Guide to successful web application development outsourcing to Europe

Monika Szutko - Partnerships Manager
business, outsourcing, web

When considering the next steps of taking your business idea and turning into a successful product, choosing the right development team should be a major factor. Thanks to the benefits of remote work and the global market, you have access to talent all around the world. As such, offshoring (delegating a business process, such as software development, to another country) is a popular choice among top companies. We’d like to show you why choosing European companies, especially those in EU member states, can be the best option.

Why working with a European team is more beneficial in the long run

It’s commonly known that the cheapest choice isn’t always of the highest quality. While developing your app through outsourcing to a country like India might seem attractive at first glance, there are multiple reasons why the low price isn’t worth it:

  • Communication - it’s sometimes difficult to find a common language with people from far-away countries, and working hours that are badly out of sync can lead to serious delays;
  • Work ethic and culture - communication isn’t only about linguistics. Cultural backgrounds can have a huge effect on how you and another person understand each other and work together. Aligning the team’s values with those of the client tends to improve cooperation. The western world tends to have a similar work culture and understanding of work ethics, making your experience with outsourcing to a European team seamless and predictable;
  • Legal aspects - the laws and regulations in the EU are fairly predictable and uniform. It means that, should you need to protect your rights, you’re less likely to encounter a nasty surprise;
  • Expertise - the quality of higher education in technical fields is very high across the EU, with plenty of learning opportunities for software developers. The educational outcomes are reasonably predictable. This means that your expectations for a Ruby on Rails developer from Poland are likely to be met.

Factors for successful web app development in Europe

To make sure that outsourcing your project to a software house in Europe will end just the way you want it to (or better), make sure to consider the following six factors. They are more or less equal in importance, but some might be easier to establish than others. While a potential partner’s portfolio will tell you whether they’ve worked on established commercial projects in the past, you’ll have to invest some time into questioning them about their development process, for example.

Prioritizing project requirements and user needs
Your technology partner should not only be invested in your project’s progress and your users’ experience, but also able to determine which tasks will have the most effect on your success. Focus on the client’s business goals is crucial when you’re working with limited resources. Good companies often offer workshops for discovering a product’s potential. Prioritizing features for the product is a crucial element of such workshops.

Picking tools and technology based on real requirements
Your technological partner should be focused on achieving your project’s goals. This means their choices should be guided by what the project needs at any given time. This includes both functional considerations, such developing particular features, as well as non-functional requirements, such as ensuring speed, stability, high availability, redundancy or security. If your team works with a technology simply because they understand it well, and not because it’s what the project needs, they can get you in trouble.

Team composition customized for given project
Developers who join your project team should be selected based on project requirements. The same is true for the developers’ skill level. Sometimes, having a less experienced programmer work on a simple task is better (read: cheaper) for your business.

Keep the following considerations in mind:

  • All team members should be vetted through technical interviews, pair programming and practical coding exercises - and it’s your outsourcing partner’s responsibility. Good outsourcing companies will not hire unvetted programmers.
  • You, the client, should have access to information about team members, such as their previous experience and technical expertise, to help you make informed decisions.
  • Teams that are both Agile and scalable provide an added value. If there is no need to involve dedicated front-end developers since day one, you shouldn’t be forced to do so. Instead, the team’s size and expertise should be adjusted to fit the product’s needs as it grows.

A record of successful deliveries in the past
If the company you want to work with has mostly local experience (i.e. within their own country), they might not be the best fit for international collaboration. Look for companies with many international clients: they are likely to have established processes for and working experience in handling the needs of clients who are offshoring their projects. While a company without that experience can eventually learn and adjust, working with them means missing out on the added value of practical know-how in delivering successful projects remotely.

An established development process
Good outsourcing companies should have a solid software development process, one they usually work with but are able to adapt to each project’s needs. The process should be flexible, somewhat modular, with plenty of room for your specific requirements. Just make sure that quality assurance is a part of that process. Ask about manual & automated tests, continuous integration/continuous delivery, unit testing, acceptance tests, and peer code reviews as a part of definition of done. If your partner uses those, you’re in good hands.

Understandable pricing and transparent fees
Pricing in the world of software development can be problematic, because a lot hinges on predicting the future. You can’t expect perfect accuracy and flexibility at the same time. However, a good outsourcing company will let you know in advance what you should expect in terms of cost (such as licensing fees, infrastructure, programmers’ rates, etc.), even if you decided to use the Time & Material model. You should be given all of the information needed to set realistic expectations.

Ready to take action and start cooperating with an amazing software development team from the EU? Tell us about your project and your goals, and we’ll help you take it to the next level.

Let’s get in touch
Author's Bio
Monika Szutko

Partnerships Manager

Monika is an easy-going person, she loves working with people and believes that building trust-based relationships in business is a key to achieve win-win partnerships. She is always focused on a detailed analysis of business ideas and strive to drive innovation by focusing on creating something new and inspiring. 100% remote for more than 5 years and always on the way. In the free time addicted to Zouk, Enoturism, Portuguese language, culture and Fado.

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