The Best Places to Find the Right Development Partner

by Mark Benvegnu
The Best Places to Find the Right Development Partner

Finding custom software development companies is not difficult. There are literally thousands from around the globe, and each has different strengths and weaknesses. Yet only a handful will have the right mix of skills, processes, and culture to be a good fit for your organization and project.

So how do you find the right partner for you and your project?  How do you sift through the thousands of developers to identify those candidates that are a potential fit?

Some homework before beginning your search:

Before your search begins, you should ask yourself some key questions to narrow the field.  Without answers to these questions, your search could take forever, and you’ll waste time searching rather than developing your project.

Many of these questions speak to the need for clear objectives for your project. Understanding your goals, resources, and workstyle preferences will go a long way in finding the right partner. Here then are some of the questions you should answer before beginning your partner search:

  • Is your project sufficiently defined to engage a development partner? Alternatively, should the new partner play a significant role in project definition?
  • Do I have a budget or at least a range for the project?
  • Is the budget committed, or is it still up in the air?
  • Are there specific frameworks, languages, and databases that you’d like to use, and conversely, any that you’d like to avoid?
  • Will the project require ongoing maintenance after development is complete?
  • How will the project fit with your existing technology infrastructure? Will APIs be necessary, and will integrations be required?
  • Will internal staff play a key role in the project? If so, how will they interact with the development partner, i.e., lead, follow or get out of the way?
  • Does your new partner need to be located in the US, or is offshoring a possibility? If you are open to offshore development, are there particular countries you’d lean toward – or avoid? How will you handle or approach common offshoring difficulties like languages and time zones?

A short list of best places to look:

Once you’ve answered these critical questions, it’s time to begin your search. Try these places first to look for prospective software development partners:

  • Referrals – The first place to look is probably the most intuitive one.  Reach out to people in your network that have hired a development partner. Friends and associates with direct experience with custom development are probably the most reliable source of leads.
  • Upwork – Upwork is a popular online marketplace where you can post projects, and freelancers and agencies can submit proposals.  You can also search profiles and extend invitations to prospective partners. It’s an excellent way to reach many potential partners at once, but it can be time-consuming to review all the submissions in some cases.   You can check them out at www.upwork.co
  • Clutch.co – Clutch is a B2B research and marketing organization offering developer directories and detailed customer reviews. It’s a more proactive process than Upwork as you reach out to potential partners rather than vice versa. See them at www.clutch.co 
  • The Manifest – The Manifest Is a company listing and review site associated with Clutch.co. Their Top 100 lists are a great way to get detailed info on leading development companies at a glance. Find them at: www.themanifest.com
  • Software Finder – Another directory source with listings of developers and matching services to pair developers with client companies.  Software Finder is especially useful if your search will focus on a specific technology. You can see more at www.softwarefinder.com

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