Whether you need a well-designed website, an engaging mobile app, a game app or internal business software, it takes a properly skilled development company to make it happen. Luckily, there is no shortage of these of any type, area of expertise, size, shape and ambition.
In most cases, the question is how to find the best software developer / how to choose and rate developers although many of you probably are also curious about where to find a software development company – a more basic but more practical question in our age of data overflow.
With any info available in a matter of clicks and literally thousands of IT-companies, you can make a list in minutes. Though, if you do not wish to solely rely on Google search results, here are some suggestions of where to look. These options include professional developer directories, social networks, development platforms and some extra tips. I hope this can help, so let’s dive in.
Clutch.co is probably the no. 1 trusted resource of verified companies working in software development, mobile app development, design, SEO, marketing, etc. All the firms listed are carefully vetted through detailed submission forms, client references, real calls, portfolio and many other factors.
For those searching for a software development company, Clutch offers plenty of options, starting from a category of interest. For example, in software development firms you will find over 3,000 verified companies from all around the globe. All real and vetted, and on the list you’ll see the ratings and all initial data, including the company’s service focus, hourly rates, minimum project cost, location, number of employees and contact info.
You may also read customer reviews on all the companies and check key examples of their work. The next handy options are sorting and filtering. Sort by review ratings or simply by the number of reviews, by name or by Clutch rank (based on a dozen aspects like experience, client list, market presence etc.).
Then, if you want to trim down the list of companies by a specific measure, use filters. This could be:
- Location – by country and even 100 miles/km proximity;
- Industry focus – gaming, utilities, education, business, financials, etc.;
- Client focus – SMBs, mid-size companies, enterprise level;
- Number of employees;
- Hourly rates and project sizes.
#2 Curated lists
If you want to save time on sifting through hundreds of names, you may check curated lists of top companies. This is one of the most popular marketing tools and one of the most frequently searched terms, it often comes in titles like “10 best software development companies” or “Top custom design companies of 2018”.
I would recommend setting the search filters to a recent time frame, otherwise, you may find suggestions from 2015 or even earlier. In other words, you’ll get lots of irrelevant results when not specifying time. Or just add the current year in your search phrase. Look for lists posted on trusted IT websites, social platforms like Medium, HubSpot, TechRadar, etc.
Marketers and authors of these lists usually review and analyze software development companies and choose the best 5 to 15 in a certain category. Thus, you may skip the first stage of selecting a few to choose from. Examples include:
- 8 great software development companies in Europe
- 10 trusted software outsourcing companies in Europe
- Best mobile app development companies 2017
- Top 10 custom software development companies in the USA
- Top software development companies 2018
In the case that you know exactly what type of software development you need for your projects and search correspondingly, you’ll get much closer to what you are looking for.
Why not leverage one of the top professional networking platforms – LinkedIn? Sure, for personal interests and friends it may be lame and uncool, but for work and business it works just fine. This is the place of businessmen, market experts, recruiters, as well as employees and companies. Therefore, you can easily find developers and/or software development companies of any kind there. Some of them may be already a part of your network.
The more specific your search term is (e.g. development type + country/region), the fewer results will appear that hit your target. In addition, there is a tool called LinkedIn Profinder, for a more precise search and hire process. Mention a type of development, type of project (game, business app, site, etc.), stage, scope and other details of your project and LinkedIn will hook you up with proper companies and their offers.
For mobile app development of all kinds, Appfutura is a great meeting place for customers and developer companies. It works this way: you post your project, detailing all the specifications, a platform, a timeline, a budget, etc., and shortly you will be contacted by companies offering their services. You can then hear them out, negotiate and choose the best for you.
At Appfutura, you have a plenty of choices in every mobile app development category: from Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows Phone apps to IoT and wearable app development. Once you’ve chosen a company, you hire and make payments via the portal too, though the downside is that you have to pay a fee – 10 to 12% for projects. Or you may just use their rated list of mobile development companies to seek potential candidates.
#5 Special directories
In the same or similar manner as Appfutura or Clutch, there are dozens of other online directories of software firms out there. For example, at Goodfirms.co you may browse through various categories (software, mobile apps, design, e-commerce, blockchain…), choose language/platform/framework, and even a country and get lists of top agencies.
I’d recommend the following directories:
- Business of Apps
- They Make Apps
- The Software Network
#6 Ask Google
If you want to find a company in your vicinity, Google the following: software development company near me. Based on your location Google will provide a snippet enlisting companies in your geographical area, marked on a map, with directions, websites and practically everything you need. Click “More places” to view the complete list.
For similar purposes, you may use services like Thumbtack where you may narrow down the search to certain types of firms and project size.
If you just want to sit back and review incoming offers from software development agencies or freelance developers, post a question on Quora. In recent years this platform has become a networking “melting pot” of businesses and customers, all kinds of experts, marketers, developers, etc.
For many companies, it’s a promotional tool, and they don’t hold back from openly pushing their services. Franky, all of them are competing to get a customer by sophisticated answers, useful tips, pictures and infographics, etc. So if you post something like “What’s the best company for PHP project with $50,000 budget?”, you’ll get dozens of answers (=offers) in few hours.
#8 Special events
Finally, when you wish to meet with development representatives in person, exchange ideas and learn about new trends and technologies, you may want to attend events for software developers. There are lots and lots of them practically in every part of the world. Here are some of the big ones in Europe for 2018:
- JSConf Iceland / March 1-2 2018, Iceland
- Scandinavian Agile Conference / March 14-15 2018, Finland
- CodeMobile / April 2-5 2018, UK
- 4Developers Festival / April 9 2018, Poland
- Codemotion Rome / April 13-14 2018, Italy
- JSHeroes / April 18-20 2018, Romania
- WeAreDevelopers / May 16-18 2018, Austria
- DevOps Conference / May 28-31 2018, Germany
- NEXT Conference / September 20/21 2018, Germany
…to name a few. Seek and choose the ones that suit your project/idea and I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to find a good match software development company and discuss everything on the spot.