If you look at Railwaymen's portfolio, you'll quickly notice that plenty of our clients are foreign to us. We cooperate with people from the USA, UK, Norway, GCC region (and many more!) on a daily basis. While asking our clients how they feel right now with the decision to choose a custom software development company from Poland, each of them says it was the most optimal solution from a strategic and business perspective.
Let's take a look at some data.
According to Clutch.co there are about 802 (!) software companies in Poland. And this number is growing. The competition in the custom software development market is quite high. On the other hand, investors have a wide number of potential partners which means the choice is not so easy nowadays.
Software House Poland - Clutch.co
Here is how the situation looks like in my beloved Krakow, Poland. As you can see, I am living in a city full of software companies ;)
Software House Poland - Kraków
I know what you might think right now:
"I am looking for a software house. Poland has a lot of them. Why is that?"
Because Polish programmers are VERY talented. And the demand for them is very high.
As a person working in a software house, I see the developers hiring ads on my social media every day. When I am writing this text, at Railwaymen, we are looking for a Junior and Mid RoR Developer, React Native Developer, and DevOps Engineer. And I know that soon new positions will be open. The demand for developers in Poland is high because the demand for our work is high.
Why are software companies from Poland so willingly chosen? I think I know the answer.
Software houses from Poland guarantee high-quality products at an acceptable price. According to Clutch.co, the average cost of a developer's work hour in the USA is $150-$199 while in Poland $50-$99.
No doubt, why we have so many clients from the United States.
I am aware that selecting one perfect software development company from 802 based in Poland can be a challenge. How to verify whether a potential IT partner is worth paying attention to? One of the most efficient ways is to ask the right questions. Today, in this article, I will tell you which topics are the most crucial.
12 most important questions you should ask software development company from Poland:
This is how we work. After the first contact, you will receive an invitation to the initial call. The Business Efficiency Specialist wants to know more about you, your project and its aims. During the conversation, she/he might ask you, What is your core business? What is the main purpose of the application? What type of clients do you have? But I want you to remember, you can (and should) ask some important questions too.
Here is the list of supporting questions to focus on:
01 How long will I have to wait for timeline and cost estimation?
It is a tricky question. It may seem that the sooner, the better. Well, not exactly. Some software houses ensure that they will deliver cost estimation within a few hours or one day. The risk of an incorrect estimation is high in that case. Basing on inaccurate estimation and timeline can ruin your project. Creating an accurate estimate (especially for advanced, full of feature projects) takes time. For experts working in our software house, it takes about 72h to prepare it.
At Railwaymen, we engage our development team in . They estimate the number of Man Days required to finish the project. Our cost estimation includes functional breakdown, UX/UI estimate, developer estimates, QA Specialist, and Project Manager participation in the project. So you should expect such detailed data in estimation from other polish software houses as well.
Software House Poland - Cost Estimate
02 Poland is in a different time zone. How do you handle the differences?
Working with a web or mobile development company from different time zones and continents can be a little bit frightening at the beginning. But there is nothing to be afraid of. It is possible to manage the remote development teams and stay productive. But your software partner needs to have proven and effective practices in this area. When it comes to conversations with Railwaymen clients, we mainly use Google Meet, Skype, Slack and Zoom Video Communications. We are flexible and will adapt to your communication preferences.
The second important thing is reporting. You need to have full control over the project remotely. How will a custom software development company report work progress? You should receive reports frequently. Being up to date with all development team actions is necessary to run a successful app project.
Transparency is the key.
We are working in timeboxes called sprints (weekly or bi-weekly periods). The dedicated Agile Project Manager may provide the hourly report after each sprint or after the whole module delivery. It is up to you. So after each sprint, our clients see the work progress clearly. The time when our clients are reviewing all app development changes, we call a sprint review meeting. We are always open to suggestions, and we prefer to stay in partnership relations with daily or weekly updates.
Software House Poland - Time zones
Speaking about remote work. From our interview with Christine Boulware, CEO & Founder of itsashort.com, you will find out:
- What is the most important while working with the remote development team?
- What entrepreneurs need to know before they will hire a remote development team?
- How to successfully organize the work for the team in another time zone?
03 Which app development methodology you recommend?
The development methodology is essential during building web and mobile apps. You definitely should discuss this topic with each software house from Poland you consider cooperation with. Why is the development approach so important? Custom software development is a long time process that requires specific treatment. Ineffective app development methodology can negatively impact the project because of delays, non-detected bugs, or organization chaos.
