The Business Edge Blog

Custom Web Development Ramblings

What Can (and will) Go Wrong with Overseas Outsourcers

22

May
2014
Posted By : Brandon Spilove Comments (0)

Many entrepreneurs praise the value of outsourcing development work overseas (particularly to India) until they’re sworn off by a horrible experience.    While it’s true that the cost of labor is much cheaper, the work may actually become more of a hassle than you’d ever imagine. Below are just a few common examples as to what can go wrong with outsourced work.   1.     Work Quality: One of the most usual complaints from customers who have previously outsourced is that the quality of their written code was low. When it comes to websites and software, developed code should be clean, easy to work with and fairly simple to edit. 2.     Losing Financial Ground: Perhaps the overseas developer is charging you a rate of $20 per hour, while an in-house developer is charging $100. How are you deciphering the value received in that full hour? How proficient is your developer? Do you have strong people on the job, or are they mostly recent college grads that have questionable experience? One experienced in-house developer with a rate of $100 per hour may well produce more value for you than five or more junior $20 per hour persons in other countries. 3.     Code Collaboration: Collaboration is a colossal challenge when outsourcing to other countries. Depending on which country you choose to hire a developer in, there can be major cultural issues and language barriers that affect the quality of your work. Working with an American company will prevent you from worrying about constant communication problems. 4.     Project Failure: Finally, consider project failure. According to LessonsofFailure.com, “Nearly 50% of (overseas) outsourced projects fail outright or fail to meet expectations”. They are commonly abandoned completely or fall short in terms of functionality and business value. This, of course, brings people right back to in-house development teams, who get the job done right the first time (which in the long run, saves you money!).   0 0 1 317 1811 Pixie Consulting 15 4 2124 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:Calibri;} Keep it local! And remember, your team at Business Edge will NEVER outsource your work to foreign countries.

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Categories : Outsourcing
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Common Pitfalls Businesses Make When Hiring Developers

28

January
2014
Posted By : Brandon Spilove Comments (4)

I want to share a common mistake that I see happen at many businesses when it comes to web development and hiring developers. Here is the scenario: ABC Corp wants to build some web based software to help run their business. They do some research and come across a top notch web development company, Business Edge Services & Technologies! (shameless plug) Business Edge builds them a major web based software application and they start using it to run their business. It quickly becomes a mission critical application. ABC Corp has lots of additions they want to make to the software, so they ask Business Edge to implement new features and make other changes to the application over the next year or so. At some point, ABC Corp begins to think it would be better if they hire their own developer to work on the application. So they go out and hire someone and they get to work. All sounds great so far, right? Well, maybe not: 1. Building software for one company is not a full time job. The idea is to build the software and finish it. After all, the benefit in building your own software is so that you can use it after it's done and benefit from the ROI. If you hire a developer and plan to continuously develop it, then you never stop paying. 2. Developers get bored. Hiring a developer to build one application for one company is not going to keep a developer interested for the long haul. 3. Developers all develop differently (there's a tongue twister for ya). When your developer inevitably quits and you find yourself needing someone else, the new developer won't like what your old developer did and will want to change everything. This will introduce bugs and other instabilities because they will be making changes in something they didn't initially build. 4. Developers need to be managed. So even if you hire a developer you need someone that can manage them. 5. Today's web development requires more than the skillset of 1 developer. Web development involves many different disciplines these days, including front end, back end, database, mobile, testing, and more. Your 1 developer just became 2 or 3. When your business runs on custom software, the most important thing is continuity. You need to be sure that your software can continue to be supported properly when developers quit and other changes occur. You also don't want to be in a situation where you are trying to come up with work for your developer to keep them busy because you can't think of more features to add. This is why it makes much more sense to hire a web development firm and have them complete the software so that you can start using it. Your web development firm will worry about providing continuity, keeping developers trained on the latest technologies, and keeping the necessary skillsets in house so that your application can be supported now and in the future.

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Outsourcing Web Development, Why Not Just Hire Your Own Developers?

