Understanding the of Hiring Offshore Software Developers

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You have a great idea for a project, but you aren’t the most technically apt person. You may even feel trapped by your current developers, but you aren’t quite sure if an offshore team is a better route? Hiring offshore developers can be a pain. You can end up spending a lot of time and money on something that never quite matches your vision; or even worse, you get something that is completely useless. I will be covering the issues with offshore development so you can decide whether this next step is right for you.

Where to hire

No matter what type of project you are trying to develop there are certain things you need to keep in mind before you get into the details. Even though hiring offshore can appear to be a money saving maneuver, consider seeking professional advice on whether your project is executable by an international team. Next you should consider where you hire from as that can have a large impact on the level of code expertise and level of communication. While most underdeveloped countries speak English and have capable talent, I would recommend looking toward Eastern Europe for more qualified software developers. Here you get a possibility for affordability, communication skills, and talent. Although there are a number of developers in South Asia, finding great talent can be a test of patience. Understand the culture dynamics of working with an offshore developer. In some cultures, they will do all they can to avoid confrontation, even if a feature request isn’t possible. It can be a challenge to get your product finished.

Offshore Developers come with many different levels of experience

Generally people look toward offshore development because they will work at a lower hourly rate than their US counterparts. With a drop in cost per hour however comes issues with talent level. Developers are not all the same. Judging an international developers skill level can be quite difficult, even with the right benchmarks in place. Do your best to find developers that come recommended from trusted sources. There are many international developers who will do whatever it takes to get the contract, even if that means lie about their work history. Follow your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, get professional advice.

Visibility

Create ways to have visibility into your project. Do not just give your developer a task and assume that it will be done correctly or on time. Set up ways to see that tasks, code, and milestones are completed in your project. Have access to your code and hold your developers to strict documentation requirements. Each major function in your development process should be notated in detail for both you and any future development talent that may work on the project in the future. If you don’t understand the technical aspects of what you are looking at, you run the risk of poorly written code that could cause problems later.

 Set Milestones that are tied to payment

Break your project plan down into multiple milestones to give your developers a clear roadmap of expectations for the project. Just like building a house, you need clear blueprints for the entire project. As each milestone is completed on schedule, issue payment accordingly. Avoid making huge lump sum payments at the beginning of a project. Space payments out in a way that keeps the developers motivated and on track.

Unfortunately, following these tips won’t always lead to a productive project. In my experience, hiring an offshore team is not the way to effectively build your project quickly and affordably. Don’t be like most founders who are distracted by the $35 hourly rate. The US based developers I hire for my clients charge two to three times that price, but work ten times faster. I’m also left with piece of mind that the code is well written, organized, and scaleable. Don’t take my word for it; ask some of the previous development talent I have worked with who now work for AirBnb and Facebook.

Know someone who has built a web or mobile app, but got stuck because they had bad developers? We help them get unstuck. At Seavers Projects, we provide our clients with a fractional Chief Technology Officer (or vCTO) to manage their web or mobile application(s). We provide the tech guy you can trust. Have questions about how we might be able to help you with your app? Contact us or schedule a time on our calendar at http://www.seavers.io/contact

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