.NET is a widely known technology used to empower all types of products — from basic web apps to image recognition tools with AI support. If you have decided to use this technology for your project, the fastest and easiest way to do that is to hire a reliable Microsoft .NET development company.
In this post, we will share a step-by-step guide that outlines how to find a skilled contractor, what to look out for during the negotiation process, and how to make sure the software developers you’ve hired fully understand and follow your vision.
Step #1: Be clear on project requirements
The process of finding a top-notch contractor may not be easy if you are not sure what kind of work you want developers to handle. Before shortlisting candidates, make sure you know what your project goals are. Here are the key points to keep in mind when outlining project requirements:
Type of project
To start, you need to detail the type of a project you are going to create. Doing so will make it easier to set your direction, and find a vendor with relevant expertise in that particular field. Luckily, .NET has plenty of applications in software development:
- Web apps
- Linux apps that rely on NET Core
- Microsoft Store apps
- Console apps
- IOT apps
- GUI software
- Games, etc.
Define the features you want to implement
Once you have specified the type of application you want to develop, map out all the features that will be included in the future project. This will help to set the project’s functional requirements, and allow better plan budgeting later on.
To get an understanding of the features .NET developers can build, take a look at the most popular ones:
- Data binding
- Speech processing
- Predictive modelling
- Database integration
- Messaging, etc.
Set the scale
Before signing a service contract with a development team, it’s important to understand the scale you are aiming for with your project. If you are not limited with budget and want to deliver a product on a global scale, make sure that the potential vendor has all the needed resources to keep you up and running.
It goes without saying that working on large-scale projects requires additional resources — a larger development team, wider programming expertise, robust security mechanisms, ongoing support, etc. If we look at the other side of the coin, however, you will not need an enterprise-level vendor to create a niche app for a local community.
Additional technologies you need
There are different programming languages that use .NET — F#, C#, or C++. Outline, in advance, which technologies (aside from .NET) you will need to use in your future product. By doing so, you will be able to select professionals that can cover the required sets of skills for your project and provide you with a ‘one-stop-shop’ kind of service.
This is way better than running back and forth in the middle of a process trying to find a developer who is skilled in ‘that one specific programming language’ you didn’t think of in the very beginning.
Step #2: Set project boundaries
Statistics show that software projects are at the highest risk of cost and deadline overruns. That’s why business developers have to be thorough about planning the timeline and budget.
A project with no budget is like a car with no fuel. Estimating the amount of resources required to complete a project ensures the financial viability of the project and limits the range of your search for software contractors. Here’s how to set a project budget:
- Estimate the cost of every development stage.
- Plan with risks and unexpected change in mind (a lesson business owners had to learn after the pandemic outbreak in 2020).
- Account for taxes.
Here are the stages for building a project timeline:
- Identifying the project scope
- Breaking down deliverables
- Determining project dependencies
- Estimating the timeline for each task
- Prioritizing product features
- Identifying how much talent is needed to meet the timeline
Step #3: Shortlist vendors
With a clear budget and project scope under your belt, you’ll be ready to hit websites like Clutch.co or GoodFirms to find reliable ASP.NET software development companies. Although the number of available vendors is intimidating, there are actionable pointers that help business owners make smart hiring decisions.
1. Choose software development rates that fit your budget
One of the challenges business owners face is hiring affordable contractors without compromising on product quality. To make sure collaboration with a .NET development company helps eliminate budget strain, take the time to evaluate the different hiring models.
Onshore outsourcing is a term for hiring a service provider who is based in the same country that the business is located in. This has a range of benefits — ease of communication and faster hiring process, to name a few; however, for US-based businesses, high service costs are the main drawback of working with domestic vendors.
Offshore outsourcing refers to hiring a contractor located abroad. This is a popular cost-cutting mechanism for business owners, given that salaries of developers outside of main tech hubs are lower than those of American, Canadian, or EU-based professionals.
For example, an average annual salary for a California-based developer is $130,500, while that of a Ukranian programmer is $33,600.
2. Check online reviews
To make sure you choose a reputable contractor, look for reviews on social media and review platforms, or simply google ‘XXXX development company reviews’. You can also use related Reddit threads or boards like Clutch, Glassdoor, DOU, and Djinni to request feedback on a particular contractor.
3. Consider pricing systems
Choose a contractor who uses a pricing system you are comfortable with. There are two possible options:
- Fixed price. Fixed pricing is a way of compensating a contractor for completed projects. It’s the preferable billing system for projects with predictable workflows and clear requirements.
- Time/material. If you choose this pricing model, you’ll have to pay a contractor for the number of hours put into the project, as well as the cost of tools needed to complete assignments. This one is a recommended billing strategy for unpredictable projects with dynamic requirements.
3. Review team expertise and past work
Before starting negotiations with a contractor, make sure that the .NET development outsourcing company has hands-on experience in completing projects similar to yours by scope, industry, and budget. Review whether the software developers on the team are skilled in all technologies that your future product relies on.
Step #4: Negotiate
After you draw up a list of vendors who seem like a fit for the project, it’s time to get to know them more closely and discuss project requirements. Here’s how business owners should structure negotiations with the providers of .NET development services:
- Lay out a project road map and outline deliverables. Break the workflow into a set of actionable tasks, and estimate deadlines and benchmarks to evaluate the quality of each assignment.
- Discuss a project management methodology. Deciding on a communication strategy — Agile, Waterfall, Kanban, and others — helps get the vendor and the in-house team on the same page during collaboration.
- Talk through contractual obligations including meeting deadlines, team management, intellectual property protection on the vendor’s behalf, and administering compensation on a business owner’s behalf.
- Discuss steps for vendor transition. Make sure the vendor is open to documenting all practices and keeping high code readability. This way, you will have an easier time switching contractors if your collaboration doesn’t work out.
Step #5: Review and sign an agreement
Negotiating with vendors should give you a clear understanding of which .NET development company is right for your project. Once you identify the best vendor, you’ll need to make it official and sign a service agreement. To make sure you don’t overlook anything, follow these steps:
- Outline all requirements in the agreement. Describe the scope of the project, deliverables, and timeline in detail. In addition, specify the contract duration, the cost of custom .NET development services, and the payment procedures.
- Let legal professionals review the agreement. Since it’s better to be safe than sorry, give the draft agreement to a legal firm for proofreading. Make sure that you also include an intellectual property protection clause to protect the company’s data from misuse.
- Sign the contract. Sign on the dotted line and make sure each party has access to an original copy of the signed contract.
Hiring a .NET development company might feel overwhelming, since there are a lot of vendors on the market; however, once you have a well-defined hiring workflow, the process becomes relatively straightforward.
To hire contractors for .NET development outsourcing services, look no further than Honeycomb Software. We are a reliable tech team with six years of experience building products in healthcare, transportation, retail, BI, and other industries. We are excited to discuss your ideas — contact us to get a FREE CONSULTATION with one of our managers!