A Scrutiny on Doing Software Development Nearshore

 

Context

Every company is a software company – Forbes touted as far back as 10 years ago. Time only proved them right. 

Due to the major role that smart programs play in our everyday lives, the need for more software developers has increased dramatically. And, as with all good things, the resources are limited. Nearshore development has become a great option, not only for major companies that need a great number of developers to keep the business going, but, increasingly, for SMEs. Because attracting skilled developers in a short time is hard even for big corporations, let alone small players, businesses can hire developers that are located in countries with similar time zones.

If at the beginning, supply created demand, with available software developers nearshore attracting Western Europe and US companies, in time, the situation got reversed. The interest of these companies in developers nearshoring led more and more people to choose software development careers. The job of a developer is very valuable and well paid. In Romania alone, an engineer providing software development services earns 3-5 times more than the country average salary for engineers of all kinds. 

However, the rates are still competitive compared to onshore (local) employees for client companies. So, in order to optimize costs with their employees, more and more companies decide to turn to a nearshore software development team.

 

Development nearshore: benefits at a glance

The benefits of hiring a nearshore software development team are rather easy to spot.

First of all, nearshoring eliminates most of the hidden costs because of the transparency and collaboration that is possible when working in close proximity and a similar time zone.

Learning from past disillusions with below-par engagements, the industry now thinks of the quality of providers’ services rather than simple cost-cutting. Unlocking additional business value has become the main driver for corporations due to the high number of IT businesses out there. 

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Cultural proximity & communication

The difficulty to get a message across increases with the complexity of that message. When talking to a complete stranger, it is easier to convey that you are hungry than debate the meaning of life. 

Sharing a common set of values, expectations and behaviours makes interacting with your nearshore development provider easier and more predictible. One cannot over-emphasise the importance that both parties leave a discussion with the same understanding of what was agreed, especially when subtle nuances are involved, such as is the case with software development decisions.

In the case of Romania, although certain faint reminiscences of the Cold War era may still exist, people share European values and Romania’s inclusion in the EU for more than 14 years brought it even closer culturally to its European counterparts. 

 

Geographical proximity & similar time-zone

Nearshore software development offers the possibility of more onsite visits, that are cheaper compared to the offshore visits and require less travel time. Nearshoring allows company’s internal staff and external developers to meet in person more frequently. Usually there is little in-person communication when it comes to offshoring and that usually results in misunderstandings.

An additional benefit comes from the similar time zone that allows meetings to take place at convenient times during work hours. It can be hard to keep talented software developers if you are asking them to participate in meeting very early in the morning or very late in the day. Another issue with offshoring development is the delay in response time when it comes to status updates or a simple fix. With a nearshore provider, the onshore project manager has more visibility, can communicate easily and quickly look into a nearshore project, rather then they would have in an offshore one.

 

Agile methodology nearshore – is it possible?

Certain organizations are reluctant to send development nearshore, for fear nearshore providers are not able to live by the agile practices and processes they [the clients] employ internally. This impression may be false. 

We should take a look at the early days of the software development services industry in nearshore countries (Romania, Ukraine, Poland, Bulgaria). We can trace this back to more than 20 years ago, when the first software outsourcing projects made their way nearshore. The clients were either startups riding the dotcom wave or incumbents with projects deemed too risky to recruit permanent staff.

In both cases, the focus was almost entirely on tangible outcomes and the ability to pivot immediately. All the 4 core Agile principles were met in most of these nearshore engagements: individuals and interactions over processes and tools; working software over comprehensive documentation; customer collaboration over contract negotiation; and responding to change over following a plan. 

We can safely say that, with most current nearshore developers having started their career within the past 20 years, Agile is an integral part of their professional DNA. 

 

Conclusion

Improving the quality of code means generating value in the long run while accelerating your business. In comparison with onshore software development that can be more comfortable but is also more pricey and offshore developing that can be hard to maintain, nearshore developing seems the logical solution when it comes to saving money and being in touch at all times with your business. It’s a win-win solution that stands in between onshore and offshore software developing. You can benefit from it without any cultural or language barriers.

 
 
Neashore software development with dotNear

We are a software development company providing nearshore outsourcing services to SaaS start-ups and incumbent companies, who look for cohesive teams of agile nearshore developers. Our track record of happy customers includes companies from the UK, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the Nordic countries. 

Our services include web and mobile applications, data science, AI/ML, DevOps, iPaaS and can be delivered either as end-to-end projects, dedicated nearshore development teams or nearshore team extensions. Contact us and see how we can help out.