custom software development

3 Things You Need to Know Before Hiring a Custom Software Developer

Because technology is evolving and consumer demand is increasing, the need for software development services is growing. Not only does custom software streamline operations since it’s tailored to a particular business’s needs, but it also offers better security and an easy way to add updates and additional features as business grows. 

Software development can be an intimidating subject for those who don’t know much about it. However, it’s really a wise investment for businesses of all sizes and industries. That’s because custom software is designed for a single user or group of users within an organization.

Unlike more conventional and widely available off-the-shelf software, it’s meant to directly meet these users’ needs. It comes with everything you need, and nothing you don’t, which means it’s not just faster, but also more efficient and convenient. 

When a business has a unique technical requirement that can’t be met by off-the-shelf software, they often choose to hire a team of software developers to build custom software. Since the software is developed specifically for these users, it’s not packaged for resale, which means once you have custom software developed for your business, it’s yours. 

What Does Custom Software Look Like?

The custom software development process looks different for every business, because every business has different requirements. However, here’s what it typically includes:

Customization

Software customization is the process of tailoring and personalizing software to suit the needs of a particular business. This means making sure you have all the critical components to help you successfully run your business. 

Modernization

Software that was built 20, 10, or even 5 years ago will look much different than software built today. Your software should be modern, fast, and effective, and modernization means your software will be up-to-date and relevant in the face of constantly shifting market and business demands. 

Management 

Different management practices ensure effectiveness by providing assistance with installations, upgrades, versioning, efficiency, and availability optimization, as well as service desk functions.  Once you’ve invested in custom software, you need it to be managed properly so you don’t wind up with a defunct, broken, or malfunctioning piece of software. 

Before You Hire a Software Developer…

To construct something, including software, you must first identify your current methods, goals, and success criteria.

1.Think ahead.

For effective custom software developments, make sure you understand the following about your business:

  • What is the actual state of affairs? Unless you’re the one doing the work day in and day out, you have to find out what’s really going on in every department. That you need to talk to your team! See what they need, what they could do without, and figure out what your non-negotiables are when it comes to software development. 
  • What motivates you to make changes? Don’t make the mistake of assuming anything would be better. Test the idea, or at the very least, get input from stakeholders at all levels. Simple changes can make a big difference in the way your business operates, and could potentially increase your profitability over time. 
  • What is the perfect state of affairs? Create a diagram of the desired workflows and other processes that the program can support. When it comes to software development, your budget does matter, but when you work with a custom software developer, they can help you figure out how to achieve your most important goals without breaking your budget. 

2.Communicate effectively. 

If you’re paying for something as costly as custom software, then you deserve to get your money’s worth. So make sure you communicate with your team to figure out the most important aspects of your custom software; then, be sure to communicate that to your developer of choice.

Since the development phase necessitates a great deal of information about your business and all of its requirements, it’s best to hire a developer who’s committed to communicating with you regularly and clearly. At the same time, you should be sure to do the same for the best results and the most for your money.

3.Choose carefully.

There are many ways to get started with custom software for your business, and plenty of places where you can find someone to build what you need.

For example, you can choose:

  • Your own IT department
  • An individual you directly employ or contract for the job
  • Developers who specialize in custom software development

Custom software development is a big project, and while it’s tempting to use your own internal team or outsource it to an individual, that’s not always the best option. By using your own team, you take them away from their usual responsibilities, which can slow down other areas of the business. You also run the risk of wasting time and money if it turns out your team doesn’t have all the skills needed to complete the project (which you sometimes don’t find out until halfway through!). 

When you hand over the project to an individual, they may have the know-how, but unlike a professional software development company, they may not have the processes in place to help your project run smoothly from beginning to end. This often leads to frustration, and sometimes disrupts your business so much that you have to halt the project completely. There’s also the possibility that they’re not as qualified to do the job as they originally appeared, and you could wind up with low-quality software you can’t even use. In either case, it’ll cost your business time and money that could’ve been better spent elsewhere. 

If you’re looking into custom software development options for your business, we highly recommend choosing an experienced developer who will ensure your project turns out the way you want.

Get Reliable Custom Software for Your Business  

At Dymeng Services, our custom software can streamline your business process so you can focus on your work. From the start, we’ll take the time to learn about your company and build something that helps your business run better. 

To find out how we can help your business run more smoothly through quality software, contact us today.

What to Expect: Hourly Rates for Custom Software Development

For those whose software needs upgrading, consolidation, and new product development, their most significant concern is balancing price and quality, not just the best price. They also want to know where they can find software companies they can trust. They want their developers to verbalize what their business can expect from these companies.

Read on to find out what you should expect for hourly rates for custom software development.

