Guide to Hiring and Using Offshore Developers
Are you tired of feeling like you're juggling too many balls at once? Are you struggling to find the time to work on the important things that will take your business to the next level? Well, you don't have to do it alone. You don't even have to do it all in-house! That's right, we're talking about offshoring. And more specifically, augmenting your development processes with offshore solutions.
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Offshore software development can be a cost-effective solution to achieve high-quality results. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to find the best offshore developers for your business and how to effectively work with them to get the most bang for your buck. So sit back, relax, and get ready to take your business to the next level with the help of some talented offshore developers.
Definition of Offshore Developers
First things first, let us define what offshore developers are. An offshore developer is a developer hired by a business to create software solutions. But they aren’t part of the company, so they may work from wherever they are based. They can either be freelance developers or work for a company that offers software development offshore services. You can hire them for a particular project or on an ongoing basis. This is great for businesses that want to get a hold of a wider range of talent than they might have locally.
There are many benefits to hiring offshore developers, such as:
- Cost Savings
One of the biggest advantages of offshoring is the potential cost savings. Through it, businesses won’t need to worry about providing employee benefits, office space, or other overhead costs.
- Access to Talent
Offshore software development also gives businesses access to a wider talent pool from all around the world. This is especially helpful for businesses in areas where talent is hard to find.
Offshoring allows businesses to have the flexibility to scale their development team up or down as needed. This is perfect for businesses with fluctuating workloads.
- Focus on Core Competencies
With offshore software development, businesses can focus on their core competencies and leave software development to the experts. This helps companies to be more efficient and productive.
Reasons to consider offshore development work
Apart from clear economical benefits and the opportunity to tap into a global pool of talent, offshore development can be beneficial for businesses with these priorities in mind:
- You need dedicated developers – Committed, long-term developers are so much better than short-term ones for several reasons: cost-effectiveness, reliability, their familiarity with your project among many others. If you’ve ever dealt with short-term employees you’ll know the hassle and costs that come with having to find replacements, training, and other issues that come up again and again with short-term hiring.
- You need to protect and grow your business amid economic threats – Growing your business is challenging enough as it is. Add to that limited access to qualified talent and economic downturns, and a business almost has no chance for growth! But offshoring can help by lowering your costs and giving you more options and flexibility.
Of course, offshore software development isn’t for everyone. There are certain situations where this type of setup may not be the best solution for a business. Before deciding to hire offshore developers, it’s important to think about what your needs and capabilities are, and the common challenges that come with offshoring.
You should also be aware of what offshoring is not.
It is not, for instance, only for large businesses. Many small and medium-sized businesses benefit from offshore development work.
Determining Your Needs
Now that you’re familiar with what offshore is and what is involved in offshore software development, it’s time to take the first step in actually doing it!
Identifying the type of development work you need
The first thing you need to do is assess the purpose of the software development work you need. Is it for developing a website, creating a mobile app, or building a complex software system? Each type of development requires different skills, so it’s essential to know which one you need before looking for an offshore developer.
- Mobile app development. Mobile app development requires developers to have a deep understanding of the iOS or Android platforms, as well as proficiency in programming languages like Swift or Kotlin. They should also be familiar with UI/UX design principles to create visually stunning and intuitive apps that provide a seamless user experience.
- Complex software system development. This type of development requires developers that have a broad range of skills, including knowledge of programming languages like Python, Java, or C#, as well as experience with database design, API integration, and server management. Complex software systems often involve multiple layers and components, and skilled developers can create custom solutions that meet your business needs and provide a competitive edge.
These are just a few of the many different types of software development work that you can have done.
Determining the skills and experience required for the project
Once you have identified the type of development work you need, it’s time to start looking for the right offshore developer. In general, you want to look for a developer with the right skills and experience.
Going down to the specifics, however, there are several factors you need to consider here:
- The specific type of development work you need – Of course, you want a developer with experience in the specific types of development work you need. For example, if you’re looking to build a mobile app, you’ll want to find developers who have experience in mobile app development.
- The programming language – You also want a developer who is adept at using the programming language required for the development work.
- The developer’s role in the project – Do you need a team leader, a senior developer, or a junior developer? A front-end developer, back-end developer, UX engineer, or DevOps engineer? Determine what role or roles you need for your project.
