Five Things to Know Before Hiring Offshore Developers

offshore developers Hiring offshore developers to complete software development work for an onshore company is becoming more and more popular. Benefits include: you get to focus on the big picture of your company while someone else does the detail work, office-wide productivity is increased with fewer office distractions, and you are opened up to fresh ideas that are seen through a new set of eyes. These are only a few of the benefits to outsourcing. Follow along with this Number8 blog to learn more about other benefits to outsourcing. However, before you decide to hire offshore developers there are some important things to know and important questions to ask. Below, we’ve outlined five things to know before hiring offshore developers.

Five Things to Know Before Hiring Offshore Developers

1. Communication is Key

The biggest challenge when working with someone who isn’t in an office with you is often communication. Finding ways to communicate the goals of your business can be difficult if the only communication is over the phone or through e-mail. Being aware that communication is crucial to success is the first step to a partnership with offshore developers. You can improve communication with offshore developers through programs like join.me and Skype that allow you to share screens with other computers. Another useful tool for communication is Lightshot – a screenshot tool that allows you to mark up images for 100% clarity.

2. Keep Timezones in Mind

If you are working with offshore developers, more often than not you are located in a different timezone than your offshore team and need to consider the hour difference. When searching for a team of offshore developers to hire, be sure to consider the difference in hours. Ask yourself what kind of effect the difference will have on your work flow. It is recommended to hire an offshore team that is located in similar time zone to your own. This is helpful so you can communicate with your offshore programmers throughout the day, experiencing more of a “real time” development experience and workflow.

3. Experience Levels

Whether you are a new business that is only getting started or an established business that has been around for years, you’re going to want your offshore developers to have experience. When you hire offshore developers, it is really important to consider how much experience they have. The more experience, the better. An experienced developer or team of developers will be capable of completing complicated tasks at a faster rate and with more accuracy. This, in the long run, saves you time and money while also helping to propel your business to the next level.

4. The Kind of Team You’re Working With

You need to hire offshore developers in the same way that you hire in-house employees. Look for the same qualities that you look for in potential hires who you interview face-to-face. Hold your potential team of offshore developers to the same standards. While the offshore developers aren’t going to be people you see every day or work in close quarters with, you will be depending on them for important IT work that your business will be relying on. You’ll want to hire people that you could get along with if you were to work in the same office with them. This way communication comes easier and trust can be established quickly.

5. How You Will Pay for These Services

Before hiring offshore developers to take care of your IT work, you will need to determine how you are going to pay for these services. Make sure the company that you choose to work with is legitimate and that they offer a variety of payment options. It is particularly beneficial if they have a U.S. location, along with their offshore programmers. Talking with other happy customers can be another great way to gain confidence that you are choosing the right offshore company for your business.

The offshore developers you hire can have a significant impact on the success of your project. If the team is not familiar with the methodology or programming language best suited for your project, hire a different team.

At Number8, we use the Agile method when approaching software development projects and incorporate Scrum into our work. Our team of highly experienced, software development professionals are skilled in many programming languages. If you are in need of offshore developers to help with software development for your company, contact us today.

Five Questions to Ask Before Hiring Offshore Developers

hiring offshore developersHiring Offshore Developers? Here are 5 Questions to Ask!

1. Is Customer Support Available?

Good customer support is crucial when you make the business decision and start hiring offshore developers. Be sure to ask if the team of offshore developers offers customer support and if it is available 24/7. This is especially important if you are working with a team in a different time zone. Should something go wrong after business hours, you will need a team available to fix those issues despite the time of day.

2. What Do Other Customers Think?

We live in an era where it is is completely possible to research a business before becoming a customer. Regardless of what business you’re looking into – be it a company of offshore developers or a local pizza joint – information is out there and most of it is coming from other customers. Look into what other customers have to say about the timeliness, experience, available support in regards to the company that is going to be providing your business with remote IT work and software development help. Hiring offshore developers is a commitment and you’ll want the best on the market.

3. Do They Offer Other Services Besides Software Development?

Is the team of offshore developers that you’re thinking of hiring solely focused on software development? Do they offer other IT services, as well? Depending on if the offshore developers are experienced or not, offering other services could be a bad sign. If they do offer additional services, it could be because the team is looking for more work in other technology fields due to their high level of experience. If they don’t offer additional services then they could be solely focused on software development or limited in experience. You should also consider if you could possibly need further IT work outside of software development in the future. It is possible that you could get all the work you need done now and in the future through one company and save yourself time looking for another company, if they offer other services.

4. How is The Company’s Employee Retention Rate?

Good employees are prideful of their work and rarely work for a company that is poorly set up. Look into how the company’s employee retention rate is. If they turnover employees left and right then you may consider hiring another company. People quit their job or are fired from their job for a variety of reasons. However, if a company is losing people quickly or letting go of people at a high rate then that can be a red flag the company is not being run well. Don’t hire a company that is undesirable to be employed at. If a company treats their employees badly, or employees feel mistreated enough to quit often, then they may not have high regard for their customers either.

5. Is The Team’s Approach Agile or Waterfall?

There are many different ways to approach software development. Two of the most common methods of approach are Agile and Waterfall. Each project is different and one method may work better for your project than another. Establish what approach the offshore developers use and make sure it is going to be the best for your business. The Waterfall method uses a linear approach to software development. The project goes through a set segment of phases from conception to launch. The Agile approach takes the same steps that Waterfall methodology lays out, but doesn’t approach them in a linear way.

The offshore developers you hire will determine which approach will best suit your project after hearing about it. Is the team not familiar with the methodology best suited for your project? If so, hire a different team.

At Number8, we use the Agile method when approaching software development projects and incorporate Scrum into our work. Our team of highly experienced, software development professionals are skilled in many programming languages. If you are thinking of hiring offshore developers to help with software development for your company, contact us today.

Top 10 Tech Jobs in America for 2017 According to Glassdoor

top 10 tech jobsGlassdoor, a job recruiting and employee-based review website, recently announced the 50 Best Jobs in the U.S. for 2017. Technology-based jobs dominate the list and especially the top 10 positions. The jobs are rated using the same system which Glassdoor deems “The Glassdoor Job Score”. Considerations include: job satisfaction rating, job openings, and average salary. These factors determine a score on a scale of 1-5. At Number8, we stay on top of the latest tech trends and news including information about the IT job market. Follow along for more information about the Top 10 Tech Jobs in America with details about what each of these different jobs entails.

Top 10 Tech Jobs in America in 2017

1. Data Scientist

Data scientist tops the list of the Top 10 Tech Jobs as per Glassdoor’s Job Score with a 4.8 score. The average salary for data scientists is $110,000 a year and over 4,000 openings are available in the United States. As a data scientist, the main job role is creating value out of data. By designing, developing, and executing machine based tools to organize and interpret thousands of lines of data. Statistical analysis is a performance bonus that will help make the job easier. It will also open up additional opportunities within the job field.

2. DevOps Engineer

Coming in at the number two slot, DevOps Engineer gets a total Glassdoor Job Score of 4.7 making it a very close second to data scientist. With the same salary average, the job satisfaction rating drops to 4.2 and the number of openings is significantly more limited with only 2,725 reported openings in the U.S. If interested in a career in DevOps Engineering, being a team player is crucial. The main role of DevOps is working with software engineers to launch, manage, maintain, and test operating systems for technology companies.

3. Data Engineer

Data Engineer ties with DevOps Engineer and brings in a job score of 4.7 according to Glassdoor. The job satisfaction rating of a data engineer is higher than that of a DevOps engineer at 4.3, but the salary average falls by $4,000 to $106,000 and the number of openings falls, again, to 2,599. Data engineers work to build large-scale processing systems for data. They then maintain, test, and improve upon said systems. Data engineers should be up-to-date on the latest technologies and able to work with them.

4. Tax Manager

With a job score of 4.7/5, Tax Manager takes the 4th spot in the list of the Top 50 Jobs in the U.S. for 2017. The salary average bumps back up to $110,000 per year and job openings in this field also improve to 3,317. The job satisfaction score falls to an even 4 which is the lowest within the Top 5. As a tax manager, the full spectrum of tax services falls under the job description. Tax forms and math within your day-to-day work. Customer service also plays a huge role in being successful in the world of tax management.

