Top Main Questions to Ask Choosing a Software Development Vendor

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Software development isn’t easy, so it’s natural that you have questions to ask a software development company about their work process, skills, communication and so on. In this article you’ll find the answers to the most common questions from Mobindustry.

Although the software development community does everything to create and follow the development best practices, each development company is different. Different procedures and approaches to partnership with clients affect the communication, development flexibility and the final result. 

In this article I’ll answer the most common questions that we get at Mobindustry, and my answers will be specific to our company. If you are currently shortlisting partners for your software development project, it’s best to prepare a Request for proposal (RFP) with questions to ask software vendors. This way they’ll be able to answer questions more precisely based on your project idea. 

We’ll discuss the FAQ about:

  • Initial contact
  • Services
  • Development processes
  • Code quality
  • Development cost
  • Communication

You can also use this article for ideas of your own vendor selection interview questions.

Initial contact

What happens after I contact you?

After the initial conversation over email, we schedule a call with you. Our project manager and a software developer may join the call to discuss your project idea and expectations. All the communication will be protected by a Non-disclosure agreement we sign with our clients from the very start. 

After we understand your basic project requirements, our specialists will provide you with a preliminary estimate. This is a rough estimate that we make based on your idea and projects that we completed previously. It will help you understand if we are a good match. 

A detailed estimate will be available after the discovery phase of your project, where our business analyst communicates with you and extracts all requirements and expectations. Based on this they’ll develop a detailed technical specification that will include everything from features and technologies to third-party integrations and stakeholders of the project.

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How do you make sure you understand my business goals?

Our business analysts are professionals with years of experience in developing software for businesses. They will communicate with you to learn how your business operates, and suggest the best technical solutions. 

During the discovery phase our business analysts also conduct a series of researches, including:

  • Target audience research
  • Market research
  • Competitor analysis

After we create an MVP for you, we also help to track metrics in analytics and recommend further improvements based on how your target audience reacts to your software product.

Services

What services do you provide?

We provide full-cycle development of web and mobile applications and websites of any complexity, from ecommerce stores to IoT ecosystems and SaaS platforms. We provide project management, development, quality assurance, maintenance and support services as well as mobile app marketing and IT consulting.

Our software development company portfolio contains many examples of web and mobile applications we created for businesses in various industries, from ecommerce and delivery to fintech and travel.

Do you provide maintenance and support after the project is complete?

We’re very interested in our client’s projects staying relevant and effective, so we surely offer maintenance and support services. Our specialists provide regular testing, security checks, updates to the newer versions of OS, library updates and new features implementation.

I already have software. Will you be able to improve and maintain it?

Definitely. At first we’ll need to perform a technical audit of your current software to get familiar with it and detect any issues that need to be fixed. As a result of an audit you’ll get recommendations on improvements and further development and maintenance.

Our developers can easily collaborate with your existing team: the longest our developer worked as a part of our client’s team was 3.5 years.

If you have a legacy system, we can also help you modernize it and make a shift to new technologies. This will allow you to make your system more efficient, maintainable and compatible with other modern systems.

Do you have only in-house developers, or do you also outsource the projects to other vendors or freelancers?

This isn’t the most obvious question to ask software developers, but it’s important to ask this, otherwise you may not know who exactly works on your project.

At Mobindustry we only have in-house developers and we don’t hire any third-party developers and freelancers to work on our client’s projects, as we thoroughly hire our specialists and guarantee the quality of their work. If we don’t have any developers available at the moment, or don’t have a particular expertise you need for your software project, we’ll refer you to our partners that we trust. 

Can I handle quality assurance on my side?

Yes, you can handle quality assurance and acceptance testing on your side, however, we at Mobindustry recommend getting your code tested by us before it goes to you. It will significantly reduce the number of potential errors and improve the quality of your code. It will also help us to work on your project faster and avoid significant changes in code after the final testing.

Are you able to double the team size if I need it? 

Yes, we are always ready to expand your team as much as you need it. If we don’t have available developers, however, we’ll recommend our trusted partners, so you can be sure your project is in reliable hands.

Can my software be upgraded as new technologies come out?

Of course, this is important for your software to stay relevant, so we’re always ready to upgrade it as new libraries, OS updates and technologies become available.