- The developer’s level of expertise in the specific industry related to your business – This will help ensure that they understand the unique needs and requirements of your industry and can create a software solution that meets those needs.
- The developer’s soft skills – Apart from relevant technical skills and experience, you want a developer who has good communication skills and can work collaboratively with your team. Effective communication is key to ensuring that the software development work meets your needs and is delivered on time and budget.
There are many other factors you need to consider when deciding what developer you need, but these are among the most important.
Creating a project scope and timeline
Next, you need to create a project scope and timeline. To do so, follow these steps:
Step 1: Define your project scope
The project scope is essentially the work that needs to be done to complete the project. It’s important to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and what features or functionalities you want to include in your software project. This will help you to avoid scope creep, which is when the project expands beyond its original goals and budget.
To define your project scope, start by creating a list of all the features and functionalities you want to include in your software project. You can then prioritize the items on the list, and identify which are essential and which are nice-to-have features. Once you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, you can start to work on your project timeline.
Step 2: Develop your project timeline
Creating a project timeline is an important step in managing a software project. It’s important to have a clear idea of the timeframes for each stage of the project, so you can monitor progress and make adjustments if necessary. Here are some steps to help you develop your project timeline:
- Break the project down into smaller tasks: Divide your project into smaller tasks or milestones that can be completed in a reasonable amount of time. This will help you to manage the project more effectively.
- Estimate the time needed for each task: Estimate the time needed for each task, and be realistic about the time required. It’s better to overestimate than to underestimate, as this will help you to avoid delays and ensure that your project is delivered on time.
- Identify dependencies: Identify any tasks that are dependent on other tasks, and make sure that you allow enough time for each task to be completed
- Allocate resources: Make sure that you have the necessary resources, such as staff and equipment, to complete each task on time.
- Build in contingency time: Allow extra time for unexpected delays or issues that may arise during the project.
Step 3: Communicate with your team
Communication is key when it comes to managing a software project. Make sure that you communicate regularly with your team to ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. (More on this later!)
Finding Offshore Developers
Once you have a clear picture of your project and the kind of development work and developers you need for it, the next step is to find those offshore developers.
Identifying potential offshore companies or freelance developers
When finding offshore developers you have two choices: either look for freelance developers or an offshore company to augment your in-house team. Whatever your choice may be, here are some things you need to consider:
- When choosing to work with an offshore software development company, it’s essential to do your due diligence and research the company’s reputation, expertise, and experience. Look for reviews and feedback from other clients, as well as case studies and examples of their work. It’s also essential to establish clear communication channels and set expectations upfront, including project timelines, milestones, and budgets. A reputable offshore development company should be transparent about its processes and be willing to work closely with you to ensure that your project is a success.
- On the other hand, when hiring freelance developers online, you need to be even more careful as you won’t have the security of a company’s reputation and experience to rely on. Look for developers with strong portfolios and positive reviews from previous clients. Be sure to ask for references and to conduct a thorough interview to assess their skills, communication abilities, and work ethic. It’s also important to set clear expectations and establish a payment plan that protects both you and the developer.
When it comes to offshoring or hiring freelance developers, there are a few other factors to keep in mind as well. For example, consider the time zone differences if you are offshoring with a company or hiring a freelancer in a different country. Also, think about the level of control you want to have over the project and whether you are comfortable delegating responsibilities to external parties.
Ultimately, whether you choose to outsource or hire freelance developers, the key is to do your due diligence and establish clear communication and expectations from the outset. By taking the time to find the right developer or agency for your needs, you can ensure that your software development project is a success and that your business stays competitive in the fast-paced digital landscape.
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Evaluating Offshore Developers
Finding development talent is one thing, but determining if they are truly qualified and right for your project is another. When you find potential offshore developers, the next step is to evaluate them.
Assessing the developer’s skills and experience
When searching for software development talent, it is essential to take the time to properly research and vet candidates. This can ensure that you find the best possible fit for your project and that you receive high-quality work.
One key aspect of this process is to check the previous work and references of candidates. By doing so, you can gain insight into the candidate’s skills, work ethic, and ability to deliver results. Here are some tips for effectively evaluating a candidate’s previous work:
- Review their portfolio: Start by reviewing the candidate’s portfolio of past projects. This should give you a sense of their areas of expertise, the types of projects they have worked on, and the quality of their work. Look for examples that are relevant to your project, and pay attention to the level of detail and professionalism in their work.
