So, to the computer folk lurking among the readers

Among my Czech buddies and contacts there’s rather a large number of good programmers. So, we’re setting ourselves up as a programming shop, doing remote work.

Very much a step up from script kiddies doing a bit of Java, but at this stage all work gratefully received.

We have our first contract (moving an application from the soon to be defunct Google Maps API to another one) and the bods have a lot of experience with consumer facing websites for example (as well as all sorts of useful things like writing code for ROMs and so on). They do the Czech sites for a couple of car manufacturers for example.

And there’s me in the middle to deal with language issues as well.

So, what’s the actual rate for offsite work these days? It’s two decades since I even looked at this so I’ve no idea.

What’s a rate at which people say “Yep, I’ll try that!”?

And do any of you actually allocate such contracts and if you do want to try us out with something?

12 thoughts on “So, to the computer folk lurking among the readers”

  1. The rate depends on the skillset on offer, and you’re a bit vague on that. For offsite work the easiest way is to find the contract rate for onsite work and cut it in half. You will be able to increase this slowly as/if you build a reputation. This is all based on a time & materials basis.

    If your guys are good, then quote for the entire job and they do it in half the time. Need to nail down the scope here though.

    Current rates can be gleaned from Jobserve for the UK, dice.com for the US.

    This is of course just a rule of thumb. May vary for your particular niche (mine is completely different).

  2. If you haven’t done this for 20 years, things have changed quite a bit. As a rule of thumb, the going rate for offsite work is whatever they charge in Bangalore, plus a bit more if you can justify it for being in the same time zone, more accomplished in English, closer at hand for support ….

    The value in software development these days isn’t in being able to work in a particular language or technology but in working closely with the customer. If you are far removed from the client you are simply one supplier out of millions with access to the same technology.

  3. Caveat on my original comment: This is based on my experience managing offshore teams. I work primarily in the ERP area – accounting, payroll etc. May be different for web/driver/os stuff. Alex’s comment is particularly relevant, but presents you with a bit of a problem if you’re the only one who speaks english ;o)

  4. Fulfilling projects offshore is very difficult, which is why there are still so many programmers at work in the high wage economies.

    In the real world, jobs are rarely properly specified, and rely very much on the in house experience and knowledge.

    Many companies have tried outsourcing and it often disappoints.

    You probably need someone good permanently on site to constantly communicate between client and your workforce.

    Also, find a niche, become good at one thing – appeal strongly to a small range of potential customers and look to sell quality at high price rather than “we do anything for cheap” (am i teaching you to suck eggs?) .

    How about websites for the rare earth industries ? (only half joking).

  5. For UK permanent and contract rates http://www.itjobswatch.co.uk gives breakdowns by skill set and region. Though it might be prudent to apply a discount to the numbers as I believe they simply scrape data from job adverts, so the advertised rate is probably higher than what a successful candidate would be offered. I don’t believe they have breakdowns by underlying industry sector.

    To echo previous comments, you’d be able to achieve a higher base rate by demonstrating specific knowledge of the business domain rather than just having shit-hot coders. Also, for offshore work, Allen curves can really bite.

  6. I pay a Colombian based team the same rate there as they would get here. I’m a bit busy this afternoon but give me a call if you want. I was talking to a Czech Ruby developer on Monday night who has a team out there. I’ll send you an email.

    BTW – You should be charging the value you add and so your costs are an irrelevance.

  7. “You probably need someone good permanently on site to constantly communicate between client and your workforce.”

    This. If you do not have a good project manager you will be in a world of hurt. Expect to be in at least one UX/UI meeting a week, preferably more. Almost all software project failures arise from poor communications across the interface between requirements and implementation rather than poor specs per se. If one of your tech people says something is hard, listen to them.

    As for actual wages, those are naturally set by the prevailing economy with the caveat that software engineers are competing in a much more geographically-diverse environment, which brings salaries down at the top end and up at the bottom. You can have a Latvian GD and an Indonesian UX guy if that’s what works, but what you’ll be paying them might not differ as much as you would expect. Time differences are a concern. If you’re paying much less than $2500 per month per coder you are probably getting the proverbial monkeys to work for you.

  8. Why are you asking about rates Tim? As a neo-con you must know that this information is known to all players in the market. Or am I missing something?

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