As to the first question that comes to a business owner’s attention, it’s typically, “How much is my software improvement going to cost?” At Dymeng Services, we like to categorize and research projects because the final cost will depend on:

  • The size of the project
  • Discovering the source/reason for the problem
  • Determining the ideal solution to the problem
  • Tailoring the solution to your company’s needs
  • The complexity of the solution
  • The number of people involved on various levels to work through the solution

A General Timeline

We like to use building a house as an analogy when we’re developing custom software. We can build a hut or a mansion, as well as patch a wall or replace a roof. Software is much the same. Predicting the amount of time the project will take to complete is connected to the type of work at hand:

Emergency Work and Quick Fixes

This kind of fix is typically done in a few days or up to a week. If the problem is relatively simple to correct and the urgency is at a high level, reparation will occur quickly.

Minimally Complex Projects

This type of repair can take up to 4 to 8 weeks to complete.

Slightly Complex Project

The more complexity, the more hours the service will need to complete the work; usually, this would be 3 to 6 months.

Large Overhauls and Builds

Every project is different, and timelines can also change as much and as often as cost.

The Steps Taken to Begin the Process

There are many steps in the software development method. Here’s what they look like. 

 1. Discovery

  • Our team will review your current process, technical environment, your company’s general business operations, your current problem areas, as well as your plans.
  • Our team will study the information you conveyed and will create a scope estimate once we determine the range of the project as well as its complexity.
  • We will meet with you and all involved in the project to share our thoughts on the progress as well as any remaining issues.
  • Our team will provide consulting advice, explain the project’s range, work up a basic estimate, dive deep into the entire project’s details, create a business analysis, as well as discuss any other planning necessary. We will also suggest plans of action, exchange detailed information, provide workflow information, app screen pages, architectural diagrams, and any other significant project-related information.
  • Next, we’ll share the project plan as well as the scope estimate. At this point, you should share this information with any of your team members to get their opinions. We can even share a list of questions to get the conversation going. You deserve to make a well-informed decision.

2. Build

  • Now comes the nitty-gritty: We’ll re-evaluate your project, enter a review of all items, as well as prioritize the must-haves from the nice-to-haves. Now, we’re close to getting your approval on the development.
  • We’ll begin work on the infrastructure, set up environments, and check on security.
  • Perhaps one of the most important parts of the software build is how we approach it. Our team believes in an iterative build process, which means we build in cycles with regular feedback, budget checks. We want to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need (and can afford) so your business can thrive once the software is implemented. We’ve found that this type of teamwork and communication keeps the project in scope and prevents surprises and problems.
  • After the project, your company will have a custom piece of software that does everything you need. Now is the time to move away from frustrating software and welcome your new, streamlined business process.

3. Migration/Go Live

  • When your custom software is ready to go, it’s time for migration, and then finally, the chance to go live. 
  • This is one of the most important parts of the process because it’s what helps you get from where you’ve been as a business to where you’re going. This usually means a happier, more productive team and impressive results for the business.
  • During the migration and go live period, you can expect data migrations, training, final security, and external service configurations.

Pricing

Software development projects can be difficult to estimate due to the complexities involved.  Only after we’ve reigned in on those requirements can we really know how long they will take. Scope creep and new requirements during the process can also drive the overall pricing, but if you have a budget in mind, then it’s important to stick to the initial scope of the project, or be willing to negotiate your “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves.”

A good development company will charge on an hourly rate rather than a fixed-bid rate, as fixed-bid pricing automatically puts everyone at a disadvantage. This is because the company offering the services has to put some “insurance buffer” in there, and then has an incentive to get it done faster (which often results in a lower quality product). 

At the same time, the business receiving the services has a tendency to want as much as possible stuffed into that fixed budget. Fair and transparent hourly pricing with regular reviews of budget utilization and forward progress help keep everything on track. Hourly pricing is truly best for both sides of the project and will provide the best results.

It’s important to note, however, that hourly prices can vary, depending on:

  • Requirements, specifications, documentation, and testing (which is typically lower in hourly cost than development).
  • Certain types of highly specialized development that could cost more than general development
  • Hosting and recurring environment costs.
  • Ongoing support, as well as maintenance if the scenario finds it necessary.

According to Thumbtack.com, software developers’ national average price is more or less $75-$400 an hour. For more information on our prices as a software development company, we encourage you to take a look at our informative video.

Get Started with Custom Software Development

Once you connect with our team at Dymeng Services and walk through our entire one-on-one system, we know you’ll see that the cost of getting the best —and most personalized — software system available to you is worth the investment.

Ready to learn more about how custom software development services can help your business? Schedule a call with our team today. We look forward to helping you streamline your business process!