Building an Offshore Software Development Team

Building an Offshore Software Development Team
Before building an Offshore team, you need to define the exact business plan, business model, and business strategy. From there, we will be able to clarify the company's need for software to see how to function and operate. In addition, identifying the portraits of software users will help your business know which functions are all applicable to the software, helping to save maximum time and investment costs.
Building an Offshore software development team for your business? Here are some helpful tips:

1. Determine the plan and strategy of the business before investing

Before building an Offshore team, you need to define the exact business plan, business model, and business strategy. From there, we will be able to clarify the company's need for software to see how to function and operate. In addition, identifying the portraits of software users will help your business know which functions are all applicable to the software, helping to save maximum time and investment costs.

2. Learn about team structure

Familiar structures of an offshore software team will include:

2.1. Project Manager (PM)

The person with the most relevant role in an offshore software team is fully responsible for the victory of the project from start to finish. PM's job is to define and communicate project goals to each department as a bridge between the development team and business - customers. In addition, the Project Manager will be responsible for communicating to the entire offshore team about the customer's wishes about the product, setting up the workflow, and ensuring the cost, quality, and completion time. Not only that, but the Project manager is also responsible for managing risks and resolving project conflicts.

2.2. Front-end Team (Client-side)

This team is responsible for the entire Front-end activities of the project. The Front-end part of a project is what can interact with the user (Learn more about the Front-end here). Front-end part consists of 2 parts as follows:

Front-end Team Leader

Front-end Team Leader is the person with the highest responsibility for Front-end activities of the project. Work scheduler and assignment for junior/senior Front-end Developers in the team after working directly with the Project Manager. Front-end team leader must be responsible for ensuring the work progress of the Front-end for the entire offshore team.

A quality Front-end leader besides Front-end must also know both Back-end and database. Who decides how a project is a practice and what software programming language to use to complete the project.

Front-end Developers

Front-end Developer is directly constructing the external interface of a software. Front-end developers are the ones who bring aesthetics to projects with beautiful interfaces. So, the users can use the software's manipulation with utmost ease.

Skills required of a Front-end developer:

  • HTML & CSS
  • Java Script
  • Java Script Frameworks
  • Front-end Frameworks
  • Cross-Browser Development
  • Testing and Debugging
  • Version Control System (SVN, CVS, GIT, ...)
  • API Development
  • Bootstrap
  • CSS Preprocessors
  • Responsive and Mobile

2.3. Back-end Team (Server-side)

If the Front-end team is responsible for the software's interface, the Back-end team will be the team responsible for handling all the business logic problems in the back (Server-side) that the user cannot see. be on the interface. Back-end is the team behind the scenes to make all user activities smoothly.

Back-end Team Leader

Like other leaders in the offshore team, Back-end Team Leader is most responsible for all Back-end activities of the project. Back-end Team Leader will work closely with the Front-end Team to be able to divide the work and tasks for the Back-end team.

Back-end Developers

The back-end developer will be the person who directly implements the Back-end system part of the project. Back-end Developer requires application development programming skills or improvement of existing applications directly with engineers ensuring system-wide consistency including improving user experience. In addition, Back-end Developer is also responsible for finding ways to optimize the functionality and ensure the processing speed and performance of the entire website.

Skills required of a Back-end developer:

  • Server-side programming: Java, .Net, Ruby, Python, etc.
  • Understanding database database: MySQL Server, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, etc.
  • Programming API
  • Object-oriented programming (OOP)

2.4. DevOps Engineer

As the name suggests, DevOps is a combination of Development + Operation. A DevOps Engineer will help Developers and Team Operations achieve their mid-term goals to help release and improve products. DevOps Engineer also helps the team optimize the workflow, bringing the highest efficiency to the team.

Skills required of a DevOps Engineer:

  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Understanding of Relevant Tools
  • Automation Skills
  • Coding and Scripting
  • Security Skills
  • Cloud Skills
  • Testing Skills
  • Customer-Focused Approach

2.5. Testing Department

Quality Assurance (QA)

Quality Assurance is the person who sets the rules and principles for the project to be successful

Quality Control (QC)

Quality Control is the person who enforces the regulations and principles, ensuring the final product meets the method and assumption set by QA.


The tester is responsible for checking the software and finding possible deficiencies or errors compared to product requirements.

3. Possible difficulties when working with a remote software team

Many difficulties have happened to businesses when working with the offshore software development team. Managing an In-house team is difficult, but the offshore is even more difficult if enterprises do not dig deep into possible difficulties and measures in advance.

Some of the difficulties that businesses often face when cooperating with the offshore team are:

3.1. Cultural differences

Cultural differences are one of the difficulties of working with an offshore team. If you work with a team in a country thousand, miles away from where you live, cultural differences are inevitable. Maybe where you now start working from 9 am and ends at 5 pm. But in other countries, they may begin at 10 am the working day. You may not have a lunch break or only very little time to dine in your country. But in the location of the offshore team, there is a lunch break of 1-2 working hours.

These are the cultural differences businesses will face when deciding to work with the Offshore team.

3.2. Difference in time zone and location

The hours you work can be the end of work in a country where you are thousands of kilometers, so the difference in time zone and location influence the working process between the enterprise and the Offshore team. It also can affect the work result if we do not control this problem.

The best solution for this issue is to build a specific working process for the business and offshore_team. You need to understand the team working process and agree to them too. If you think that the process is not great, you can ask them to implement your methods. However, you need to make sure that everyone understands your procedure well to be implemented properly.

3.3. It isn't easy to communicate accurately between business and offshore

Due to the differences in location, time zone, and culture, miscommunication with the offshore team is one of the most common obstacles a business faces.

