The Delicate Art Of Selecting A Software Developer

Every coding project has an ideal team awaiting its creation. The problem is that every situation is unique. There are big software projects, small projects and everything in between. Likewise, there are offshore options and more expensive options, or small, medium and large coding teams. Who is going to make the right partner for your design? Watch our video to learn some of the insider challenges faced in making the right selection for complex software projects.

Video Transcript:

Plexus software development case study – part 2

Ben (Alliance Software, Founder & CEO): Tell us in terms of the process. You’ve spoken with your finance manager and you’ve got her on board. You’re going to market, how do you do it? How did you approach vendors, what were you looking for, what were the responses you got? Tell us about that buying process.

Andy (Plexus, Managing Director): The first thing was that I recognised one of the failure points of our first attempt at this was taking a software developer’s word that he could do it. To be fair to them, neither of us were cognisant of the layers of complexity at that stage. If we learnt anything from that expensive prototyping exercise, it was that it was a lot more complex than we had envisaged.

This time around we had a methodical vendor selection process. We got referrals from people we knew in the industry. I have a friend who is managing director, a peer of Ben’s company. I told them about it. They said we’d love to pitch and I said; you’re friends of mine, you can’t pitch, I’m sorry, but I want to engage you to run the vendor selection process. So we had domain experts validating the process. We did a beauty parade. I think we got down to four vendors, a couple of big ones and a couple of mid size. They designed a whole RFP process around it. I wasn’t particularly involved in that, but I had the right people running it.

Ben: Was sending it offshore an option? Or was local what you wanted?

Andy: My philosophy is focus on the competencies of the software developer. Our goal was not to get the cheapest software, it was to get the best value. When I bought my first car, my Dad said there is a difference between cheap and good value. I think that is the same with software. When I worked as a consultant, one of the questions we used to advise on was offshore versus onshore for finance transaction processing. All the people I’d known who had gone offshore said it’s three years of my life I’ll never get back.

One of our project managers moved to the UK with her husband. She works in our team still. It’s a nightmare coordinating with her. But she is someone we know and love. She is excellent and she works incredibly hard. We find coordinating with her difficult. Having a group of folks based in the Philippines or India who we don’t know, I think the coordination issue is going to be magnified.

Even companies with great contacts, lots of know-how, and plenty of investor capital run into extremely complex problems when trying to get their software developed. Every job is unique and a great idea should translate well across the final product. But even the most talented software developers have their limitations. Sometimes you have to break out an extremely thorough vetting process including your own selection team and a strict list of procedures in order to find the developer who is going to help make your software dreams a reality.

If you are looking for the right team to get your software created, get in contact with us. We’d love to help.

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