How to Choose the Right Outsourced Development Company

Today, software companies and businesses of all industries are struggling to find top development talent. There is huge competition for the most skilled and experienced coders amongst companies, ranging from Silicon Valley tech giants to startups. One way companies can bypass this horse race is to outsource development to companies overseas.

There are many talented engineers in places all over the world that were not born in the U.S., had no opportunity to come or simply do not want to live in Silicon Valley. Many of these developers work for outsourced tech companies and can be tapped into anytime.

Company culture

However, it’s not easy to decide what developers to hire and whether to outsource at all. If you are running a company that is already in Silicon Valley and you have the resources to hire a wide range of talent on demand, there is less reason to outsource development. Otherwise, you should definitely consider outsourcing software outsourcing models.

The reasons to outsource are many: 

  1. If you don’t have a lot of funds, you have less ways to motivate developers to come to your company instead of the competition. 
  2. If you are not in Silicon Valley, you also have less geographical incentives to attract developers.
  3. Even if you do recruit top talent, it may be poached at anytime (or at least after the time period between certain agreements is reached). 

Offshore or Nearshore?

Ok, now you know outsourcing is your best bet, there are various options for you to consider.

The term offshore first appeared in the 90s and focused at first on India, some areas in Eastern Europe and Russia. It also was associated with tax havens and as a cheap way to outsource a variety of labor from software development to oil drilling. Nearshore came later as online connectivity and broadband access widened and it became a way for companies to get offshore benefits but with developers that exist in nearby countries.

These two choices provide different benefits. The benefit of the offshore approach includes more options or companies to pick from around the world and these teams can be very inexpensive to hire out, but It will be difficult for your teams to collaborate, set up meetings, or communicate.

For that reason, if you run a company in the U.S. with so many nearby regions in the same time zone with great talent, it makes sense to look for nearshore development companies. Countries in Latin America, for instance, are growing in tech talent and specialize in a wide range of skills. Other countries may be more established but have less creative or overall multi-skilled developers. In nearshore regions many if not most of the developers are bilingual and can easily join meetings remotely as well as collaborate with in-house teams.

Short-Term or Long-Term Tasks?

Another factor to consider is the type of work you are looking for these developers to commit to.

If you are looking for long term software development and engineering tasks such as QA testing or patching updates on existing software, you will want development teams more committed to your brand. You should either consider in-house talent for these tasks or look for nearshore developers. The nearshore option is effective for long term roles and also as a quick way to add top talent during crunch times or heavy development periods within your company’s existing teams.

If you are looking for developers to fill roles in-between projects or to help form a team for the upcoming project, offshore developers can be just as beneficial as nearshore or in-house. Offshore teams can be put to use on tasks that require less communication, meetings or collaboration. A good time to hire such developers is after a product launch when layoffs within the company occur and roles need to be filled, or as a way to support already-released software.

On the other hand, you may want to contract nearshore talent as part of your main development workforce, that will be available for longer periods of time. In this case, the nearshore approach makes more sense the more long term the project is. 

Know Ahead of Time What Sort of Talent Your Projects Need

After figuring out the best approach, you will also need to consider the specialties available within the various outsourced development companies. Talk to your teams and management and figure out what is lacking or needed for your product or service to move forward in productive ways.

If there is a particular language or framework that your in-house talent lacks, like Python or Ruby, for instance, look for outsourced talent specializing in such a language or framework. Also, ask for their experience and portfolio working on similar software in the past. Experience is a great indicator of what the outsourced development team can actually produce for your company and how to make the best use of their skills.

Diversify Your Talent Pool

You should also consider teams that have a wide range of talent. Look for some of their developers to be experienced with mobile app development across different OSes and using different languages to develop these apps. Look for this same team to have coders experienced working with web apps, or SaaS, as well as standard Windows and Mac desktop coding experience.

For long term work, it especially makes sense to have more talent and diverse ways to approach new projects. Having experience using different frameworks and languages for one task makes them more creative and able to approach problems from different angles.

Before the outsourced company sends their coders your way, let them know what is required and know different work they can do. As you develop a relationship with this team, you can put them to use later on projects without looking for new outsourced companies for every project.

Today companies have many options to consider when it comes to software developing. This is both good and bad. It is great because it allows them to be more productive and find talent quicker. But it can be stressful and mistakes can be made when the talent cannot produce what is advertised or where communication or time zone barriers arise.

Thus, research and experimentation is required to find those top outsourced teams. Once this is accomplished, it should be a smooth ride from there as these teams can fill various roles going forward. Finding that team, however, is not always easy and takes some planning and research ahead of time.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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