Finding a software development partner has become so easy with all the specific services and the transparency we have online. In the meantime, it has become such a challenge since the talent pool is insanely huge, and the competition is beaming. So how can you ensure that you're making the right choice when reaching out to a potential partner? Here's how.

What to Look For?

While looking for a software development partner is already a separate stage in a project development plan, it can be segregated into three smaller ones: exploring, investigating and selecting. And then, the only thing left to do is to take action.

1. Explore

Nothing seems to be difficult about this step in looking for your software developers, but there are some key aspects to weigh that you might not have thought of much. 
  • Diversity. First things first, use different channels to learn what's on the market: browse through Clutch, LinkedIn, XING, CrunchBase or any other similar service to access several of companies at once.
  • Location. Education, professional approach and culture fit all differ throughout the world, so be sure to learn the differences and decide what works best for you.
  • Budget. Consider the dissimilarities in the price range across foreign talent pools. Don't focus on the lowest rate to neglect the quality but know your budget and narrow the search according to it.

Software development rates per hour in different regions (image source)

 After you finish going through the candidates with keeping the listed aspects in mind, you should come up with a list of potential partners. The next step is to filter them out to narrow down even more.

2. Investigate

Moving from the general search to a rather narrow one, you now have to decide on the tech characteristics and experience of the company you're looking for. Mostly, this implies taking a careful look at the portfolio of every candidate. Considering the previous experience of the company plays a huge role in how it will perform as your software development partner. In each portfolio:
  • look for case studies
  • consider the stacks of technologies they've worked with
  • learn the domains they're best at
  • check whether the company has worked with a company in the same domain as your business
  • evaluate the sizes of companies it has collaborated with
 Having considered all these, you must've crossed a number of companies out for some reason. That's when you end up with a list of the most probable candidates and are almost ready to make your final choice of the software partner.

3. Select

The final step before reaching out to a company is to check the reviews. Customer feedback is the defining criteria in today's market so go through such platforms as Clutch, Goodfirms or even Facebook to learn more about previous vendors' experience with a particular company. Focus on the reviews regarding anything: skills, talents, timeframes, stacks, approaches, communication and even offers. The more info you get on the others' experience, the more successful your one will be. At this point, you've most likely limited your choice to a couple of companies and have to select the partner based on what you know or reach out for some additional details - do that if there's such a need.

4. Take action

The only thing you are to do next to move to the next stage of your project is starting to send your Requests for Proposal (RFPs). You can learn more about what it is, how to do it properly and why it matters here.

Wrap-Up

With a large number of software development companies, it can get confusing which one to choose as an outsourced partner. The best way to find exactly who you need and ensure long-lasting, successful cooperation is to break the search into three stages: explore, investigate, select and proceed to send out RFPs. Based on a list of criteria, such as the stack of used technologies and professional background, narrow down your choice to a couple of potential partners. Eventually, reach out to discuss the details and choose who seems to be the best fit. Doing proper research and relying on the background of a company is the way to verifying the expertise of a software development partner prior to actually collaborating.