outsourcing offshore

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by ambient, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. ambient macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2007
    i know this could be a controversial thread but here goes.. does anyone employ programmers or designers offshore.. i recently came across these sites:



    any thoughts would be appreciated..
  2. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2004
    Calgary, AB
    ahhh yes, outsourcing, fun stuff!

    I worked with one client who payed the expensive firm I was with at the time for the designs, but outsourced all the coding/website updates to an offshore company in India.

    To be honest, it was the weakest link in the chain, but having said that I think that may have been the experience regardless of where the coding is being done. Basically we had a contact in North America that we sent all our files and change request to. And the next day we'd come in and they'd be done.

    I think for the client it was great because they saved money and had a fast turn around, but none of us really cared for the arrangement because it gave us less control over how our designs were translated into HTML. Images would be changed, bullets wouldn't be styled until we requested repeatedly and certain functions of the site were simply ignored.

    But as I said, it's possible that having any 3rd party company doing our coding would have resulted in the same issues.
  3. ambient thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2007
    thanks for your input... i dont think i could ever allow for someone in india to do any sort of design for maybe just the programming coz i dont really like.. would rather be designing..
  4. Trogloxene macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2007
    I've had an offshore India programmer work on one of my products. They did the bulk of the work, but then my programmer in the US had to fix a bit of stuff in the end. I also know a game developer who had a A title all coded in Russia. He did all the design, much of the art, and all the marketing here in the US.

    So basically you do design, some production, cleanup programming and marketing onshore; and have a portion of production offshore. At least I think that is the most cost effective solution. (Note that I say it is "cost effective" and not the "best" solution.)

  5. epochblue macrumors 68000


    Aug 12, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    The company for which I work has an offshore team, and they're awful. They write monolithic code and come up with bizarre solutions to seemingly simple problems. They've been nothing but a headache for us.

    I'm not saying this is always the case, mind you, but this particular experience has left me with a terrible taste in my mouth and I will never recommend off-shoring if you can help it.
  6. pilotError macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2006
    Long Island
    We do a bunch of work with offshore development.

    We have on-shore resources that communicate our needs back to the shops.

    Most of the comments here are dead on, basically they are very good at laborer type of work (body shop).

    Design and Architecture still need to be communicated very clearly, since there really is a disconnect there. If you want specifics, be sure to document them and you will get back exactly what you ask for... Even if its not what you wanted :D

    We had similar experiences with one of the comments above in that some stuff had to be gone over once it came back. It really depended on the type of stuff you were doing.

    If your going to go that route, you had better be organized and manage the offshore team as a body shop. That means good schedules, a good line of communication, well written documentation and the means to manage it all. If you let them manage it, any cost savings will go away, and you will certainly overpay.

    One other thing to look out for is how much exposure of your company you give them. If they see a lineup of projects and they build one system for you (cheaply), you can bet that the next one they will try and jam you. Most companies stick with their offshore provider once they've built the infrastructure. Don't be afraid to negotiate and be willing to walk away.
  7. lady therese macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2007
    Due to the high rates for programmers, it is really cheaper to outsource to other countries which has lower rates such as the Philippines. A lot of web development companies do it.
  8. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    Most of the cost savings get frittered away debugging their crap code.
  9. tomoisyourgod macrumors regular

    May 3, 2007
    Liverpool, UK
    In my experience, out sourcing to India isn't the best approach.

    Yes it's cheap, and yes they'll get the job done but the qaulity isn't there.

    So many web design companies I know do this, and the look and feel of the site from original designs is terrible and not tested on every platform/browser.

    One example is CSS is all over the place, placement of text and images is off key, all these appear to me to be common errors from all out sourcing I've seen.

    Exactly as posted by dornoforpyros
  10. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
    Offshore tech support is an easy vector for social engineering as well.
  11. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    ... as we wind our way toward the elimination of the American worker.
    Hey, but it saves money.
  12. SC68Cal macrumors 68000

    Feb 23, 2006
  13. Hatchet macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2007
    Baton Rouge
    For my company, I outsource work to people around the world: Serbia, China, Australia, Canada, UK, etc.

