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Tips to Choose the Right Software Development Agency for Your Project


17 min read

Developing a digital product demands careful selection of the right partner. While it may seem simple to search for a “software development agency near me” and gauge its suitability based on its website and past projects, the reality often calls for a more cautious approach.

Proper preparation is critical to find an agency software development that fits your needs. Don’t overlook a crucial step many business owners often forget: asking questions. 

In this guide, I’ll discuss the importance of thorough inquiry when hiring a developer agency. Additionally, I’ll provide insights into essential questions to ask web developers, highlighting the significance of curiosity when developing software products for your business.

Why Is Asking Questions Important?

Asking questions is a wise move that can save you and the software development company money. Whether you’re on a tight budget or not, you must have clarity on price details, project scope, and timelines from the outset.

By having a list of right questions to ask website developer and management team, you can communicate your expectations clearly, guiding the team on the best technologies, staffing, and skill levels for your project.

This approach minimizes unexpected issues during development and encourages an open, collaborative working relationship that ensures a smoother development process.

What is the Difference Between a Software Agency, IT Outsourcing Company & Outstaffing Agency?

A well-planned journey starts with clarity, from understanding what you need and comprehending whom to collaborate with. There are a few cooperation models in tech you should be aware of before moving to product development questions:

  1. Software Agency
  2. IT Outsourcing Company
  3. IT Outstaffing Agency

Each model offers distinct advantages and approaches to project management and staffing. Let’s find out what are the differences and how to how to hire a software development company from your dreams:

Software Agency

  • Software agencies take full responsibility for guiding your product from concept to market and bringing your idea to life.
  • They manage all facets of your project internally, from idea validation, business analysis, research, and design development to assembling the right team of developers, managers, and product launch.
  • While they handle the technical aspects, you control the process as the product owner and ensure your requirements are met.


Choose a custom software agency if you seek end-to-end project management that requires minimal input in the decision-making process — from initial idea to successful market entry.

IT Outsourcing Company

  • An IT outsourcing company supplements or improves your company’s internal resources by providing various services: software development, maintenance, support, consulting, design, business analysis, etc.
  • These companies can undertake individual projects or offer continuous support and maintenance for existing software systems.
  • IT outsourcing companies allow you to access specialized skills, reduce costs, and optimize performance by delegating non-core functions to external experts.
  • With an IT outsourcing company, you avoid the expenses associated with hiring and managing full-time employees, as you can engage outsourced staff for specific timeframes.


Choose an IT outsourcing company if you need to add or replace in-house IT services. This way, you can tap into outside expertise while keeping costs in check.

IT Outstaffing Agency

  • An outstaffing agency enables direct collaboration between clients and experts in specific fields. Such cooperation can be temporary or for a particular duration of the project.
  • Outstaffing involves hiring individual experts (such as developers/designers) or teams to work directly within the client’s internal team. Basically, you hire individuals and assign tasks, maintaining control over all processes.
  • Outstaffing allows you to avoid employing unneeded employees and quickly access required expertise. As a client, you interact directly with outstaffed employees while the outstaffing agency handles administrative tasks like payroll, benefits, and recruitment.


Choose an IT Outstaffing Agency if you need temporary additional help for your team and want to retain control over project management.

A Must Software Agency Selection Blueprint

Now that you understand the different working methods let’s move on to the next steps in communicating with software development companies. Pay attention to specific requirements to ensure both parties are on the same page right from the start . It’s important to know not only what you want, but also what you NEED.

These criteria will help you understand what to focus on and what questions to ask when developing a new product:

CriteriaPay Attention to
Expertise and ExperienceEnsure the company has the necessary skills in the field you require. If you specialize in a particular area, such as green finance, it’s best to select an agency with experience in that field and a history of completing similar projects.
Technical Skills & Tech StackAssess the team members’ technical abilities and the technologies they use. They should be proficient in the specific technologies needed for your project. Remember, if you choose a less popular technology, it might cost more because there are fewer skilled professionals available. If possible, choose a popular technology stack for your project to save costs and ensure accessibility of technical expertise.
Communication and Cultural FitIf the agency doesn’t show initiative, it’s best to move on. Make sure they can communicate clearly and adapt to your needs. They should be professional yet friendly in their communication, as you’ll be working closely with them for a while during the development of your product.
Project Management ApproachMake sure your potential partner has everything organized: timelines, project planning, execution, and delivery. Also, clarify roles and responsibilities. Avoid companies where developers take on multiple roles like designer or business analyst also acting as a tester; everyone should have their own specific role.
Cost and BudgetWhen looking for “agency software development” ask them for detailed proposals and cost estimates. Compare their prices with others, if you can. Look at different payment options like hourly rates, fixed prices, and payment terms. Make sure the agency’s prices match your budget and project scope.

