- When vetting a tech partner, you should pay special attention to:
The problem is the tech talent is very scarce. The global demand is high, especially when looking for digital product designers or developers using the hottest technology, such as Python and Django framework. Python has overtaken Java and is the most popular backend technology according to the newest "Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2019".
There are several reasons for this. Python is a universal (you can do almost everything with it), user-friendly, and very productive programming language. There are extensive libraries and third-party modules and frameworks (including solutions for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence). Finally, Python, when deployed correctly, is fast and scales up well.
So how to hire Python software development engineers? Due to the high tech brain drain, most of the corporate product owners and startup founders decide to go for external development teams. Specialized software agencies excel in two areas:
- designing and building the best digital products.
- hiring and developing the best tech talent.
In this article, I'll show you how to hire a Python team, how to choose the software agency that will deliver remarkable products and open new opportunities for your business.
Where to look? There are some easy ways:
- Ask around your business connections, the people in your industry.
- Follow your competition or the products outside of your sector that you like.
- If the above doesn't work, Google it.
Ok, making a list of Python development companies is easy? The problem is everyone says they are the best, how can you verify it?
First of all, don't focus on costs, as person-hours can be spent in many different ways, and with software development, you want quality as the work of engineers scales. If you want to save money, choose a team from outside of the major global tech hubs in the US or Western Europe. Recently, Central Europe, and especially Poland, is a go-to region, as companies here are still less expensive but deliver world-class quality services.
Some say you shouldn't hire a company from a location where the time difference exceeds 4-6 hours. We don't agree. There are many cases of Polish software development companies working very efficiently with US clients, where the time difference is from 6 to 9 hours. This potential obstacle can work as a catalyst for better planning, conscientiousness, and dutiful execution as each delay can escalate due to the time lag.
When vetting a tech partner, you should pay special attention to:
The communication culture and skills of the people you talk to. Do you understand them and do they understand you? Do you enjoy discussing the potential project with them?
Are they enthusiastic and engaged in the work?
Does the agency have experience in your domain? Have they worked with the technology, on similar products, in a related industry with clients of your size or from your region?
Look for the culture and size match. It's good to think about the agency, which, if it works, often turns to a long-time partnership as an external IT team. Cultural fit is another right angle of looking at it. Are you looking for a group of people that move fast and break things or take their time, plan, and write clean documentation?
Software agencies tend to drift in three directions - tech-oriented, design-oriented, and business-oriented. However, the team you want to hire should have it all. You don't want to split the competition among different teams and companies as it raises the complexity of the project substantially.
You want a tech partner that knows business models, user-centered design, and Python programming language. You want to hire a 360-degree team that excels at:
- designing business solutions
- designing UX and UI and graphic identification
- developing your product
- releasing the application
- maintaining it effortlessly
As actions speak louder than words, you want to learn about the software agency you plan to hire through their work.
Study the software agency portfolio, but also don't hesitate to ask them about projects from your field. Often projects are not published on the website yet, as they are waiting for the green light from the client. However, they can be discussed privately.
Feel free to reach out to the agency's clients and hear the opinion from them directly. Most likely, you'll get an answer. It doesn't cost them much to write you a short e-mail or LinkedIn message and say whether they'd recommend the software development company or not. It works much better than wasting time on reading often anonymous opinions on the forums. However, sites like Clutch are an excellent source of information.
Try out the products they built. Go to the websites, see if you like the design and performance of the applications they have developed.
During the meeting, you have an opportunity to verify if the communication between you and the Python team is smooth. Pay attention to who you talk to. The business developers may be very outgoing, but in the end, you will work with the designers and engineers. Meet them as soon as possible, and make sure you are hiring the people you want.
A right software development agency does not build a wall between the sales team and engineers.
If they don't want you to meet them at the earliest stage, it's a red flag. Here are some questions that may help you to identify other potential risks:
- Do you take full ownership of the project?
- What will you do if the system crashes over the weekend?
- What would you do if we miss a payment?
- What will happen if, after the kick-off, it turns out that the project is underestimated?
- Can the Python team scale up with you in case the project succeeds?
As for the stack and skills, you should look for check out if the Python development company you are considering:
- understands lean product development
- is eager to learn and use new technology
- has the agile methodology deeply in their DNA
- embraces user-centered design approach
- knows how to run user journey mapping workshops
- has experience with deploying large Python and Django projects, and scaling them up even further?
- has the quality assurance processes in place
During your first meeting with a great Python development team, you will find out some new stuff about your product idea. Not only technical ones. Ask yourself if they are honest about your project. For sure, there are some holes in your plan, and you want them to identify it immediately, not just nod and accept. You don't want to hire a team that's desperate to grab any project; you want a partner.
Remember, go for cross-functional teams, look for enthusiasm and engagement. Choose digital product development teams, not "software outsourcing companies." You want to find tech partners with a sense of responsibility and ownership of your product.
Finally, pay attention to the engineers you are introduced to. Make sure you have direct access to the team from the get-go. Ask yourself if they are smart people that enjoy their work, want to learn new things, and understand your business. If they are people, you'd like to see in your team - aiming at excellence and thriving when challenged by new obstacles.