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A caveat about off shore work and outsourcing

Andrew Neitlich

I’ve been up since 5:30 am my time instant messaging with some developers from India.

As noted in earlier blogs, sometimes I go with US resources, and sometimes I go off shore. It’s nothing personal.

For this project off shore developers can do the job for 1/10 the cost of US developers. I’d be nuts to not take advantage of this pricing differential.

But I pay a price for this in my own time and sanity:

1. I can’t believe the back and forth required to get something right. Even a simple text change can take two days, and end up breaking other parts of a site.

2. I sometimes give up and pay a competent US developer to do something for me. He is so fast and accurate that even though his hourly rate is 5X higher, I end up paying less.

3. The time differences, large number of holidays, frequent sick days, and staff turnover can be annoying and difficult.

4. Versions of SQL and other programs are often outdated and lower end.

I am willing to put up with the above because, as you know from my blogs, I am cheap — especially in the early part of a site before proving the concept will work.

For you, there is a major advantage and opportunity:

1. You can beat off shore teams with a marketing message that explains the problems working with off shore.

2. You can be the go between who finds competent outsourced labor and makes a team work (as I know some of you already do).

So don’t lament people like me who sometimes use off shore labor. Don’t take it personally. Don’t get upset.

Turn it to your advantage. The opportunity is there….