Standing still is never a good idea, and when it comes to software development it’s the kiss of death. Whether you’re bringing a software product or service to market or need an upgrade to your backend databases and proprietary systems, you want your platform built with the newest, hottest tech out there. You need the latest thing that has all of GitHub agog. And the chances that you can find a software developer in India who truly knows how it works and can harness its power for your platform? Slim to none.
It’s not that India has a shortage of knowledgeable, skilled, talented developers—far from it. But making sure you’re on the same page with an offshore developer when it comes to “cutting edge,” and using that edge to cut out a revolutionary platform for your business…that’s another story. A story full of conflict that you might not expect.
Cultural Barriers to Outsourced Software Development
Outsourcing software development to India and other similar tech-forward, yet still-developing nations can have certain efficiencies when it comes to cost. Unless there’s a deep mutual understanding between the outsourcer and the outsourced, though, those cost savings are quickly offset by inadequate skills vetting and project preparation, scheduling problems, and other communication barriers that arise from cultural differences.
Something as simple as different holidays in the US and India can cause unexpected project delays that quickly lead to budget and timeframe overruns. Suddenly finding your developer unavailable—or your developer needing to wait an extended period to receive an answer to a question or review of a deliverable—can also cause bad feelings and place further strain on the working relationship. Different attitudes towards response time and clarity in terms of deadlines and other expectations can also create significant practical problems and lead to counterproductive team dynamics.
(We actually have a running joke with our development team about the word “sometime.” It might mean today, it might mean next week, it might mean “after everything else is done.” After a good chuckle, we make sure “sometimes” becomes a concrete spot on the calendar.)
Our Western business perspective isn’t universal, and if you expect software developers in India or elsewhere around the globe to automatically adapt your way of thinking you’ll be more than a little disappointed in the results.
Software Development Language Barriers Aren’t Limited to Programming Languages
Just like our Western business perspective, our language—especially the specific way(s) we speak it in the US—isn’t spoken consistently all around the globe. Amazing, we know, but true nonetheless. And while English skills in India are very high, especially in the software development community, accents and different understandings of vocabulary and syntax can make phone conversations difficult and even emails uncertain.
Choosing the right communication channels is an important part of an effective outsourced software development project. Knowing how to reach out for clarification, ensuring that you are understood and that you understand what you’re being told, is also essential.
There’s more than one English at work in the communications, and you need some interpretive skill on both sides to make it work.
How Zibtek Solves the Software Outsourcing Problem
Instead of direct-to-India outsourcing, Zibtek’s team includes US-based project managers to facilitate communication and ensure deliverables at every step of the development process.
We work with a dedicated team of developers in India, building long-term relationships that make communication easier and that enable us to assign the perfect developers to your project without the need for constant re-vetting.
And of course, we provide continual training to stay abreast of all the latest tech. For lean, agile, rapid development with the hottest coding around, it’s hard to beat outsourcing through Zibtek.
At Zibtek, we offer custom software solutions for businesses of all sizes. Our digital strategy, design, and custom software development solutions have helped a wide range of clients to meet their goals—ask for a free consultation to find out whether we can do the same for your business.