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The Hidden Cost of Offshore Development

Eric Meyer

2 min read

One of the questions we get asked by our enterprise clients, is if we have considered using offshore resources for our client’s development needs. In the past, we’ve managed offshore teams for our clients, and we’ve found while the initial value proposition is compelling, reality rarely conforms to expectations.

Curious Minds does not outsource any of our work to offshore vendors. We prefer to have our developer work right here in the good ‘ole US of A. In today’s gig economy, this is an increasing rarity. Why do we insist on hiring and employing domestic developers, when outsourcing is so popular in our industry? The answer is fairly nuanced, but it boils down to communication and the quality of work.

Let’s face it, not all developers are created equal. Sure, there are development teams and developers overseas that we can hire for $20 per hour. But what kind of value are you getting from that developer? What is their level of experience? Does it take them longer to produce the same amount of work as a more expensive, better paid developer? How about the amount of bugs an inexperienced developer may bring into the mix, and the additional cost of finding and fixing them.

Next up, we have communication. Sometimes it’s difficult enough go get an experienced developer in the same room as you to understand your business process. Imagine the difficulty in getting someone up to speed, who is thousands of miles away, in a separate timezone. It can be done, but it’s not as easy as you might think. Expectations can be something that are very difficult to get across. Because of these difficulties, managing offshore developers can be a frustrating, and time consuming process, leading to customer and management fatigue.

So while the idea of hiring that $20 an hour developer from overseas is initially appealing, the real cost of engaging in outsourced development can be much higher than initially expected. If you combine that with the consequences of project failure, the smart move is to avoid it altogether.

Just like supporting local businesses, here at Curious Minds, we prefer to support our local labor markets. We make a point of investing in the people and the communities around us. We strive to hire full-time developers who are empowered to deliver a higher level of service than our competition. It makes all the difference for us and our clients.

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