Do you also outsorce your IT and programming sercives? Is it worth it because of COVID? If so, are there any consistent problems you seem run into constantly?

by Deep_Belt8304. Posted on Sep 16, 2020    7    16

I am running both a small cleaning services company in Flint, MI and a couple (fledgling) statrup projects on the side. I feel like I often have communication problems with foreign programmers and such. Is there any one consistent problem you seem to run into with outsorced IT stuff or is just me? I would be interested to know what kind of things you usually outsorce and what I can possibly do for better results - local firms seem to charge way too much, and East Asian stuff is unreliable as hell for me.


lotusdotso 1

I have a lot of experience in IT services for cleaning companies - we should catch up sometime. TLDR I think it’s really hard to build anything custom, I’d look at Swept and Route or WhenIWork as software to buy. If you just want to outsource basic IT services I’d check out

Wahoopokie 1

Why don't you insource, onshore for gig development? Great time to get local developers to help, also local IT people.

  Deep_Belt8304 1

Didn't even think of that once. Probably a lower cost and less risky answer too. Any sites you can reccomend?

Wahoopokie 1

We use Handshake to get College interns, and then their friends, graduates...have used Craigslist and Odesk....then the major job boards...

Fleon007us 1

If you need an IT support group to resolve technical issues with your network or computers, DM me.

iBrl2020 1

We hired an operations manager/IT guy! He’s been wonderful.

CanadianAppDeveloper 2

What I have noticed while helping small businesses in the past is that outsourcing costs more money than necessary. Times have changes so much that there is usually a cheaper and more reliable alternative available that can be used to do your work by your local developer since he won't try to fit a circle through a square hole.

I highly recommend getting a few free quotes from a local consulting company and then from freelancers, so you can understand the solutions out there better.

wamih 3

Well it depends on what "IT stuff" you are trying to outsource?

"Seem to charge way too much" They most likely have American salaries and taxes to maintain, and may in fact deliver consistently. Also quality of work, no language barrier, or another possibility, you may not in fact see the scope of your project is much larger than you think.

techprospace 3

I think your confusing the two. Development is very different to IT.

Development involves programmers hired to build something to do multiple or specific things.

IT involves systems that are maintained and managed. Like computers, servers, and networking equipment that you use to operate your business.

It all comes down to budget. In house programmers that are good and have been doing it 15-20 years are expensive. Outsourced will be cheaper. You need to find and vet both.

Everyone thinks just because they can use the internet or connect a few computers is IT. It takes years like any trade to do IT properly.

Businesses have one job. That is to focus on their core mission. To get customers and expand. That is where your time should be spent focusing on.

gridtunnel 1

The only part I disagree with is your first sentence. Some developers double as DBAs, as a counterexample.

techprospace 1

True but it would take long post to cover all the different areas in tech. I wanted to keep it small and simple.

gridtunnel 1


lacadasical 3

My company just merged with an IT company (I am a programmer). Most of the clients we get tried outsourcing but couldn’t find someone reliable or that they could trust.

Have you tried finding a local freelancer? They’re typically cheaper. Or find someone to help with your marketing (easy to market cleaners) so you can afford a programmer.

What is the project if you don’t mind me asking?

petesapai 4

I have hired dozens of freelancers.

I always hire eastern Europeans. They are top of the line and most of them understand English well.

I avoid Indian and oriental freelancers. Indians because their programming abilities are really bad compared to eastern Europeans and orientals because well waste of so much time trying to understand each other.

raduqq 4

Disclaimer: I am a software developer working for an outsourcing company.

You can try east European countries if the timezone difference is not a problem.

There are programmers who speak English very well and code very well also. In my almost 9 years experience working in the field, communication is the biggest factor that can influence the success of a project.

And I'm not talking about the language barrier, but the ability of the programmer to ask and understand what the client wants. I've seen many times and have heard of even more numerous situations where a programmer acts just like a "code monkey", doing exactly what the client asks, blindly, without discussing about the problem or questioning the approach.

The most successful programmers are those who can consult a client, help him solve his problem, but guide him through the process of building the software, essentially acting as a team.

I think these are the best programmers to work with, from my experience, but also our clients have said that this what they appreciate most. Acting as a team, solving the problem together, always having in mind the bigger picture.

RecursiveBob 8

I've done outsourcing. In fact, I have a business finding outsourcers and freelance developers for entrepreneurs and small businesses. It sounds like a lot of your problem is that you're picking the wrong developers. A few tips about hiring:

  • 99% of what I do is screening. Anybody can find a developer. You put up a post 100 people respond. The trick is sifting through the bad to find the good. So take your time and get it right.
  • Don't go to upWork. The ratio of terrible/good is too high there now. I don't even bother checking there anymore. /r/forhire is better. I also have pro accounts with some of the career sites, but that may not be worthwhile for you if you're just hiring one or two coders.
  • Write up your design doc before you start looking. Naturally you'll need a doc so that your developer knows what to make. But beyond this, you'll need the doc so that you know what kind of developer to hire. It isn't just about hiring someone good, it's about hiring someone who fits.
  • If the candidate or firm responded to a job listing, ask them questions about the listing. There are developers who just respond to every listing out there without even reading them. You don’t want them.
  • If you hire a company, ask about the specific people that would be working on your project. A company has several developers, so you want to know that they’re going to assign you someone suitable.
  • Check over the candidate’s portfolio. Pay special attention to the projects that are similar to yours, since a developer can be good at some things and not others. So if you want an web developer, pay more attention to their web work than the other items (like desktop) on their resume.
  • With regards to code quality, unfortunately you can't really tell unless you have someone look at the code. If you know someone that’s a developer, show them code samples from the candidate’s previous work and have them evaluate that for quality. If you don’t know someone that’s a developer, hire me (or someone like me).
  • If they have references, check them out.
  • Be upfront and detailed about what you want the developer to do. That way if they’re honest they may tell you if they’re just not a good fit.
  • Make sure you will get all necessary source code and passwords on completion. Also, for a long project get backups of the source code along the way so that if the developer goes out of business or if you decide to switch to someone else, you’ll at least have the code that has already been completed. It will also prevent blackmail at project completion.
  • Don't hire the guy with the lowest hourly rates. Hiring the cheapest dev is like hiring the cheapest dentist in town-it's going to be a painful experience.

    With regards to problems during the development process, as I said, a lot of it boils down to getting someone good. Having a very complete development plan helps too. Also, be sure to have frequent contact with your developer to make sure things are on track and to review their work. Lastly, if there are language problems, try to communicate in writing, via chat and email instead of voice. A lot of foreign developers are better with written English than spoken. And, of course, that gives you a record of what was said.