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Web Development Teams – Offshore or not?

Ryan Carson the creator of DropSend has decided to start third-worlding his development. Astonishing. There he is sitting in his deluxe studio in Bath, organising international conferences at $1500/head with hotels starting at $369/night and he’s decided that he’d rather not pay for a developer’s time.

Ryan Carson and UK team enjoying his gorgeous studio

If the above sounds critical, it’s not necessarily entirely so. Ryan Carson is actually sending the work to Russia which is not at all third world but a strange mix of brilliant minds and upside-down economics.

Still if a successful small UK house won’t employ local talent, what does that say about the future for programmers?

A number of people suggested that quality control would be an issue.

Slobodan Kovacevic answered that it was a question of paying over market (golden chains) in your targeted labour market.

Claim that long term cost is higher might be true in some cases – usually when you get extremely cheap developers. If you pay someone $7/hour (like most Indian Elance developers ask for) of course that you can expect that, as the project progresses, any quality that was in the code will disappear and you will end up paying someone to fix it or lose money since your product won’t work. On the other hand if you find a trusted developer and pay him properly (or even a bit above usual price for an offshore developer – which is still a lot cheaper than hiring an UK developer), he’ll be happy and you’ll be as he will produce quality code.

Of course as a project leader for an offshore team, that’s what Slobodan would say. But he may be right.

Happily enough, the discussion led me to oDesk.

One Comment

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