Before Outsourcing Your Software Development, Consider This...
Published on November 18 2016 by Lauren Schneidewind

India, China, and the Philippines are part of Asia Pacific – a vast network of countries and islands located near the Western Pacific Ocean. Before making the decision to send work there, take into consideration the enormous cultural, language, and historic differences, as well as the dissimilarities in business attitudes of people from these regions.

####The promise of outsourcing

Usually outsourcing is understood as sending work offshore. Why go offshore? Put simply, cost savings.There’s a significant difference between average wage rates across the globe. According to the World Bank, the average annual income in 2015 in the United States was $54,960, while for India $1,590, the Philippines $3,540 and China $7,820.In regards to sending software development and technology work off shore, you need to acknowledge the following:

  • The project is not only about creating software, the developers you hire should be able to support it – to add features and to make changes.
  • You will have to pay them despite the fact that they may not be working.
  • If they don’t have the specific skills needed for each project, you will have to hire additional staff - each time that happens.

####What to note before outsourcing to India

Indians are famous for their very good English language skills. Indian developers learn their craft in large classes through intensive training programs focusing on a discrete technology. In other words, you have many programmers but each of them specializes in a specific skill.

The traditional philosophy of an employee being loyal to their company is not usually valid there. The average time an employee works for a company is only one or two years. The reason? More and more people want to be managers, instead of specialists such as software developers.

Although the country invested seriously in BPO (business process outsourcing) and high tech jobs, you will be requested to provide very detailed documentation, otherwise the project will not be completed as it should be.

####What to have in mind before outsourcing to China

China has 721 million Internet users, which is 2.5 times more than the US. However, because of The Great Firewall there is no social media such as Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube and there is government censorship of private information. So, will your developers have to work around government control to get your project completed?

Here’s more to consider:

  • English language skills of Chinese workers are not advanced, which leads to communication problems.
  • If you rely on developers with a limited grasp of English to create clear code and accurate documentation, the result may be a product that is difficult to change or adapt to other cultures. This could require more money for revisions down the line.
  • IMHO rates China as a “high risk” country for outsourcing. This means that developers there don’t have access to some critical information sources and Internet connection is randomly blocked, slowing down development.
  • Lack of breakdown of costs. Instead of receiving a breakdown of costs, what you will usually receive is the total number of junior and senior developers, project managers, and testers that will be involved in a project with how much they cost as a team.

There is a trend regarding outsourcing to China – the country is getting expensive. According to Glassdoor, there’s a rapid wage increase in China – you can hire a software developer in Beijing for about $25,000/year compared to $7,000/year in Mumbai.

####What to consider before outsourcing to the Philippines

Among the positive attributes of workers in the Philippines is their excellent English language skills. This is due to a long history of American settlement. Here’s more about Filipino workers:

  • Friendly disposition and great customer support capabilities are Filipino qualities. For these reasons, Australia has moved numerous call centers to the Philippines over the last few years.
  • Just as with the Chinese, the technical workers in the Philippines change employers frequently in order to find managerial opportunities.
  • One of the most important things to pay attention to is code quality. Issues related to code integrity are not always obvious when the project is delivered. Months or even years may pass before you discover that cheap can become expensive over time.

Are you considering outsourcing a software development or technology project to India, China, or the Philippines? Keep in mind this important advice: taking the hourly rate as an indicator of a good deal may cause you many, many troubles!

If you’d rather skip over all the potential pitfalls listed above, consider hiring Rails Agency instead. We are your US based team of developers who have a proven track record of getting projects done. We would love to hear from you! Please contact us for your free consultation.

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