- Ask for references: Ask the candidate to provide references from past clients or employers. Contact these references and ask about their experience working with the candidate. Were they satisfied with the quality of the work? Did the candidate meet deadlines and communicate effectively?
- Conduct a technical interview: Conduct a technical interview to assess the candidate’s skills and qualifications. This can include asking them to solve coding problems or to explain their approach to a specific project. Look for candidates who are knowledgeable, confident, and able to articulate their thought processes.
- Check for certifications and education: Check the candidate’s certifications and education to ensure that they have the necessary qualifications for your project. This can include degrees in computer science, relevant certifications, or specific training in the programming languages or frameworks required for your project.
Evaluating the developer’s communication skills and responsiveness
Your potential developer’s technical skills are not the only things that will matter to the success of your project. Their soft skills, such as communication and responsiveness will matter just as much and sometimes even more, as these can affect how well they work with you and your team, and how well they can follow your instructions and achieve goals.
Here are some tips on how to properly evaluate a potential developer’s soft skills:
- Communication skills: Communication is key to any successful project. Evaluate a potential developer’s communication skills by looking at their past projects and asking for references. Did they communicate effectively with their team and clients? Were they responsive to feedback and able to explain technical concepts clearly and concisely? Good communication skills are vital for ensuring that your project runs smoothly.
- Responsiveness: When offshore software development, it’s important to have a developer who is responsive and can provide timely updates on the progress of your project. Test a potential developer’s responsiveness by sending them an email or message and see how quickly they respond. A developer who is slow to respond may not be the best fit for your project.
- Problem-solving skills: Software development is all about problem-solving. Look for a developer who has a track record of solving complex problems and coming up with creative solutions. Ask them about their problem-solving process and how they approach challenging tasks. A developer who can think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions will be an asset to your project.
- Teamwork: In software development, teamwork is essential for success. A developer who can work well with others and collaborate effectively will help ensure that your project runs smoothly. Ask potential developers about their experience working on team projects and how they handle conflicts or disagreements with team members.
Understanding the developer’s work process and methodologies
Software developers use various work processes and methodologies, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The success of a project can depend on which methodology is used, so it’s crucial to choose the right one. Here are some of the most common work processes and methodologies used by software developers:
- Waterfall: The Waterfall methodology is a linear approach to software development, where each phase of the project must be completed before moving on to the next. This approach can be useful for projects where the requirements are well-defined and there is little need for flexibility. However, it can be challenging to make changes once a phase has been completed, and this can lead to delays and cost overruns.
- Agile: Agile methodologies are based on the principles of flexibility, collaboration, and continuous improvement. Agile development teams work in short sprints, with each sprint producing a working prototype of the software. This approach allows for more flexibility and can help teams adapt to changes in requirements. However, it can be challenging to manage larger teams or projects using an Agile approach.
- Scrum: Scrum is a specific type of Agile methodology that focuses on collaboration and communication between team members. Scrum teams work in sprints, with daily stand-up meetings to discuss progress and identify any roadblocks. Scrum can be particularly effective for complex projects with changing requirements, as it allows teams to adapt quickly and work together more effectively.
- DevOps: DevOps is a methodology that combines software development with operations. It emphasizes automation, collaboration, and continuous delivery, to improve efficiency and reduce time-to-market. DevOps can be particularly effective for large-scale projects, as it allows teams to work together more effectively and identify issues early on.
When choosing a methodology, it’s important to consider the project’s specific needs and requirements. By choosing the right methodology and approach, software development teams can increase their chances of success and deliver high-quality software on time and within budget.
Managing Offshore Developers
The work doesn’t end once you’ve got your offshore development team together. The best teams produce the best results, and the same goes for teams with offshore developers. You still need to manage your team effectively, but obviously, there will be slight differences and different challenges you need to prepare for early on when employing the help of an offshore development partner.
