Unless you have experience with developing software, you probably aren’t too confident in vetting either the companies or their proposed solutions and services. How can you ensure the dollars and time you invest will return real value? What is the right approach to shopping for such a highly technical service?
We created a bank of non-technical questions you should ask every custom software development company you are considering. These questions will help you determine if the providers you are considering have the right experience, philosophy, and approach to deliver real success for your project. Today’s question is:
How Will We Choose the Right Technology?
Why is this Important? Custom software firms fall into two technology buckets: specialists and generalists. Specialists build software with specific tools or platforms such as Microsoft Azure or Ruby on Rails. They get really good at their specialty. Some even receive financial support from the vendor of those products. BUT, they will always be designing a solution to suit the technology and not to solve your problem. Generalist firms have mastered multiple technologies from multiple sources. They deliver the solution you need, not just the one they know how to implement. They don’t start with the technology- they start with your problem, determine a purposeful solution, then select the right technology to implement your solution.
What to Listen For: First, technology should never lead a conversation. Firms that specialize in technologies will dive right into why it’s the right one, rather than focus on modeling a solution around your success criteria and business value. Second, there is nothing wrong with a firm having a tool kit that includes tried and true technologies. But you don’t want your software solution compromised because of limitations of the technology the firm is most familiar with. Your custom team should be craftsmen and able to work in a wide breadth of technologies. Finally, avoid the extremes. You don’t want your software solution to be experimental for your development team, or based upon a limited or narrow comfort zone. The ability to pull from a deep bench of technology capabilities demonstrates good experience, good ability to learn new technologies, and good willingness to select the solution that best meets your needs.
For more, check out our other posts in this series with the tag “10Questions”