How to be a better software development company
Prompted by some of the comments and discussion in the article about software development add-ons, and during an internal brainstorming session as to how we can improve our ConnectIt software development services, we started a couple of lists on how to be a better software author. We’ve tried to think of it as traits of a good software development company and those of a not so good one.
Clearly we are just listing what we think is important; we would be missing a trick if we didn’t look outside of our own four walls and consult YOU from the user / reseller / prospective customer’s / fellow bloggers and social media commentators points of view. We’re not perfect (no-one is!) and are constantly striving to do better. I’d really appreciate your thoughts on what YOU think is important. Please either comment below or email email@example.com with your thoughts.
Thank you in advance for your time.
Attributes of a Great Software Development Company
- They produce software that has easy installation and an intuitive way of work, but with flexible configurations.
- Their solutions work as expected – elegantly engineered and intuitive to use.
- Their solutions are designed with the end user and the business solutions that they are delivering in mind.
- Their developers have an excellent understanding of the business problems that their software is being built to solve.
- They produce software which has complete and thorough documentation, including user guides, help for known gotchas (preferably online for easy reference and update) and preferably videos or audio references too.
- All code is developed to industry standards, re-useable, modular, etc, etc.
- Their follow-up on enquiries is timely and courteous.
- Their response to support issues is fast and answers complete.
- They hit agreed deadlines and budgets.
- They have a mechanism for resellers to offer their customers the solutions.
- Their resellers have thorough product knowledge and do not need to refer basic questions back to the author.
- Their applications un-install completely.
- They keep their resellers and customers up-to-date with new product and feature releases.
- The release updates which are backward compatible.
- They update their add-on software very soon after a new release of the integrated software.
- Their add-on applications compliment the integrated software and do not fundamentally change it.
- Their solutions are thoroughly tested before production release.
- They have a user community and/or a mechanism for issuing beta test releases in place.
Traits of a not-so-good Software Development Company
- Their applications are difficult to install, require a technical expert to configure and cannot be reconfigured or un-installed easily.
- While their solutions might be technically brilliant, they are not intuitive or easy to use.
- Their solutions are poorly architected, difficult to use and feel ‘hacked’ together.
- Their applications are poorly documented and with minimal (or no) online support available.
- Other than closing the initial sale, they do not communicate proactively with the end user.
- Their technical support is slow to respond and/or doesn’t answer queries fully.
- Their add-on applications fall behind with new releases of the integrated software.
- Their add-on solutions change the way that the integrated software works such that support issues become difficult to manage (i.e. technical support end up ‘passing the buck’).
- New releases are commonly bug-ridden.
- They do not have feedback mechanisms in place or a support process to manage issuing patch releases.