Recommendations for Web Application Development shops?

31st of July 2006 by conor

I’m reposting this from the Argolon blog too. Unfortunately, I have only received a few tips on potential outsourcers who might be able to work with us on building our Web 2.0 App. Once again, any pointers would be hugely appreciated.

We intend to outsource the bulk of the development of our application. This will be broken down into several areas including:

1. Design
3. Application development
4. Hosting
5. Operations

I have received plenty of recommendations for Design and some for XHTML/CSS but other than Ryan Carson recommending Nick in Plum Digital Media, it is proving difficult to get recommendations for top-class web application development houses. I am following up on some leads but thought it would be useful to cast the net wider.

We are completely open on the location but obviously we will be keeping a close eye on the cost. One-man shops are not sufficient for our needs, this is a meaty application requiring several developers and (as per the recent job posting) strong skills in architecture and scalability.

If you have any personal recommendations for dev shops in Ireland, UK, Europe, Eastern Europe, Russia or India, we would deeply appreciate any contact names you can give us. If you don’t want to post a public comment, feel free to mail me at conor [at] argolon dot com. Alternatively, if you know of good sites/forums where this type of information is exchanged, we’d appreciate that too. Of course, feel free to make recommendations on any of the other areas and names of ones to avoid are equally valuable.

These are the questions I have been asking those development companies I have contacted already:

* General approach to development
* General approach to customer engagement
* Experience in developing Web 2.0 apps
* Large scale application development using Python, Ruby or PHP
* Distributed and high-performance application architectures using PostgreSQL, MySQL or Oracle
* Web Frameworks such as Django, Turbogears, Pylons, Rails, Zend, Symfony or CodeIgniter
* Experience in developing scalable apps (both from a software and hardware perspective)
* Data modelling and ORM
* XHTML/CSS/Semantic Markup
* Other development tools that you use
* Biggest project you have taken on
* Do you have an agile methodology like Scrum or XP
* Traffic statistics on the busiest sites you have created
* Experience in working with other third parties
* Customer references in this area I could contact
* Interaction tools like Basecamp, Trac etc
* Can you work with a “release early, release often” approach?
* Approach to maintenance?

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