Developers · Software

Outsourced Development

David Albert

February 7th, 2014

Anyone know of any high quality dev shops in countries with cheap labour? I am looking to have a CTO in north america manage technology, but outsource a lot of the dev work. Any recommendations?

Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

February 7th, 2014

I'm sort of looking for the opposite. I've got a great engineering team and just looking to outsource a cheap CEO that's good.

Joanan Hernandez CEO & Founder at Mollejuo

February 7th, 2014

Hello David,

We've been approached by two different companies who offer these types of services. Both of them have programmers in Ukraine, which is not doing very well at the moment, as you might know.

As an example, there's one popular AR app called Layar, which in turn is our current AR engine. Well, Layar is an start-up from the Netherlands, but some of the programming of it happens in Ukraine. A similar history happened with Skype. The business (idea) leads were from Denmark and Sweden, but the coding happened in Estonia, still is today! Even after Microsoft bought it.

In our case, sometimes it have been difficult to find developers (for many reasons), we haven't used the services offered by these outsourcing companies, thus we can't say weather they're good or not. I can say the prices they offered were very competitive, almost half for a senior programmer, or so they say is senior :-P

Check them out, Daxx is located in the Netherlands, and Ciklum is located in London. Both have their assembly lines in Ukraine.

If you wish, you can contact me directly and I can redirect you.



February 7th, 2014

Check out Koombea - they are a great outsourced development firm with resources in Colombia, which is on east coast time, so the time difference is manageable.

Jessica Coane Founder of PEX+, the travel search engine for maximizing your miles and points

May 26th, 2017

You probably won't find them in dev shops - think about it, they're upselling the cost of labor to manage programmers that your CTO should be managing. Once you outsource, you won't really have a legal recourse if they steal the money anyway so why pay extra for a "firm". Best is to find qualified individuals to get the job done. That being said, I'd suggest your CTO literally drill those candidates to really see what they're made of and if they're actually qualified to handle your tasks - don't just ask the vague questions. Drill them.

Outsourced, American, doesn't really matter - cheaters, liars, and flakes are plentiful. All of that being said, Australia is ironically a decent outsourcing outlet lately.

David Crooke Serial entrepreneur and CTO

February 7th, 2014

Some thoughts: 1. If you find a big believer in outsourcing / offshoring, they are not a techie, they have an MBA and a job title like CFO. Like government software contracts, outsourcing is usually a failure. But paying $15/hr for skills that cost $75/hr in he USA looks great on paper, but software engineering is not ditch digging and labor is not fungible. There is no free lunch here. 2. "Cheap labor" is not desirable for Intellectual Property - unless you plan to throw the software away in 12 months and replace it with something solid, to be blunt I think you're going at it wrong. 3. The ONLY way development in India / Bangladesh / China / Vietnam works is to send the entire project there long term, with product managers, etc. and have fairly slow and long term interactions with the USA. Trying to manage a dev team there from here on a daily basis will fail or cost you extra compared to doing things in house. Not suitable for a startup. 4. OTOH, India is great for low skill "click the mouse" QA performed overnight on daily software builds created here, and the time difference is an asset. 5. Eastern Europe works pretty well if you get the right people, but you're at the $35-$40/hr mark. I've worked with teams in Kiev (not bad) and Brno (excellent). In addition to much less of a culture and language gap, you get some workday overlap. I'd imagine Krakow to be similar, but I've only been there on vacation :) 6. By far the best outsource experience I've had was getting high end QA (test automation development) done in Costa Rica. They're in Central time, they have great Comp Sci educations from US professors, speak American English with American accents and idioms, etc. with pricing comparable to Eastern Europe. 7. When looking at other people's stories, be careful of the distinction between outsource (project based) and offshore (dedicated team). The latter has much more buy in and commitment from the staff. 8. Allow for a much longer ramp up time than if using people in the USA. Cheers Dave

Guy Brockless Head of Growth Marketing @ Creatella Venture Builder - We launch startups

May 26th, 2017


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Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

February 7th, 2014

BTW, my previous post was a tongue-in-cheek slightly passive-aggressive response to what I consider a pretty insensitive post. Keep in mind that half of the members of FD are engineers. Although I have no issue with your goal per se (I also offshore some development), you probably want to be aware that it won't be well-received by the members that are probably in the best position to provide valuable advice. Sorry for being preachy but for some reason this one irked me more than most.

Mike Stankavich

February 7th, 2014

The other thing you could do is look for a CTO who has an interest in traveling and/or expat work to colocate with your dev team. I'd be up for that, but unless there's a chunk of cash involved I would need to defer until next year.

Abhishek Goel Mobile & Web Application Development

February 16th, 2017

Hey David,

You can contact rapidsoft technologies for any development need. They've offshore center in India with best quality & really competitive pricing & also have HQ in New york.

Ana Wagner Enterpreneur dealing of web dev, design, app dev

February 22nd, 2017

You can look for a reliable parnter among Ukrainian software outsourcing companies. They are more reliable than the cheapest Indian ones as my own experience shows. Previously Daxx and Ciklum were mentioned in the comments, and also I can recommend guys from

The prices are reasonable if your main goal is to save money, and they met the deadline (what was also important for me).