Wanted: Fast, Cheap, and Good
Every business craves getting the best value for its dollar, whether that value is in Ireland, India, or Pakistan. But what about the African continent?
According to The New York Times, a company called Andela is working in Nigeria and Uganda to develop a talent pool to meet the growing need for coders. Andela anticipates 1.3 million programming jobs will be created during the next 10 years. The U.S. will produce only 400,000 graduates to fill those positions. This leaves plenty of open cubicles for Andela to fill with its candidates.
Andela intends to make the world aware that Africa is the next “untapped pool” of eager, highly-skilled software talent. Their web site makes it clear that “brilliance is equally distributed.” Ruby on Rails, Django, Angular, and PHP are among the languages its programmers can apply to client projects. IBM, Microsoft, and TechCrunch are among the 100 companies that have engaged Andela since its founding in 2014.
Certainly, Africa is not the last stop for bargain-hunting businesses. Other continents and regions (South America? Central America?) will eventually join the worldwide resource pool of software development assets.
So, where does this leave you if you are a software engineer, architect, or coder in the U.S.? What will the 400,000 domestic graduates who will be vying for software jobs in the next 10 years discover after they receive their diplomas? Assuming you are a talented, experienced, independent contractor who lives in the U.S., chances are you'll be in good shape.
Quality and experience almost always trump price. Price is at the heart of Andela, Cognizant, and Tata's value propositions. Outsourcers like these court companies knowing that the bottom line is top of mind for the beleaguered corporate resource manager. If the manager can offer above-average competency at low cost, the manager gets kudos from management and project teams alike.
However, in my experience, challenging assignments require exceptional talent, experience, and an onsite presence. Nothing beats U.S.-based resources. These professionals not only offer coding expertise but can be face-to-face with the project team, respond immediately to input (without interpretation by an intermediary, which is common with outsourcing), and can more readily anticipate client needs.
What if you're relatively inexperienced? One compound noun—Start-ups. Most start-ups don't have the time and patience to deal with outsourcing companies. Hone your skills and build your repertoire by working at as many small, aggressive, new businesses as possible. And don't forget to…
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President, LeanED LLC
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