5. Analytics Manager

As an Analytics Manager, the main job role is managing a team of analysts in the business field. Using business data and methods that draw from statistical analytics, Analytics Managers provide an in-depth understanding of business performance and provide educated improvement suggestions. This field pulls in the third highest average salary on the list with a median salary of $112,000. Job satisfaction and the overall job score both hit in the high 4.5 area, but the amount of job openings is limited to fewer than 2,000 which makes it 5th in the list of Top 10 Tech Jobs.

6. HR Manager

The sixth spot in this Top 10 list belongs to the role of Human Resources Manager or HR Manager for short. The job score is a strong 4.6 with 4,339 openings in the country, a satisfaction score of 3.8, and an average salary of 85,000 dollars a year. While the salary is on the smaller side of the spectrum and the job satisfaction rate is lower, the abundant amount of openings in this field makes the role of HR Manager an appealing one. The ideal HR Manager candidate has experience leading a team and familiarity with policies as they relate to employee relations, compensations, health benefits, job safety, and staffing.

7. Database Administrator

A database administrator is fully responsible for the safety, performance, and ability of databases that are used to run technology companies. They also develop databases for future use and work with users to identify and eliminate issues through troubleshooting. With all the responsibilities that fall under this job title, it would seem that the job satisfaction score for this particular career would be low, but Glassdoor rates it with a satisfaction score of 3.8 and an average salary of $93,000. There are 2,877 openings in this field throughout the United States which gives Database Administrator an overall job score of 4.5 and the seventh position on the list.

8. Strategy Manager

As a Strategy Manager, salary jumps back up over the $100,000 mark by a whopping extra $30,000, so people who find success in this field stay there. A high job satisfaction rate of 4.3 leaves the job score at 4.5 despite the low amount of openings – 1,184. Strategy Managers are responsible for determining the long term goals of a company. As a result, they plan what strategies need to be deployed in order to meet the predetermined goals, as well. These goals are evaluated through reviews of the organization to help identify the strengths and weakness as well as the openings for improvement throughout the company.

9. UX Designer

The job of UX Designer is one of the most in-demand throughout the country, but it is in a field that is ever expanding. Consequently, job opportunities and openings continue to appear. As a UX Designer, job requirements include mobile and web development of user friendly and marketable website designs. Added experience in Photoshop is a huge plus within the field and could possibly boost the average salary even higher than the reported $92,500 by Glassdoor. Job satisfaction rakes in a pretty basic score of 4.0 and the amount of job openings sits at 1,691 which makes UX Designer the 2nd least available job on the list.

10. Solutions Architect

In IT, a Solution Architects job is somewhat confusing and also dependent on the job of the functional analysts. As functional analysts create the requirements for certain aspects of information technology, solutions architects then balance and execute those requirements. The average Solutions Architect brings in a quarter of a half a million dollars a year. Job satisfaction sits at 3.7/5 and openings are very average with 2,232 openings available in the United States. This brings the score to 4.4 and rounds out the list of the Top 10 Tech Job according to Glassdoor.

Technology continues to dominate the future of the world in terms of long-term career opportunities. At Number8, we are in a dynamic field that is an integral part of most types of business. And we love it. For more information about tech job opportunities, including how to become a member of the team at Number8, call 502-890-7665.

Why Your Startup Can’t Afford Not to Outsource

For startups, time is of the essence. To be successful, a startup must be able to grow quickly and also efficiently. This can become difficult because it contradicts another key element of startups, they are typically very small. A startup first begins with an idea, and often that idea comes from just a single person. Expecting one person alone to carry their idea all the way through is unrealistic. No matter the manner of your new businesses, everyone could use a little help sometimes. That is where outsourcing comes in.

How Outsourcing Will Make Your Startup Successful

You have an idea. You know what you want that idea to grow into. And you know what kind of effect you want it to have. What you don’t know is how to connect all those lines of possibility. An outsourced team could help transform all of your ambition into action. They have experience taking broad concepts and breaking them down into a grounded framework that leads directly to positive outcomes.

Some of the most well-known businesses today got where they are now by utilizing the assistance of outsourced teams. Skype is now a staple among the video-chat and telecom technologies. In the early 2000s, founders Friis and Zennström reached out to teams in Estonia to help develop their product. According to Gigster, on release day in 2003, 10,000 people downloaded Skype, and by 2011 it was sold to Microsoft for over $8 billion. Without the help of outsourcing, who’s to say where Skype would be today.

