Insights | Spotlight on Colombia: Thriving Software Development Outsourcing Industry

Spotlight on Colombia: Thriving Software Development Outsourcing Industry

By Jim Marascio | September 18, 2020

I’ve been to Colombia four times on business trips – twice as a client, working on projects with there; and most recently, after joining the company myself, introducing a new client to the opportunities to be found in this wonderful country, and supporting another client project.

What makes Colombia stand out if you’re looking to outsource your software development? For a start, it has some phenomenal universities that produce a large and highly skilled talent pool. 

The time-zone overlap means work days are well aligned with the US, in particular, and it’s relatively accessible via an overnight flight across the Caribbean – not so different from flying to London, but without the six-hour time difference. 

Software development teams, and the business community in a more general sense, in Colombia have experience working with US companies and a good understanding of Western business culture. The level of skills and expertise is similar to what you’d find in Argentina, so expect to pay a little more than some other countries in the region where the tech sector is less advanced.

Like Buenos Aires, the capital Bogotá is a very cosmopolitan, European-style city with wide boulevards and neighborhoods built around beautiful squares. Modern infrastructure and government buildings have mushroomed around La Candelaria, the city’s cobblestoned center, and the heart of its Spanish colonial past.

Both Bogotá and Medellín, about 260 miles north (the closest airport is a spectacular 45-minute flight through the mountains) are thriving tech hubs. The sector’s expansion in the number of startups, IT businesses and software developers has been fostered, in part, by tax incentives from the Colombian government and professional training programs to stimulate growth. Over the past few years, there’s been an influx of companies from outside Colombia setting up secondary or tertiary offices in Bogotá or Medellín. 

Set in the Aburrá Valley, Medellín was nominated for Most Innovative City of the Year after revolutionising its public transport system; its Metro train has reduced CO2 emissions by 175,000 tons a year, and three cable lines carry commuters from neighbourhoods on the steep slopes to the valley floor. It’s also home to the largest research-dedicated building in Colombia, Sede de Investigación Universitaria, at the University of Antioquia.

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The weather in Medellín is like a perpetual spring, with warm year-round, day and night. It’s a gorgeous modern city; the Pablado neighborhood has a vibrant, expat vibe; the coffee is fantastic, even by Colombian standards; and beyond the mountains to the north is the wilderness of Paramillo Natural National Park.

Accelerance recently traveled to Bogotá to reconnect with one of our top global partners, spend time with their employees, and host working sessions. We got down to business as due diligence requires, properly vetting and verifying our partners. But it’s not just about checking off technical items on a list. We wanted to get to know the teams better and immerse ourselves in the vibrant local culture for a taste of life outside the office walls.

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First stop after a long day in the office: dinner at Andrés Carne de Res, one of Bogotá’s most colorful party spots, with live music and an eclectic Latin American menu. The next afternoon, we took a few hours before heading to the airport for the flight home and visited Congreso de la República de Colombia, the 19th-century building in Bolivar Square where we toured the beautiful grounds. Then it was onto the historic La Candelaria quarter and famous Museum of Gold (Museo del Oro), which has the largest collection of gold artifacts in the world. 

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From there, we visited the Botero Museum, home to one of Latin America’s most important art collections. The museum was founded in 2000 by Colombian artist Fernando Botero, best known for his paintings and sculptures that depict figures with exaggerated physical proportion, such as these two works below. All this was packed into about four hours, and included a trip to the top of Monserrate mountain for a beautiful view of the city before the rains swept in.

On each trip, I’ve found the people in Colombia exceptionally capable and wonderful to work with. They’re very friendly and very proud of their country – and they want to share it with you.

Outsource with Confidence with Accelerance

Accelerance travels the world to simplify your search for the best offshore companies – and we’re impressed with what Colombia has to offer. If you’re interested in outsourcing your software development, contact Accelerance to find out more.

For the latest analysis on outsourcing opportunities throughout Latin America, check out our 2020 regional guide.

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