11 minute read

How to Choose a Software Development Company

How to Choose a Software Development Company

In today’s world, it’s important to choose the right software development company for mobile apps, websites, or custom software. With a plethora of custom software development services available, the selection process can be daunting.

To make things easier, we’ve come up with a 10 step guide to help you select the ideal software development company for your project. Hopefully, these tips will help you narrow down your choices and make the final decision.

We’ve also listed some important questions you should ask your potential partner at the end.

Understanding Your Requirements

Before beginning to search for a software development company, it’s essential to define your project’s objectives, features, and functionalities. Evaluate your business needs, target audience, and potential future requisites. This foundational step will enable you to articulate your vision effectively to prospective development collaborators.

Engage with your team members, identify challenges, and explore solutions to outline the desired outcome. Depending on your project’s nature, scope, and preferences, consider the merits of onshore versus offshore providers.

App Functionality

by Cartist

Onshore Vs. Offshore: Deciphering the Differences

Defining Onshore, Offshore, Nearshore

These terms refer to how close your primary business is to the software development team geographically. Location influences various aspects of business operations, including cultural affinity, language, time zone, and methodologies employed.

Choosing between onshore and offshore

Choosing between an onshore and offshore custom software company depends on various factors.

Onshore developers operate within the same country as your business, fostering seamless communication, shared work hours, and cultural congruence. This leads to a superior product.

Offshore development on the other hand involves hiring a team in a distant country. Offering potential cost savings but posing challenges such as time zone disparities and language barriers.

Nearshore developers operate from adjacent countries, striking a balance between cost-effectiveness and proximity.

The decision depends on balancing costs with communication ease and cultural alignment.

Pros and cons of onshore, offshore, and nearshore software development:



  • Clear communication because of shared language and cultural understanding.
  • Maintain high standards and quality control.
  • Similar work hours make real-time collaboration easy


  • Higher development costs compared to offshore and nearshore options.
  • Limited talent pool access compared to offshore development.
  • Some companies resort to backdoor offshoring if costs become unfeasible.



  • Reduced costs attributed to lower labour and operating expenses.
  • Access to a broader global talent pool.


  • Time zone differences may impede real-time collaboration.
  • Communication challenges may arise because of language barriers.
  • Cultural disparities may affect project understanding and execution.
  • Quality of work is often much lower than onshore standards.
  • Offshore developers tend to have an “anything is good enough” mentality.



  • Reduced costs compared to onshore development.
  • Similar time zones promote slightly easier communication and collaboration compared to offshore.
  • Diverse talent pool access while minimising language and cultural barriers.


  • Costs may still exceed those of offshore development.
  • Limited options compared to the global talent pool.
  • Possibility of minor cultural differences impacting project execution.
  • Quality of work is often lower than onshore standards.

Company Expertise, Industry Knowledge & Portfolio

When choosing a custom software development firm, it’s essential to evaluate the skills and portfolio. Examine their past projects and case studies to determine their industry comprehension and technical expertise.

The company’s portfolio demonstrates what it can do and how well they’ve done it. This gives you a good idea of whether they can meet your needs. Evaluating factors like how quickly they work, how much they can customise, and how good their past work is.

Because of contracts, the company may withhold some project information. However, reliable companies typically provide summaries or case studies of their completed projects.

Check the company’s experience in your industry to ensure better collaboration and faster development. It guarantees that they understand your industry’s unique requirements and can provide customised and timely solutions.

Testimonials and referrals

To assess a software development company’s reputation and customer satisfaction, seek client reviews and testimonials. Explore third-party review platforms and social media channels to get unbiased insights into their performance and customer experiences. After hearing the initial sales pitch, conduct independent research to verify their credentials.

Customer reviews are crucial indicators of service quality and satisfaction. They offer valuable insights into a company’s performance and help in making informed decisions. Whether through meetings, phone conversations, or written letters, testimonials provide firsthand accounts of customers’ experiences with custom software developers.

Look for online reviews and testimonials attesting to the quality of their work. Reach out to industry contacts for their experiences. Platforms like Clutch offer verified customer feedback, providing a reliable source of information. Websites like Glassdoor can also shed light on the company culture and the working environment.

Development methodology

Development Methodology

by irfan Simsar

When choosing a software development company, it is crucial to assess the development methodology they use. Take the time to ask about and comprehend the methodologies they implement, such as Scrum or Kanban. Be certain that they are in line with your project’s requirements and timeline. Ensure they are transparent about their project development process from beginning to completion.

A well-documented and executed development process enhances efficiency and equips the team to tackle challenges effectively. Look for a company that emphasises adaptive planning, early delivery, frequent updates, and utilises modern communication tools.

Evaluate Communication


by Hugo Jehanne

Effective communication is crucial for the success of software projects, particularly when collaborating with development partners. Challenges related to communication often arise during outsourcing, highlighting the importance of seamless interaction.

