Be careful with Developer Nearshoring!

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What is nearshoring/offshoring and what experience do we have with it?

Nearshoring/off-shoring means bringing developers from other countries on board. In recent years we have worked with many developers from Europe and beyond and are aware of the benefits but also the challenges. Currently, with the shortage of developers in Germany, some companies are moving their recruiting abroad, so the topic of nearshoring is very present. The advantage is obvious: nearshoring offers a much larger talent pool from which I can select and hire my people. Talent can be found all over the world and we have some of them in our team! You should definitely fall back on that! But: there is a difference if I bring a freelancer into my existing experienced team or even hire them permanently or if I just try to find the cheapest provider abroad to do my first software project. Saving costs sounds good, but we wonder if it's not completely done thinking.

Communication barriers and other challenges

Something else that should not be ignored is obvious: communication barriers and cultural barriers. These can lead to problems. To prepare development work, weakened by said barriers, often requires more project management and designer capacity. Developers from abroad with a lower hourly rate can increase the budget elsewhere. You have to plan for that! For UX designers abroad the situation is not more difficult. In our experience, they need to be at the core of what is happening and the product. Design teams and software teams have to go hand in hand and this is difficult when they are far apart in terms of space as well as language/culture and no close collaboration is possible. In the end, anything that can be misunderstood will be misunderstood. If one would like to try it nevertheless with shifted software and Design team, processes must be specified and documented still more! But this ultimately inhibits agility. Actually one wants to iterate a lot and not fix and document everything.

You should plan for the long term and, if possible, try to integrate the team abroad into your own team and the company culture. This means planning a foreign branch and sending your own people there to train and coach the local talent. Booking a few talents for a short period of time through an agency - this can quickly backfire if he or she suddenly finds something else.

In summary: If you already have an established team, it is absolutely okay to integrate people from all over the world. You should bring them into the team on an equal footing and with long-term goals. In our opinion, it is very difficult to start a development team with different people from abroad.

Especially for inexperienced teams, you need a service provider who understands your complex use cases, listens well and knows what to do. When you gain the experience, you can in the next sc how to set up your nearshoring team, so that the investment is worthwhile and works in the long term.

Published by Moritz on 2021-01-22

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