All that glitters is not code

Just like any company, offers and incentives are used by software development companies to attract new business.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that of course!

Sometimes these offers seem really appealing and just what you want to hear.  However, it is important to have a balanced view of the specifics and find out more.

 

Glitter

 

This article highlights a couple of things you might come across when looking for a software development company and gives you some points to consider for each one.

 

The appeal of cheap developers

Budget is the usually the biggest concern when developing software.  So the sound of cheap developers sounds great and your money can stretch further.  This may work out fine, but bear in mind that software development is a skilled profession that takes time to get good at it.  Low-cost developers may be new to the industry and you’ll have to put extra checks in ensuring the quality of the code so that it is well structured, works correctly and is easy to maintain in the future.

The software development labour market in the UK is more expensive compared to other places around the globe due to the higher cost of living.  What you will find when looking for a low-cost development team is they will be located further and further away.  This can make development harder as good, regular communication and team work are key factors for a successful project, even if we are all now experts at remote working!

 

The appeal of volumous code output

Here is a misconception: Software development is all about lines and lines of code and the more lines the more sophisticated the software.  This isn’t true! So be wary of companies who state they can develop large volumes of code quickly.

"Programming is about thinking not typing" – Casey Patton

You are better off with a smaller set of code that does the job.  It is easier to understand, test and and less likely to contain errors which will have a direct impact on your business.  Also, it will be much easier and cheaper to move to a new supplier should the need arise.

 

The appeal of pre-written code packages

It is very common for software development companies to offer pre-written existing code to you absolutely free.  This code has been developed by suppliers working on similar projects to yours in the past.  Some companies have quite extensive libraries which would take many months to develop from scratch.

Software development is largely about re-use and not re-inventing the wheel, so what is not to like? Here are some points to consider when taking on supplier packages in your software:

  • Make sure they share the full source code so that it can always be maintained in the future, even by a different supplier.
  • Your code might end up including references to the supplier company.  Is this something you are happy with?
  • The shared code is likely to be up-to-date during the project, but how will it be maintained once your project with them has completed?
  • Finally, do you need all of that code or just some of it?  Is your software going to be lumbered with lots of code you’ll never need?

 

The appeal of the supersize team

Some suppliers insist on standing up large teams to work on software projects containing many roles. It can certainly give you confidence that your project will be delivered, but perhaps for a larger budget that you where hoping.

Communication becomes much harder when more people are invovled in a project as there are more people to inform, to assign work and more opinions and questions to deal with.

A large supplier team can also form a bias on your project simply because you become  outnumbered! Remember that you have ultimate control even when working with a large team.

You need to ask yourself if you are getting value for money. Are the resources that you are paying for making a positive direct impact?

 

Conclusion

Hopefully the information above will help guide you in your decision when selecting a software development company whoever it may be.  The purpose of this article is not to criticise any particular company or approach, but to help you form a balanced opinion during your decision-making.

Do you have a software development project in mind?  Then get in touch for a friendly no obligation chat today. Our expert team is ready to provide custom software development, support, developer resource and help with tough IT decisions!

Jonathan Dodd, Co-Founder of Innovensa

Jonathan Dodd

Jonathan Dodd is a co-founder of Innovensa Ltd.

Back to top