[thelist] Outsourcing

Aaron Wormus aaron at wormus.com
Mon Jan 30 10:35:00 CST 2006

As a freelance programmer and then a freelance project 
manager/programmer, I have both good and bad experiences with outsourcing.

Firstly, there is NOTHING like being able to sit down with your 
programmer or project managers and go over the projects and work out the 
details of what is happening. You will pay more for in-house 
programmers, but the productivity you get in return is well worth it.

Outsourcing works well when you need to avail yourself of a larger 
development team. This is when the production costs really make it worth 
it. In these cases, make sure that you or your project manager are in 
VERY close touch with the programmers. In many cases they will say "give 
us your spec and we'll deliver in 6 weeks" this will NOT work. You want 
to sit down with the project manager, go over the details, create your 
goals, work out some clear project iterations so that you will be able 
to have a firm grasp of exactly where the project is at any given time.

I have had projects completed, which have come back to me and have been 
a complete disaster, either buggy programming or over-engineered 
unworkable code. Then I have had projects which have run smoothly and 
been very efficient and saved a lot of money.

There are good shops out there, but working on a large project with 
outsourcing is certainly not something for the faint of heart.


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