Have a project that requires developers or programmers? Consider these seven things to get started.
You have an idea for the next great app. Or perhaps you have a need for a software solution to make an office task simpler. Maybe you are feeling frustrated by the void of specific software or an app to suit your business needs. How to ease this frustration?
Hire a programmer or development firm. Sure, sounds like no big deal, right? Wrong.
Sure, chances are pretty good that your idea can be brought to life with the right developer. But how to go about finding the right developer? Below are a few things to think about when you start considering your need for a developer.
Budget. At the heart of every project, software development or any other is money. Take time to really think through your budget and how it coincides with the needs of your project. When it comes to software development or web based programming it's time to stop thinking it can all be done quickly and cheap. Development is not done with a few strokes of the keyboard and clicks of a mouse. Especially if you want it done right. So be prepared with a realistic budget.
Be ready with specs. And by specs, I don't necessarily mean highly complex drafted out documents (although those are always welcome). Just having your thoughts documented on paper can help you and your potential developer. When you take the time to write out your ideas in detail it will help you think of other avenues you had not considered as well as give a more clear picture to potential developers.
Be realistic. If you are in the market for high-end, complex custom software you cannot expect to get a BMW level product for a Hyundai price tag. If you need or want lots of bells and whistles, detailed reports, high-end security, expect it to come with not only a price tag but also longer project duration. The more functionality you need the longer it will take. The more hours it takes the pricier it will be.
Don't be cryptic. I understand everyone is afraid someone will steal their idea and use it to make millions. Start off the process with an NDA and then be as upfront and detailed as possible. Don't withhold details for fear of idea stealing. The only thing that will get it you is an inaccurate quote and cause frustration down the road.
Be upfront and don't think developers are mind readers. Along with not being cryptic goes being upfront on all details. Don't keep small items off a list to try to sneak them in later to keep costs down. It will cause tension in the partnership, cause project delays and possibly end up incurring more costs down the road. Do not expect your developer to know all the in's and out's of your business. No one knows that better than you do so share your knowledge. Never assume that a programmer will just do something because you think it is common sense.
Patience and communication are key. Software development and programming are complex functions. These things are rarely two-minute fixes. Often times, in order to just begin working, there are questions, and then more questions. Content and documentation are required as well as research. Do not rush the project. Even if you want or need something done yesterday, does not mean it's possible. Good communication is key to a smooth development process. Provide any and all information as soon as you have it. Delaying content, account access, etc can derail any project deadline. If you have concerns voice them early before it gets out of hand.
Expect hiccups. Sure, everyone would love a smooth sailing development project with no bugs, delays or problems. In a perfect world, everything would go that way. But in the real world, things rarely do. And, sometimes believe it or not hiccups and bugs can shine a light on something that initially was not considered and can, in the long run, make the end result better.
The next time you have a development project you need completed keep these things in mind. When you are interviewing developers, take the time to think about the items mentioned above and weigh them along with items like the firm's references, testimonials, portfolio and price quote. By taking your time, considering all options of your idea and engaging in specific, detailed consultations with development firms you can typically move forward down a successful path to a completed project you're satisfied with and eliminate frustration and disappointment.