In times of talent deficit, chances are you're facing hardships scaling your tech team. In this post, we take a closer look at a software development partnership as a way to expand your unit with external talent. As a software development partner for many companies globally, we aim to help you understand the essence of this model so you can make the most of it.
With that in mind, in this post, we review:
- Common myths when it comes to working with a software development partner;
- How to choose a development partner;
- Key aspects of software development partnerships.
For starters, let’s dispel a few common myths associated with building an external team.
A software development partnership is expensive. There's a common disbelief that adding external developers (at least highly skilled ones) is more expensive than scaling with a local workforce. However, when cooperating with a development partner, you can cross out such expenses as team administration, HR and recruitment, team retention, and IT infrastructure. All these aspects can be the biggest hoggers of your software development budget. By expanding the radius of your candidate search, you don't have to grapple with the local developer rates. Additionally, a software development partner like nCube can offer you a flat rate pricing where you can only pay for the hours full-time employees invest in your work - the rest will be covered by us.
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External software development partners are less effective. Many companies are apprehensive to add remote engineers because of the misconception that they will show lower performance than their in-house staff. However, on the caveat of choosing a solid software development partner, you can be sure the added engineers are baked into your workflows and stay dedicated to your project. The development partner can help you establish the right kind of communications and connection between your remote unit and headquarters - at least that's what we do.
No control over development processes. There are different models of cooperation, many of which assume retaining team control on the side of the client. You can manage the process and team roles as you see fit or hire a dedicated project manager to monitor the process on your behalf. That way, you can be proactively involved in software development when it comes to meetings, reporting, and other processes.
As you can see, a software development partnership is a viable model of cooperation where you can have control over the workflow and run a tech team as if they were your in-house unit. Our model, for example, assumes that the client has direct access to all team members and oversees the processes first-hand.
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How to choose a development partner
Let's review the key steps you can follow to launch your tech squad using a software development partner.
Outline the scope of work
Before looking for a development partner, you should have an idea of what they are going to work on. Thus, it's best to start the process by defining the scope of work for your external unit. You can define deliverables and set up deadlines for when you need each piece of work to be executed. It streamlines the process of team coordination and helps you oversee the software development process and have a predictable outcome. Then, there's the budget: When you work with a software development partner, your budget will be crucial for sourcing candidates whose rates fit the bill.
So, to answer the question of how to choose a development partner, you should have a scope of work, deadlines, and a budget in place beforehand. Based on these things, your chosen software development partner will help you launch a relevant team.
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Define the team structure
The essence of a software development partnership is to build an external team on your terms. With that in mind, after you define deliverables, you should come up with the competencies required to execute what you have planned. This step is essential, given that it's impossible to launch a team without knowing the team roles your software development partner should cover.
Build a team
The next step is about building a team with the software development partner of your choice. During the kick-off stage, they will get familiar with your project and list of skills and put their internal teams to the task of identifying and pre-screening candidates.
When choosing a development partner, ask them about their candidate selection process. Ideally, not only should they wade through tons of resumes and provide you with some candidates who may or not fit you, but also have internal tests to check candidates' English, tech and soft skills. In a tailored team creation process like that, we at nCube ensure our clients waste no time interviewing candidates for hours on end. The outcome of this step is a tech team (built in line with your demands) ready to delve into your project.
Launch your partnership
Now is the time to put your external team to work. But first, ensure it's not built on shifting sands: To launch a reliable software development partnership, sign all the necessary paperwork, including Service Level Agreement, Non-Disclosure Agreement, and contracts with your new team members. The contract should outline the terms of scaling up and down, time-frames, termination conditions, and other critical aspects. You can review the contract with your legal department and amend it if needed. Ideally, your software development partner should assign a personal manager who will orchestrate your partnership and help you establish the right kind of connection between you and your new team.
Take part in every aspect
It's both in the client's and software development partner's best interest to build a sustainable tech squad. While they will do all the heavy lifting when it comes to team formation according to your demands, your role should be hands-on. In our approach, you don’t just handle the keys to the castle. Here're a few aspects you as a client may want to be a part of:
- Initial stages. You and your software development partner go over your scope of work and a list of competencies you require to add to your unit;
- Developer sourcing. Human Resources managers on the side of your software development partner will kick off candidate search based on your requirements;
- Internal screening. Before meeting you, all candidates undergo Tech & HR interviews and an English proficiency test;
- Interviews with the client. Candidates who made the cut are forwarded for interviews with you and your team.
So, how to choose a development partner you can trust? Ensure your chosen firm has all of these steps in place, as this guarantees their clients work with the best engineers on the tasks that you defined in a tailored team launch process.
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Crucial aspects of choosing a partner for development
Cultural compatibility. First of all, it's best to focus on selecting a software development partner who shares your vision. This may have a great influence on your remote team collaboration. Your project is probably a long-term venture, so your partner for development must be on the same page with you in terms of values, work ethics, and communications, as it leads to strategic, sustainable cooperation.
English proficiency. Alongside tech skills, candidates' English proficiency should be the centerpiece of your screening process. Ask your software development partner to ensure the candidates are well-versed in English, as it's the "lingua franca" of distributed communication.
Red flags. When negotiating with your potential partner for development, try to notice some inconsistencies early on. If you can't find common ground or have your expectations met regarding team creation, you'd be better off looking for another software development partner. You may want to ask the following questions: “How can you scale and disband your team and on what terms?” “How do they protect data and IP?” and so on.
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nCube offers a strategic software development partnership. When working with us, you will build a software development team and manage it on your terms.
We provide engineers on a full-time basis who will work for you (and only for you) 40 hours, 5 days per week. They will become integral to your workflows, seamlessly expanding your unit. Our clients, including CrossEngage, doTerra, FlightRight, Life360, and others have chosen this way to scale their units.
We rely on such powerhouses of tech talent as Eastern Europe and Latin America. Building your team with us won't be as time-consuming as it could be when you hire locally - we have over 100,000 engineers in our network and access to a combined talent pool of over 2 M IT specialists.
Our clients always participate in the team creation process personally, as it's the best way to expand their units with the right kind of talent. We help them coordinate the processes and set up solid communications. We also provide IT infrastructure, HR support and team retention services, as well as take care of your remote engineers' general comfort. Contact us and let's see if our model of software development partnership is a good fit for you.