Establishing clear communication channels and expectations
Communication will be one of the biggest challenges you will face when working with offshore developers, but an easy one to overcome thanks to technology. Here are some commonly used communication channels and best practices that you can follow to ensure proper communication with offshore developers:
Email: Email is a widely used communication channel that allows for asynchronous communication between businesses and offshore developers. It is useful for sharing project updates, asking questions, and sending files.
Instant Messaging: Instant messaging platforms like Skype, Slack, and Microsoft Teams allow for real-time communication between businesses and offshore developers. They can be used for quick questions, urgent updates, and informal conversations.
Video Conferencing: Video conferencing tools like Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype can be used to hold virtual meetings with offshore developers. They are useful for discussing project requirements, reviewing progress, and providing feedback.
Project Management Tools: Project management tools like Trello, Jira, and Asana allow businesses to manage project tasks, assign work to offshore developers, and track progress. They also have communication features that enable businesses to communicate with offshore developers within the context of the project.
- Establish Clear Communication Channels: Define the communication channels that will be used to communicate with offshore developers and ensure that both parties have access to them. Clarify the purpose of each channel and the expected response times.
- Set Communication Guidelines: Establish communication guidelines that outline when and how communication should take place. For example, establish a protocol for responding to emails and messages, and define the frequency of virtual meetings.
- Provide Detailed Project Requirements: Provide clear and detailed project requirements to offshore developers. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the project is completed to the desired specifications.
- Foster a Collaborative Environment: Create a collaborative environment where offshore developers feel comfortable asking questions and providing feedback. Encourage regular check-ins to ensure that everyone is on track and that any issues are addressed promptly.
- Practice Active Listening: When communicating with offshore developers, practice active listening by paying close attention to what they are saying, asking questions for clarification, and summarizing key points. This will help to ensure that everyone is understood and that misunderstandings are minimized.
Setting project milestones and deadlines
Setting clear expectations is another important step you need to take to ensure a smooth and successful project completion with an offshore development team. Apart from what we’ve already mentioned in previous sections, it’s important to:
- Clearly Define Project Scope and Requirements:
This will help you and your offshore developers to understand the project goals, deliverables, and timeline. Ensure that everyone is on the same page before setting any deadlines or milestones.
- Involve the Development Team in the Planning Process:
It is essential to involve the development team in the planning process. This way, they can provide input on the feasibility of the project timeline and milestones. They can also identify potential roadblocks and suggest solutions to mitigate them. When the development team is involved in the planning process, they will have a sense of ownership and responsibility for the project’s success.
- Set Realistic Deadlines and Milestones:
Setting unrealistic deadlines and milestones can be counterproductive and demotivating for the development team. Ensure that you set realistic deadlines and milestones based on the project scope, complexity, and the team’s capacity. This will help the development team to stay focused and motivated throughout the project.
Managing the project and tracking progress
Of course, you need to track the progress of the project closely to ensure that it will be completed according to your vision and goals on time and within budget. Doing this with a team empowered by offshore developers will be quite different than doing it with an all-internal team, as you can’t simply pop in anytime to ask for updates. With offshore developers, you have to have a definite when and how:
When to Track Progress
You should track the progress of your software development project at regular intervals. This can be weekly or bi-weekly depending on the project timeline and complexity. Tracking progress at regular intervals will let your offshore team know when they are expected to provide updates and limit disruptions to their workflow. This will also allow you to identify any issues or concerns early on, and give your team time to take appropriate action to address them.
How to Track Progress
There are several ways to track the progress of your software development project with an offshore software development team. Some of these include:
- Regular Check-Ins – Schedule regular check-ins with the development team to track progress and discuss any issues or concerns. This can be done through video conferencing or phone calls. During these check-ins, you can ask the development team about their progress and any challenges they are facing.
- Use Project Management Tools – Project management tools such as Asana, Trello, or Jira are useful for tracking the progress of a software development project. These tools allow you to track milestones, assign tasks, and monitor progress in real-time.
- Review Deliverables – Reviewing deliverables is another way to track progress. You can review the deliverables submitted by the development team and provide feedback or suggestions. This will help ensure that the project is on track and that the deliverables meet the business requirements.
Request Progress Reports – You can also request progress reports from the development team. These reports should include details about the tasks completed, tasks in progress, and tasks remaining. Progress reports will provide you with an overview of the project’s progress and help you identify any potential roadblocks or challenges.