Therefore, you need to choose one that can communicate proficiently in English (the most common language), both writing and speaking.

Furthermore, your team must be loyal and flexible, pursue long-term relationships and own a reliable working process.

Offshoring Software Development and Cultural Differences and their possible solutions.

These are three of the most common difficulties of businesses when working with an Offshore team. If you are a business owner and want to work with the Offshore Software Development team to develop a product, list as many difficulties that might happen during your work, then think of a few pre-solution. So that you can handle it if a problem occurs. One more thing, businesses can ask the Offshore team directly when you contact them to answer the question list that your company has prepared.

4. Select the country where the Offshore Software Development Team established

Why choose an Asian country to form Offshore Team?

Each country will have developers with different qualifications, so the salary costs of the Offshore Software Team members are also disparate. You should budget how much you can pay to complete this project.

The following are the top countries corresponding to each region that is the birthplace of outsourcing software developers:

  • Vietnam
  • India
  • China
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia

Which country should you choose to build the Offshore Team with the most reasonable investment cost, but the quality of software products still at the highest level?

Find out the answer in this article.

5. Create a specific workflow among team members

Since then, there have been many workflows for Software development teams. The two most popular processes are Waterfall and Agile / Scrum.

For some good reason,the Agile / Scrum method is now extremely widely used in most of today's technology companies. The Agile and Scrum process help businesses and Offshore teams save a lot of time and cost to complete the project (Find details about the Agile / Scrum method here).

Some tips to form the workflow for Offshore Team and Enterprise:

  • Learn carefully about common workflows that are being applied by most software companies in the world 
  • Don't mechanically use these procedures. Enterprises should find out carefully what process implementation steps are appropriate and which are not fitting to adjust the balance to your project.

6. Finding personnel for the Offshore team - Extremely difficult for foreign enterprises

Finding construction staff for the In-House development team is not easy (See reasons here) and finding software development personnel in another country is a hundred thousand times hardened. Not to mention that after planning and organizing the Offshore team, you also have to pay attention to the primitive benefits for each member corresponding to the country you plan to establish the Offshore Team. This requires you to spend lots of time researching personnel, interviewing, and the legal regulations in hiring human resources in that country.

Therefore, we have several bottom line tips that can be useful for SMEs who want to invest in Offshore Software Development teams as follows:

  • Visit local IT software human resource recruitment websites.
  • Look for a company that specializes in providing local Human Resources services.
  • Invest in searching for Senior Developers - Have a solid knowledge base in software development.
  • Find a company that specializes in providing local Software Offshore Outsourcing services.

7. Listen to the needs of the team members

Do not consider the team members were employees if you want to accomplish your goals on time and most effectively. Consider them as your best partners, benefiting both sides' work. When a problem arises, listen most thoroughly to the offshore team. They will be the ones who understand the problem and how to solve it.

Also, listen to the reasonable expectations from the Offshore team. They have differences in culture, time zone, and distance from you. So there will be similarities between enterprises and the Offshore team (in another country).

8. Select suitable communication and job management tools

The year 2020 is an unforgettable milestone for the communication and work management software industry due to the effects of the Covid -19 epidemic. Currently, there are many communication and management tools that enterprises and offshore development teams can choose to use. The types of ordinary tools are known as:

  • Email and Calendaring: Outlook, G Suit (Google), Zoho Mail.
  • Organized Document Repository: Google Docs / Excel
  • Task / Work / Project Management: GitHub, Gitlab, Bitbucket, SVN.
  • Communication Tools: Skype, Slack, Google Hangouts.
  • Issue tracking Tools: Jira, Redmine, Easy Redmine.

9. Project manager must be the person to make the reasonable decisions for the team

The project manager will be the person who brings the achievement of the project with his knowledge and experience. A Project Manager has management skills in the project cost, quality, time, goals, risks, and others. So we can say that the Project Manager plays a massive role in the success of the Offshore Software Development Team's software development project.

Not only that, but the Project Manager must also be a person who understands the client's project well and can convey it to the Offshore team in the most complete and detailed way so that the team can deploy and execute to achieve product goals for customers.

Therefore, the Project Manager's decision in a project will be the lifeline to the project's success.

10. Find a company that provides Offshore Software Development services - An affordable solution

About the operating costs of an In-House team

According to the statistics (of in the US market) for Jan 2021, the salary for each position in a software development team includes the positions as shown below:

Position Cost Per Hour
Project Manager US$ 38
Front–end Team Leader US$ 60
Front–end Developer US$ 45
Back–end Team Leader US$ 66
Back–end Developer US$ 48
UX/UI Designer US$ 44
QA US$ 35
QC US$ 34
Tester US$ 28
Total US$ 398


According to the above calculation table, businesses have to spend approximately $400 per hour to maintain the Software Development team. This is just the salary expense paid to your full team. There are many other expenses such as office expenses, tax, and salary costs, personnel expenses, ... A lot of money and time to invest to establish an In-house Software Development Team for business.

Time and investment costs are a big challenge for businesses that don't have much financial potential to form a software development team. So what is the solution for SMEs?

Finding a specialist company providing Offshore Software Development Team services can be a more cost-effective solution for you than an In-House team or building your Offshore team.

When a foreign enterprise chooses the Offshore Software Development Team service, there are many advantages of time and cost compared to creating an Offshore Team or hiring an In-house Team. These businesses have many years of experience outsourcing for major powers to have well-established workflows and successfully apply them to countless different projects - from large to small.

The only job of a foreign enterprise is to find a reputable Offshore / Dedicate Software Development service provider, come up with its ideas and work with the Offshore team to produce the desired product.

If you have any questions about this article, do not hesitate to send us questions through the contact form. We are honored to help businesses answer their questions and have a good direction in developing the best product!

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