Guys, serious question.

I work in a startup as a cto. We have a very low budget and considering hiring people offshore.

Does anyone have some experience in hiring and piloting a remote team? Would you recommend it?

  • 3
    only hire self disciplined individuals, people who graduated from college are most of the time Not self disciplined, like ever. self disciplined people are those who have one big project on their github profile or many smaller projects. always hire Them over people with a degree if you need remote work
  • 1
    Not sure where you are “outsourcing” from/to, but I’ve worked with/for TekSystem and I’ve worked for Rural Sourcing (https://www.ruralsourcing.com). TekSystem is hit or miss depending on your region. RSI is a good company.
  • 1
    @bkwilliams we are located in Belgium. Since we're trying to reduce costs, we are considering Asia, specifically India
  • 2
    It's hit or miss. When your find a good offshore resource, then you are set. But if not, be prepared to spend ALL your time managing them. We've had decent results with Tata. You have to be very explicit in what you want, and have a solid statement of work and service level agreement with them.
  • 6
    Yeah I have experience with that. It can work, but you'll need advanced developers for that. Also, be sure to have code reviews from day one. That seems to be more or less the only way to assure code quality. You really don't want a well working system that wasn't reviewed regularly, because then when your start up grows and you need other devs working on it, you'll be very much screwed when the quality is not adequate.

    Also take into account that the developed system WILL need to be replaced relatively soon because when you put all important knowledge external, this knowledge stays there and will be lost when key personell is lost. Software goes from evolution into servicing stage and there is no way to revert that...
  • 2
    @CodeMasterAlex that is true, and offshore rotate their people frequently, which means you will be retraining people in your processes often. Keep your process simple and well documented.
  • 3
    My experience with outsourcing is pretty abyssmal.

    Most outsourcing shops require so much micromanaging that it becomes cheaper to just do it in-house with a team that understands your business, most of the time you don't know what you really need, having a team that understands your business and can work independently towards your goals is far more efficient than trying to break down your goals into tasks that can be outsourced. (I've seen outsourcing managers spend 40+ hours coordinating a solution to a problem that shouldn't have taken 1 developer more than 8 hours to solve)
  • 0
    Personally, I’ve only experienced negatives with outsourcing teams in India.

    It’s often a raw deal for the devs over there too.

    The biggest issue we ran into was the cultural one, they have such a subservient yes-men mentality, and often times that led to them implementing crazy solutions to crazy requirements from non-technical management.

    When their modus operandi is to produce results at high speed and low cost, things inevitably go to shit.

    Depending on local labour laws, I’d recommend hiring talented, passionate local talent and having a slower ramp-up. Consider equity options. Consider contractors so you avoid the overheads of payroll reporting and minimum wage requirements etc.

    You can trim enough fat to hire local and not sacrifice too much quality.

    Outsourcing seems like a good idea... until you have to spend 10x to fix the damage down the road.
  • 0
    @3K-Vengeance a previous employer of mine hired some remote contractors in Poland and that turned out to be a great idea, they even ended up setting up a satellite office!

    My biggest employer (huge billion dollar multinational) had a whole office in India and still couldn’t get outsourcing to India right, it got so bad that they fired masses of the devs and clawed things back in-house at considerable cost.

    Time zone, communication, culture, constant power blackouts etc etc - it just wasn’t worth the hassle.
  • 0
    In my experience remotes are very valuable.

    However, they must have proven experience, or they won't be worth it, not even in the long run.

    Also, depending on your and their country of residence, you may have to arrange quite some expensive things like insurance and other expenses normally covered by your local government. This can be a hassle, especially if you're a startup and need the time to get shit done instead of managing your human resources.

    Very important is that your local team involves and adopts the remote. Be sure everybody is willing to try this and then just try. Be willing to lose time and maybe money.
  • 0
    This question is pretty old but how limited is your budget? Are you in the US? Have you considered working with european developers? I've been working remotely for 3 years with distributed teams. I agree that you need people who are experienced with remote work as it takes some getting used to.
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