I moved this thread to R&D (but left a re-direct behind in HR); all of your questions have to do with development and management of software more than people -- so I'm guessing (hoping) that you'll get better response in this forum...
I'm considering outsourcing part of our programming. Fairly trivial programming. Our programs don't really require a lot of cutting edge coding.
I see our options as:
1. Local programmer (may be unlikely b/c we're using Delphi and it's a relatively small, although hi tech, town.
2. Outsourced US programmer. So far rates seem a bit high ($75/hr, etc.). At that rate, I'm happy to do the programming myself. (I'm a programmer, although new to Delphi).
3. Outsourced Overseas programmer.
Concern here are english skills.
What sorts of "gotchas" should I look out for?
MY concerns are:
1. Proper unit testing.
Programmer properly tests thier code.
2. Does programmer look out "ahead" and see potential problems?
If so, do they present you with the problems or go a step further and present you with possible SOLUTIONS to those problems?
3. Milestones with solid deliverables.
This mitigates the impact of a schedule slipping indefinitely. Also, makes it easier to change to another developer if developer doesn't work out, switches to another project, gets another job, etc.
Of course, hiring even a traditional W-2 programmer is not without risk. S/he could be less competent that it initially seemed, be a poor team player, and either quit with no notice or alternatively raise legal issue when terminated.
Domestic and foreign contractors in some ways carry less risk. If, for example, you have a straight hourly contract you can almost certainly terminate the relationship with minimal notice and minimal "hangover."
Some of the *particular* problems of overseas outsourcing that I have heard reported include:
- Language barriers -- accents can be a barrier to effective verbal communication even where you speak the same language.
- Cultural differences -- may not "get" what you mean.
- Time differences.
- Need for solid specs. You can't look over the programmer's shoulder and say "oh wait, move that field over a couple of spaces."
- Harder to supervise. Hard to tell if the same, qualified people are working full time on your project.
- Possible IP issues. Are your business rules being shared with others? Is your new code possibly contaminated with the IP of other clients?
Hope this helps. I suspect if you search Google on Outsourcing Problems you will find other gotchas.
I am a Delphi Programmer with more than 10 years of experience. I am lost my contracts due to recerssion. I am desparately looking for delphi job or projects. If you can provide me a job or project, nothing like it. Due to my current situation, I am willing to work at any reasonable rate.