Why aren’t more SWE jobs outsourced?

Dell / Eng LcAndChill
Jul 16 15 Comments

Is it just that communicating domestically is easier and quicker? Seems like it would be an easy target for outsourcing, it would certainly be much cheaper for companies.

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TOP 15 Comments
  • Microsoft fantasiA
    Outsourcing results in terrible outcome and stress to the existing engineers in US as they frequently mess up the code and design. The quality of outsourcing is not worth the saving. Just look at Beoing crisis which outsourced to HCL in India. I know a few other examples. Even bio outsourcing of creating generic drug resulted in terrible quality with corruption hiding the crimes. People died of this. I honestly don’t understand why would companies outsource any. It results in long term failure even though there is a short term gain. The only success story I see is having a entire dev team in China (Zoom) or starting at overseas then moving HQ to US (UI path in Czech). Outsourcing quality differs by regions but some offices are good at talk and bring in work to just mess up. Europe and Israel are pretty good though. Better to judge the quality based on number of successful companies but that doesn’t happen.
    Jul 16 2
    • Snapchat AlexHeath
      Ok. India bad. Europe and Israel good. Got it.
      Jul 16
    • Google xPws24
      Zoom hire employees in China, not outsourcing firms, that's very important difference.
      Jul 16
  • New / Data sese3832
    Outsourcing is corrupt practise. The partner in Asia will bill you for x experienced senior resources but in actual deploy x/2 inexperienced cheap programmers from no-name colleges. And the company will cash in on the difference, parasitic behavior of Indian companies. Plus quality of work is terrible, bugs are concealed by duct taping and monkey patching.
    Jul 16 0
  • Zillow Group walking 🚶
    IP ? Look what is going in China
    Jul 16 3
    • Trimble dwightBeet
      What is going on?
      Jul 16
    • Indeed Cobol06
      As if the current and former employees have the integrity to not steal and leak IPs and trades back to their homelands?
      Jul 16
    • Trimble dwightBeet
      The new Pied Piper?
      Jul 16
  • 2U / Eng fimb6
    Hiring employees, not outsourcing, is the key to maintaining quality. It doesn’t matter where the SWEs are from, it’s about how much ownership and collaboration is involved in the product.

    Developing good software requires a lot of collaboration and doing that across time zones, etc can sometimes negate any cost benefit by being able to hire someone more cheaply outside of the US if the rest of the company is in the US. When it’s done to find more qualified candidates, the lack of cost benefit can be justified. When it’s done purely for cost, it’s a fantasy.
    Jul 16 0
  • 2U / Eng fimb6
    Having distributed teams to enable you to find the best talent without being limited to one geographic area is a good idea. A company has to be committed to having support for distributed roles and to having a plan for giving each engineer the right management resources from afar. Outsourcing is a different idea and brings along all the problems of throwing tasks over the fence. It’s not that developers outside the US can’t be good, as that’s obviously not true. It’s that any time you hire contractors they will not care as much about your company as employees will. And if you hire a firm that works on a different time zone and throw work over the fence to them you can’t expect that it will be done as well as work done in close collaboration with the business it is being done for.
    Jul 16 3
    • Dell / Eng LcAndChill
      OP
      Makes sense, in that case why aren’t a larger portion of SWE remote workers hired from outside of the US?
      Jul 16
    • 2U / Eng fimb6
      One reason is that different countries have different employment laws, and a company has to be operating in that location to comply with those laws. Not all companies want to deal with that. Recruiting in different countries can be difficult too, unless you have a foothold there. For example, recruiting engineers in one country we found out they needed to give multiple months notice at their jobs and once they did they would often take another offer after accepting ours.

      Additionally, depending on the coding environment and development process that a team is using, it could be hard to find the right fit. Sometimes technologies lag, and people are less familiar working in an Agile environment. There can be barriers in time zones, culture, language that can also make it hard.

      It can be done but it’s a lot of work and doesn’t always have the cost benefits one imagines. So many companies prefer to stick to the US or a smaller group of locations that they already operate in.
      Jul 16
    • Dell / Eng LcAndChill
      OP
      Excellent explanation thank you
      Jul 17
  • Intuit s2hc4r
    Have it tried outsourcing before? The answer is in the question. People try it. It flops. It doesn’t get suggested nearly as much.
    Jul 16 0
  • Pear Therapeutics prez.trump
    I think it's hard to find the right ppl to manage it. My old company outsourced their eng to Canada where engineer are just as good but half as expensive
    Jul 16 0

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