Best Practices

How to Find a Reliable Software Development Partner

Updated on
March 1, 2024
Table of content

Searching for software development partners can be challenging. This should be someone who embraces the right expertise you need and someone you can genuinely rely on.

When it comes to software development partnerships, collaboration can span from one-on-one engagements with individual developers or entrepreneurs to more complex agreements with development teams or companies. Selecting the right type of partnership will dictate how you will create a software solution that meets the needs of your target customers and helps you achieve your business goals. You need a software development partner who understands your business and knows how to help you reach success.

If you’re looking for reliable software development partners, you’ll be happy to know that there are many outsourcing companies out there. But how to find the right partner company for your business and where to look for it?

As a multiple startup co-founder, I know firsthand what it takes to deliver a quality product. Throughout my career, I've worked with clients from a variety of industries and at different stages of business development, from startups to SMBs. The projects we have worked on span across sectors such as healthcare, fintech, and AI, providing me with a broad perspective on the unique needs and challenges each industry presents.

A strong and professional development partner is the first thing on the list of needs that enter the development path of each niche mentioned above.

To help you in your search, I've distilled my experiences into actionable guidelines that will help you narrow down the list and choose a software development partner that’s a perfect fit for your company.

How to Find a Reliable Long-Term Software Development Partner

Why Are You Looking for a Software Development Partner?

This is the most significant question you need to ask yourself. The reason why you seek software development partners in the first place will help you know what to look for in one.

  • Do you need someone to handle front-end development or back-end development? Perhaps someone who can effectively do both?
  • Are you looking for professionals who can also cover all the project management and business analysis tasks?
  • Chances are your IT team doesn’t have the time for another project, or they lack the necessary skills to develop the kind of software you want. In such a case you may want to find an expert team to handle the development part or a couple of developers to cover the specific tasks.  
  • Or perhaps you want to find a technical co-founder, someone who will partner with you in business and help you create a product from the ground up.

Defining your goals and objectives first will push you in the right direction and help you choose the right partner you need. So, put everything on paper and carefully assess all the goals before proceeding with your search.

Looking for professional app developers? Check out the article on how to find & hire the best app developers to complete your team and speed up the development.

How to Find Software Development Partner: 7 Steps

Once you have figured out why you need a software development partner, it is time to plunge into the search. We’re going to guide you through 7 steps to find the right software development partner – IT service provider in our text – making sure they fit exactly what you're looking for.

So here are 7 steps to nail a software development partnership.

how to hire a software development partner

Step 1. Conduct Thorough Research

These days you can search for your new partner on Google, but that may not be very helpful. Google will show you the top results relevant to your search, and those might be great companies, but not every company on the list will suit you.

It brings you to another question, “Where to look for software development partners?”

Check out the reviews for a particular company that will shine some light on its services, expertise, experience, and reputation.

Quora is among the best online sources where you can find facts and honest opinions, but Clutch might be even better. It’s data-driven and contains reviews and ratings of the leading IT outsourcing companies.

All the companies on Clutch create their profile, but the platform is responsible for all the completely objective reviews. You can rely on them to learn more about how various companies work.

There are also platforms where you can find freelancers if that’s your preferred choice. These are specialized platforms like GitHub or Stack Overflow – the place where experienced individual software developers share their knowledge and background. Also, there are more generic platforms like Upwork, where you can post jobs or search through the available ads. At the end of the day, choosing a freelancer as your software development partner is a bit risky.

case study

Step 2. Check Testimonials

Just like reviews, testimonials can help you get a clearer picture of how a particular company operates and serves its clients.

Testimonials are either written or spoken statements about an organization and its products or services. As such, you can rely on their authenticity and transparency. There’s rarely anything that can give you more insight into a company than its previous and current customers.

For example, this testimonial from Belsien Thomas, Senior Director of Engineering at Aspiration, is one of many from clients who have collaborated with us at Uptech.

Uptech Client Testimonial: Belsien Thomas, Senior Director of Engineering at Aspiration

Also, ask the potential software development partners for the contacts of their current/previous clients and get on the phone with them. That way you can ask deep questions and learn what it’s like working with this vendor.

Step 3. Assess Expertise

Part of the road has passed. The next step to help you find a software development partner is checking the company's expertise. How to do that? First things first, check the domains a company specializes in. This information is usually found on the company’s website with dedicated pages to services they provide and industries they work with.

Your software development partner should have proper business expertise. Let's say you have a fintech startup idea. Check if your prospective partner works with the fintech technologies.

