One of the biggest challenges to outsourcing programming is bridging the communication gap. This gap can come from both geographical differences as well as language differences. How can you make sure that both you and your outsourcers are on the same page? How do you make sure things don’t fall through the cracks?
Here’s how to bridge the communication gap with outsourced programmers.
==> Getting Started: Know What You Want
The most important thing you could do for your communication is to know exactly what you want right from the get-go.
If you have an in house programmer, a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or a technical business partner, then you’ll absolutely want to involve them in the design of the software. However, if you’re outsourcing your software development, you should absolutely *not* involve them in the design of the software.
Instead, you should approach the outsourcers with the whole thing already designed. You should know exactly what features you want developed. You should know how you want the program to look. You should know exactly what each button does.
Then all you need to do is ask the programmer to make your program come to life. This is much, much easier to co-ordinate than if you asked an outsourced programmer to design the software for you as well.
If you ask an outsourced programmer to help you design the software, it’s going to get very expensive and messy.
==> Where to Find Top Notch Programmers
If you don’t have a technical background, sites like eLance and oDesk can be very dangerous. You have no way of evaluating whether or not they’ve written quality code. Sure, it may work right now, but there’s no way you could know or test for whether or not the code will work once you hit 10,000 users a month.
In addition, you won’t know how convoluted the code is, since you can’t read code. A great programmer writes code in a way that can be read and edited easily by other programmers. Poor programmers write convoluted code with bad commenting, making it nearly impossible to make changes in the future – Even if the software works.
Perhaps the best place to find high quality programmers online is through programming message boards. Look for reputable members and contact them directly.
This allows you to approach people who’ve already built up a strong reputation. You can expect to pay a bit more with this method, but you know what you’re getting.
If you’re only doing a simple project, then eLance or oDesk may give you the best bang for your buck. If you’re outsourcing a tough project that needs real talent, then find your programmers on programming forums and discussion lists.