We’ve come a long way since our beginnings at Engine Lab Software. We’ve talked before about how we’ve evolved our model to suit our clients and how we’re created a blend of
on-shore and off-shore development to offer excellence, value and scale. Now we’re using our software developers to bridge the software development gap here in Ireland & the UK.
In this article, we’re going to talk more about our in-house software resourcing practice and how our Irish clients are directly using our developers to solve their developer capacity needs. We talk about how it works and what the huge benefits are for our clients who use it.
So, just to recap, we started offering outsourced software development services to our clients about 6 years ago. Our model has always been to use a blend of on-shore and off-shore development from Ireland & our Indian office in Delhi. Our technical architects are based here in Ireland & the UK. We all have a deep technical background so we can talk to the client and offer our experience in defining the problem and designing solutions. At the moment, about 70% of the development is then done from our Delhi office. This works well as it’s all managed on a technical level from Ireland & the UK. There are massive reductions in cost while keeping the quelity at an excellent level. We’ve evolved the model and it’s working brilliantly for our clients.
In the past 3 years, as our clients get to know us better, there has been a huge shift in how they want to deal with us. Now, our developers tend to work directly with our clients, spending up to 3 months on-site in Ireland per year.
Traditionally, our technical managers have worked with them at the early stages and now they’re comfortable dealing directly with our developers. Through working on various projects together, they’ve realised that our developers are so good they can rely on them directly for architecture level advice. Their confidence has grown and they don’t necessarily need our on-shore technical manager. We’re there if they do need us but it’s rare with some clients.
Having the developers able to work on-site is a serious advantage as they build up a strong relationship with the team.
This progression to a resourcing model has been natural in some ways. We’ve been pretty careful to only on-board the best developers we could find. We only take on guys who are recommended to us by our existing developers and bring them through a rigorous interview process before we hire. The clients can see this and want to deal with them directly in a lot of cases. So the need for the help of our techincal managers has decreased over the months.
And so the dawn of our resourcing practice…. We took a look at what our clients wanted and realised that there are a lot of companies out there who are sophisticated enough to manage a technical team remotely. They have the right people, tools and practices in place. Our technical architects are here if they need us and we can be in their offices within 1.5 hours if needs be. That’s reassuring.
It’s the companies who have a technical team in place that are most suited to this model. They have their practices and usually work in an agile environment. They work with our developers over months and years on a full-time basis so our guys are considered one of the team. Tools such as TeamWork, BaseCamp, Slack, Skype & git make the communication and software cycle pretty easy to manage. Our developers are used to working with clients so they know how to interact also.
How Our Model Has Evolved:
- Our developers are available to work on-site in Ireland for up to 3 months per year. This allows them to really get to know the development team and offer value up front.
All visas & planning are managed by ELS so the client just needs to find them a desk.
- We offer a scalable monthly package per developer which is far more cost effective than on-site resources. These are senior guys who just cannot be found at the moment
- We have our technical architects based in Ireland to offer assistance at any stage. We’re never more than 2 hours from our client’s offices. This has made a big difference
at the start of engagements or when there is pressure on
- Very experienced architect & senior level developes experienced in working directly with Irish clients. We have been able to ramp one client up to 6 developers in one
- 50% cost savings when compared to Irish & UK contractors.
- 30% cost savings when compared to permanent employees
- We have the resources in place and we trust them. Clients don’t have to go out and look for the best as we have most of them already
- Fixed monthly plans reducing as the duration extends
- Technical & business managers on-site in Ireland & the UK
- Our developers work for us so there is no movement from contract to contract. If the client wants to hold on to a developer, they can do so for months and years. Even the permanent scene is seeing serious movement right now which was traditionally a contract problem.
What to watch out for:
- Be prepared with a lot of work in the backlog. The developers are fast and get through a lot so make sure you are prepared
- There can always be some teething problems in the first few days of any project whether the developer is in-house or outsourced. Be patient and fix the small issues in the first 2-3 days.
All in all, this is a model that is working well for a lot of our clients who have a sophisticated tech structure in place. They are really getting the best out of our
developers and projects are getting delivered consistently. They are getting senior developers who are just not available here right now and they are holding on to them for
months and years.