In-House Software Development: Top 4 Myths

Quick Summary - Did your in-house software development team suddenly become a dedicated remote development team? You are not alone according to a Gartner Survey following the recent pandemic. It showed that 75% of 317 CFO’s want to shift 5-50% of their in-house software development team out of the office, permanently.

In-House Software Development: Top 4 Myths

The rapidity of this transition likely caught some companies off guard. Others yet may cling to old myths of in-house vs. dedicated remote development teams. Technology makes it possible for software developers to do their work from anywhere. It brings a variety of eye-opening benefits and some outright surprises!

5 mins read

Myth 1. It’s easier to verify in-house software development productivity

At one time, it certainly was easier to keep tabs on in-house team productivity. That’s no longer the case with today’s team collaboration software. Automated software development analytics programs like Gitential and Waydev put remote developers on equal footing with in-house software development teams. They track all interactions with git repositories and produce a variety of performance metrics. This brings complete transparency to team member productivity.  A shortlist of metrics includes code churn, code efficiency, code volume, coding hours, number of commits, and test volume.

Do you need actual “eyes-on” what everyone is doing? Sococo provides a virtual office solution for Agile Teams. Whether in-house or distributed, all team members have a room in your “virtual building.” At a glance, you can see who’s online and what they’re working on, in real-time. It provides broadcasting capabilities, teleconferences, screen-sharing for presentations, and more. The only downside is that it requires everyone to use a headset.

Myth 2. In-house teams are more productive

We can break this myth. Some offices are idealistic and serene. Some home offices may resemble mosh pits. A 2018 FlexJobs Survey of 3,000 participants indicated 75% are more productive working remotely. They cited coworker interruptions and general office noises as major issues. Less commuting and reduced office politics were also cited as boosting productivity. The Ultimate List of Remote Work Statistics – 2020 Edition shows similar studies from Owl Labs, Buffer, Gallup, and others. They consistently reflect higher productivity and quality of work in telecommuting environments.

Veteran remote developers know two things are vital. The first is to remove distractions from one’s work area. The second is the discipline to not give in to temptations. Managers can coach team members they believe are challenged by their work remote environment. In-house teams may find the adjustment difficult at first. For outsourced teams, it is their SOP and they likely have productivity tips to share.

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Myth 3. Only In-house teams are accountable for their work

Some managers believe that you lose control of your project without an in-house team. That can happen if you forget two important legal agreements. The first is a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).  It enforces that team members understand you own and control all intellectual property. That goes for any work product or inventions associated with any contract.

The second is a Service Level Agreement (SLA). This specifies the services an agency or individual will provide to you. It specifies the expected standards and metrics whereby the work will be measured. It lays out each party’s responsibilities. Additionally, it defines the remedies and penalties for any breach. Violations of SLA’s and NDA’s are subject to civil suits and monetary damages.

In all cases, as the contractor, you are free to specify who your project manager will be. You decide what methodologies and processes your teams will follow. You select the team collaboration software, and reporting mechanisms everyone will use.

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The cost-advantage of remote or dedicated development teams is substantial even if only compared to office costs. The average office space per employee in North America runs 150 square feet or $6,000 (Chicago) to $12,000 per year (San Francisco). Other employee-based overhead costs sidestepped by remote teams. These include taxes, employee benefits and insurance, computer hardware, software, and consumable supplies.

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Myth 4. In-house software development teams are more qualified

Recruiter and hiring managers aren’t complaining about a lack of job applications. Their gripes concern a lack of qualified applicants. In 2019, the United States had about 4.2 million software developers. In contrast, there are roughly 5.5 million developers in Europe and 24 million worldwide. In-house software development teams rely upon limited local talent. You can attract more qualified developers by outsourcing through IT staffing agencies.

While the United States does have good programmers, they don’t stack up against the Top 10 very well. According to Where to Find the Best Developers in 2019? by SkillValue, the United States ranks a distant #27. US developers had scored 84.59% as rated against over 550 technical assessments.

In comparison, a wide swath of Eastern Europe scored in the 93% range. Ukraine, for example, ranked #5 with a score of 93.17%. But don’t forget to factor in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) and Cost of Living. Add these and you’ll find that Ukraine’s ~250,000 developers offer the best combination of value and technical proficiency available.

Outsourcing dedicated teams - an opportunity for growth?

Large companies streamlining their in-house operations may find room for rapid growth. First, they can keep their existing in-house software development team active locally. Second, large companies may save enough to hire a new dedicated remote development team to take on more projects. Startups, however, may find a much faster and cost-effective path to market and growth by outsourcing.

In all cases, you are able to structure teams

according to your specific needs. If you would like to

discuss whether dedicated remote teams can fit your

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