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So Close and Yet So Far. Does Software Developer Location Matter?

Sep 21, 2016 10:00:00 AM

so-close-and-yet-so-far-does-software-developer-location-matterIf commercial flight put everyone on Earth within reach, technology has set each of us on one another's doorsteps. It's now possible to collaborate with others across the country or around the world as effectively as you can with the people in the next office. What that means for businesses is that they are no longer held hostage to the service providers in their city. Using technology, you can hire and work with developers anywhere in the world.

What are the pros and cons of hiring developers in remote locations, as opposed to those in close proximity? Let's explore.

The Pros of Hiring a Remote Software Developer

The primary benefit of hiring a software developer from the other side of the world is taking advantage of lower labor costs. Developing and emerging nations have a fine balance between the skills and infrastructure (power, Internet connection, education, etc.) to produce solid programming talent, while still offering the lower wages of a developing country. Essentially, their cost of living hasn't caught up to what it is in Europe and most of North America, though they do have the education and skills to do the work. So, they can afford to work much cheaper. While you can get much less expensive work, there are often challenges that make up for the cost savings.

The Cons of Hiring a Remote Software Developer

Except for the price difference, there aren't many selling points for a far-away developer. The cons of hiring a long-distance software developer include:

  • Face-to-face meetings are almost impossible. Not only is it nice to be able to meet at the onset of a project, it's nice to know you can meet up if there are questions or issues that come up along the way.
  • There may be language barriers to communicating exactly what you want.
  • There are sometimes cultural barriers, as well. Programmers in different cultures usually think and work much differently than local developers.
  • Trans-continental Internet connections sometimes experience service disruptions that cause projects to run behind schedule.
  • Some things are just easier to communicate in person. Though PowerPoint presentations, video conferencing, and Google Docs make it possible to communicate and collaborate across long distances, it's still more difficult than when you can meet with your developers in person.

Other Important Considerations

Though long distances obviously make communication more difficult, it isn't necessary that the developer you choose is in your own city. Usually, there are only a few meetings needed during the development process. For example, you'll meet once as the project kicks off, then during each phase of development. So, any developer within driving distance is close enough.

Price and location are just two of the considerations when it comes to choosing a software developer. Their skill sets are also critical.

For example, are you hiring a software developer or a web application developer? Do you need a mobile app developer? If so, are you looking for an iOS app developer or an Android app developer? This is more important than how close their offices are to yours.

AndPlus' team of experienced and skilled web and mobile app developers are conveniently located in Massachusetts, right here in the good old U.S. of A. - so close to wherever you are that it feels like you can reach out and knock on our door. Need apps? Contact us for your development needs today.

Topics: Web Application

Brian Geary

Written by Brian Geary

Brian is a true believer in the Agile process. He often assists the development process by performing the product owner role. In addition to his technical background, he is an experienced account manager with a background in design and marketing.

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