GrepBeat’s Pete McEntegart spoke with Brian Reale, Sam Bayer, and Nicole Woods on Friday, Nov. 6, about their experience using offshore developers in the latest edition of the Coffee & Conversation web panel series.
Since expanding Durham-based Corevist overseas in 2015, Bayer—Corevist’s CEO—said more than half of his employees are currently in Belarus. On a different note, Reale started ProcessMaker in Bolivia and only expanded to the U.S. four years ago, where it is now HQ’d in Durham, but the significant majority of his employees are still overseas. At True Influence, where Woods is VP of Product, over half of the team is in Bangalore.
The general consensus was that hiring offshore versus domestically has its obvious economic advantages. Woods said the cost of a Bangalore employee is currently 50 cents on the dollar compared to hiring developers in the U.S. While Reale noted a similar experience with his Bolivian employees, he noted that “our business is international, so we are very sensitive to currency fluctuations,” which he said is something companies should keep in mind. [8:10]
“What we needed as a company then wasn’t just skills and bodies, but proactive people who would actually lead us and help us mature,” Bayer said, explaining how he was drawn to Eastern Europe, and his connections eventually brought him to Belarus. Reale said he had a similar experience in that his network was what landed him in Bolivia: “There was no planning in terms of where we landed, and especially if you’re bootstrapping, things happen so haphazardly.” [13:25]
Woods recommends that companies wait until they have a solid product team before expanding offshore. Bayer agreed, and added if you already have demand for a product, it makes senses to move offshore if that would help fulfill demand—but if you’re trying to create demand, it isn’t a smart move. [45:50]
To hear more on exactly what it’s like to expand a company offshore, watch the entire Coffee and Conversation recording here: