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167

Talking from personal experience of having managed off-shore projects from an on-shore base the most significant challenges are: misaligned interests availability of information control security and compliance communication As far as "does it EVER work" concerned: it does. It doesn't work well though. Most people can run, but it doesn't mean that most ...


65

Most out-sourced software development ends up with a product that is late, over budget and delivered without all the agreed upon features. As we all know, this never happens with in-house software development. With that said, the only outsourced system that I've seen actually work well was one that was a reverse engineering project. There were two old ...


45

Offshoring: does it EVER work? = Do mediocre programmers EVER create good software? Would the answer really change based on the country of residence of the “average” programmer? I really doubt it. I tend to believe (though I could be completely wrong) that management gets quite “greedy” when offshoring projects and hires very mediocre programmers in the ...


36

My opinion: If all you'll give the offshore people is documents and diagrams, you will have a lot of miscommunication and disappointment. My recommendation Don't give them so many documents, but rather interfaces and abstract classes in order to straitjacket them into your design goals. Require them to use a known naming standard. Require them to use ...


27

At my workplace we are pretty big into using offshore consultants. As a matter of fact, half of my team is offshore. We use a Globant for an offshore resource provider (http://www.globant.com) In two words: Highly recommended. Our interaction with the Globant team is somewhat different then what I am used to with an offshore development team. They are ...


26

I work in a large company (50k+ employees worldwide) with design and technical centers in the Philippines, China, India, etc. For the particular project I'm working on at the moment, the team includes several people from each location. I don't know what the price difference is, so I can't speak towards whether it 'works' because I don't know whether there ...


25

It's called Big Design Up Front, aka Waterfall. It's not widely regarded as a highly successful methodology. But I've seen it work, and when it does work, it works very well. It's very expensive to do right. It's also what your employers have asked you to do. Offshore teams don't work the way onshore teams do. You have to be very, very specific about ...


16

Leave, run away... fast and never look back... I have worked for such a company, they thought they were smart, hey we've got all them bugs but our seniors complain they spend too much time fixing bugs. let's open an offshore office and let the others deals with this. for a manager that sounds like a really good plan and the devs were finally freed to ...


16

The last project I was the software designer. All development was offshore. We were successful. So this process can work. I did produce a lot of documentation but it was by no means comprehensive and by no means step by step instructions or detailed down to class names, function names etc. For example, I produced sequence diagrams, use case, workflows, ...


15

Of course it can - you offshore all the project managers, programme consultants and outsourcing analysts you can find. The one's who're left behind can then get the work done in peace :-) Serious answer: it's never the managers who are outsourced, just the programmers. The mind-set required by someone thinking that is a good idea, is someone who thinks ...


13

My company does, and it's a mess and a half. We've got a Ukranian offshore team that, to simplify things a little, takes care of a lot of the "grunt work" of coding, while our real team does the "craftsman work." Theoretically, that's a pretty good setup. In practice, it's a disaster, because even boring, mostly repetitive tasks are only mostly ...


11

The only case I have seen that worked well was when we were able to outsource a full subsystem and we were able to just specify the external behaviour. It seemed to work better than when you try to control the details.


11

Speaking as someone who works remotely a good bit of time, I would stress these: a solid, reliable and fast VPN connection Good response to emails from team members. Some people have the idea that if a person is not physically there that they matter less and they then put a lower priority on communications with that person. The remote dev should be ...


11

You are using exactly the wrong development methodology for the problems you are facing. By using Waterfall you are committing to: Getting the right requirements up front - this obviously isn't working Coding the requirements away from the customer - you aren't able effectively check issues with the customer given you have committed to developing to the ...


10

Well I tend to use the fingers metric. I hold up my fingers to count and say: Me: "How many offshore testing teams would I consider working with?" Me: "Umm... None." Then the problem of defining other metrics goes away. Now, before that gets marked down... The only reason I would use an offshore testing team, is if I was testing a localised ...


9

Having the company pay someone else to clean up my mess sounds like a good idea except when I'm expected to take their 'clean' code and add new features. And if they get it so screwed up that they can't fix it, you'll be debugging the debugging. Not being adequately compensated because they have to hire additional developers is not desirable. Having to ...


8

I've been at both ends of the off-shore model, and my experience with it have been "not so good". Feeling of ownership/responsibility or the lack of it, I thought, was the key. When you are the off-shored resource, in a "typical" environment, you will not be given the "bigger" picture and chances are you will never ever meet the client (end user). ...


8

From my observations of having worked with two different off-shore teams over the years: It's hard to interview people from thousand miles away.It's not just that it's difficult to interview via skype and mail. You're paying a fixed amount per programmer per month to an intermediary, and in both cases I've experienced the intermediary's financial ...


7

If you have the budget, I would consider flying to India and meeting the offshore teams in person as soon as possible. This will allow you to get to know them and gain their respect and trust much quicker than through Skype and email - and you'll also be able to make sure that they are on track. After a week with them they should be ready to go, and you will ...


7

If you are having trouble communication, try written communication. If their English is too weak, perhaps providing code examples as well as written explanations will help them grasp the concepts. Skype has a messaging system that can be used alongside the webcam communication. And about the time delay. I know it is frustrating (I have a three hour delay ...


7

Sure, you can hire people who don't know anything about testing to do it but I'd expect it to be about as successful as hiring people who don't know anything about programming to do your development. Testing services are essentially just consultancies comprising of professional software testers. Testing is a skill with all the associated knowledge, best ...


7

That needs to be considered when the project starts but there is no fixed answer, it will vary from company to company and project to project. If there is an in-house team it can be handed over to them to support and enhance on an on-going basis. Obviously the issues with this are the issues with any handover to people who weren't involved from the ...


7

I think it can, but not the way lots of companies appear to be doing it at the moment. Every time I've seen work just shipped off I've gotten back rubbish every time - sometimes you get back 100% code covered, unit tested, code analysis passed applications that exactly follow the specification to the letter, but they usually manage to somehow completely ...


6

This is one of the unspoken (well, unspoken at management level) problems. Scenario 1 is that maintenance, support and enhancements are done by the off-site company. This presumes that they still exist in 5 years time (there's a risk to the business there). The costs involved in this ongoing care should be factored in at the start. Scenario 2 is that the ...


6

The short answer is that if you do this solely in order to reduce costs by delegating all the shitty work outside, then you're already screwed. On the other hand off-shoring can deliver brilliant results when you treat the other side as a partner, not a cheap work force. Hire a skilled team that is able to work independently. This definitely won't be the ...


6

Are the developers not interested in learning from their mistakes? Can you fix bugs without specific domain knowledge, and does the outsourcing partner has this knowledge? The fixing part is the easiest most of the times, its the analyse portion that takes the time. From my perspective it is a dumb decision.



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