Set clear project goals and expectations to ensure the delivery of customised solutions that meet your needs efficiently. Understanding the methods, channels, and availability of communication is vital, especially when working across different time zones. Focusing on urgent discussions and solutions is essential for overcoming communication barriers that would otherwise impede the progress of software development.

From defining requirements to including stakeholder feedback; open dialogue enables effective discussion, sharing, and clarification of ideas during the development process. Prioritise partnering with a company that values transparency and responsiveness. This will foster a smoother development journey and therefore ensure alignment between you and the development team.

Choose a partner whose communication skills and cultural fit align with your expectations. Analysing their email communication and initial calls can help you determine this.

Budget - Pricing

Custom software development pricing varies widely, from affordable tailored solutions to premium custom programming services. Factors like the level of customisation required and the expertise needed influence pricing. While opting for the lowest-priced option may seem appealing, it can lead to issues. Investing in higher skill sets upfront can streamline future work and prevent future issues.

When choosing a software development partner, it’s important to consider both their expertise and the cost of the project. You should ensure that the cost aligns with your budget while still maintaining the expected level of quality. Be cautious of companies that inflate prices to appear more reputable. Check contracts carefully for hidden extra costs, like document management fees, annual maintenance charges, and in-person training expenses.

Obtain detailed pricing estimates and clarify the payment structure. Include milestones and ownership of intellectual property rights to ensure both parties are in agreement. You need to decide if a fixed-price model or a ‘time and materials’ approach is better for your project. Understanding how it will affect your budget from the start is important.

Security Practices


by Miłosz Klinowski

Ensure you put strong security measures in place since the development partner often shares sensitive information. Inquire about the measures in place to safeguard your ideas, products, solutions, and proprietary information. Not all outsourcing companies prioritise security equally, so thorough questioning and information gathering are crucial.

Besides safeguarding sensitive information, it’s crucial to consider security practices implemented during the development process itself. Assess if the development team adheres to appropriate security protocols. Determine the required security levels for your project.

With technology advancing quickly, it’s essential to ensure that the development team stays updated with the latest standards. Ensure the company specialises in the relevant technologies and adherence to industry standards. These are key factors to consider when evaluating a software development company’s capability to handle data security effectively.

Post-launch support

Achieving absolute perfection in software solutions is impossible. When choosing a software development partner, make sure they provide long-term ongoing support, maintenance, and cloud-based updates. Clarify the duration of support and maintenance upfront.

Ensure that you include scalability and backup services in the initial contract and make them available post-launch. Inquire about their ability to adapt to future changes in data protocols and security standards. This is to avoid unexpected costs or outdated software.

Make sure you have direct access to their technical team. Despite thorough testing and meticulous planning, bugs are inevitable in software development. This highlights the necessity of having a dedicated quality assurance (QA) team in place.

Quality Assurance

Before signing a contract with a software development agency, it’s important to know and fully comprehend their testing policy. A reputable company should place a strong emphasis on rigorous quality assurance (QA) processes to uphold exceptional product standards. Inquire about their testing procedures throughout all development stages, which should include both manual and automated testing. This ensures transparency and that their practices match your expectations, ensuring the final product meets high-quality standards.


Choosing the right custom software development company is crucial for the success of your project. After following these steps, you should be able to choose your next software development partner. They will possess the required expertise for a seamless development process within your budget and schedule.

Take your time to compare options carefully. Finding the right partner from the start will make the project easier and ensure a great final product.

Looking for custom software development in Australia? Get in touch with us today for a free consultation!

Key Questions for Potential Development Partners:

  • What is your experience in developing software for our industry or similar projects?
  • Can you provide examples of past projects similar to ours that you have completed?
  • What industries and types of software do you specialise in?
  • What are the key skill sets and tech stacks that your company focuses on?
  • Which businesses have you successfully partnered with in the past?
  • Can you show examples of successful development projects, specifically in areas that we’re interested in?
  • What methodologies do you follow in your development process, such as Agile, Scrum, or others?
  • How do you handle project management and communication throughout the development lifecycle?
  • What is your approach to quality assurance and testing? Do you perform both manual and automated testing?
  • Can you accommodate any specific customisation or integration requirements we may have?
  • How do you ensure data security and privacy during development and post-launch?
  • What is your process for handling changes or updates to the project scope?
  • What is your policy on post-launch support, maintenance, and troubleshooting?
  • Can you provide references from previous clients or testimonials regarding your work?
  • What type of pricing model do you employ? When do you expect payments, and what happens financially if the scope of the project changes?
  • What methods of communication do you use?
  • What is your response time to address issues?
  • During which hours of the day are you available?
  • How regularly will you provide updates on your progress?