We at Uptech have a strong track record in the fintech sector, with multiple projects under our belt. One notable example is our collaboration with Cardless, a fintech company for which we built a native Android app in just 3 months and provided full maintenance across platforms. Without any expertise in financial technology, we couldn't do that, especially in such a short time.

software development partner

You don't want to work with someone who doesn't have a clue how to help you achieve your business goals. The company you choose for a long-term partnership must be able to cater to your customers' needs. It must pack the right expertise to develop software that will meet the needs of your target users.

Step 4. Explore Case Studies

One of the best ways to check your potential partner’s experience and expertise is to explore their work results. Look for their previous cases and dive into every little detail that will showcase how they work, and what makes them different.

Case studies will show you how a particular software development company has solved various challenges that they previously encountered. They will show you what solutions and features they implemented, what tests they used to make sure everything ran smoothly, and how they managed to create great user experiences.

When looking through a particular case study, pay attention to whether it’s informative enough for you to understand the problem a client came with, the solution a software development company offered, the features implemented, and the overall results reached.

For example, in our work with GOAT, a leading global retail platform, we were tasked with elevating their existing "Offer Flow" to make it more interactive and up-to-date. Our solution — a fully custom price selector — significantly enhanced the user experience by enabling users to easily set their offers, showcasing our ability to deliver tailored solutions that meet our client's unique needs. All of this is explained in the detail on the case page.

software development partner

On top of that, there’s a great chance that companies mentioned in the case studies are still partners with the software development provider you are checking, so you can even learn more about how they operate in ongoing business relationships.

Step 5. Evaluate the Company’s Culture

A company's culture is the personality of a company that provides you with an insight into the company's values and behaviors in its work environment.

To learn about the company's ethics, goals, and expectations, you can ask for an Introduction call, visit the vendor's office, or check the company’s social media, too.

The introduction call is a great opportunity to talk with several team members (not only sales and project managers), and see the real company vibe.

Visiting a vendor’s office is an even better way to get to know who you are going to cooperate with in the future. You can take a look at how our client from Sweden recently visited our office.

Check how it was!

If there’s no such an opportunity, you can always go to the potential software development contractor’s social media accounts, namely LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter (now X), Instagram, or even TikTok.

No matter if you're able to meet in person or remotely, make sure you choose a team of professionals who are dedicated, meticulous, and genuinely passionate about business. They need to be as committed as you are so that you can seamlessly work together toward achieving your goals.

At the same time, to work together as partners, you should openly share details about the product and give feedback on time. It will help you find the best solutions to IT challenges.

Step 6. Set Up Smooth Communication

Communication is key to any successful partnership, especially when it comes to developing a software solution. If there’s poor communication between you and your chosen partner, how will you ever get on the same page?

It’s essential to remember that excellent communication equals transparency. You need to be able to talk with the entire team you hire about all the details related to your projects. Both parties must be fully transparent regarding the development process and communicate openly and honestly. Even if the tech company’s process is remote, the well-organized communication will make it work.

Make sure there are absolutely no language barriers so that you can understand one another correctly. If you choose someone from another country, check if they have excellent English language skills.

At Uptech, we prioritize clear and effective communication when working on projects. Our clients often highlight this quality in their reviews and testimonials. For insights into how we maintain this standard, feel free to check out our client feedback on our Clutch profile.

Step 7. Interview the Developers

Interviews with developers can show you real companies without any sales tricks. The sales team of a particular outsourcing company will certainly give you a great pitch, but the actual development team will help you know whether or not they can deliver what the sales rep promises.

The sales team may know all about their developers’ experience and expertise, but do they understand their work? Do they know exactly how various types of software function? Do you know who does? Developers.

So, once you put together a shortlist of companies, be sure to set up meetings with all the developers. Only then will you be able to evaluate who the right people are for the job.

These were 7 steps on how to choose the software development partner. But along the way, you may face some challenges. Below, we have rounded up a few useful recommendations for finding the right developer partner.

software development partner

Tips to Build Trusted Software Development Partnerships

Even at this point, you still may have uncertainties about the vendor choice. The truth is, if you never try, then you never know. However, we’d like to share some tips to build a trusted software development partnership and say goodbye to any second thoughts you have.

There are 3 most common questions we hear from our clients:

  • How to check that the company matches my needs?
  • How to negotiate the price?
  • How do you protect my sensitive data and intellectual property? What are your data security practices, IP ownership rights, and NDA policies?

Based on these questions and our expertise, here is some advice to help you out.

Prepare the List of Questions

You should devote time and prepare all the necessary questions to find the right software development partner. We recommend creating a list of questions that will help you get familiar with your prospective partner.