Sticking to this blueprint will simplify your selection process. Use this short guide as a strong starting point for any type of project or cooperation model you choose, and feel free to adjust the criteria to fit your needs.

Contact us to learn how we can help bring your ideas to life

Viewpoint of the Client: Questions Before Developing an App

There’s a high number of software development questions for clients. We need to understand the product from different sides — business, marketing, and functional. Typically, when a new client comes to our company, we set up a kick-off meeting to grasp the business and product requirements in a short period of time.

Let’s walk through a few important questions to ask a client when developing software that are usually ignored by product owners at outsourcing or custom software development companies and I will try to explain why answers are so crucial:

Business Questions

  • What are the strategic goals of the application for your business? — Some solutions have functional purposes, and some are just image-building or organizational. We’ve built hundreds of minimum viable products (MVP) for our clients, and thus we know firsthand that the main goal of an MVP is to pitch the idea to VCs or test the market and proceed with fully-fledged engineering. After the presentation/test period, we rebuild the application or extend it. The answer to such questions to ask client software development defines the architectural approach and the requirements for the quality and scalability of the software product.
  • Why do you think this application can be in demand with users? — Usually, there are at least a few competitors on the market, so how can a new digital product become a leader? It’s necessary to understand the client’s vision since the idea to create can eat away at them and lead to the loss of the product’s primary goal for the business. You may have heard about the Dunning-Kruger effect, which causes personal biases that can ruin a business. On the other hand, the answer can open additional strategic requirements for future development.
  • What information or resources about the market do you have? — Our team need to know the results of market research, have a list of competitors, and gain access to their applications. There should be the ability to fully understand the market to contribute to the project, give relevant recommendations, and prevent costly mistakes.
  • What do you expect from the application at the end of the development process? — The answer to this one can help us avoid any false expectations. Some of them want us to build an MVP. We explain that this is a comparatively cheap solution to test an idea and it isn’t a production-ready solution. However, some decide to release the application to the market and consequently experience problems with scalability and support. There’s a rather large time and cost gap between an MVP and a production-ready, scalable solution. That’s why it’s better to ask what the client wants to see in the end. I suggest using the SMART methodology to get a precise answer from the client.
  • Who’s responsible for the approval of the design and tech approaches on the client’s side? — You need to avoid a situation when, at the end of development, you’ll find out that the Architect or Chief Designer disagrees with your solutions or approaches. It seems unbelievable, but we have had such situations. Responsibilities in the client-vendor relationships need to be addressed and defined early on; otherwise, it’s a recipe for disaster.
  • What are the critical dates for the product? — A company can have some liabilities to investors or plans related to special presentations, conferences, or marketing activities. There are cases when a client can come to the software or mobile development team a week before the event and say that they need the completed digital product. Nevertheless, it’s better to avoid this kind of situation and establish critical dates at the beginning of the development process.

Marketing Questions:

  • How are you going to test your business idea (if needed)? — Some ideas need to be tested before the start of the development. It can be done by focus groups, communities, public tests, and limited editions of the application. We often create prototypes in the Marvel App, enabling clients to test their products on focus groups and make essential improvements before the major investment.
  • Are you planning some marketing activity for promotion? — Some of the marketing campaigns may need additional development, for example, invite code functionality. From the other side, marketers need to know how to measure the effects of the campaign, so we can trace the results of your marketing campaign in the application with various analytics tools. To do that, we implement analytics SDK (software development kit), set up triggers, and release builds to the markets. The marketing team can see the events on the dashboards. I’ve already mentioned that the development team must know the critical dates, that is why you have precisely understood what questions to ask a client for software development. Here’s a good example from a real project — on Friday evening, we’ve found out that on the following Monday morning, the client plans to initiate a big marketing campaign. As a result, we needed to deploy all the necessary changes and tests throughout the entire weekend.
  • How do you want to receive feedback about the product from your customers? — Some clients ask to embed a contact form directly into the application or use the Zendesk/Intercom SDK to get user feedback and continue enhancing the product.

