|Do you know where your variables are?|
typical contractor rates / outsourcingby blahblahblah (Priest)
|on Jul 22, 2008 at 04:42 UTC||Need Help??|
Our department has traditionally hired full-time, on-site perl developers: we're up to almost 10 working on our app. Lately we're unable to keep up with the demand from increased sales to larger and larger customers, and that pace is not looking to slow anytime soon. My new boss is looking for ways to meet our needs without breaking the budget or permanantly swelling the department, and he asked my opinion on hiring short-term help from a foreign development shop.
My gut reaction was to wonder if it will help at all. Will this foreign shop have skilled perl programmers available? How much will the language barrier slow things down? I wonder if it would be better to hire half as many contractors locally and be more confident in what we're getting from them. He suggested I research these things, specifically what's the going rate locally.
So I have two separate-but-related questions loaded into this meditation:
2. Does anyone have experience outsourcing parts of a large Perl project overseas? I can't even begin to picture how that would work without requiring a lot of extra hands-on management -- which would mean that our existing developers spend much less of their own time developing. I wonder if the whole process might even be an overall drain on our department. But I have no experience in this area, and my boss has had some success with other teams doing it (albeit on a completely different and much younger project in a more "common" language).
I'm still not sure where I stand on #2. My boss has assured me that this would be in addition to whatever budget we can get for hiring more full-time developers, but I'm still not sure that having a few extra possibly-very-needy developers would be a worthwhile addition to our efforts. (I should also probably mention the fact that our app is over 10 years old, and has quite a few messy, undocumented, tangled bits of code and design. So the learning curve is steep, and there are not too many projects that are completely neat and self-contained.)
... (Skimming a few recent months' posts on jobs.perl.org, I see that the majority of posts don't include salary info. The ones that do range from $11 up to $60 per hour, and I don't know how realistic it is to look at unfilled, 3-month-old job posts as my only real example numbers.)