Where to Find a Software Development Company?

To find the best software development company for your project, you need a plan. First, learn where to look for the reliable and trusted vendors. Then, check what qualities a good development firm for your case should have - and pick your software partner accordingly.

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TL;DR

Where to find software development companies?

Rankings of best software development companies

Curated lists gather top companies focused on specific service, technologies, or industries. Using rankings posted on trusted websites or social platforms you may skip the first stage of selecting the first group of companies to evaluate.

Links to various rankings are provided later in the article.

Clutch - a reputable site with ratings and reviews

Clutch gathers data about various software development companies from all over the globe. However, it's main advantage is the fact that it provides the possibility for clients to leave reviews. All the reviews are verified by Clutch's employees.

LinkedIn and your contacts

Research LinkedIn typing in JavaScript development, ReactJS development or whatever you need, and select the Companies tab in results. Since LinkedIn have grown in the last years, you can also post a question to your network and ask for recommendations from your contacts.

Special directories

Special directories like Goodfirms or Appfutura work similarly to Clutch, gathering software development services providers in various categories. Besides the listings, on most websites there's a page for each company with details and reviews from clients.

Events

Attend events where companies exchange ideas and learn about new trends and technologies. You will be able to meet developers and team leaders in person, talk with companies' CEOs or COOs, and find a match that fits your project and culture.

You'll find more places to look at and details about them in the main section of the article.

How to choose software development companies?

Establish your requirements - software development team size and composition, project timeline, tech stack, project scope. Determine what kind of engagement you need from a vendor. Decide between onshoring, offshoring, and nearshoring.

To spot a perfect partner, look for the companies with the following qualities:

  1. Strong technical expertise.
  2. Experience in a field that's close to your case.
  3. Willingness to take ownership.
  4. Providing versatile, dedicated teams (with software engineers, tech advisors, business analysts, and UX design specialists on board, if needed)
  5. Well-crafted software development process and project management in line with Agile methodology.
  6. Understanding of the business requirements and the whole business perspective of the project.
  7. Willingness to share knowledge and help your development team improve their tech skills and processes.

Always check the company's portfolio and reviews.

Introduction

It takes a properly skilled development company to make your project happen.

There are a lot of companies there, so the question is how and to find the best software developers for your project.

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.

No time to waste, let's dive in.

Where to find a software development company?

If you want your software development project to succeed, find a company that provides custom software development services at the highest level, is experienced in web and mobile applications' development, has a strong portfolio and a culture similar to yours.

How do I find a good software development company?

To find a good software development agency, you can ask for recommendations and/or research the companies on your own.

Try to create a shortlist of best custom software developers for your specific case. Tips on how to choose the best development team, presented in the next section of this article, will help you to pick 3-5 companies to contact with.

Before starting the research

  1. Define your expectations (what kind of service are you looking for, what is your budget, do you need any specific features, what’s your tech stack).
  2. Decide between offshoring, onshoring, and nearshoring (there will be differences in terms mutual understanding, time zone, English level, and costs – we explain it later in the article).

1. Rankings and curated lists of top custom software development companies

To save time on sifting through hundreds of names, you may check curated lists of top companies. While analyzing that kind of top lists, pay attention to the methodology according to which the companies were chosen. Some of the lists may be strictly sponsored.

Look for rankings posted on trusted websites or social platforms. While searching in Google, set the search filters to a recent time frame or add the current year to your search phrase. Otherwise, you may find suggestions from 2020 or even earlier.

Analysts that prepare these lists usually research and evaluate 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.

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.

You can check rankings focused on specific service:

Rankings of companies that use specific technologies:

Or rankings curated for a particular industry, like Top fintech software development companies.

2. Clutch

Clutch is probably the most trusted resource of verified companies providing software development services (mobile app development, web application development, custom software development) but also companies working in the fields of design, SEO, marketing, etc.

Try exploring Clutch if you want to find  software development company.

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 the custom software development firms category you will find over 22,000 companies from all around the globe.

Since the broad choice may be a little intimidating, you may check Leaders Matrix - these are the top 15 companies from a particular category - or sort the companies by the Clutch Rank.

Clutch presents data like 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.

3. LinkedIn

LinkedIn 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.