We have two main product management approaches in software development: Traditional Development (Waterfall Model) and . Traditional software development delivers digital products once near the deadline. The Waterfall Model is a stiff, relatively long-term planning concept that doesn't allow for changes.
At Railwaymen, we are fans of the Agile app approach.
It has a lot of benefits for both the software house and the client. We found it out as the most efficient way of custom software development.
Custom Software Development - Agile Concept
During the project call, a person from the software company should analyze your digital product needs and propose the best approach. Our years of experience tell me that in 90% of cases, it should be Agile. This approach is safer because you are in constant contact with technology experts, and you have full control over the project.
04 How many Senior Developers will work for me?
Senior Developers provide huge value to the app development process. Yes, they are more expensive, but they can handle advanced tech tasks quicker than Junior or Mid Developers.
Imagine the situation. You are in the middle of custom software development. Suddenly, your project manager announces that the most crucial, advanced feature can not be implemented because of a lack of team experience. Or some features were simplified, so the app does not work as you wish. Sounds terrible, isn't it?
That's why you should know the team structure before signing the contract with the software house. A team dedicated to your project should have at least one Senior Developer on board. Don't be discouraged by the price you have to pay for Seniors. Their years of experience allow them to code quicker, as they don't have to look for Stack Overflow tips. So overall, you're not overpaying for development service.
At Railwaymen, half of our Developers are Seniors. And we send a detailed report that includes developers' technical background, skills, and experience to each client we are going to cooperate with.
Railwaymen About US Section - Senior RoR Developers
05 Can you recommend features for my project?
Custom software development requires building apps from scratch. From time to time, it happens that clients have only an app idea and nothing more. And it is 100% fine.
All you need to do is to find a technology company that will support you from the very beginning. Not every Polish software house ensures such assistance. So you have to research the tech market.
A few years ago, we noticed the need for such support. To help our clients go smoothly through the app development process, we launched . So yes, we are the software house based in Poland that can conduct background research for your digital project and define features, user personas, wireframes, and more. We can do such consulting service for both web and mobile app development projects.
06 Have you ever worked on an app similar to mine?
That's the crucial question. Custom software development requires years of experience to deliver quality products. If your tech partner is familiar with your industry, it will be much easier to develop a digital product for you. And you don't have to be afraid that the software house will reveal some sensitive data to other clients. You can sign the NDA.
Take a look at an example. We have a few food tech projects finished. Our developers are already familiar with many food tech terms such as on-demand food delivery apps, POS system integration, payments integration, restaurant-to-consumer software, etc. They know what challenges restaurant owners face in their everyday life and how technology can improve their work. The whole process of custom software development goes smoothly thanks to his knowledge.
Railwaymen - Software House Poland
Many of our clients check our case studies before initial contact. It is a wise idea. It will be much easier to run web or mobile development if the software company is familiar with processes that shape your industry and business. Not every project is presented in a portfolio. So don’t forget to ask a software house from Poland about a project similar to yours.
07 What are the payment models in Poland?
Each software company has its own preferences when it comes to billing and payments. It is an important matter that should be discussed to avoid misunderstanding. What does it look like in Poland? At Railwaymen, we are aware that custom software development is an expensive service. That's why we are flexible, and you can decide whether to work in a Fixed or Time & Material price model:
- Fixed - payment for part or all of the service at a predetermined price, on a predetermined date (dedicated to traditional software development).
- Time & Material - payment according to actual hours development team members spent on the project plus any material costs (perfect for Agile Software Development).
Again you see that the Agile approach and Time & Material payment methods are more friendly to your budget. So, it is vital to find the software house that practices these methods. Wondering how much will you have to pay for custom app development? We have an article about this topic:
08 How do you track the work hours of an app development team?
Another question related to payment and costs. You will have to pay for work hours or Man Days developers spent on your digital project. So, you need to be 100% sure that the software house is honest with you. It is a kind of technology question.
I can tell you how we work. We have our dedicated tool (developed by our Programmers, of course) called Time Table. Each team member tracks their work. The Time Table is connected with Jira. So we can also track devoted time per each ticket on the Jira project. Based on this data, PM generates reports, so each of our clients has transparent information about his/her team work hours.
