How to know when it’s time to break up with your software developer

software developer

New year, new resolutions, whether they be personal or business, means January sees many of us reassessing key relationships. Whether you’re developing an app or a core product for your business, you want the most talented developers on your team but too many businesses stay with software developers as budgets and timeframes blow out.

Businesses pay on average $1500 a day for a software developer so it will get really expensive when key deadlines are not being met.

Developer Availability: If the current market shortage of software developers means you’re not getting any airtime from your developer or agency it most likely will continue to happen months down the track. Developers often work on a few projects at a time, so it’s important to ensure you have adequate allocation of their time, after all you are paying them.

Poor Testing: A lack of testing by your developer or agency will create a new part time job for you or your team. If you’re spending too much time testing the software of your developers because the quality of their work is low, this could be a sign there are issues in the development process.

Ongoing Rebuilds: This happens when the technology is constantly being redeveloped (or “refactored”) due to a lack of foresight. Your developers should be working with you to understand the longer-term product roadmap and structure algorithms to support this to reduce future rework.

Capital Expenditure: If you’re spending more money than others in the market and your current agency isn’t able to work within your budget it’s time to look elsewhere. You need to stay mindful of industry rates, particularly given how much it has fluctuated over the past two years, to ensure your expenditure is not too excessive.

Outdated Technologies: Ensure your developer or agency isn’t selecting technologies that work for them instead of those that will be ideal for your business long term. Developers will often favor technologies they know; while this works well for you if working with them, identifying the ideal technologies for your product first should be the approach before building a team.

When choosing the right software developer you need to ask about how much access you’ll have to them and how available they’ll be. Why did your candidate pursue a job in software development? Software for a developer is a form of art, and being given the opportunity to write high quality code is something that should be valuable to the right developer. Why is your software developer interested in working with you? Is this a short term gig, or is there alignment with the vision for your business?

You also need to ask yourself… Do I want my developer to focus on high quality code that strengthens my intellectual property, or is speed to market critical even if it introduces “tech debt” (the cost attributed to cutting corners in software development)? Does your software developer understand the long term strategy of the business?

Ensuring there is a mutual understanding of the long term of the business will help the developer to build the technology in an adaptable fashion to save time and money down the line.