Hiring a web developer for your new software project can be a daunting task. But if you take the time to ask the right questions, it can be a lot easier.
Why is it important to ask questions? It's quite simply the only way you can ensure that you're working with a developer that understands your needs and is well-equipped to deliver the results.
At CyberMedics, we believe it's always worth taking the time to ask questions before you make any commitments. Here are nine of the most important ones that you should always discuss with your web developer, based on our experience working on hundreds of projects.
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1. What programming languages do you know how to use?
This is one of the most important questions to ask. Different programming languages are used for different types of tasks, so you need to make sure your web developer is well-versed in the ones that will be needed for your project.
It's also best to go after web developers who specialize in a specific language—as opposed to generalists who know a little of everything. That's why it can be smart to go with a software development team, because they often have a working group of specialists who play to each other's strengths.
2. Have you worked on any similar projects in the past?
If a developer has experience with similar projects, it means they'll be better equipped to handle any issues that may arise. They'll also know what works best for your particular project and will have an easier time understanding your requirements.
So ask them to provide examples of similar software projects they've worked on in the past. This will give you a better idea of their skills and experience. A good sign to look for in a strong web development team is if they have publicly available case studies where they explain the problem they tackled, and how they tackled it.
For example, at CyberMedics, we offer lean software development services – so we have a ready-made case study on how we implemented lean product development processes for Security 101, a security system design, engineering, and installation company.
3. Do you have any references I can contact for more information about your work ethic and abilities as a developer?
When you're about to embark on a large, long-term project, it's important to get as much information about the web developer as you can. Getting references from former clients is a great way to do this, because it will give you firsthand accounts of how the developer works and what kind of results they deliver.
So be sure to ask for references from colleagues or friends that may have used the same developer in the past. The more references you can get, the better!
4. How comfortable are you working with deadlines and tight timelines?
Software development projects can have tight timelines, deadlines, and budget constraints. Or maybe you have a comfortable timeline, but something goes wrong with your minimally viable product or MVP. It's important to know how your web developer will handle these situations, so you need to ask about their timeline management skills.
A great way to gauge this is by asking for an example of a project they worked on with tight timelines and deadlines. This should tell you the tools and strategies they use to make sure all the deadlines are met, as well as how they handle pressure.
5. How will I be able to contact you directly if I have any questions or problems during the development process of my system/app/etc?
Clear communication is essential during any software development project. You need to be able to get in touch with your web developer quickly and easily so you can stay on the same page. This means they should provide a dedicated contact channel, like a direct phone number, email address, or Slack account that you can use to reach out.
The developer should also provide you with an estimated response time, so you know how long it will take for them to get back to you if you have any questions or concerns. It's a good idea to ask about their customer support process and what methods they use for communication during the development process. This way, you'll always be on top of things!
6. Do you charge by milestone, hourly, or a fixed fee?
Time is money, and it's important to know how much you're going to be spending on your project. That's why you should always ask your web developer how they charge for their services. Do they charge by milestone, hourly or a fixed fee? This will help you budget your project better and know how much to set aside for the development phase.
It also can't hurt to ask if they offer discounts for larger projects or multiple milestones/deliverables being completed at once (like a web-enabled system + mobile app). Different web developers may have different payment plans, so it's important to ask and make sure you get the best deal for what you need.
Pro tip: It’s a good idea to go with developers who have a clearly defined development process (here’s what that looks like) so you have a better idea of how things are moving, and what you’re being charged for.
7. How will I measure how well my system is performing?
Once your software project is up and running, you'll want to know how it's performing. Is it generating enough traffic? Are people staying on the system for long periods of time? How quickly are pages loading? These are all important metrics that will let you measure the success of your project.
Ask your web developer what tools they recommend using to measure the performance of your web-enabled system. This way, you'll be able to keep track of your progress and make sure everything is running smoothly.
8. Do you offer ongoing maintenance once the system has been launched?
Software development projects don't end once the website has been launched. You'll need to make sure you have ongoing maintenance and support, so it's important to ask your web developer if they offer these services.
The last thing you want is a newly-built web-enabled system that is left to its own devices, with no maintenance or support. You should always make sure you have someone on call to help you out if you run into any issues with the system.
When it comes to web-enabled systems, we typically offer a monthly maintenance package, where they will monitor your project and provide timely updates and bug fixes.
9. What do you need from me?
Before any software development project can begin, your web developer will need to know what tasks you want them to complete. Make sure they are aware of all the details - from the look and feel of your system to any APIs or integrations you may require.
You should also provide them with any assets that they need, like logos, copy and images. Additionally, it's important to know what information or files they need from you in order for the project to be completed successfully.
Here are some things we ask for at CyberMedics, for example:
A detailed project brief
Wireframes and/or mockups
Access to any necessary APIs or integrations
Logo files in vector format
Copy and images for the website.
By having all of these things ready beforehand, it will make sure that your web development project is completed quickly and without any hiccups.
Let CyberMedics handle your web-enabled project
If you're looking to build a strong web-enabled system, it's important to ask them the right questions so you can get an idea of how they work and what services they offer. This will help you budget your project better and know what to expect once it's completed.
CyberMedics is a custom software development company that offers discounted rates for larger projects and multiple milestones/deliverables being completed at once.
Need help with a web-enabled system? Look no further than CyberMedics! Get in touch today.