How To Choose the Best Nearshore Software Development Company for You
Any company you pick from this list should be able to do a good job, but that doesn’t mean they’re the perfect fit for your project. You still need to figure out exactly what you need and how that aligns with the services they offer. So let’s discuss how you can pick the best Colombian software development company for your project.
The Preliminary Step - Define the Scope of Your Project and Establish a Timeframe
Before you start selecting a software development company from Colombia to partner with, you need to do some prep work. Namely, clearly define what you wish your project to achieve and an approximate date by when it needs to be done.
Without a clearly defined scope and timeframe, the company you are negotiating with can’t tell you if they have the resources necessary to carry out the project. Software development is done in iterations, so you can also take it a step further – laying out the stages and deadlines for each stage.
This kind of plan is typically made by the company you hire within the bounds you set, so it’s not up to you to create it. However, if you do bring a concrete plan to the negotiating table, the company will have clear guidance on how you wish the project to work. They will likely need to make alterations to it, but you will know if you are on the same wavelength.
Once you have this foundation, you can start searching for the best software developers in Columbia that can meet your needs. And you should start with:
Checking Their Ratings, Reviews, and Looking for Social Proof
In other words, find out what kind of reputation the company you wish to hire has. All the companies on this list have excellent reputations, but you can also do a bit more digging. Check their ratings and reviews on independent review platforms.
Look for social proof – do they have clients that have commented on their work? How satisfied were they? You can always contact the clients personally through email or social media to see if they are willing to tell you something they aren’t comfortable sharing publicly. Once you are satisfied with the general reputation the company has, it’s on to the next step.
What Is Their Portfolio Like? Do They Provide Case Studies?
Reputation is important, but demonstrable experience is everything. Most serious development companies will have a portfolio of the work they’ve done or offer case studies to showcase their accomplishments.
If their portfolio includes successful projects that are comparable to yours, that’s as close as you’ll get to a guarantee that they can get the work done. Usually, companies prominently display portfolios or case studies on their website. If you can’t find either, contact the company to send you one.
But there’s one more thing to account for here – many nearshore development companies sign NDAs, so they might not be able to provide you with the information you want. This problem may be circumvented by asking for summaries that don’t disclose any confidential information or even having a company representative explain their experience as best as they can.
Further, newer and smaller companies will have less experience, so they may not be able to demonstrate that they can handle your project. Mind you, that doesn’t mean they can’t develop the software you need. It does mean, however, that you are taking a risk, so you should try to find other ways to make sure that the company has the expertise you require.
Do you have the option of testing them out on a small pilot project? That is a good way to find out what you’re getting. On the other hand, smaller companies are often willing to prove themselves, so they might be very motivated to do your project perfectly and you can possibly ask for a lower price.
What Services Do They Provide?
Each development project is different, so you should look for a company that specializes in the services you need. This is why it is so important to first understand the scope of your project. Do you need to create a payment platform for your website? Do you wish to integrate the functionalities of multiple websites?
Are you looking to develop a mobile app? Do you need an AI that can parse data? Do you need cloud data storage solutions? All of these projects require very specific IT skills. Yes, many developers will have a basic understanding of these types of projects, but that doesn’t mean they can complete them successfully. Look for a company that provides exactly what you need.
Where Are They Located?
Because you are thinking of outsourcing software development, you also need to consider a company’s geographic location, for two primary reasons:
- Time zones
- Language barriers
Good communication is key when you are outsourcing software development. The first hurdle to overcome is the working hours – do your and theirs align? In this specific case of hiring developers from Columbia, it is not much of an issue because US and Columbian time zones are similar.
However, in other cases, you would need to find a system where you can have open channels of communication across multiple time zones. At first glance, time zones may seem like a non-issue, but experience has shown that unless there is a good communication system in place, projects tend to get stalled unnecessarily.
The second potential problem with communication is the language barrier – which language will you communicate in? Assuming it's English, does the company have the proficiency needed? Most developers are not expected to have superb English skills, but at least one person, the one that will handle the communication with you, should.
It will typically be the account or project manager, or even the team lead. The exact persons that you are communicating with will depend on the company’s internal structure, but the end result should be the same – that you can easily communicate with a representative that is involved with the project.
What Project Management Methodology Do They Use?
Software development projects are, by their nature, unique. This is why most software development companies utilize some type of Agile methodology. The purpose of Agile methodologies is to deliver products in increments, make changes, be it according to client input or due to changes in the field, and conduct regular testing.
Agile functions based on short-term actionable plans (sprints are the most famous). Software companies employ this methodology because it has proven the best at delivering products on time and fully functional. It is generally advisable to hire a company that works within this framework. Plus, ask for full transparency so you can follow the stages of production.
What Is Their Support and Maintenance Policy?
Then, you should see if the company offers support and maintenance once the software is out. Additional support and maintenance is not the default policy of all software development companies in Columbia. You can always have an in-house team do this job or hire a third party, but this is something you need to account for.
How Much Are You Willing to Pay?
Finally, you need to consider your budget. After all, one of the primary reasons people hire Colombian developers is because their hourly rates are significantly lower than those from the US. But, are their rates low enough for you? The best Colombian software developers will still have higher rates than average ones, so it’s up to you to figure out what you are willing to pay.
Thinking of Outsourcing Software Development to Colombia or Someplace Else?
We’ve provided you with the list of the 15 best software development companies in Colombia and listed their areas of expertise and price range. If you still don’t think you’ve found the right fit, have you considered other LATAM countries? Below you can find similar lists of the best software developers in other Latin American countries, so take a look and find one you like.