Functional Questions

  • What’s the core functionality of the product? — When using the software development questions to ask clients, get ready for the tons of interrogations from the side of the company because we need to know what the client means from the technical perspective. Gaining a higher level of transparency regarding the digital product’s functional requirements only ensures a more suitable software solution that my product development team can develop.
  • Is there some groundbreaking feature you want to implement? — Your application must be different from other solutions on the market. Some clients come with a clear vision of what can make the product different. Nevertheless, some of the clients want to have a clone of Facebook or Uber. Thus, the product development team works with such clients to find key differentiators for their digital products.
  • What are the requirements for data storing and data deletion in your sphere? — Every market has its own rules. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) have set the rules that you need to take into account during the software architecture development. Clients always forget that users have a right to ask to delete their personal data (according to GDPR), and to close or restore their accounts. This functionality must be on the IT software architect’s list.
  • Do you have regulatory requirements in your market? — For example, the fintech industry has many requirements for reports about money transactions that must be sent daily. When developing a fintech app, make sure you know what EMI & PI is, and understand the key regulations.
  • What is the list of the functionalities you want to implement in the future? — This topic is important for architecture solutions. Clients can have a vision for a few years ahead.
  • Who will take care of the digital ecosystem after the development is completed from the vendor’s side? — Clients usually forget that they need to support the product, check servers, update versions of the third-party integrations, and so on. DevOps is one of the most important roles for post-release support.
DashDevs can help you create a top-notch solution just in few months

Questions You Must Ask to Pick the Best Software Development Team

Teaming up with a web application development agency is a critical choice that will significantly influence your business’s growth and the effectiveness of your digital product. Thus, I’ve prepared the relevant questions to ask before developing software for you to select the best web and mobile app development company.

Let’s move straight to the list of questions: 

1. How does your company assess and hire its development team?

Such questions to ask a web design company helps you understand how good the team working on your project is. Knowing how they hire people ensures you’re giving your project to skilled pros who can do a great job.

A good answer from the software company should show a clear and thorough hiring process that includes screening, technical assessments, and evaluations beyond technical skills. They should check candidates’ skills and qualities, not just their technical abilities. Look for signs they care about both technical skills and things like communication and problem-solving. 

If the answer is vague or unclear about their hiring process, it may suggest that they lack the necessary skills in their team.

2. What is your experience in our specific niche?

Ask this question to check if the company understands your industry’s unique challenges and requirements. Their experience in your niche can impact the success of your project, as they will be better equipped to address your needs and deliver the solutions you need.

The answer should clearly understand your niche and provide evidence of past projects or case studies relevant to your industry. Look for specific examples and success stories that showcase their expertise and ability to address industry-specific challenges. If the software development team lacks specificity or evidence of experience in your niche, this indicates potential limitations in their understanding and capabilities.

However, they might excel in exploring and working in new domains. So, if they haven’t previously created a product for your niche but show courage and potential, consider giving them a chance.

3. How consistently does your team meet deadlines and communicate needs?

Ensuring the software development company can effectively manage time and keep you informed throughout the project’s lifecycle is essential.

You have to see that the company demonstrates a track record of meeting deadlines consistently and providing clear communication channels. Look for confirmation of effective project management practices, such as using tools like Jira, Asana, or Trello and communication platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Additionally, the company should emphasize its commitment to promptly and transparently addressing issues while developing software through regular status updates and scheduled daily or sprint planning meetings.

4. Could you outline your quality assurance process?

Quality assurance verifies that any potential issues are identified and fixed before the product is delivered.

A good quality assurance process involves thorough testing and reviews at every stage of development. The company’s response should mention using manual and automated testing methods to find and fix any problems. They should also test the product on various mobile apps, devices and platforms to make sure it works well in different situations. Having dedicated QA specialists overseeing the process helps certify that quality standards are in place.

If the company’s answer lacks specifics or details about their quality assurance process, it may indicate weaknesses in testing and controlling quality.

5. What sets your development team apart from others?

A good software development company should tell you what makes their team unique and give examples of successful projects they’ve worked on.

For instance, DashDevs has been developing products for clients for more than 13 years. We’ve partnered with over 70 vendors and finished over 500 projects with numerous integrations. This shows we can handle various projects, from small startups to big enterprises.

Look for signs that the team you are questioning can solve problems creatively and always get great results. Also, they should tell you about the skills and experience of their team members and how they keep up with the latest trends in the industry. 

Failing to provide a clear answer suggests a lack of proficiency. The company should offer specific details that demonstrate what makes the team unique.

6. How do you estimate costs and project timelines?

The company might not have all the resources and information upfront, but it should still make an effort to explain the factors it considers. This includes things like project scope, complexity, and what resources are needed. It’s also important for them to discuss how they handle risks and changes during the project.