Here are a couple of questions that can be on your list:

  • Can you please give an overview of the process a company will go through when deciding to work with you?
  • What does your typical process of taking on a new project look like?
  • When approximately would you be ready to start the work?
  • What will the communication between your and our team look like?
  • What information from our end would be useful for you to prepare the proposal?
  • How much involvement from our end do you expect during the process?
  • Could you please tell us about the legal part (legal entity, way of payments, periods of payments, etc.)?
  • What would the next steps be?

It is in your best interest to ask as much as possible right at the beginning. The more precise responses you'll get, the easier the decision-making process will be.

Put Value Before the Price

Price is undoubtedly a critical factor when choosing a development partner, and you should definitely know the approximate costs of building your software. However, the pricing point definitely shouldn’t be the deciding one.

If someone offers their services at meager prices, they may be sacrificing quality. You may save a bit of money when starting a project, but what if it doesn’t turn out very well? What if you end up with poor-quality software that needs complete code rewriting?

You usually get what you pay for, so the cheapest offers may not be the smartest choice.

But what if someone’s services are a bit expensive? Here’s the article on how to reduce app development costs to help you find ways of cutting IT costs.

Assess Security and Data Protection

Building trust with your software development partner starts with protecting your data and ideas. Don't just focus on their coding skills; look for clear security policies and practices to keep your information safe.

There are a couple of key questions to ask:

  • Data security. How do they safeguard your data during development and storage? What security measures are in place?
  • Intellectual property. Who owns the rights to your code and other intellectual property? Is it clearly defined in a contract?
  • Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Do they have strong NDAs in place to protect your confidential information?

Choose a partner with robust security protocols and clear communication about how they protect your assets. Remember, their security is your security – a weak link can compromise your entire project. To learn this information, you can go to the company’s site: They often have special pages explaining how their security and privacy policies. Or, which is even better, you can contact the company directly using the Contact Us form.

Why Uptech Is Your Best Software Development Partner

Uptech has a stellar reputation as a dedicated software development partner. We don't just say it, but we mean it. Here's what we achieved over 7 years of working with startups and established companies worldwide.

  • 150+ products delivered
  • Clients from 12 countries worldwide
  • A team of 80+ experienced IT professionals
  • Revolutionizing products like Dollar Shave Club, GOAT, Nomad, and Aspiration are in our portfolio.
  • Top-notch expertise in fintech, real estate, healthcare, and on-demand industries.
software development partner

These are not just records. We strive to become a reliable software development outsourcing company for our clients.

What’s more, we’re constantly improving our knowledge, devoting a lot of time and effort to learning and incorporating new technologies. Lately, we’ve been focusing a lot on AI and have completed some cool projects. One of them is Angler AI, an AI-powered platform aimed at transforming how businesses approach customer acquisition and lifetime value enhancement. In developing Angler AI, we focused on crafting a seamless, end-to-end web application that leverages AI to deliver targeted marketing insights and strategies.

software development partner

Working hand in hand like one team is what we offer our clients and expect from them in response. It's about a partnership, not simply delegating tasks.

For us, good software development outsourcing is about positive client relationships. It fosters stronger collaboration, ingenuity, and space to do our best work.

How to Find a Reliable Long-Term Software Development Partner


In conclusion, we wanted to say that while finding software development partners is not an easy endeavor, it’s possible. There are a lot of factors that you need to consider so that you can make an informed decision. Start by understanding what kind of outsourced services you need and follow the checklist to find the right outsourcing company for your project:

  1. Conduct thorough research
  2. Check testimonials
  3. Assess expertise
  4. Explore case studies
  5. Evaluate the company’s culture
  6. Set up smooth communication
  7. Interview the developers

By following the guidelines above,  you make a decision that leads to a reliable long-term partnership and achieves business goals.


What is a software development partnership?

A software development partnership is a collaborative arrangement between two parties, typically a business that is looking to create a software solution and a software development firm that has the expertise and capacity to build those solutions. This kind of partnership goes beyond a mere client-service provider relationship, turning a software development partner into a strategic cooperator invested in the project's success.

What does a development partner do?

A development partner's role has more to it than just coding; they often take part in the strategic planning of the project, from creating a concept and design to launch and maintenance. They work closely with clients to understand their business model, target audience, and competitors.

What does a software development partnership agreement usually include?

A typical software development partnership agreement with a development partner includes the project scope, deliverables, timelines, budget, payment terms, confidentiality obligations, intellectual property ownership, quality assurance measures, and maintenance commitments.

Are there any differences between app development partnerships and what is described in the article?

While the essence of app development partnerships shares many similarities with broader software development collaborations, there are nuances specific to app projects. These can include a greater focus on UI/UX design, mobile platform-specific requirements, app store compliance, and integrating mobile-specific features like geolocation, push notifications, and sensor usage. Application development partners know well how to navigate these complexities and ensure the high quality of the apps being developed.