This is the trademark of work in the 21st century: connections are based in strong relationships built around new teams and systems.
Software development and consulting are at the base of these relationships, and agencies orbiting and collaborating with these teams are often looking for signs to denote reliability and expertise.
These are the questions to keep in mind when interviewing a potential software development partner, the start of longer conversations:
1. What is the size of your team?
Software development is digital, we can’t touch its deliverables, and the web is ever changing. We ask the size of a team to know how reliable they are. This question is tied to “can I trust that you are capable of helping me?” so ask both.
2. Where are you located?
Someone local beats other options, but talent is traveling more and ideas are being experienced by opening international channels. Make sure you add “availability” to the next conversation and explain how you prefer connecting (and how much).
3. What’s your most successful case, the one that aligns with what we do?
Check their website for study cases so you’re familiarized with their work; remember that a lot of projects are still protected from being entirely public, so ask if there are other examples you can see and keep that conversation (and files) private.
4. Can I talk to a reference?
Trust is still the coin in the digital age. Your potential partner must have a referral system placed and working by the time you contact them, so just ask. Remember to always thank the previous/current client.
5. Can you explain that in human terms?
Software development has been a more common topic for the past three years; the Internet communities have done a great job at explaining what it is and what it does, so your partner is used to this question.
Ask anything, ask because you don’t know, ask because you want to know, and ask because the more you hear about a product, the more you can ideate ways to implement it and solve other needs in your organization.
Post by Yoel Sommer. If you’d like to continue the conversation, email him here.