Cover image for Story: Is it worth it to outsource tech in low cost countries ?

Story: Is it worth it to outsource tech in low cost countries ?

lerayj profile image Julien Leray ・2 min read


Story time.

Friday evening, we got an emergency call from one guy in Netherland.

He is building a remote web platform for school exams. Covid & lockdown, Perfect time for it. He already signed schools. First real use Monday, National TV will be there to do a reportage on his solution.

Just a small issue, the app use 100% of the CPU. Impossible to type constantly. It was so bad that even my MacBook Pro was melting after 2min using the app.

As he is not a tech guy, he though it was a minor perf issue easily fixable. We accepted to help him on the weekend to try to solve this.

The code and engineering part was awful. Angular 2 stack, but the guy behind it have no clue about what he was doing. The product was visually ok, but behind the scene, just chaos & pure garbage. We made a quick fix to improve performances up to 70% on Mac, but we were unable to do more since everything was technically incorrect. That was still not enough for slower student computer.

He had to call school & TV to cancel the exams. All momentum lost.

As you imagine, the guy was demoralized.

Curious about how he ended up having such a bad tech, we asked him a bit more about his team. He was working 3 Pakistani guys for 6 months, and 6 others months were planned to finish the product. He spend 10k on his own fund with them. We advised him to stop the cost as soon as possible. I like to think we helped him to save another 10k for nothing.

Looking at the features, we would have price the whole product at 25k to 30k max, result guarantee, and ready to use in 3 to 4 months.

My advise: Don’t go with cheap guy on « complex » app when you don’t have the ability to control their work & quality.


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entrptaher profile image
Md. Abu Taher 👨‍💻

So you are saying they took 10k and 6 months, then delivered garbage, you will take 30k and 3 months to deliver quality. Quality comes with a heavy price. Does the client have ability to pay 30k in 3 months?

I know for a fact the actual development cost will go way down if he hire the right team. In fact many companies offshore the actual development to low cost countries and reap the profits being the middleman.

You are right on some points, but too harsh on low cost countries.

PS: I live in a low cost country.

lerayj profile image
Julien Leray Author

About price:
Client had at least 20k budget (he were supposed to works 6 others months with them).
Pretty sure they would have tell him they need more time after it.

For my part, when I do a contract, I fix a price and stick to it. Between uncertain 20k+ in 1+ year and 30k fixed and guarantee in results in about 3 months, I guess there is a space to think about it.

For the middleman since; yes I completely agree. But in successful companies doing it there is a strong management, hiring & training process. But most of the time it's as you say, just a matter of profit; sell projects for cheap and don't care anymore, as soon as the coders are able to do "kind of ok" stuff.

I'm maybe too harsh, but unfortunaly in my work life experience I never had the chance to work with a strong tech guy from low cost country. But sure there are genius out there too.

himujjal profile image
Himujjal Upadhyaya

One of the worst pieces of judgemental posts in Dev.to. You are just basically bashing the whole low cost countries saying they are unskilled.

There are both good and bad guys everywhere. This thing. That we are the best is wrong downright.

The Dutch guy might have hired the wrong bunch. There are experienced developers/agencies here in India who would have developed the product you are talking about much better than your agency at a much lower cost. I am not trying to downplay you.

Please stop generalizing.

lerayj profile image
Julien Leray Author

Sorry if I hurt your feelings, wasn't my intention.

By experience, I met many people trying to lower the dev cost, hiring guys from low cost countries, ending up with something which don't work / cannot evolve / super buggy.

For sure there is super skilled people everywhere.
You just have more chance to fall on the wrong one when you are just looking for cheap.