I want to build a new piece of software, but it has to work well with my current legacy system. Is it possible?

Yes. We have experience in working with legacy systems, so we’re able to build new software that is compatible with older technologies. Our developers will perform a code audit and find the best ways to integrate new software with your existing system.

What technologies do you use?

We use native and cross-platform mobile technologies and web technologies, and power them with AR, IoT, Machine Learning and other technologies.

Our tech stack includes:

  • Swift, Kotlin, Objective-C, Java —  for native mobile apps
  • Flutter, React Native — for cross-platform mobile apps
  • PHP, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, AngularJS — for web applications and websites

What is your experience?

We have over 10 years of experience in developing web and mobile applications for businesses. Our company was founded in 2010, and we worked on Upwork, providing solely mobile development services. Now our clients find us all over the world, and we pride ourselves with working on complex projects for banking, logistics, fintech, ecommerce and IoT industries.

Our two largest projects lasted for 3.5 and 4 years, resulting in large and profitable business solutions that brought our clients new sources of revenue.

Do you provide any services beyond software development?

Yes, we provide IT consulting, app marketing and app store optimization services.

What makes you better than others?

Our transparency in communication and focus on business goals makes us great partners for not only software, but also business development. We don’t merely develop features — we think about how each function and detail will affect your business, and how your investment will be returned and multiplied.

Development process

What if I already have an in-house team or another contractor? Will you be able to collaborate with them?

Of course, we can collaborate with your team based on the outstaffing model, where you get our specialists into your team that works under your management. This is almost like hiring a remote developer into your company, but without having to pay them a fixed wage and having other expenses like taxes, human resources, workspace, etc. Moreover, you can change the number of hours our specialist spends on your project any time. 

Our developers can easily collaborate with your existing team: the longest our developer worked as a part of our client’s team was 3.5 years.

How do I know how many hours were really spent on my project?

After our developers estimate the number of hours, they track the amount of hours they actually spent on a certain feature. You’ll be able to see that information in project management services like Jira. If it’s more convenient for you, our developers can work within your own Jira profile, but in any case you’ll be able to see full reports on how many hours exactly were spent on your project. This information will also be present in the reports from our project managers.

Our project managers prepare weekly reports where you can see all the details of the development that has been done and is planned for the next day.

How quickly do you solve issues that arise during the development process?

We address any issues as soon as possible, prioritizing the proper work of your software and your customers. We also inform you about all the issues that can affect the deadlines beforehand, so there are no unpleasant surprises for you. 

How often do you report on the development process?

This is one of the top questions to ask a software development company, because much depends on the communication culture in the company you want to partner with for software development.

At Mobindustry, the frequency of communication depends on your desire and availability, but typically we send reports every Monday, stating what has been done the previous week and what’s planned for the current week. Our project managers provide reports on request as well. They include information about the developed functionality, plans for the next sprint, hours spent on development and other activities, and so on.

How do you manage deadlines?

Thorough planning and the agile approach to development is what helps us manage and keep the deadlines. At the discovery stage our developers estimate the time needed for each feature, and project managers add risks, communication time and other factors into this estimate. 

We also divide the whole development into weekly or bi-weekly sprints, so we can evaluate the progress of each stage of development and adjust our plans accordingly.

How will you ensure you stay within my budget?

The discovery phase of your project will help us to be on the same page and accurately estimate each feature and the cost of third-party integrations that are needed for your software. You’ll regularly receive reports on how many hours were spent on your solution, and our project managers will make sure we don’t exceed your budget.

Will I own the Intellectual property rights to the code when it’s ready?

Yes, every line of code our company produces for you is your intellectual property and can’t be used by us or anyone else. This is one of the conditions in our contract we’ll sign before starting our partnership.

What if I want to change something about the software? How quickly will you be able to do it?

With Agile development methodology we are keeping our development process as flexible as possible by dividing it into splints. Sprints can be as short as just one week, so at the end of the sprint you can decide what functionality you want to develop in the next sprint, and what changes you’d like to make. 

However, if you need to make changes faster, we always try to adjust the development process accordingly by prioritizing the changes over the initial plan without having to sacrifice the deadlines.

