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outsourcing programming

any feedback from people who have used these services



10:57 am on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

hi - i am looking into using the services from one of the sites such as : <snip> or <snip or i have been in contact with some eastern european freelancers.

has anyone had any experience with either using the above (or similiar) sites or freelancers from ee countries? Just wondering if you had any problems with contracts or payments or work or langauage barriers etc? i have a php application I need developed and am currently getting quotes but wouldn't mind a little feedback first before I dive in


[edited by: TallTroll at 11:56 am (utc) on April 15, 2003]
[edit reason] URLs [/edit]


11:48 am on Apr 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


I have only ever contracted abroad something I can very easily specify from start, through middle, to completion. Even then, I have often had "issues".

Any coding always seems to have too many opoortunities for misunderstanding across language and cultures, (imho) so I have always stayed away.

The price can be VERY attractive, however I always factor in extra for those misunderstandings. Generally (15 to 20%.)
As I said, coding I keep close to hand...like in my town!

Good luck.


8:14 pm on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I do a lot of coding and i did my whole site in ASP and ASP.net

When you ask someone else to do something, they will do it the way they think you want it done. 99% of the time what you think they want done and what you want done are 2 different things.

If you know how to use frontpage etc, i would do a little mock up showing exactly what you want of each pages and then send that to them and tell them you want it working.. Specifications on your part are the most important thing


9:28 pm on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't think it is worth outsourcing offshore unless the project is medium to large size. By this, I mean at least hundreds of hours of coding. If you are going to outsource this far away, you should be a very experienced outsourcer - this means you know how to articulate exactly what you want and you are capable of monitoring progress.

As someone who outsources a lot, I have found myself using higher and higher hourly priced programmers - funny, every time I do this I seem to get a better value. It's not just about the hourly rate.


10:15 pm on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

It does depend alot on the project. We use an offshore team amd have had a great experience with it. But our programmers are assigned to us on a long-term, fulltime basis.

We pay a flat monthly salary per programmer, and he/she works for us 40 hours per week. For that type of situation it works out great.


11:02 pm on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


If I may ask, what kinds of rates for what kinds of
programming/IT work are you finding to be the "sweet spot"
as far as value for the dollar?

Also, what countries are you finding best for talent?

Wondering what the rate and cost ranges are for what kinds
of work. Also, how to find the best sources to hire folks.




4:45 pm on Apr 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I couldn't agree more, those contracts that charge the most are usually the best. Here in canada you can get great contractors, and they get paid half of what they get paid in the USA.


6:47 pm on Apr 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

stlouis - if you look at some of the "guru" sites you'll find a big range of hourly rates. if you feel comfortable managing the overall project, meaning you hire the database person, the programmer (ie cold fusion, php, java) and the graphic designer, then you can save some money. i average about $60/hr. for these. for about $100 you can hire a pretty heavy hitter who can manage all of these people and the overall project for you.


6:54 pm on Apr 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Woah! $60 and $100?! You are way over paying!

I outsource programming overseas and the average rate is between $10 to $25.

The problem is not bad programmers, it's project management and proper software development life cycle(SDLC).

The critical part is - make sure you have a good tool to manage the project. there are several open source packages out there, even complete web sites, that will help you do this. Such tools will allow you to keep constant tab on all phases of the programming, debuging, QC, time spent, etc. Some even include testing of the programmers' ability.

"Generic" programming is a commodity, so it can be moved anywhere.


7:33 pm on Apr 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member txbakers is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I outsource programming overseas and the average rate is between $10 to $25.

And people wonder why the IT market in the US is crumbling.

For $10/hour I can manage a Jack-in-the-box but I couldn't support a family like that.

I'm against the entire outsourcing industry on the basis that it steals jobs and reduces the standard of living and education over all.

The US used to have thriving textile, steel, electronics and other industries until they decided to start outsourcing the work for those as well to countries that think $10/hour is a lot of money.


3:31 am on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

not everyone is from the USA!


9:54 am on Apr 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

heathmont : indeed.


2:33 am on May 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

txbakers, not to get into economics and politics, but would you program HTML for $10/hour? I can't even get someone to do data keying for that much... but that is how much I can afford.


12:40 pm on May 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Read your programmer's profile. Majority of the top developers in developing country have experience working in foreign(US, European) companies. It's actually the big boys like IBM and HP who trains the best developers in developing country. Make sure you pick someone with that type of background and pay no more than $15/hour. A little background for salary in China: $12000-$20000/year for top developers working in Oracle, IBM and Intel and etc(they often work over 200 hours a month), average good developers $7000-$10000/year(they are about as good as the junior contractors in North America). Indian and Russian are around that level, Estern europe is even cheaper.
If you do not know the team, don't pay any deposit. There are plenty of offshore teams who will develope the prototype for you without charge(it doesn't mean they suck). They want your business so badly and you can take advantage of it. I was once a software consultant myself back in Canada. Now I am running web businesses, I have used teams from India, Romania and China. The most important thing is to write a detailed project specification.


2:22 pm on May 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

and the best places to find these companies? google? or are there directory listings?


3:08 pm on May 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Elance, rentacoder, contractedwork, guru.com and etc. Elance has the most professional teams, but a bit high priced. I find rentacoder just fine.


9:19 am on May 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I tried my luck with Rent-A-Coder, as a coder ;) only to find out that I will lose more than I could probably win. The truth is that websites like these are good for people that want to get something done with the lowest costs possibile but not at the highest quality. This is perfect for programmers in India or Phillipines that will "code for food", but not for people like me that hope that in a couple of years will become citizens of the European Union.

Anyway, my advice for those interested in sending work outside is...:

* Eastern Europe is a lot more "culturally compatible" to you than India or Far East, so you'll spend far less time with the explanations on what you really want regarding the final product;
* if you find a good programmer or a good team, don't change him/her/them - you'll just waste some more time looking around for a new team if you need something more to be worked on; do count also the time needed by the new team to get used to your style;
* the time zone "wonders" - if you are in United States the people in the Eastern Europe can work while you sleep and you can take a look on what they worked on and think about new features while they sleep.


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