You have to know what you’re looking for and just browse the site for it. So in the case of software developers, type in JavaScript development, ReactJS development or whatever, and select the Companies tab in results. And from there you can start checking companies working in that field.

LinkedIn is one of the places you can look for a software development company.

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.

4. Special directories

In the same or similar manner as Clutch, there are dozens of other online directories of software firms out there.

For example, at Goodfirms 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.

You can sort the companies by the most reviews (otherwise, sponsored companies will appear first).

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.

Appfutura is one of the places you can look for a software development company.

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.

Other popular directories are:

  • Business of Apps
  • CrunchBase
  • The Manifest
  • DesignRush
  • ITFirms.co

5. Ask Google to find a software development company near you

If you want to find a company in your vicinity, you can ask Google to find software development company near you.

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.

Google is one of the places you can look for a software development company.

For similar purposes, you may use services like Thumbtack where you may narrow down the search to certain types of firms and project size.

6. Quora

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.

Quora is one of the places you can look for a software development company.

8. Find a custom software development company on 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.

Seek and choose the ones that suit your project/idea and you may find a good match custom software development company to discuss everything on the spot.

How to find a great software development company?

Since there are many software development companies on the market, you need to be sure you're choosing the one that provides much more than just regular outsourcing.

You can take more advantage of a successful partnership with a the right software development company. Your development team may learn a lot, your processes may improve, and a company with the thorough understanding of the needs of your company may advice the most profitable software solutions.

So what makes a good software development partner?

Qualities of a good software development partner:

  • Technical expertise in the fields and technologies needed (e.g. mobile app development projects, scalable software solutions, artificial intelligence, digital transformation, e-commerce, website development, big data consulting, specific programming languages and technologies).
  • Experience in an industry or projects similar to yours (you can check the company's portfolio .
  • Culture based on taking ownership.
  • Willingness to engage, be transparent, and form strong partnerships with clients.
  • Delivering software using well-crafted software development process, and the project management is in line with Agile methodology.
  • Forming cross-functional teams (highly-skilled software developers, designers, tech advisors, business analysts, project managers).
  • Challenging your vision, asking in-depth questions, fearlessly advising you various solutions.
  • Understanding of the business perspective, business processes, and the needs and goals of your company.
  • Having quick time to impact, thanks to organizing workshops or including tech and business advisors in a team from the very beginning.
  • Willingness to share knowledge, help your team improve their tech skills and processes. They may offer consulting services.

How to pick the right partner?

  1. Identify your requirements.
  2. Check the company's reviews – find as many reliable ones as you can (on Clutch, Goodfirms, Google).
  3. Check the portfolio - take a closer look at their experience in the field of your interest.
  4. Check their technology stack and the number of technologies they work in. They should be experts in a few technologies - not in every technology, so beware of too extend tech stacks.
  5. Investigate how the software company organizes projects and what are the project management tools they use.
  6. Pay attention to the chemistry between you and your potential partner (mutual understanding, polite and professional behavior, commitment, engagement).
  7. Check if the software development company understands your business needs – you need a partner that would deliver the best solution for your customers and high ROI for your business.

Must-haves

  • IP rights transferred to you (and it's stated in a contract), you need to be the owner of the source code,
  • willingness to sign NDA,
  • security measures to protect your intellectual property,
  • compliance with data privacy protection regulations,
  • testing in every stage of development.

It's a good thing when a company offers a free consultation. That way, you are able to assess their understanding of the business side of a project as well as mutual understanding and the flow between you and experts from a software development firm.

Avoid common pitfalls

  1. Cooperation with partners much bigger than your company.
  2. The cheapest options.
  3. All-knowing experts with extreme tech stacks.
  4. Companies with poor quality websites, generic testimonials, vague portfolios.

Find software development company that fits your needs

Establishing clear needs, using the right methods to look for the companies, and learning how to recognize the top software development companies is a proven way to find the best fit for your project. Follow the steps described in this article and improve your product thanks to the successful partnership.

Work with a Forbes Diamond awarded company. Improve your processes and the ROI of your product with an engaged dedicated team. Sounds good? Then let's talk.

Matt Warcholinski
github
COO & Co-Founder
Olga Gierszal
github
Editor

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