    I find there work much better than local agencies and tend to stay away from sites you have mentioned. I find them through connections and industry leading web design inspiration sites.

    Going global is never a bad thing if you do it right.

    (On a side note: All the work performed is of the best quality, web standards compliant (W3 Standards for CSS & XHTML), and usually featured on web design inspiration galleries. I only hire top notch and they deliver. :))
  14. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Our company employed an offshore company who did a wonderful job of handing us beta apps and then running like hell with their money. TCG is the company who, in my opinion, has a long standing reputation for robbing my old company blind. They would interpret needs as they saw fit and ensure that they handed us half-completed projects. The programs would run for the most part but there would be a huge list of wants/needs that was never tended to. They refused to let go of code so more capable developers could take care of business for them. It was not until the "lead" there started sleeping with a director here that I saw an actual completed application from them. Of course, once they married it was as though every app had to be developed by TCG.

    That said, off-shoring is great if you want to get something done inexpensively. You can also find great talent there. However, I am also a red-blooded American and I believe that taking jobs away from your homeland is unpatriotic, whether you're American, European, etc.
  15. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    I'm going to probably shoot myself in the foot but who cares at this point.

    Off Shore is ok (as said before) IF DONE RIGHT! Meaning if you get the right people, etc.

    Now I work with almost an office full of work visa Indians, nothing against them as a nationality but I must say quite a few of them (including the ones they use off shore) doing really do a great job when it comes to thinking on their own. Oh they'll run with requirements and deliver a good product, but that's if you like products without initiative, ingenuity, imagination, etc. I continuously tell them "what about this, what about that, the end user will want these things" and they return, "it wasn't in the requirements" which is true it wasn't. BUT guess who gathered the requirements? You got it, one of the work visa guys. They didn't bother to go through iterations of requirements, just grabbed them and ran, then during the course of development, lots of questions, lots of issues, lots of "ohhh no we need THIS" overall a lot of things that could have been avoided if proper requirements were gathered and yep you guessed it, it still has to be done in the agreed time frame and cost.

    Basically a half ass job up front. I constantly complain about this to them but they look at me, bob their head and nothing gets done.

    NOW here's the rub, they're all underpaid and pretty much work slave hours (12-14hr days) In fact one of our upper mgt guys had someone do a phone interview (tech screening) for someone to bring them here and basically pay them HALF of the rate they should get. When the guy got back to his desk he told me "that man is exploiting his own people" and that really rubbed me wrong.

    With the proper guidance I'm sure they can do good work, but thus far all I've seen is robot work. A customer asks for a web page, they agree, and during the development or during requirements not one person asked "how would you like SSN's formatted? Do you want your data columns sortable? What is your preferred date format?" When I QA the product, the typical response is "they didn't ask for it" and I reply "well did anyone ask the customer during requirements?", and I get a "Why?"

    Ohh I can go on and on and I'm sure they aren't all like this, thus far only the ones I've dealt with at my office. I've met some in another company that are really into what they do and do GREAT work.

    So again, although I feel the work should try to remain homeland as much as possible, there's a ton of very skilled and talented people here in the states that are screaming for work, but if it's your thing, it can be done IF you do good research and bring in good people. Maybe try them out on a small test project see how they perform.

    My post isn't meant to be racist or anything, so please don't take it the wrong way and I have nothing against the Indian people, just the ones I work with and the ones they outsource to.
  16. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2004
    Just remember you get what you pay for. India or America.
  17. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    That is such a true statement.
  18. jdl8422 macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2006
    My company tried to hire some designers through Odesk.com. Seems like a good idea when you read it. One cool feature is Odesk.com takes screen shots of their computer every 10min so you can track their progress. It seems like a good deal when you get a quote to build a standard 5 page Xhtml website at $9.99 for 15hours. What they dont tell you is all these designers are in India so when America is at home in bed they are getting up to work, so communication is a pain. For our site we hired them to do a website for a local A/C company. They just copied a A/C supplier website and put foreign A/Cs in the site with India families enjoying the cold indoors. After our time with them we realized its some much easier to build a site in Photoshop then have a company convert it to Xhtml or HTML. We used xhtmlteam.com and they did an excellent job writing code and had a great turnaround.

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