What Is a Development Shop and How to Build Your Work With It

In a modern world, every organization — be it a big company with a stable income or a small startup — needs software that meets all requirements and helps achieve their goals, such as introducing a new product or finding new clients. The best way to gain it is to hire a team of high-qualified developers, and the best way to do it — use the services that are provided by a development shop

What is a development shop? How is it different from a company developing its own software?

A development shop (or an offshore software development, outsourcing agency) is a company that provides services of building web, mobile applications or infrastructure, or else or updating existing products for external customers, usually coming from countries like the USA, Western Europe or Scandinavia.

Being popular among US customers, development shops differ from software product companies in many ways. E.g. hiring a developer from a dev shop might help you access unique expertise that you could not access while making an in-house hire.

  1. Portfolio diversity. Unlike development shops, traditional companies have ever only built one or two of their own products and can’t deliver their expertise to external clients (however, dev shops have built many various products for companies in lots of countries of the world and can own unique expertise in many subject areas); 
  2. Remote-readiness. Developers in development shops can work remotely on their projects and never meet their clients face to face offline. But that won’t affect the work quality. This is especially useful in the modern lockdown-mode-on world.
  3. Flexibility. Development shops do not focus on a single technology stack and can switch framework or programming language at any moment if the working process requires it. At the same time, traditional companies prefer to deal with a certain technology stack and are not big fans of being agile since this would involve a lot of hiring overheads. Hiring a team of developers from a dev shop may be beneficial if you are looking for flexibility
  4. Dedication. Software engineers in development shops are obliged to dedicate all of their time to a particular project, which means that the final product‘s quality can sometimes even be higher than in traditional companies. (Imagine a company where the development team is switched between various products and tasks without a proper focus on solving one task)

A Development Shop: How Does It Work?

The average development shop employs at least the owner (or the founder / founders) and a team of software engineers, possibly HR, Marketing, Sales and other teams. In the case of a big development shop, members of the software development team can be located in different parts of the world or a country and never meet face to face with each other and the customers. But there are also so called offshore development centers (ODCs) built for clients to act as the remote part of their engineering team, or being their only engineering team. They differ from traditional dev shops by basically establishing employees of the company abroad. Still, usually there is a middle man taking care of everything in the offshore destination, especially of all things legal.

The development shop funding consists of the owner’s personal savings and prepayments for the software development orders; most often, development shops do not raise outside capital. 

How much does it cost to hire a development team in 2020?

The price usually includes the cost of development and design, but the final cost depends on the project and the type of software that the client needs. Let’s take web development projects, for example.

  1. The least expensive option, such as a simple web app, costs approximately $5,000 – $15,000.
  2. A professional web app in a medium-price range (e.g., an interactive website with multiple pages or an e-commerce shop for a small business) costs around $15,000 – $60,000.
  3. Enterprise applications like software add-ons or complete websites for big corporations cost the most, its range is $50,000 – $200,000. 

How to choose a good development shop?

So, you decided to hire software engineers for your startup using a development shop. Excellent choice! How to pick up the one that helps you accomplish your goal in the most efficient way? Here are some important things you should pay attention to:

  1. Online reviews. Checking the dev shop’s website and social media pages could tell a lot about its functionality and give you an insight about whether the company will be able to cover your needs. Also, reviews of the former clients are quite important. You can find them on some independent platforms as Clutch, G2, Trustpilot, Good Firms, etc.
  2. Project portfolio and client list. Look at these to know more about the specialization of this or that particular dev shop. It could help to highlight the strongest point and compare them to the demands of your tasks. 
  3. The team. The most important asset of a dev shop is its team of developers. Learning more about the developers’ previous tasks, methods that they use,  skills they have, and the level of flexibility (how familiar are they with new technologies, could they switch in between the tasks easily, etc.) allow you to find the best software engineers for your purposes.
  4. Organization and communicative skills. On every level of production, smooth communication between the team and the customer helps to understand the needs, suggest the best solution and avoid unnecessary hitches on the way. The cooperation is always more efficient compared to the simple giving orders without much understanding and feedback.
  5. The knowledge of the latest tech trends. The world of technology develops actively, and some tools become obsolete pretty quickly; at the same time, new methods appear. Be sure that a dev shop you choose keeps abreast with the latest trends and can suggest to you the best option to improve your product.
  6. Prices. The quality service can’t cost little, and the economy on development can turn into a bigger expense as you have to pay other software engineers to fix the low-quality product. So, choosing a dev shop to hire, you should look at the prices for its services and choose the optimal variant. 
  7. Security awareness. Before choosing a dev shop to cooperate with, you should check if this team has proper and actual knowledge about the security aspect to reduce risks and protect the information on every level. 
  8. Passion about the job. Software development is a creative process, and personal characteristics are no less important than professional ones. Could the developers see the whole picture and not just do their tasks? Could they be accomplished partners and suggest their own views on a software project? These traits could make the process of developing fruitful for both sides.

Advantages of hiring offshore developers

Considering the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the world-wide switch to remote, these days the best solution for companies would be to hire the outsourced development team. There are just a few points that make hiring the professionals abroad a better choice than choosing the in-house team:

  1. Cost. Hiring an offshore team could reduce your software development budget for you to invest this money into creating an MVP. Besides, the average salary in such regions as Eastern Europe or Latin America is lower than in America or Western Europe, so you could have a high-quality team for a lesser cost.
  2. Reduction of overheads. The outsourcing agency takes care of the salaries, insurance and other questions while you’ll focus on managing your remote team.
  3. The wide range of talent. Choosing to have your project outsourced, you can find developers who know how to create the project you need the best way. You are not limited only to engineers located in the area of your main office, you can hire anyone who is qualified for the job, no matter where they are.
  4. Flexibility. The outsourced developers are more likely to switch quickly between projects and ideas, which is highly important for companies in the early stages of the product development. You can also extend and downsize your team any time you need it, which could be hard if you were working with the in-house development team.

Where to find professional software engineers?

When you plan to find a team that will develop software for your company, pay attention to the next moments: 

  1. The combination of value and cost;
  2. Time differences; 
  3. Cultural differences; 
  4. Reliability; 
  5. Lack of language barriers; 

Combine all these factors, you can find the best specialist that demands your task. Nowadays, the most appealing regions for hiring are:

  1. Eastern Europe – Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Romania, etc.;
  2. Latin America – Argentina, Brazil, Panama, Mexico, Uruguay, etc.;
  3. Asia – India,  Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines, etc.;
  4. Africa – Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, etc.

You can read more about how to hire remote software developers in this article in more detail.

Why you should hire with YouTeam

Us, YouTeam, are a marketplace that helps small, and medium tech business owners (and especially startups owners) hire developers from development agencies. All you need is to contact YouTeam managers and describe your project to them . In 48 hours, you will receive profiles of developers that could be available for hire in the nearest time. In a matter of weeks, new professionals could join your team.

YouTeam only works with agencies based in Eastern Europe and Latin America and operates a database of 20,000+ software engineers from 250+ dev shops. Our company has got more than 5 years on the market, operates a unique partner pool, and is supported by Y Combinator, the world’s top startup accelerator. 

So, if you try to launch your own startup or if you need help with developing your software at different stages, you can consider hiring offshore developers.

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Written by
YouTeam Editorial Team

We love featuring verified solutions to outsourcing problems and coverage of remote work trends. We want our blog to be a source of inspiration for tech entrepreneurs and product people who are looking to build distributed development teams across continents.

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