We’re all on the same page: Software development is priced differently all around the world. With a vast ocean of global talent to choose from, why do companies choose the developers they do? What are the results? We recently ran a poll and asked users what their main reason for working offshore developers was.
It seems the number one reason people chose to work with offshore developers was because of their price by a landslide. According to TechCrunch, developers in the U.S. easily earn above $100k-$150k USD, while a developer in Paris earns about $98k USD. Then there’s developers in India who earn about $39K USD. Why wouldn’t you hire the developer that is a fraction of the cost? As it turns out, there are a few reasons.
In a previous poll, we asked users what was their experience actually working with an offshore development team. 61% of users said their experience did not go well. Working with offshore developers is a skill that not everybody possesses when they first make their hire. For someone who starts their developer search on a website like Upwork, it can be tempting to choose the freelance developer offshore with a rate of $21USD/hr over the American developer for $85USD/hr++. It is possible that despite having a lower hourly cost, the offshore developer’s tasks may be more easily miscommunicated. This could result in time-consuming errors, prolonging the development of your software project and driving up the cost.
While we all desire and hope our development team delivers reliable results, reliable is relative term when it comes to offshore development. Depending on which region you choose your team from, you are going to receive different results based on the culture from that region.
According to Ornsoft, the following countries have their own distinct web design trends:
It’s not that offshore developers are necessarily less capable, it is the standards within their own culture. Their perception of your culture may have an unwanted effect on your project. In addition there could be language barriers that complicate matters further. This can result in a product that differs from what you originally had in mind. Communication is essential if you choose to work with offshore teams. More specific communication and guidance may be required depending on the developer you select.
Earlier in my career, I hired an offshore team to help me build a website. On one of the pages we needed a stock photo that looked like a business meeting in progress. I did not have a stock photo in mind, so I asked the development team to select one for me. They chose a picture of a meeting that was clearly taken inside of a church. It showed religious imagery in the background, and a priest was sitting at the head of the table.
Culturally in the US, religious symbols are generally separated from business settings and imagery, but the offshore team did not know this. In fact, the offshore team’s view of the US through TV and other media may have led to the belief that a religious symbol was the most appropriate choice! Not only did I need to tell them to change it, but I needed to find the proper stock photo myself which ended up taking me hours.
A US-based team probably would have selected a reasonable stock photo the first time. If I asked for a different one, I would have trusted a description of what I was looking for would have given enough info for them to find something appropriate or even a few selections for me to choose from.
We prior asked users if their companies were planning to use offshore developers for their future software projects. 24% said yes, 44% said no, and 32% were undecided. Whether this decision is based on price, quality of work, or time differences, I highly recommended you think about what you want out of the project before hiring someone. This will help guide you to the right team.