Six Tips on How to Prepare for a Call With a Web Development Company
So you’ve decided to move forward with your digital product and booked a call with a Web Development company. Still, just before the scheduled hour, your brain decided to play tricks on you, and now you’re stuck feeling completely unprepared to discuss software development processes.
Sounds familiar? That’s because many people have to endure this awful state of mind when speaking with a developer. I used to have the same problem, getting intimidated to talk about the technical requirements of a project with someone who lives and breathes this kind of stuff every day. What if I sound like a complete fool? Rest assured, over my years of working with software developers and managing software development projects, I figured out a few hacks to feel empowered and totally in control of the conversation with an IT professional. It’s all about doing your homework.
Here’s what you should do:
Figure out what services you need from the Web Development Company
Be as specific as possible. Don’t rely on the company to guess what you want.
Try to get informed on the existing types of Web Apps, figure out which one fits you the best, or find something similar on the internet to have as a starting base for the discussion. Don’t worry! They will guide you toward the appropriate solution, but you should at least have some basic knowledge of Web Development. If you want to learn more about websites, check out <Types of Websites>. By getting this out of the way, you’ll have more time to focus on the unique aspects of your project.
Get familiar with the terminology used by a Web Development Company
99% of the time, the company won’t use “difficult” words to show how much brighter they are than everybody else. These terms are necessary to understand your demands and map out the process correctly. Adi has a great article about software development projects’ most commonly used words. Have a look here: https://neovision.dev/how-to-speak-the-same-language-as-your-web-agency/
Learn about the Web Development methodologies most commonly used by Web Development Companies
It’s not enough to agree on whether your idea is doable. You have to see eye to eye on how you are going to turn it into reality. Most software development projects use different frameworks of Agile methodology. In a nutshell, Agile aims to deliver the project incrementally, one piece at a time, instead of having a single delivery towards the end of the project’s development. This allows for corrections and scope changes while saving time and materials.
Educate yourself about the steps of the Web Development process
This is the first stage of Software Development. In this step, you share your ideas, and the company tries to bring their expertise on how you should approach the project. This should be the objective of the first call you are about to have with the Web Development company.
The company does this. They review your project requirements and create a document containing all the information needed to move forward. They send it to you, and If the document is missing some details or if you feel you’ve been misunderstood, you modify the document and send it back to the company. Otherwise, you can sign a contract if everything is in order.
This is the process of mapping out the architecture of your Web product. A software architect creates the design, meaning they are responsible for drawing up the scaffoldings on which your digital product will be built. This includes the tech stack, the logic, and the features of the Web product.
The bread and butter of the industry. After you validate the design, the developers get to work. Through coding, the developers turn the design into reality step by step. If you use an Agile methodology, you can access previews as progress is made.
No one gets it right on the first try, so you should run some tests on your Web product before inviting your clients to use it. In this stage, the Quality Assurance (QA) department runs benchmark tests to spot errors in the code. After a couple of iterations, your code will be bug-free and ready to deploy to production.
The moment you wait for. This is where the company pushes the product to a live server, available to your clients. I’ve learned about launching never to schedule your big release on a Friday. If something goes wrong, assembling a team during the weekend will be a hassle. So stick with Wednesdays.
Often overlooked, maintenance is a vital stage of any Web Development process. Platforms and plug-ins require updates. Changes need to be made. Any serious Web Development company will propose a maintenance plan, usually at a level of a couple of maintenance hours booked per month. Don’t try to save up money by declining the maintenance plan. You’ll thank me when you won’t have to find a developer who understands the code of your product when something inevitably breaks in the future.
Take a look at the Web Development company’s pricing system
Most software development agencies use either a fixed price or an incremental payment system. Be aware that the price you get during the analysis stage is just an estimate. Things change throughout the process. If it is a delay caused by the company, they won’t extra-charge you, but if you don’t know what you want and therefore have a lot of scope changes in the project, that price is bound to go up.
A fixed price is a lump payment you make when receiving the product. It is used for short-term projects that don’t suffer many changes throughout their development process. On the other hand, incremental payments are used for projects with a longer timeline. It is a pay-as-you-go system. The company splits the workload into weeks, known in the Agile methodology as sprints. At the end of each sprint, you see progress made and get invoiced for the hours worked.
Find some videos of the Web Development company featuring the person you’re about to talk to speaking about their services
It is common for software development agencies to have content posted on their social media. Why not give it a try and look at a couple of videos? This way, you know a bit about what to expect from your interlocutor. And don’t worry, even if they don’t have video content, look over their website and see some of their previous work.
Check all these steps before making the call, and you’ll have no more trouble speaking with a Web Development company. Knowing is half the battle.
- Identify what services you need;
- Educate yourself about the terminology and process;
- Look up the web company’s social media.