At some point you must have thought about outsourcing. I’ve been dealing with contractors for the past 5 years. Used private companies (Local, National and Off Shore), website such as getafreelancer.com and even off shore companies that will hire an employee full time for you.
Using Private Companies (Local or National)
They can gather requirements for your project if required
You will usually deal with the project manager who will take care of the whole project for you
No need for you to have much technical knowledge, just a good idea of what you want and how it should work
Using ‘getafreelance.com’ type website
You need to gather the project requirements
Write an SRS (Software Requirement Specification) document – You need to outlines every function of the program that you want to get built
Example of a user function
1.1 User shall be able to add a new product
1.2 User shall be able to edit a product
1.3 User shall be able to delete a product
Setting Milestones for the delivery of certain parts of the Project.
Sort out the payment
Non – Disclosure Agreement
Delivery of source code and structure
Using an Offshore Company
You’ll need to know how to Manage Contractors (very different from your office staff)
Some companies offer you the ability to view the contractors computer to monitor their progress
What projects they will be working on?
I usually divide those in 2
Major and Minor Tasks
A major task is the priority project and the minor tasks are “fill-in” tasks that the contractor can work on if there are any issues with the major task that will need someone else attention to it.
How long will the project last?
You can hire Full-Time or Part-Time Staff
What hours will they be working?
Remember that they might be in China, India, Philippines…
What are the public holidays and work legislation in their country?
And the general things to consider
Never contract someone that you have not seen their previous work, used or tested it.
Built to Maintain
Make sure that whoever works on your project, the code is commented and clear so that you will be able to send the work to someone else after the contractor is done to maintain the project.
Make sure you test every milestone that you set
What work should you not get contracted offshore?
Because of the culture difference I’ve kept all the design contracting in australia. It’s a culture thing, I have yet to hire a contractor from another country with artwork that am fully happy about. Art is amoral, it’s a matter of taste.
I’ve worked with wonderful offshore staff and their programming style, speed and quality are absolutely exceptional. But you might need to go through a few staff to find the right one that works right with you.