Distributed Software Development: Offshore Workers

You really, really want to listen to this interview in which David Weiss interviews Dana Grubbe and we get to hear some of the critical issues in hiring and maintaing an offshore team. Listening to this interview is especially important for people who wonder why jobs get shipped out of the US or Europe.

Dana is one of those people you and I will seldom get to meet as they are usually deeply embedded in a workforce who aren’t used for marketing purposes because they are too darn honest. Dana also talks about some of the hidden costs and cultural issues involved in outsourcing.

And yes, I really couldn’t find a public profile for Dana Grubbe but she is remarkably astute. She talks about all the things I’ve personally faced when I was an offshore worker as well as when I started my company in the US and was looking for offshore workers. Many entrepreneurs I had interviewed when I wanted to start up also told me about the same issues so I had to ask them why they were still using offshore teams. The simple answer was, “It still saves money.”

As a startup I faced all sorts of difficulties but it was still more economic for me to offshore some development chores. I especially had to reach out to my friends in India and Bulgaria who are entrepreneurial for their advice because finding a Small Business Administration advisor at 3 am in the US just doesn’t work. Actually it is difficult to get facetime with SBA folks for weeks on end but usually it is of great help to talk to them. So eventually I was doing all the grunt work myself and getting managerial advice from offshore friends… and because my friends were doing me a favor I can’t thank them enough or repay them for their advice and moral support.

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