Does the development process include creating prototypes or demos I’ll be able to try out?

Yes, we regularly hold demos for our clients and stakeholders, so they can try them out, provide feedback or demonstrate the demos to their focus groups. Our designers also create clickable prototypes.

Communication

How do I get feedback from a project manager who is thousands miles away?

Our project managers prepare weekly reports where you can see all the details of the development that has been done and is planned for the next day. We have several channels of communication with clients that allow us to structure our collaboration according to the urgency of issues. For example, daily reports are sent by email, small issues are resolved through Slack, and business issues are often discussed via video conference.

After we create an MVP for you, we also help to track metrics in analytics and recommend further improvements based on how your target audience reacts to your software product.

Each week we also set up meetings with our clients and product owners to discuss updates and sync. After each sprint we hold demo meetings to make sure we’re moving in the right direction, and are doing exactly what our client needs.

Do I need to be tech savvy to collaborate with you?

No, you absolutely don’t have to. Our BAs, quality assurance specialists and developers are always open to direct communication with you and are ready to explain complex technical issues in simple terms. 

We are aware that some companies may take advantage of a client who doesn’t have experience with software development, so if you wish to make sure our recommendations and development practices are top notch, we encourage you to involve a third-party expert you trust, so they can evaluate our work independently.  

How well do your software experts know English? Will there be any communication issues?

We only hire specialists with at least intermediate level of English, and our developers and other specialists go through regular training and are offered free English classes at work. We encourage our specialists to learn English by adding it into their IDP – individual development plan, that affects their promotions.

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How do you tackle time zone differences?

For over 10 years of our work, we had clients from all over the world, from the US and UK to Australia and OAE, and never had issues with the time zones. We just schedule calls that are convenient for both sides and typically hold meetings in the morning when it’s evening at where our client lives, or vice versa.

Will I be able to communicate with developers directly?

Of course. Some of our clients prefer to talk directly with our developers, especially if project management is handled by your company, and we collaborate according to the outstaffing model.

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Code quality

How do I know you chose the best technology stack for my product?

After we extract your requirements and understand your expectations and project budget, we suggest the best technologies available on the development market. For example, if you want to create a mid-sized application for both Android and iOS, we’ll suggest a more cost-effective Flutter instead of native technologies that are more expensive to develop on. However, if your idea involves complex functionality, native technologies will be your best option. 

We always make sure to recommend several options to our clients and explain the advantages and potential pitfalls of each approach. If you want to, you can ask for a second opinion from your acquaintances and partners that have experience with developing software for their own business.

How do you guarantee the code quality?

Our code goes through several cycles of quality assurance and peer reviews before it’s ready for delivery. At the end of each day before merging the code our developers perform peer reviews to each other’s code. This allows us to improve code structure and identify issues before the code even reaches the quality assurance specialists. 

After our QA specialists test the code and developers fix the issues, the code is checked once more. Only after that can we be sure the code is in line with all your requirements.

How do I know your developers are experienced professionals?

At Mobindustry we pride ourselves to only hire developers with higher degrees in software engineering, mathematics and other STEM specialties. Junior developers that join our company go through serious training and are always supervised by our tech leads and senior developers. 

We are always ready for a technical interview from our clients. If you don’t have any software development experience, we’ll be more than happy to prove our professionalism to any third-party expert of your choosing. 

The testimonials from our clients and the fact that we worked with many clients for over 4 years also proves our high skills and dedication.

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Development cost

How much do you charge?

The cost of our services depends on many factors like a project size, functionality complexity, design complexity, chosen technologies, number of platforms and so on. It’s extremely hard to estimate a project without knowing all its details, so the best way to figure out your software development cost is to contact us and share your idea. We’ll be able to recommend the best solution within your budget and provide you with a realistic estimate.

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These are the questions to ask when outsourcing software development.

Wrapping up

Now you know more about Mobindustry, our internal processes, work culture and ways we can help your business thrive. We’ll be happy to get to know you as well and grow your business — just contact us, and we’ll answer all your software development questions and consult you on your project, estimate the development cost and pick the perfect tech stack for your specific goals.

Mobile and Web App Development
Are you planning to build a profitable fintech app? We’ll help to turn your idea into a powerful and effective software solution
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