How To Outsource Custom Software Successfully
Both existing companies and startups are often interested in outsourcing custom software. With the amount of programmers for hire that are available on freelance websites, this may seem like it should be a relatively easy thing to do. In reality, the process of successfully outsourcing software can be very difficult, and there are a number of things to take into consideration. However, if done correctly, companies can get software created that exactly does what it is intended to do at a much lower cost than hiring a full-time programmer.
The key to getting custom software developed is to learn how to communicate with programmers and getting to know basic software terminology. Often, people assume that they will be able to describe a piece of software that they would like to be created and a programmer will automatically understand how to quickly translate this into code. In reality, most programmers will ask how a person would like the software to be written. There is a myriad of different ways to create a program that does essentially the same thing, and the way that software is programmed will ultimately determine how much it will cost a company. This is something to talk to the programmer about.
When preparing to get a piece of software written, people should understand that the front end or graphical user interface of a program is where end users interact with the program. This is what you see when you open the program on your desktop. In addition, they should know that the back end contains the business logic that makes the software do whatever it is intended to do. When outsourcing custom software, people should give the programmer something like a sketch of what they would like the user interface to look like and thorough diagrams of the business processes that they want to take place behind the scenes. With this, a good programmer will have enough information to create any kind of software that a business needs.
Hiring the Right People
Anyone who has spent time looking for freelance job sites will see that they can hire people in developing countries who offer to write custom software for cheap. While it may seem tempting to try to get custom software written as cheaply as possible, this is generally a dangerous idea. People who are willing to work for little money either have almost no experience in programming or are just not very good.
In addition, individuals should keep in mind that the education systems in many countries do not equip workers for the demands that are placed on them when dealing with a business that emphasizes quality. Because of this, it is best to hire people who are from and were educated in a developed place where people speak the same language as them natively. For English speakers, this means hiring programmers from the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the U.K.
While most business people may not exactly understand what a programmer is doing when they are writing software, they often do understand how to manage projects. Luckily, the processes involved in managing a software project utilize the same basic principles as any other project that a business might undertake. Putting together a simple Gantt chart that outlines when certain deadlines need to meet can go a long way in keeping an outsourced software project on track and schedule.
The Bottom Line
Outsourcing custom software can be a much more involved undertaking than many people realize in advance. Luckily, companies can successfully outsource the custom software that they need to run their business processes if they take the time to understand everything they need to know and hire the right people.