and using the same frameworks. If the one you’re interviewing follows that model, ask them why. How a firm chooses to approach a project can tell you a lot about them. It’s important that your project is a good fit for the team as well as the team being a good fit for you.

3. How do you measure success throughout the project?

Everyone wants to know the timeframe for the project. Projects are known for running longer than expected. Measuring timeliness throughout the project sets everyone up for success. Ask how your firm measures success throughout the project and what you can expect at various phases. This helps prevent disappointment upon delivery or ending up wildly over budget.

4. Why your team?

Sometimes you get the best responses from the simplest questions. As a follow up, also ask why they feel you’re a good fit for them.

5. What should my expectations be?

This question is an easy way to tell if you are on the same page. Make sure you understand the firm’s process, strengths, priorities, and method before signing a contract. If their expectations of you throughout the project align with your expectations of them, it’s a good fit. If you’re not on the same page, keep looking. To learn about our expectations at MotionMobs, check out our approach.

Interested in talking about a new product with our team? Shoot us a message. 

By Taylor Peake