Keep in mind that such budget details can be discussed after the company has a good understanding of your project and can accurately estimate costs. The key here is transparency, clarity in their explanation, and a commitment to providing accurate estimates based on thorough analysis and experience.

If the company can’t give you an exact number right away, that’s okay. But it’s a red flag if they claim to know nothing about your project but still give you a specific cost estimate, like $50k.

7. Have you previously worked on projects similar to ours?

Knowing that the company has completed projects similar to yours in the past is reassuring. It shows they have relevant experience and can apply their expertise to your project. 

Ideally, they would share specific details about the challenges they encountered in these projects and how they overcame them. This experience and knowledge can lead to smoother project execution and fewer issues during development, finally helping to meet deadlines and deliver a high-quality product.

8. Can you provide references from previous clients?

If the agency is transparent, they’ll gladly share the names and contacts of their previous clients. You can contact these clients to learn about their experiences with the custom software development company you’re considering partnering with. Additionally, the company’s website often showcases case studies and client testimonials. They provide valuable insights into their expertise; thus, it’s worse to check out.

Nevertheless, if the company can’t provide client names or examples of past projects, it may indicate they have no successful cases or happy clients they want to avoid discussing.

9. What technology stacks are typically employed by your team?

The reply typically recaps the tech stacks they use and why they choose the particular ones. Among the examples mentioned might be:

  • LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)
  • MEAN stack (MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, Node.js)
  • MERN stack (MongoDB, Express.js, React, Node.js)

You can also expect an explanation of why they select specific stacks over others, taking into account factors like project requirements, scalability, performance, and ease of maintenance. For instance, they choose the MEAN stack for real-time web apps since it’s solid and scalable or the LAMP for content-driven sites because it’s flexible and easy to develop.

Also, the reliable company will recommend stacks that match your project’s goals, ensuring optimal performance, security, and cost-effectiveness.

10. Do you offer custom development services?

In its response, the company should highlight its dedication to custom development and outline the situations where it’s beneficial and where it’s not. They should clarify how custom development offers flexibility, scalability, and alignment with your specific requirements.

It’s important to understand that custom development isn’t always essential or budget-friendly for every project. Sometimes, existing software solutions or platform customization can meet your needs adequately. The company should be transparent about when custom development is advised and when alternative approaches might be more appropriate. Consider factors like budget, timeline, and project comp in this decision-making process.

Additional Questions to Assess a Software Outsourcing Firm

In addition to the questions mentioned earlier, here are a few more ones worth considering when looking for a software development partner. They help you to delve deeper into specific aspects of the software development process and better understand the company’s alignment with your requirements.

  • How does your company handle project ownership and intellectual property rights?
  • What disaster recovery and security measures do you have?
  • How do you handle scalability and flexibility if project requirements change?
  • What post-development support services do you offer?
  • How do you handle changes in project scope or requirements during development?
  • Can you explain your quality assurance process?
  • Do you have experience with software localization for international markets?
  • How do you measure software performance?
  • Do you ensure regulatory compliance for applications?
  • To what extent can clients be involved in the development process?
  • Do you have partnerships with technology vendors or platforms that could benefit the project?

Final Thoughts

As we wrap up the software development partner search, remember that questions to ask software developers provide crucial insights to you first. Don’t overlook the importance of developers asking clients questions during the mobile application developer interview questions. This mutual exchange promotes a deeper understanding of project complexities and aligns both parties. 

So, as you navigate this process, keep in mind that success lies in the collaborative exploration of these application developer interview questions, guiding you toward the ideal development partnership.

If you’re ready to start teamwork with a company that values communication, expertise, and collaboration, contact DashDevs today.

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Table of contents
How do I know if a software development company is a right fit for me?
Look for a company with experience working on projects similar to yours and a track record of delivering quality results. Check client reviews and testimonials to see if they have a reputation for clear communication and meeting deadlines.
What steps are involved in working with a software development team?
The process usually starts with questions to ask a website developer, discussing your project requirements and goals. Then, the website development team will plan, design, develop, test, and deploy your software. They'll keep you updated throughout the process and involve you in key decisions.
How do software development teams handle changes during the project?
Most teams have a process in place for managing changes. They'll assess the impact on the project timeline and budget, discuss the changes with you, and then implement them in a structured way.
What measures do software development teams take to keep my project secure?
They use industry-standard security practices like regular audits, encryption, and secure coding to protect your project from cyber threats. They also stay up-to-date with data protection regulations to ensure compliance.
What support options are available after my project is finished?
Many teams offer ongoing support for bug fixes, updates, and technical issues. They'll work with you to create a support plan that meets your needs and ensures your project runs smoothly.