The highly competitive job market for software engineers in the United States has made the search for tech talent an incredibly difficult undertaking. Many companies have reacted to this new reality by expanding their hiring searches out of their immediate geographic area, often using external services to increase their access to the best candidates. Some of the most valuable types of external services are nearshore software development partners, which provide the same benefits as traditional outsourcing without the communication challenges that working with East Asian contractors often bring. |
What is Nearshore Outsourcing
Nearshore outsourcing has become one of the most popular and widely used software outsourcing models in use today. While traditional outsourcing typically involved exporting services to a team of contractors located halfway across the world, often in India or East Asia, nearshore outsourcing enables companies to select outside contractors that are located in a geographically-close country. For companies located in the United States or Canada, this usually involves working with a service based in Latin America.
These nearshore development services are superior to traditional outsourcing because in-house employees and contractors are in the office and engaged at the same time and working within the same time zone, making instant communication and extensive collaboration much easier. In addition, Latin American countries such as Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico are known for their highly trained software engineers who are just as capable as their American counterparts and fluent in English.
Types of Development Models
For executives searching for an outsourcing partner, the first question that they must answer is: what type of software development model is best for my company? The best software outsourcing firms will offer a range of services, such as staff augmentation and delivery teams, to fit each of their clients’ needs. Staff augmentation is perhaps the most commonly used model and it involves supplementing an in-house development team with select outside contractors. Alternatively, companies interested in a more hands-off arrangement often turn to autonomous delivery teams, which complete the software development cycle without the need for extensive supervision or project management.
Access to the Best Talent
The single greatest benefit associated with modern-day outsourcing is the ability to access the top talent in the world, regardless of the candidate’s geographic location. The amazing internet speeds and communication channels available today mean a software engineer located in Buenos Aires can collaborate with your team instantly and without difficulty, allowing companies big and small to sidestep the hiring challenges present in the U.S. tech market today. Before signing a contract with a nearshore software development company, make sure to ask pointed questions about their hiring process and how they ensure that they only work with the best candidates in their region.
One of the most important steps in assessing any potential nearshore software outsourcing services is to take a close look at their reputation within the software development industry and among past clients. The top companies will always have extensive online presences, with a well-built website, resources for potential clients, and should have their leadership featured in well-known publications within the field. Their website should provide a wealth of data, such as information about past projects, industry awards, and case studies that prominently feature happy clients. Managers should also use their professional network to ask about potential outsourcing partners and to solicit ideas.
Consistent communication may be the single most important key to ensuring success in a software development project. This is true for basic staff augmentation arrangements, and particularly vital for large-scale outsourcing projects like autonomous end-to-end delivery teams, which are expected to take an executive team’s general idea and transform it into workable software, with little supervision or direction. That’s why the most successful outsourcing arrangements are based upon open and regular feedback. When managers begin to assess outsourcing partners, it is important that they lay out their communication needs well in advance and their outsourcing service commits to regular updates and assessments throughout the duration of the project.
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