Software development is a highly technical field where the skill, expertise, and reliability of your team will determine the success of your project. This is why it is so important that you are selecting the team that matches and blends well with you and how you work.
In your search for a software engineering team for your next project; you’ll be burdened with the choice of on-shore, near-shore, and off-shore. It’s important to understand what those mean to you and your project.
On-shore means that the project, in its entirety, will be completed here in the United States by full-time employees and US citizens.
Off-shore typically means that the whole company is based in another country. For years, this has been a popular option because these developers can often cost half of what a U.S. developer might.
Near-shore means that a management company, based in the U.S., is sub-contracting or employing off-shore developers. This may seem like the best of both worlds, but is not without its complications.
Each of these alternatives come with pros and cons that you should be evaluating before making a decision.
Cost is always at the forethought of every project stakeholder. When the quotes come in, and some are half as much as others, it seems like a no-brainer. Why pay more if the end-result is the same? The answer is, the result and journey are not the same.
In almost all cases, utilizing engineers that are purely focused on completing this one project as cheaply as possible is going to leave behind an unknown technical debit. In the long run, you will have to make up that difference with patches, fixes, and corrections. You may ultimately end up paying more than you would have if you’d selected the right team; plus all the stress and frustration.
Globalization has made our world smaller, and with it, shortened the distances between us. What it has not changed is the rise and fall of the sun. Having your team in or near the same timezone permits you to pick up the phone and make a call when it’s convenient for you. Scheduling calls with someone who is 6, 8, or even 12 hours behind you is a logistical nightmare. Got an emergency? Too bad. It’ll have to wait for tomorrow.
Even if your developers are making themselves available in the middle of the night, are they really going to be at the top of their game? Are you going to feel good about putting that burden on them to be away from their families?
When you've decided to take on the expense of developing custom software, you want to be sure your developer knows your business inside and out. They need to be able to understand your questions, thoughts, and concerns throughout the project. Software developers in other countries are mindful of this, but communication barriers are commonplace.
If that wasn’t complicated enough, long distance calls, even over digital VOIP services are often plagued with bad connections that cut out or have echoes, delays, or background noise. It can be frustrating to have to constantly repeat yourself to someone that may already struggle to comprehend.
We all know Math is the common language, and the execution of that is the programming languages we use to make your application run. One would think that regardless of who wrote it, the language is then universal. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
While programming languages do dictate syntax or code organization, ultimately, the developer is able to name all their code objects, classes, and variables in a way that makes sense to them. What makes sense to them, just might not be English as you know it. It might not even comply with proper standards or paradigms.
Most projects go through life-cycles and sometimes through multiple developers. Eventually, you’ll need to make changes or fixes. If the code is not written in a coherent way, you could find yourself with an unmaintainable product. For many, this means a complete rewrite.
Whomever you select to maintain your project or systems will have potentially unfettered access to your data and intellectual property. If that property is improperly handled, it could result in loss or potential legal liabilities. Customer data leaks carry huge penalties that sometimes bankrupt companies; or, at a minimum, result in PR scandals that are near impossible to recover from.
Smart Software Solution handles this by employing certified security professionals and binding all their employees by non-disclosure agreements. We abide by U.S.-defined industry standards for data handling.
There is no guarantee off-shore alternatives will be as diligent, or that you will have any recourse if there is an infidelity.
Education and Accreditation
In the United States, nearly all employers require that software developers acquire, at a minimum, technical certifications. Most demand 4-year college degrees or more. At Smart Software, we exclusively employ individuals with degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) disciplines. The requirements for these degrees are standardized across all accredited universities in the United States. This is not true for oversea firms or institutions, where individuals may be fast-tracked with minimal qualification or expertise.
The result of this shows in the aptitude of the engineers and how gracefully they can solve the hard problems. If your team can solve the same problems better and in less time, even if at a premium, then you will have the leading edge.