Maintaining a Positive Relationship
It’s great to finally have your offshore development team put together, but the road to project completion isn’t straight and smooth. There will be a lot of road bumps along the way that could affect your relationship with your offshore team members.
To maintain a positive relationship with your offshore team it’s important to:
- Communicate regularly – As we’ve mentioned previously, communication is key when it comes to managing an offshore software development team, or any team for that matter. Encourage regular check-ins to track progress and discuss any issues or concerns.
- Provide feedback and constructive criticism – Provide input, and at the same time be open to it. Receiving and acting on feedback is one of the quickest and most effective ways you can improve as a team.
- Foster trust and collaboration – Encourage open communication, and create a collaborative work environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas and opinions. Celebrate milestones and project successes to reinforce a positive working relationship.
- Treat the development team as partners – Because hey, that is what they are! They are your partners in building up your vision and achieving your goals. Respect their expertise and give them the autonomy to make technical decisions. Provide regular feedback and express gratitude for their hard work and dedication. Showing appreciation for their efforts can go a long way in maintaining a positive relationship.
These are just some of the ways you can create and maintain a positive relationship with your offshore team that will ensure a good, long-term working relationship and the success of your project.
Building a long-term relationship with the offshore developer
Now you may ask, “Why do I need to build a long-term relationship with my team of offshore developers?” And there are several reasons why:
- They have a solid knowledge base of your project. These employees have gained an in-depth understanding of your project, including what works and what doesn’t, common challenges, and expectations. They are well-versed in your company’s culture, products, and services, allowing for higher productivity and better performance.
- Keeping long-term employees is cost-effective. Employee turnover can result in severance packages, unemployment compensation, administrative tasks, advertising costs, and more. Retaining employees can save your company money and resources.
- Long-term employees bring stability to your company. They project an image of stability to customers and other employees. When working on a project, it’s preferable to have developers or other team members who will stay with you throughout the project timeline and beyond. This ensures that the project stays on track and is completed successfully.
- Reliability. Long-term employees can take on more complex tasks that involve sensitive data, which short-term employees may not be able to handle. Long-term employees can also help new employees adjust more quickly and may even inspire them to become long-term employees themselves. With long-term employees, you’re also more likely to develop close customer relationships, as they can work with the same customers over a long period.
Knowing and implementing best practices is good for maintaining a positive relationship with your offshore developers, but making sure they are a good fit for your project right from the start is even better to ensure their longevity in your team. However, it can be difficult to find qualified developers who can be dedicated to your project from the start and at a price that your business can afford. That’s where CoDev comes in.
CoDev provides small and medium businesses with pre-vetted, international development talent for one reasonable monthly fee. Each of our developers undergoes thorough background and skills checks to ensure our customers get the best development talent for their projects. Each of our offshore developers is also dedicated solely to their assigned projects. They are provided with everything they need to stay and succeed: benefits, workspace, hardware, IT, and HR assistance– you name it.
With CoDev, finding, screening, and retaining offshore developers on your team is easy. Want to know more? Schedule a call with one of our friendly representatives today.
As a small to medium-sized business, finding and hiring software developers can be daunting. This is where offshoring can be a game-changer, providing access to a global talent pool of highly skilled developers at a reasonable price.
To make the most of offshoring, it’s essential to determine your development needs and find the right developer for your project. This can involve assessing the required skill set, experience, and cultural fit, as well as considering factors like time zone and communication.
Once you’ve identified potential offshore developers, it’s crucial to evaluate them thoroughly. This can involve checking their references, reviewing their portfolios and code samples, and conducting technical tests or interviews. It’s also important to establish clear expectations and communication channels upfront to ensure a successful collaboration.
Managing offshore developers requires ongoing communication and feedback, as well as tracking progress and ensuring deadlines are met. This can involve using project management tools, holding regular meetings, and fostering a collaborative and respectful working relationship.
Overall, offshore can provide significant benefits for small to medium-sized businesses looking to hire software developers quickly and cost-effectively. By taking the time to determine your development needs, find the right developer, and manage them effectively, you can reap the rewards of a successful offshore partnership.
At CoDev, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality offshore development services tailored to our client’s needs. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you find and manage offshore developers, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d be happy to chat with you about your project and see how we can assist.
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