And while all options for software development have their own benefits and favorable elements, they are not created equal.
As you consider how to proceed on your next project, it’s imperative that you explore the options in front of you and make a calculated decision based on the one that’s most likely to benefit you and your users the most.
The democratization that’s taken place in the development industry over the past decade has been striking.
It’s no longer a select few companies or professionals offering dev services to the masses.
There are now thousands of standalone companies, agencies, and freelancers working in a variety of capacities.
And while they can be organized in more categories than one, you’ll find that most of these developers fit underneath one of four headings:
As the name suggests, these are developers you hire from another country. More specifically, they operate in a country that’s in a totally different time zone than the one your business operates in. Technically, you can hire an offshore developer in almost any country, but they’re most commonly sourced from places like India, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, and Romania. When you work with an offshore developer, you enjoy a number of benefits – including lower costs and larger access to global talent – but get less flexibility, lower responsiveness, and issues with time constraints.
With a nearshore developer, you’re working with a company or professional who is located outside of the country but in a region of the world with a more similar time zone. Examples include countries like Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Uruguay. And because the time zone is more similar, it’s easier to communicate and coordinate projects with greater efficiency.
Onshore is also known as local outsourcing – though the developer can still be hundreds or thousands of miles away. This sort of relationship exists when the developer is located in the same country. It removes language barriers and cultural differences, while simultaneously allowing for similar/same time zones.
Finally, you have the option of hiring an in-house developer. This is where you actually hire a full-time employee and bring them to work inside your organization. This can be done with a physical office-based position, or it could be handled on a remote/virtual basis. The do-it-yourself approach to web development is tempting, but has it’s own risks and rewards.
While all four options have a time and a place, most businesses that are serious about development and have an ongoing need for reliable, high-quality work find the latter two options to be most realistic.
So that’s what we’re going to focus on for the remainder of this article.
Let’s begin by taking a look at in-house development.
As mentioned, this is a method by which you hire a full-time developer onto your team.
This individual becomes an employee of your business – signing a W-2 form and getting all of the other benefits that your existing team members have.
There are several pros to working with an in-house developer:
There are also a handful of cons to working with an in-house developer:
Here’s how you go about finding an in-house developer:
Again, there are pros and cons to working with an in-house developer.
Just to recap, you’re basically getting someone who is 100 percent focused on your projects and who will help your business build internal expertise, while paying a premium and requiring more of your time and energy than alternative options (at least up front).
If you decide against hiring an in-house developer, you have three primary outsourcing options: offshore, nearshore, and onshore.
As previously mentioned, onshore is a type of software development outsourcing where you hire someone located within the same country as your business. Thus if you’re an American business, you’d hire someone based out of the United States. It could be New York City, Los Angeles, or anywhere in between – but it has to be within the United States for it to be considered “onshore.”
There are several pros to working with an onshore developer:
There are also a handful of cons to working with an onshore developer:
Here’s how you go about finding an onshore developer:
When it comes to outsourcing, onshoring is typically considered the best option. Yes, it can be more expensive than offshore or nearshore, but it generally gives you greater control. It’s also the most scalable option. So before you consider going another route, make sure you at least give onshore outsourcing a second look!
At Dev.co, we believe that you shouldn’t have to settle.
You shouldn’t have to settle for beautiful or functional.
You shouldn’t have to settle for quality or affordability.
You shouldn’t have to settle for convenience or versatility.
So we don’t make you settle.
We let you have your proverbial cake and eat it, too.
We do this by mixing strategic innovation with beautiful interfaces to design, develop, and deploy sleek experiences across your entire tech stack. And we accomplish this through connecting you with the right dev team to handle your project.
While there’s a time and a place for hiring an in-house developer or building out your own dev team, we believe it’s much more cost effective and practical to pursue onshore outsourcing.
And we would relish the opportunity to be your go-to resource.
For more information on how we design unrivaled digital experiences for businesses across all industries – including enterprise, government, education, small business, marketing, finance, healthcare, agriculture, and ecommerce – please contact us today!
Ryan is the VP of Operations for DEV.co. He brings over a decade of experience in managing custom website and software development projects for clients small and large, managing internal and external teams on meeting and exceeding client expectations–delivering projects on-time and within budget requirements. Ryan is based in El Paso, Texas.