We know everything about offshore development – for the last five years we built 22 such projects. We worked with startups, big enterprises, and even single entrepreneurs. Here is our guide to offshore Java development hiring from the initial stage to aftersales service.
Step #1: Determine goals and needs.
Identifying goal and needs is the first step. Be serious about your choice as this is an initial stage of your project development. The clear understanding of requirements will help you in the next stages.
If you have troubles defining needs and goals, try to remember what were the reasons that pushed you to consider a project. From domain to domain goals and need can vary but here are some typical potential goals or criteria:
- Maximize the revenue
- Minimize the operational time
- Minimize operational costs
Goals could adjust or change as the project develops, but they always should be at the forefront of the decision-making process. After identifying the project’s needs and goals, the next step in the planning process is to search for an offsite team.
Step #2: Team search
On this stage is easy to overlook important elements of a successful cooperation. So be careful and try to pay attention to all points in order not to fall at the first hurdle.
- Experience and skills. Look for the previous projects that the team has successfully developed. Decide whether the level of implementation satisfies your requirements. It’s useful to find some professional references from past clients. You can either email them and ask for insights, or read reviews on specialized sites such as Clutch.co, UpWork, or even Linkedin.
- Flexibility. The offshore team should be able to adapt to your needs and requirements. Just settle this question before starting a cooperation. From our experience, we know, that it’s possible to work efficiently between two different time zones, you need to precisely define the process of work.
- Project management. Check to see what project management methodology the team uses since it can affect your choice. In software development, it’s important to apply the Agile approach. Thanks to the flexibility it gives an opportunity to develop a product in iterations and enables making changes during the development process.
- Communication. Since offshoring involves a remote work, communication is the key to understanding and it has to be built on honesty and trust. Insist on a possibility to contact your team smoothly and without any obstacles.
- Aftersales support. Check whether the agency can provide care for the project after release. You may want to make some changes or improvements. So it’s important to have maintenance services and support for a ready product.
- Engagement model. Before hiring a team you have to find out what customer engagement model company uses. There are three types: Time&Material, Dedicated Team, Fixed Price. Time&Material is the model, where the amount of money spend corresponds to the amount of work done. While a fixed price has predefined budget and scope of work. A dedicated team is a model similar to the Time&Material, where you get not a single developer but a team responsible for your company’s technical resources. Choose the model that suits your budget and needs the best.
In the conclusion, experienced Java team should be proficient in:
- popular frameworks, like Spring, Play, Hibernate,
- unit testing and debugging,
- integrating databases.
Step #3: Preparing for your collaboration
When the team is chosen, you can start preparing for the cooperation. Here are few universal to-dos that we defined based on our offshoring experience. You can use those elements in your case, but remember that both sides of collaboration have to be committed to the common goal.
- Clarify roles. Every team player must know its role and be familiar with the responsibilities to create an efficient and flexible team. To clarify this question you can frequently review team members’ roles, clarify responsibilities when action planning and relate member’s expectation to the team’s project purpose.
- Define deadlines. The team should understand how much time they have for doing the work. To create a clear understanding of time frames you can make a work plan with a time estimation, containing deadlines for every product element. You can agree on a trial period, in order to understand how fast the developers work and to make sure that the software contains the features and functionality you need.
- Protect confidentiality. Since you will expose your company’s sensitive information to your offshore, it is recommended to sign a non-disclosure agreement. This step will save you from any exposure to business details.
- Make all the materials available. To build software in time team should have uninterrupted access to documentation, statistics, graphs, and designs. Take care of gathering all project-related data in one place and provide your team with an access.
- Set up communication channels. Efficient remote work is based on smooth communication. Be ready that you will have calls with the team at least three times a week. So choose communication means convenient for you. It can be email, Slack, Trello. We often use Skype for communication with customers. Also, you can use tools like Jira or Sprintly to track the progress of development.
- Avoid unclarity. Ask questions when you have either doubts or unclear moments and make team feel comfortable asking questions in return.
Frequently, the offshore agency offers to engage in clarifying the roles and setting up communication channels. Proactive vendor always can benefit you more during the cooperation.
Step #4: The collaboration
Previous steps are time and strengths consuming, but save some energy for the actual process of collaboration since it requires no less effort. When you hire a professional team, your cooperation will be effective and satisfying. But still, if you don’t have relevant experience, we want to point out how flawless collaboration really looks like.
- Documentation is a key. It should be up-to-date to facilitate both the present and future development. We often prepare documentation for the client ourselves, so it’s possible to ask the vendor to handle this process.
- Effective collaboration is based on trust and agile principles. The development process can be divided into iterations to analyze the work and reduce risks.
- There is no room for distortion. Communication runs smoothly on both sides. People are open-minded and know how to solve problems on the own site.
- As we mentioned earlier, after the product launch, a professional team is able to offer maintenance services and support.
The hiring process will be more easy and productive if you prepare yourself beforehand. Start from identifying the goals and needs of the project in order to translate them to the future team. Search offshore agency responsibly, paying attention to the skills and asking for references. When the team is assembled, build a solid ground for cooperation.
If after reading the guide questions still remain, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are more than happy to clarify unclear moments.