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July 26, 2020

Spotlight on Peru: Stability Spurs a Vibrant Software Development Industry

I’ve always wanted to hike the Inca Trail. So, when my software travels took me back to Peru to investigate great local development teams, trekking to Machu Picchu, high in the Andes Mountains, was on my bucket list.


After a period of turmoil, Peru is experiencing a renaissance. Companies from across Latin America (particularly in Brazil) are establishing secondary or tertiary sites in the capital Lima, to take advantage of the relatively stable economic and political situation. The 2019 Peru Service Summit, where investors met with almost 200 businesses across a range of industries, generated deals worth US$160 million – almost half in software.

There’s no shortage of skilled local talent: the top Peruvian universities produce very good engineers, who graduate fluent not only in English but also in Western business culture.

I met several potential partners across Peru and came away impressed with the wide range of capabilities of the country’s engineers. Areas they specialize in include mobile app development; open source implementations and customizations (Drupal, Joomla, Plone, E-commerce, Moodle); and web-based applications built on PHP, Ruby, Python. They also have experience with the CodeIgniter, Rails, and Django frameworks, and are familiar with scrum and Agile development processes that are increasingly used in US software development.

With the Trump administration’s changes to the H-1B visa program, outsourcing solves the difficulties in bringing software engineers to the States. Peru is an attractive nearshore option, due to its proximity and similar workday schedule. The flight to Lima takes six to eight hours from most major US cities, not much longer than a cross-country flight from New York to Los Angeles. And because no tourist visa is required, it's easy to maintain a face-to-face relationship with a development partner there.

Peru is a phenomenal place to visit. The country has its own distinctive cuisine, from local speciality ceviche, to flavorsome meat and seafood dishes, and signature cocktail pisco sours – not to mention the food truck scene. In fact, there might not be any better food on the planet. 

For a sprawling metropolis, the capital is relatively easy to get around. MIraflores is a lovely modern neighbourhood and commercial hub, popular with expats, where you’ll find the best restaurants (not always the most expensive ones), while bars and clubs are concentrated in Barranco, around Parque Municipa. The Pacific coastline stretches for 1500 miles, and some of the best beaches for surfing and swimming are just an hour or so south of Lima.

I brought my family to Peru with me this time. We flew to Cusco, the ancient Inca capital, then spent five days on a guided hike to Machu Picchu, where the remains of a 15th-century citadel are considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Even though we only had day packs (horses carried the rest of our gear, including tents and food), it was a challenging hike, with the trail climbing as high as 16,000 feet. Well, it was tough for the adults. The kids, of course, made it look easy.

Accelerance Managing Director Alex Gilbert had a very different travel experience on his trip to Peru, when one of our certified partners in Lima took him whitewater rafting, in Lunahuaná , a small town set in a mountain valley by the Cañete River. “The two-hour drive down was absolutely stunning, with mountains on one side and ocean on the other,” says Alex. “We hopped onto the river with a guide and hit a couple of big rapids, so it was a lot of fun.” 

Lima itself reminded Alex of Los Angeles: a modern city with a “hustling, bustling feel”. He flew direct from Miami and caught a cab downtown, paying in advance for the 45-minute ride at a booth at the airport. Like me, he loved the food. Sushi POP, in Miraflores, is still the best sushi spot he’s ever been to.

The software company Alex came to see are .net specialists who focus on web and mobile development. He met the new CTO, talked through some new initiatives and came away with a deep understanding of how the business works. Like most Latin American teams, they have a cultural compatibility with the West, and great English skills; one day a week, all internal meetings must be conducted in English only. Taking up an entire floor of a WeWork space, the company has an area where staff can play ping-pong or video games. “It’s a pretty cool set up.”

Outsource with Confidence with Accelerance

Accelerance travels the world to simplify your search for the best offshore companies – and we’re impressed with what Peru 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 2022 regional guide.

Andy Hilliard

As CEO, Andy leads and advocates for the globalization and collaboration of great software teams with companies in search of talent, innovation and a globally-distributed extension of their engineering function and culture. Andy founded the ground-breaking nearshore software development services company, Isthmus Costa...

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