Custom Software Development - Budget Management
09 Will your tech stack allow me to develop my application in the future?
Technology stack is significant for an efficient app development process, and it should be selected individually for each digital project. And yes, it should let you develop the project in any direction needed. I recommend you discuss with IT experts from Poland which tech stack will answer your business needs. It is a good idea to describe your future vision of the app.
Web Development - Tech Stack
Mobile App Development - Tech Stack
10 Can you send me a sample of the NDA and Service Agreement?
Nowadays, it should be a standard. Every software house from Poland should send you a template of the NDA and Service Agreement if you wish it. Checking such important documents is crucial. Each software company has its own contracts to sign up. And you want to make sure there are no unfavorable contractual terms for your business. Go ahead and ask for it before the agreement to the app development service.
11 If I want to change software house, will you help with onboarding?
I am not urging you to assume that you will be forced to change software service provider. But in my opinion, it's a good idea to ask such a question. Our Estimate Project From includes the "Some Improvements" box for a reason. We receive many queries from clients who already have the project coded but want to implement some changes. The second most popular scenario is that the project is started by some software house (usually not from Poland) but not finished.
Yeah, queries like "I have 80% of my app ready and I need someone to finish it" often happens.
Railwaymen Software House, Poland - Estimate Project Form
Custom software development needs strong programming skills. I advise you to be suspicious with very cheap offers. Usually, those software companies do not ensure quality apps.
Each software company should prepare detailed documentation of their work. Such documentation will make the transition to a new software company as smooth for you as possible.
At Railwaymen, we understand that after some time, you might be ready to hire a programming team in-house or decide to cooperate with a software company based near your office. That's why we will give you the project's documentation, help you with onboarding a new development company, and work status implementation.
12 I would like to meet and discuss the project details first, is it possible?
Meeting and discussing custom software development is always a good idea. We see that the majority of our clients want to meet and talk about their concepts, struggles, and app development details. In 2019, one of our current partners flew from the UK to Poland to get to know us better.
Clients are always welcome in our headquarters. In fact, many of them willingly visit us in Kraków, Poland. In 2018, the team attended our office for Workshops about their projects. Since that day, we have worked with them remotely. A few weeks ago, a financial client that we started to cooperate with also arrived from the UK to Poland to meet with us. We are also open to visit you in your country. In 2020, our two Developers spent a few weeks in the USA to work closely with the team. Such meetings have a very positive impact on the whole app development project.
I know that visiting Poland can be impossible for you because of the distance. But online calls can be as effective as meeting in person.
To kick off the project development, we launched a . The goal is to understand the product and everyone’s perspective. During such workshops, you will meet the team, identify risks and challenges, discuss the project’s history, identify competitors and their solutions and generate new ideas.
How to choose a Software House from Poland for web or mobile app development?
Choosing the right software company can seem to be a challenge. Especially when you are thinking about custom software development and cooperation with developers from a foreign country such as Poland. Whether you're thinking about web development or mobile app development, I can give you a few tips:
#1 Check the portfolio of software house
#2 Read the reviews
Clutch.co is the most popular platform that gathers B2B reviews (it gains over 1,4 million viewers each month). Each opinion on Clutch.co is verified whether the author really cooperated with the software company. The review has 5 parts: Background, Challenge, Solution, Result and final Rating.
Fragments of Railwaymen's reviews on the Clutch.co
#3 Test the communication
Custom software development requires conversations between you and your app development team from Poland. Communication is essential for good cooperation and building a long-term partnership. Most of the software companies from Poland ensure the Project Manager that runs the project. Such a person will be responsible for contact with you. That's why I advise checking communication before signing the contract.
Custom software development with an IT company from Poland. Conclusion:
Do not be afraid of asking many questions during calls. It is completely fine. Custom software development is a complex process. And we understand that you might have some doubts about it. Asking the right questions will give you the necessary knowledge. The more you know, the harder you are to fool.
Questions that I presented in this article match both services, mobile app development and also web development. So feel free to use them during your calls about custom software development for your business.
Furthermore, I can tell you that our Polish specialists also will ask you many questions. Why is that? We need some information to start and complete the custom software development successfully. That's why we might dig deeper than other Polish software companies. Our aim is to build quality apps. And we can't do that without talking with our clients.
If you are thinking about starting app development with a team from Poland, we are here for you. Download the presentation about our software company and get to know us better!
We are Railwaymen, software house from Poland - Get to know Us!