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Software Engineering | Price Vs. Quality


Posted by Binh Pham on 03 Oct 2019 at 05:49

This has been an eternal dilemma whenever it comes to choosing a product or service. When choosing a software service provider, what should you consider? While price is very important, you must ensure you will get quality, support, and sustainability from the company that you are going to outsource.

Price, undoubtedly, is one of the key factors affecting a purchase decision. When justifying or selecting a software development service, one of the first questions often asked is “What is your rate?” We know cost is important. But an hourly rate comparison is not always directly related to  the final cost of a new software application. However, it is worth keeping in mind that developer rates are closely related quality. And while high quality can come at a higher cost, failure can be the most costly outcome of all.


Many people think that quality cannot be measured until the project is finished and functioning. This belief is understandable but there are also different ways to measure quality even before the product is implemented by looking into some factors that directly or indirectly influence the final cost of development. So, what do we talk about when we talk about software quality? 

The Team


Software developers are the key factor that determines the success of a project. A software development team must have enough expertise and professionalism to understand your software development vision. East Agile recognizes that quality and excellence are key aspects that translate into high quality results. 


It is also good to look at the conditions under which these engineers perform their work. These may include their work environment, the tools they have, the infrastructure and incentives, among other factors, which facilitate a better performance of these software developers. 


We have a unique ability to evaluate engineering talent. We combine that with an exceptional engineering culture based on an approach known as eXtreme Programming. And we are constant cross training through our practice of paired programming.  Also, because our clients are often building cutting edge applications with cutting edge technologies, we stay relevant in terms of technology and engineering practices through that interaction.

The Process


With a well-defined process of working, a software development provider will deliver a final product in a shorter period of time and still ensuring product quality. It is important to understand the processes of the software provider as these offer you a certain understanding about the results. There are many different methodologies in software development process, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. We believe that the right process would help to minimize the risk of errors, enhance efficiency as well as save money and invaluable time.


Engineering process is also closely related to billing process. Some processes, such as Waterfall, lend themselves to fixed price or fixed bid engagements. These can be helpful for some customers. But this tends to result in less flexibility and greater average cost. There will be a certain set of engineering risk unique to this approach. Other processes, in the Agile camp, will offer less promise of a specific outcome, but may cost less and allow for more flexibility. Executed poorly, either approach can result in failure. Hence, excellence in whatever process is chosen is very important.

Read more: Why Agile works for your projects?

The Experience


As mentioned, it may be difficult to measure the quality of the system before it is developed. Therefore, you may have to base your decision on their work with previous clients and sometimes through references from them. Have they worked successfully with unfamiliar technologies before, or do they specialize in a few well repeatable problem sets? Have they worked in teams and with applications of your size before? Are their engineering practices compatible with your business and technical team? Have they built a reputation as trustworthy? These can tell a lot about the quality of a software development provider.


Individual developers are often evaluated by reviewing their code, especially open source work published shared on systems such as Github. This can be helpful if you have confidence in the excellence of your own development skills, or have access to someone you trust in that role. However, this often leads to a false sense of security because the code posted by a company might not describe the abilities of the people who would actually work on your engagement, or reflect the quality of their work under client engagement conditions. But you can at least expect it to reflect their definition of excellence unless is was posted as a casual application. Firms that spend a lot of time posting open source work may be ones who have trouble finding paid work, or who hire people specifically for that promotional purposes.


After evaluating the company’s people and its working processes, you will need to do some more research on others’ experience with this company. “Has this software company done this type of work before? How did they perform in those projects?”. Knowing that this company has successfully developed something similar to your current projects, you’ll be more confident with your decision.  

… So, 

Investing in a software development provider should require a whole lot of consideration. It is crucial to look at many different factors to determine if your potential software provider is capable of offering a high quality product with the least amount of risks. 


The price is important but software quality will be, at the end, more profitable. Many times, cheap ends up being expensive, and if you are outsourcing your software product, you should be careful with this! 


Questions? Comments? Concerns? Contact us for more information. We’ll quickly get back to you with the information you need.

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