Saving Time

In the competitive world of startups, time is irrevocably intertwined with money and outsourcing is a huge time saver. If there is ever an startupopportunity to conserve time and money in one then you should fully embrace it. It will cost less to use an outsourced team rather than hire on a group of full-time employees. It will also eliminate the training of those new employees. Outsourced employees already have the talent and ability to carry out the work that needs to be done to make your new business a success.

In an article describing various businesses who outsource, John Rampton of Entrepreneur said, “Low costs and knowledgeable talent means you can get infrastructure developed faster and your company launched sooner.” Often new ideas, especially within the tech industry, are extremely time-sensitive. You want to be the first to market before anyone else has the opportunity to develop the same, or similar, concept. There’s a much better chance your product will be polished enough to quickly release it to the public when you outsource work. 

Accountability & Reliability

Outsourcing is helpful in terms of getting your new business started and running smoothly, but long term usage can also be extremely beneficial. When you use the help of an outsourced team at the beginning of your business, they will be well versed in the product and how to keep it working well and ways in which to improve it. This is a team already familiar with the processes and methods that your business uses and could be of great assistance in maintaining its success.

Here at Number8 we understand the needs of new businesses and the many benefits of partnering with outsourced teams. Read more about us and the services we offer here, or give us a call at (502) 890-7665.

Common Mistakes Agile Software Development Teams Make

Common Mistakes Made When Using the Agile Method In recent years, agile methodology has become increasingly popular among tech development teams in part because of its adaptability. Teams are attracted to the flexibility within the agile method because it addresses the difficulty of trying to solve a complex problem through predetermined processes by allowing those processes to change throughout the course of the project. Rather than having to remain within a strict set of guidelines, teams are able to embrace more creative ways of problem-solving.

Since the agile method is still a relatively new approach for many teams, there are a few mistakes that occur consistently. If you are thinking of adopting the methodology, here are a few frequent mistakes to be cautious of:

Fear of Failure

One of the benefits of using the agile method is the freedom to fail. It seems counter-intuitive to strive for failure, but often it will guide you toward success. If you focus all your energy into believing every project will be a success, you could potentially waste time. It is important to admit when something isn’t working so you can instead bring your attention to finding a solution or a new approach.

Overcrowding

Teamwork is extremely valuable when it comes to tackling a new project. However, having too many people working on the same thing can quickly become counterproductive. You should assign employees to a project based on its estimated time-frame and how demanding the work may be. Sometimes a project only needs one or two people; others may require the brain power of your whole team. Be attentive when working with large teams. Don’t let employees lose their voice or have their ideas overshadowed by their coworkers. Working in a team should promote collaboration rather than competition. 

Not Consulting with Clients

A client’s opinion should be just as important as any team member’s. Not including your client in the development process could allow for problems that will force your team to back track and lose valuable time. Ultimately the success of your work is dependent on the satisfaction of your client. Without involving their input, you could create a product that fails to fulfill their needs. After each new progression, you should be checking with your client to ensure they are in agreement with the direction of the project. 

Waiting Too Long to Test

Efficiency does not always look the same. In terms of agile development, the focus should be on building a quality product and ensuring its capabilities rather than on creating a product quickly. You may save a few hours if you eliminate testing in the beginning, but they are sure to catch up with you when the product fails to function properly later on.

Lack of Skepticism

Using the agile method is attractive not just for its flexible qualities, but also because it is new. It is important to remain critical and thoughtful when using new software development approaches. Just as the waterfall approach is starting to be scrutinized a little more heavily, the same will surely happen to the agile method. Take a note of advice from the agile method itself and remain flexible. Analyze each assignment on an individual basis and decide what method would be most appropriate based on the details of the project. Don’t just believe a project will succeed solely because its development has been based on agile principles.

Number8’s Agile Method Software Development Team

At Number8, we’ve been in the business of software development for almost 20 years. Our on-shore and off-shore developers are familiar with the agile method and mistakes are both few and far between. If you are in need of an agile method software development team, contact us today. We can provide high quality IT talent to your business no matter the size or sector.