Matthew Pelletier owns one of Miami’s fastest growing tech outsourcing firms, Coding Allstars. He has agreed to answer our top 5 questions regarding the current state of outsourcing and where it’s headed in the future.
Question: What is the #1 reason companies choose to outsource their software development to you?
Matthew’s Answer: One word: Cost. A growing number of employees are either partially or fully remote. Traditionally employers have been able to justify paying higher prices for an in-house developer due to the advantages of having them located in the actual office. The tech job market post-covid has been incredibly competitive. The majority of potential hires see remote work as a must-have benefit and more companies are offering hybrid work at the very minimum as a result of this demand.
So we’re at this point where you can hire a Jr Python developer with <2 years experience for $90k in the US, or you can get a Senior Python developer (>7 years experience) who speaks perfect English for under $40k in many eastern European countries. More experience at a lower cost means faster development and more efficient code.
Question: Anyone who has worked with outsourced development (especially to the India/Pakistan/Bangladesh region of the world) has horror stories to tell about sloppy inefficient code. What do you think the major contributors to outsourced development projects that don’t go well?
Matthew’s Answer: The top 3 contributors in my experience are 1) Poor English/Communication skills among developers, 2) Not sufficiently vetting outside firms/freelancers by giving them several test projects/tasks, and 3) Poor management.
English proficiency remains a huge indicator of project success when you’re working with freelancers. Someone in a foreign country that has taken the time to learn English well tends to be more westernized, more educated in general, and will have a better grasp of project requirements. I can’t really overstate how important this quality is.
Secondly, it’s appauling how many UpWork clients will make hiring decisions strictly based on an interview and feedback history. UpWork clients are extremely reluctant to give bad feedback due to the fear of retaliation by developers and the personal nature of client->contractor work. Testing multiple (at least 3) applicants that appear qualified with even a simple <2 hour task to find the ‘winner’ will dramatically improve your project outcome.
Thirdly, often times we have folk without a technical background managing development projects. The project specs aren’t clearly defined and this creates some major headaches down the road.
Question: Who shouldn’t outsource their software development?
Matthew’s Answer: The top 3 groups include: 1) Anyone who doesn’t have the budget or patience to give the same ‘test project/task’ to several different providers in order to find the ‘winner’, 2) An early stage startup where the founder has traditionally done all the development as outsourcing normally just slows things down in this case, 3) Pulling in outsourced development in the middle of a large and complex project can be a recipe for disaster.
Question: Where do you see the future of outsourcing?
Matthew’s Answer: If you look at the trends, outsourcing is growing faster than ever. These guys surveyed companies and found that only 4% of companies plan to reverse course (bring outsourced jobs back to the US) while 70% of companies plan to increase their outsourcing. With tech job wages at historic rates, companies will be looking for ways to save money. Outsourcing can shave huge amounts of a companies bottom line.
Question: Your website claims that you only work with the top 1% in coding talent. How do you go about finding the top candidates?
Matthew’s Answer: Our strategy boils down to a few simple principles. 1) The more applicants you get, the more qualified your final hire is likely to be. So we seek to get at least 1,000 qualified applicants for an open position before we will make a hire. 2) We test them thoroughly. A short test task will give you far more information than an interview ever could. 3) Patience is key with hiring. Some hiring managers feel they don’t have the luxury of time and end up rushing the hiring process which results in major headaches down the road.
Matthew Pelletier is the founder and CEO of tech startup Coding Allstars. You can find him on LinkedIn and UpWork.