25

April
2013
Posted By : Brandon Spilove Comments (3)

Generally speaking, there are 2 types of outsourced web development. First is outsourcing to a foreign country, which includes those that are completely in another country and those where the developers are located elsewhere but there may be a few sales people here in the US. Second is outsourcing to a fully US based company. The first type of outsourcing should not be considered at all, I'll explain in more detail in a future blog post. But the second type of outsourcing, where you outsource to a US based company, is highly preferred over hiring your own developers. Let's explore the reasons in detail. Before we begin the discussion, it is important to understand the current state of the web development industry. Web developers are in extremely high demand right now. So much so that there is virtually 0% unemployment among web developers, application programmers, and related individuals. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and other large tech companies are hiring web developers at unprecedented rates. They are recruiting college kids directly from the campus, basically sucking up all of the talent in the country. On top of that, here in the US we have a lack of investment in math and science education, and are currently graduating very few Computer Science majors when compared to other countries like India and China. So if you're looking to hire your own web developers, you are going to be competing against companies like Google and Apple (and thousands more) for talent. A lot of these companies have alternate work environments, arcades, movie theaters, giant fish tanks, indoor golf courses, paid meals, and the list goes on and on. You will need to pay very high salaries to get someone above average. If you find a web developer, you'll need to find a way to manage them. Most web developers need direction and guidance. The problem is that there are just too many ways to build websites and web applications. There are too many different platforms, too many 3rd party tools, too many types of servers and hosting, too many security issues, too many web browsers and mobile devices, etc. You need a manager, someone who can sift through all of the needs of the business and figure out the best way to architect the applications. The manager is also tasked with making sure the developer stays focused and motivated. Many web developers get bored if they are working on the same application or website for a long time. Let's say you've forged ahead, hired a web developer and you have someone to manage them and provide guidance. It's a year down the road and you have a business application that has now become critical to your company. Everything is going great, and then the developer comes into work one day and gives a resignation notice. Panic sets in. You now need to start looking for a replacement, and you probably won't be able to find somebody good and get them hired within 2 weeks. There's a lot of knowledge stuck in your developer's head, and you need to use these last days trying to extract that information and get it documented or otherwise transferred to someone else. Then when the replacement starts, you need invest the time to train them and get them up to speed on your critical application. Your new developer doesn't like the way your old developer did things, and so s/he starts changing around the code and implementing things differently. The plan is to eventually migrate the entire application to a new architecture that your new developer has constructed. But other priorities keep coming up and the application never fully gets converted. Then one day the inevitable happens and your new developer presents you with a resignation letter. If you do find yet another developer to replace the one that just left, they now have the difficult job of navigating through your application and trying to decipher the code that is now half rewritten. This proves difficult, and so they just continue to maintain the code as is while adding new functionality to support your business. Some new technologies have come out recently, and so the developer is implementing the new functionality using yet an even newer architecture. Not to mention the fact that you now need a mobile app, and your developer has no experience developing mobile apps. So now you need to hire a mobile app developer. Mobile app developers are in even higher demand than normal application/web developers. If you're serious about running your company on solid custom applications, then the above scenario should be something to avoid. You need to invest in your business and its growth and your employees and getting involved in the details of application development is just too daunting, expensive, and futile. It's just not something that you'll ever catch up on. Technology keeps changing, computers keep changing, and it's incredibly difficult to stay current and keep up with all of the competition, while continuing to provide training and growth for your development team. Instead of hiring your own developers, you should outsource to a company that can handle all of the changes in technology for you. After all, your company is not a web development company, so why get into web development? Building web applications is a complex task, and generally requires multiple people of different talents. These days, a typical web development team is made up of a front end developer, a javascript/ux programmer, a back end developer, a database developer, a mobile app developer, a QA team, a graphic designer, and an application architect. You can't get away with a single developer anymore, not if you want to compete and be relevant and impress your customers. Just make sure to outsource to an American company, where quality is high, communication is easy, and motivation is second to none. In fact, if you're reading this, you've already found one!  

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Categories : Outsourcing | Web Development

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