Frontend development outsourcing: How to get started

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If you are reading this, most probably you’re digging in for some information about frontend development outsourcing, right? Well, then I have some good news! You’ve come to the right place. At The Software House, we know a thing or two about this. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a temporary augmentation of your frontend team or for the whole new force of specialists to take care of your project – in the article below, I’ll present you some practical information which may help. 

Obviously, you’re not alone. A lot of companies of each size look more boldly towards software development outsourcing these days. Reasons for that? Various. However, there are a few which are the most common and the most prosaic. I decided to focus on those scenarios a little bit more.

The most common reasons for web development outsourcing

It doesn’t really matter whether you need to outsource your web development or you need mobile developers to build an application for you — most reasons for outsourcing are pretty universal for almost every kind of business. Some time ago, I’ve written the article about 5 software development outsourcing scenarios for CTOs. In that text, I mentioned a few situations which are also applicable in case you need to outsource frontend development to the external vendor. 

You can’t afford to build your own development team 

It’s probably the most prosaic one. An important part of running a company is to keep an eye on your budget. Sometimes, you may simply have no money reserved for building an in-house team. It’s absolutely understandable and that’s why you may need to look somewhere else for help if you need a piece of software to be developed. The external vendor will provide you with the expertise and all the necessary resources to deliver your project. You get what you need and your budget is not charged that much. Clearly a win-win solution. 

You have no technical knowledge

Even if your budget is adjusted to the needs of building your own team — you simply may not feel in the position to recruit and manage IT specialists due to the lack of technical knowledge. Let’s make things clear: even though it’s pretty popular to say that these days “every company is a software company”, you don’t have to be proficient in all this IT mumbo-jumbo. However, you still may understand the power of software and need it. There you go — a good external software development company will not only help you build the software you want but they will also help you walk through this process painlessly. Did I mention any win-win solutions yet? 😀

Reasons for frontend development outsourcing may vary. On the picture, there's a person sitting at the desk.
Even if you have time, money and knowledge necessary to build your own frontend development team – there are some cases in which it’s worth to consider outsourcing.

You need software developers for a limited time

On the other hand, you may have money for your own development team and possess all the secret knowledge necessary to recruit developers and manage them efficiently but… you know that you would need them for strictly limited time. Thus: you simply don’t want to build your own team. Again, it’s worth it to look for the services of an external software development company which will take care of your business and you will get high quality product.

See also: Avoiding the risks of software development outsourcing

You need flexibility

Honestly, in terms of flexibility, software/web development outsourcing looks like the most reasonable choice. It’s because first of all — you can choose the external vendor you find the most suitable. Then, you can decide what exact services you need. It’s your call what you get – whether it’s all about simple body leasing, temporary team augmentation or rather more complex services of a complete  development team providing frontend services (together with backend devs, software testers, UX/UI designers, etc.). All those options can help you avoid the necessity of going through the whole recruitment process, so you can save time and money, get the app you need and focus on your daily business duties. 

Finding and choosing a reliable partner with experience

So, let’s assume that you decided to outsource your web development to the external vendor. The natural next step is to find a trustworthy partner who will develop the high quality product for you. In the past, when outsourcing was in its early phases, some companies used to have difficulties with verifying if the chosen vendor meets their expectations. Fortunately, it has changed a lot over the couple of years. Now, you not only can ask for references but also you can read through the verified testimonials on review platforms like Clutch. Those are published by the vendors’ clients, so you can be sure that it ain’t some marketing mumbo-jumbo.

What are the key factors to consider before making a decision?

Besides all those great digital reviewing opportunities we have, it’s worth remembering about the traditional methods too. Marcin Mazurek, co-owner of The Software House, mentioned it when he was asked for his opinion for the purposes of the article about being a successful software development service provider in 2020 on Creative Tim Blog:

“I always advise people to conduct only the most basic research online and quickly move to the real world: try to arrange a call with the vendor’s former and existing clients, visit the vendor at their HQ (or invite them to your office), and meet the people that you’re planning to work with”.

Digital tools are really helpful, but when it comes to business, nothing is more important than personal, real-life relations. When performing research, you should remember about all those things. Also, when having conversations with vendors you consider — you should remember about the crucial aspects of your cooperation: budget and deadlines. All in all, you need your software to be developed on time and at the price you can afford. So, wrapping it up, the key factors to consider before making a decision are: vendor’s experience, former clients’ opinions about their services, your personal feelings about future relationship and the price. 

What is specific for frontend development outsourcing?

When talking about frontend development outsourcing, you need to mention aspect that is specific for these particular services. The most obvious thing which comes forward is the question: “what about frameworks being used?” How would you know that the chosen vendor uses those you think are the most reliable and safe? Here we come to the important thing about software outsourcing in general. It’s all about trust. When you decide to outsource your project to an external vendor and you want to pay for it — you must be sure that your partner is experienced and trustworthy. 

With that being said, you can obviously analyse the most popular JavaScript frameworks in 2020, such as: React, Vue or Angular and then cross-check whether your chosen vendor is proficient and experienced in using any of them. You can also try and push your chosen framework to be used by your partner – but is it really worth it? I mean, look: if the company is successful, have necessary experience, got great reviews, have perfect references and you can talk with them freely — isn’t it better for you and your business to trust their choices and their expertise to make sure your end product will be of the greatest quality? 

See also: 2020 outsourcing guide for CTOs

Again, there are at least two scenarios to be considered. Let’s say you are tech-savvy, fully aware of all those technological complexities and have your own favorite framework you want to be used in your project. However, for some reasons you decided to outsource it to the company which uses something else and is well-known for being really good at that. Then, most probably you know that vendor’s experience in using their regular tools and solutions will pay off. If not — just think about all the advantages of cooperating with the company which actually know what they do. 

On the other hand, if you have no tech knowledge – you need a partner who will take you by hand and walk you through the process safely, right? If you read or heard somewhere that framework X or Y would be better than framework Z — it doesn’t necessarily mean that it would suit your project. Also, the chosen company which is using some other solutions may do it even better. Sounds legit, hmm?

Trust is the key when talking about frontend development outsourcing. On the image, two people are shaking hands.
Outsourcing is all about right choices and trust – just make sure you can entirely rely on your partner.

This is time for a conclusion. If you performed the research, read through testimonials, contacted some former clients of your chosen vendor, had a chance to talk or meet with them to present your vision — you should be 100% sure that the chosen partner meets your expectations and therefore you should trust them fully. There’s plenty of options and it’s way better (and more reasonable) to look for a proven vendor rather than for a company that MUST work in a technology you think suits your project best. Obviously, it may happen than those two factors are connected, but it shouldn’t be the top priority for you. Remember — trust is the key.

See also: Software engineers shortage and how IT outsourcing can help you?

Summary

When you decide to outsource frontend development to an external vendor — you should remember that outsourcing itself is all about proper choices. It means that you should do whatever you can to conduct thorough research, take into consideration a variety of factors. Try to squeeze as much information as possible before making any decision. After that, you must be sure that you trust your partner and the chosen vendor won’t let you down. Having done all those things, you can stay calm – everything will be fine.

Having any more questions about software development outsourcing? I’ll highly recommend reading our free e-book, “Developing your software abroad”. You’ll find there some additional insights, thorough analysis and other useful content about software development outsourcing. If any more questions appear after reading the e-book – feel free to contact us. We’ll be more than happy to discuss your ideas and any concerns you may have.

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