Software Development and Consulting Part 1: Tip Of The Iceberg
Becoming a software developer is a tough goal. Years of studying and self-improvement on the job experience, following the trends, learning new coding languages and more. But with the amount of free and paid resources available in one click, it’s a pretty accessible goal. Getting a bunch of developers together, organizing them, building workflows and optimizes processes, takes even more effort but as a result, you get something more than a sum of its parts – a software development house.
But there’s a caveat. Software development is still a commodity, it’s the top of the iceberg of software development. The question that clients ask from software development house goes something like this “here’s the kind of software/database/app I need, please do it as fast as you can.” And that’s fine since that’s exactly where the software development happens. Programmers get their brief, a project manager is appointed and they go on to crunch out thousands of lines of code until the deadline. It’s a much-needed if arduous, labour.
So how should a company seeking quality advice and guidance differentiate between the impostors and legitimate software development consultants?
Experience over commodity
There comes a time when the stripped-down labour is not enough to solve a particular problem or more often, the client wouldn’t even know what is their problem. That’s when software consultancy comes into picture. It’s not opposite of software development, more like a natural continuation of it that offers something more than mere labour – experience and knowledge. Those can be achieved only through years in the business and understanding things that are bigger than your work at hand – the market trends, industries and their specifics and differences, the psychology behind the clients’ behaviours and much more. Software consultants offer their years of experience instead of simple labour.
You might wonder – anyone with a bit of charisma and social media prowess calls himself an “expert”, a “guru”, an “innovator”, all sort of “entrepreneurs”, not to mention adding the crypto- prefix to everything for flavour (just visit LinkedIn, it gets ridiculous there). And you would be absolutely right to doubt anyone who deems himself an expert – most of them are clowns with no credentials. So how should a company seeking quality advice and guidance differentiate between the impostors and legitimate software development consultants?
There’s a lot that goes into a trustworthy software consulting firm – the combined years of experience (you’ve got to stay long enough in the business to garner the necessary weight and experience in the business), the diversification of portfolio, the staff policies, track records and reviews, testimonials, third-party evaluations, applicable standards and much more.
Only the best
In the second part, we will try to address all of the criteria that should be considered when looking for a software consulting company. But don’t disregard software development houses – the ones like Tentacle Solutions offer both consultancy services and software development to provide the whole development cycle as one-stop-shop for all of their clients’ needs. How to find and understand such offer – in the next part of the series.