Be careful with developer nearshoring!

With the current shortage of developers, it is obvious to look to the surrounding countries. Also for reasons of price.

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What is nearshoring/offshoring and what is our experience with it?

Nearshoring/offshoring means bringing developers from other countries on board.

In recent years we have worked with many developers from Europe and beyond and are aware of the advantages but also the challenges. Currently, with the shortage of developers in Germany, some companies are moving their recruiting abroad, so the topic of nearshoring is very present.

The advantage is clear: nearshoring offers a much larger talent pool from which I can select and hire my people. Talent can be found all over the world and we have some of them on our team! You should definitely take advantage of this!

But: there is a difference if I bring a freelancer into my existing experienced team or even hire him permanently or if I just try to find the cheapest provider abroad to do my first software project. Saving costs sounds good, but we ask ourselves if this is not completely finished thought.

Communication barriers and other challenges

What should also not be ignored is obvious: communication barriers and cultural barriers. These can lead to problems. To prepare the development work, weakened by said barriers, often requires more project management and designer capacity. Developers from abroad with a lower hourly rate can increase the budget elsewhere. You have to plan for this!

The situation is no more difficult for UX designers abroad. In our experience, they need to be at the core of what is happening and the product. Design teams and software teams have to go hand in hand and this is difficult when they are far apart in terms of space and language/culture and close collaboration is not possible. In the end, anything that can be misunderstood will be misunderstood. If one would like to try it nevertheless with shifted software and Design team, processes must be specified and documented still more! But this ultimately inhibits agility. Actually, one wants to iterate a lot and not specify and document everything.

You should plan for the long term and, if possible, try to integrate the team abroad into your own team and company culture. This means planning a branch office abroad and sending your own people there to train and coach the local talent. Booking a few talents for a short period of time through an agency - that can quickly backfire if he or she suddenly finds something else.

In summary: If you already have an established team, it is absolutely okay to integrate people from all over the world. They should be brought into the team on an equal footing and with long-term goals. In our opinion, it is very difficult to start a development team with different people from abroad.

Especially for inexperienced teams, you need a service provider who understands your complex use cases, listens well and knows what to do. As you gain experience, the next Sc will show you how to set up your nearshoring team so that the investment pays off and works in the long run.

Written by:
Lisa