Right Resources, Right Talent in Software Development
Hiring the right talent makes all the difference in the world when it comes to software development. When going through the hiring process you’ll want to make sure those you’re considering have the right skills and relevant experience to get the job done. This will enable you to allocate work to the appropriate person. Once the team members are in place, make sure they have whatever they need to put their expertise to the right use. From the correct software and hardware and the appropriate automated tools to the right development and testing software and platforms. Doing so will ensure that robust products are being created.
Consider Outsourced Teams
Sometimes outsourcing software development is more beneficial than trying to do everything in-house, and often costs the same or even less. In 2017, nearly one-third of companies outsourced their software development, and 78% of those companies felt good about making that decision. As with anything, there are best practices to implement and mistakes to be aware of when it comes to outsourcing software development.
First, we’ll talk about best practices to implement:
- Consider whether your project is right for outsourcing. Can someone else do it better than your team?
- Make a plan. Don’t just hand off a project without having a clear and detailed plan for what needs to happen and when.
- Look for a trusted provider. Vet whoever you’re planning to outsource to in order to ensure they can handle the work you’re giving them. Make sure they’re up to date on the latest trends relating to the project.
- Have a dedicated team. Even if you’re outsourcing a project, you should still have an in-house team to keep an eye on things. It doesn’t need to be a big team – a couple of people can manage the gig.
- Go Agile. Break the project into multiple iterations that are a few weeks each. Don’t forget to allow time for testing throughout the process.
- Pricing isn’t everything. Just because someone is offering a good price doesn’t mean they’re the right person for the job. You get what you pay for.
- Research and development. Don’t outsource a project without doing your homework.
- Document. Leave a paper trail no matter what.
- Communicate. Be sure to keep the lines of communication wide open with your team and the team you outsourced to.
- Own the project. Take ownership and be prepared to adjust along the way.
Second, we’ll talk about mistakes to avoid:
- Lack of research. Do your homework on the companies you’re considering outsourcing to. You want to be sure you choose the company that has a firm grip on providing software services.
- Unclear requirements. Be explicit about what needs to occur during the software development process.
- Not on-trend. You don’t want to outsource to a company that isn’t keeping up with modern trends.
- Lack of tech-savvy manager. You want the project manager to be ahead of the curve when it comes to technology.
- Don’t underestimate quality assurance (QA) and testing. These are two of the most vital aspects of software development.
Think About Your Development Process
When it comes to choosing a software development process, you have a few good options, including the waterfall model, the agile methodology, and the iterative spiral methodology. Choosing the best methodology for your project and strictly adhering to it will lead to greater success. It can also be helpful to create a prototype to study the feasibility of and explore new technology.
Don’t Forget to Budget
When it comes to budgeting a software development project, it’s not just about creating a financial budget. You also need to budget a schedule, resources, and efforts involved in the project. When creating estimations, you want to use proven techniques that won’t lead to a short-scheduled project. Not leaving enough time to complete each aspect of the development can quickly lead to disaster.
Keep it Simple
When it comes to software development, especially those projects that are being outsourced, it’s important to keep things simple. There’s no need to overthink it. Create processes and plans that will ensure the project runs smoothly and will keep the lines of communication open between your team and the outsourced teams.
Code, Code, Code
It’s important to keep the actual coding process as simple as possible. Max Kanat-Alexander came up with the idea of code simplicity in order to “reduce unnecessary complexity in software development.” Code simplicity works in tandem with Don’t Repeat Yourself (DRY) and You Aren’t Gonna Need It (YAGNI), both of which are mantras in agile development.
Effectively Implementing Code
When it comes to effectively implementing code, there are a couple of things you can do to make the process go more smoothly. The most widely used method is creating smaller modules that are coded and self-tested throughout the development process. Automating processes also helps ensure that functionality is not broken within the software being developed.
Test, Test, Test
We cannot stress this enough. Testing is vital to successful software development, especially if you’ve outsourced the development. If you’ve outsourced the project, be sure the company doing the development is testing along the way. You’ll also want to do your own testing when you get the final version before releasing to the public. If you’re doing the development, build testing into the development process so that you can make changes as issues arise.
Leaving a Paper Trail: Documentation
The documentation related to the software is just as important as the software itself, especially if you’re outsourcing the development. You want to have a consistent paper trail of communication between your company and the outsourced company to ensure there are no issues. Some important documents include a project plan, requirement specifications, high and low-level design (HLD and LLD), test plans and reports, status reports, and user documentation. This documentation can also be helpful if staffing changes occur at your company in the future.
Deploy and Review
Build reviews into your software development process. All deliverables, including code and documents, should be reviewed by both peers and experts. Having reviews of the software also ensures that there are no bugs before the software is released to the public.
Outsourcing software development has both benefits and pitfalls, but it can be done successfully if you follow the recommendations here and in our newest e-book, Santex’s Ultimate Guide to Development Outsourcing. If you still have questions or need more guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out; we have a well-rounded team who can assist with whatever your needs might be.