Insights | How Dog Treats Relate to Outsourced Software Development

How Dog Treats Relate to Outsourced Software Development

By Andy Hilliard | September 12, 2013


Recently I’ve been hearing from companies who don’t want to use India for their software development outsourcing. They've had negative experiences with Indian developers and don’t want to go into that space again.

It reminds me of buying dog treats for my Chocolate Labrador, Ruthie.

A short while ago, I stopped in a Costco in Sacramento and on impulse I picked up a bag of dried duck breast dog treats for Ruthie. At the checkout counter, the cashier started scanning all my items but when he got to the dog treats he held up the bag and said, "I strongly suggest you not buy these."

He went on to explain how dogs have died from different treats coming from China. I took his recommendation and didn’t buy the treats. When I got home and looked it up online. I found out there were indeed many reports of tainted chicken-based treats and dogs dying from kidney failure. My purchase could have absolutely been a bad one and I will certainly think twice about buying dog treats that come from China forever more.

It is easy to jump to conclusions and bash anything from China, even software development services. However, Accelerance has an excellent American-run partner company there that has a very high standard for software quality. We could become xenophobic and not trust anything from outside the United States. Instead, it’s a better strategy to develop an affection for the good things that are foreign and can benefit your business. There are good software outsourcing companies in China. It’s a matter of knowing the challenges and avoiding some basic pitfalls.

Why Outsourced Software Development Projects Fail

There are some challenges that are inherent to outsourcing: a difference in time zones makes communication tough. It's day here when it's night there and finding time to talk about a project is challenging. There are also cultural differences that can complicate communications.

There is one challenge, though, that is often created by inexperienced companies looking to outsource software development - choosing a developer based on pricing. The lure of low cost labor draws companies to India. But companies who hire based on price can end up with low-cost programmers who don't have the experience or ability to handle the job well. It’s like anything – you get what you pay for. Unlike most products, though, the higher quality options offshore are still lower cost than domestic developers, they’re just not the lowest priced offshore firms.

All these challenges can be addressed, but many decision-makers who know they need to outsource begin looking at near-shore countries instead. If they do they will miss out on the opportunities and talent that exist in Asia.

Outsourcing Experiences Vary

The same prejudice exists with software outsourcing to India. Someone else's bad experience doesn't mean that all software outsourcing to India isn't beneficial. There are good companies in India and smart people. There's a large talent pool that's only going to increase. The Indian government is aiming to train an additional 500 million skilled workers by 2022. That means there are abundant people with the right kind of experience that you can leverage in your situation.

Just like that cashier who was knowledgeable about the product I was buying and steered me away from potential problems, Accelerance is a helpful and experienced advisor to guide you through the options that exist whether it’s in China, India or other intriguing new places abroad.

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