Custom Software Development – by the Numbers
Finding a custom software development company in the USA is easy, but you may not know exactly what you’re getting. While you can do a quick online search and get about 402 million results at last count, what you don’t see is how many of those are truly operated soup-to-nuts in the USA. Custom software development is an industry notorious for outsourcing skills offshore. So how do you know if your custom software development team will be based in the USA? Does it matter?
Software developers are a hot commodity these days. The Bureau of Labor Statistic’s most recent report states the following:
- 2017 Median Pay – $103,560 per year, $49.79 per hour
- Typical entry-level education – Bachelor’s degree
- Number of jobs in 2016 – 1,256,200
- Job outlook, 2016-26 – 24% (“much faster than average”)
- Employment change, 2016-26 – 302,500
Things look bright for software developers here in the US, but many custom software development firms in the USA recognize they can get skilled developers in other countries for less. Compared to the nearly $50 per hour USA-based custom software development firms must pay for developers in the US, they can pay as little as $18 per hour in countries such as Asia and Africa. It’s a tempting option for companies trying to streamline costs. Know what you’re getting when you hire a custom software development firm in the USA.
A Hybrid Approach
If you are searching for a USA-based custom software development company, you may have to ask a lot of questions to get a complete picture. Many national companies will say they are based in the US, but they don’t always tell you that their management and a few key personnel are based in the US and many of their actual developers are sourced from various countries.
Before you write off any company, there are benefits from allowing part of your team to be based offshore. They have high skill levels and can reduce the overall cost of your project significantly. The key is to understand how much of your team will be overseas and what their roles will be. Be sure to ask any potential providers how their teams are distributed, how much involvement each team member will have, and what type of communication is to be expected.
Often a hybrid team will give you the best of both worlds: local leadership and talent, combined with specialized offshore talent. Having a local team you can interact with is an important element of any project. There are several advantages in having a local team and project managers, such as:
- Same time zone means easier communications and meeting times
- Same language means nothing is lost in translation
- Greater personal relationships can mean more customized solutions
- Frequent status meetings make it easier to keep each stage of the project on track
- Issue resolution can be expedited more easily
Whether you are looking for a custom software development company in the USA or are open to having a hybrid team of both local and international team members, be sure you compare the risks and rewards, pros and cons. Ask the right questions and look at examples of recent work to at least know what you are getting for your money.