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September 2nd, 2008, 12:28 AM #1Outsourcing to India...
I'm about to outsource the development of a web application (a php/mysql tool) to a firm in India (here is their site: http://www.smartdatainc.net/ ).
The project manager has very good written skills and "ok" verbal english. The developer is very hard (nearly impossible) to understand verbally...
Anyone has good or bad feedback in doing this?
Things to watch for?
How to work with them to avoid failure (frequent meetings...etc..) ?
Any development firm you would recommend to work with or stay away from?
September 2nd, 2008, 02:55 AM #2
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I've outsourced some small projects, and the main problem I have faced is communication. My specs for a few projects were originally targeted to India & Eastern Europe, but I ended up with a US developer. It's not for lack of talent, it was lack of understanding of my specific requirements (as opposed to "this is what we have done in the past").
My US developer got it right away, and also added value with his own implementation ideas.
In your case, so long as there is a contact/project manager who understands the scope of your project, I'm sure it will be fine. Then again, it depends on the budget ... for a larger amount, I would reaaaaally want to make sure everything is clear upfront.
You should definitely arrange regular (and scheduled!) project updates .. they should be showing you work-in-progress (scheduled if you like), as you have to make sure they are on the right path.
In my previous world, I was involved in software design (working with developers, as well as a project mgr), and I think these rules apply no matter where your team happens to be
September 2nd, 2008, 04:23 AM #3
The smaller the firm the harder it gets, if you want the best communication then you pay more to use the bigger and better firms. Just like anywhere, quality talent is snapped up by the big firms, that covers people at all levels of the business.
September 2nd, 2008, 06:25 AM #4
I agree with what Chris said, there are lot of smaller firms out here in India, If you need quality then yes you got to pay more and go with a bigger companies.Cheers,
Mondera Affiliate Manager
Winner of the LinkShare 2004 Golden Link Awards "Affiliate's Choice Award"
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September 2nd, 2008, 11:52 AM #5
I agree with teezone that communication can often be a difficult and frustrating obstacle.
Also, I have had issues in the past with developers from India just not "getting" some pretty fundamental online issues... (e.g. error messages, copyright issues, etc.)
At a company I worked for in the past, a lot of our development took place in India, and - although often the base of the code worked well - we had to pick over it with a fine tooth comb to remove silly mistakes.
For example, error messages that would read along the lines of "sorry, your input was misunderstanded, please reinput your massage." (a made up example, but some were actually worse).
Also, if there's any design work surrounding the app they are building for you, make sure they understand or have access to images that they can use without violating copyright. We found that (until we corrected the situation) most of the designers/developers were simply grabbing images from other sites.
We had one through a picture of a "pretty girl" in the corner of one of our designs, and we had to remove it because it was Drew Barrymore.
Finally, the time difference can be an issue, as the India team's day may be ending shortly after yours is starting. This can delay things substantially because you are sending revisions and not seeing anything updated until the next day.
Some developers in India have shifted their work hours to match North American timezones, but not all... make sure you ask what hours they work, when they will be available for review and revisions and what their turn-around time is on implementation of changes.
Hope that helps...
September 2nd, 2008, 12:49 PM #6
Verbal communication is the most important aspect when outsourcing a project. I've outsourced projects to Peru with good success. I speak quite a bit of spanish which is why I outsource to spanish speaking countries. Between my conversational spanish skills and the conversational english of developers we are able to communicate pretty well. I also think that the spanish speaking countries have a tendency to speak better english then other foreign countries.
September 3rd, 2008, 01:17 AM #7
Thanks for the feedback.
SmartData looks pretty large (I would guess around 200 employees).I will give then a try and hope it goes well.
I you don't hear back from me in the coming months it probably went well...
September 5th, 2008, 01:15 AM #8
On the general topic of outsourcing...
Outsourcing to India is great, esp. if you can find a reliable provider. Check their reviews and go with your gut feeling on them.
You don't need to hook up with a firm, just a single provider or a group of separate single providers is all one would need...
getafreelancer & scriptlance are the 2 i've used and they are great services imo.
I'd encourage affs. to outsource their repetitive tasks elsewhere so they can focus on getting more productive stuff done. (deal negotiation, new opportunities).
Swapping out links is an X dollars per hour job, it's important to value your time and what it's worth. Have others do what falls below your paygrade (i still have difficulty w/ this too btw)
Tip: Before hiring them for the project, send them a mini survey to fill out to see if they'll be able to do what you want. If they don't take a few minutes to fill out the survey you know you don't have a good worker on your hands :-)
By delsol in forum Commission Junction - CJReplies: 1Last Post: September 2nd, 2008, 02:55 AM