Software engineering – or software development – is one of those essential services that millions of organisations around the world utilise either in a direct or indirect basis. Without software developers, much of what we do in our daily lives would be severely hampered!
There are many everyday things that we use on a daily basis which we perhaps might take for granted sometimes, such as televisions, computers, broadband Internet routers, smartphones, traffic lights, cars… All of these things have some kind of software built into them, and without software those objects and more would be rendered inoperable.
You would think that there is no shortage of software developers in the world, whether they program in C#, Ruby-on-Rails, ASP.NET or any other flavour of programming language, but the shocking truth is many companies and organisations around the world are finding it extremely difficult to find and hire skilled software developers!
The challenges faced by employers
So why is it so hard to find software developers? Here are some of the most-common reasons cited by a number of organisations from all walks of life:
- Skill – it’s pretty easy to go on YouTube and watch some user-contributed video tutorials that “show” how anyone can program a simple “Hello World!” application, but it’s often extremely difficult to find software developers that have years of commercial experience (not “script kiddies” that program for fun in their bedrooms after school), and it’s even harder to find software developers that are skilled in multiple disciplines;
- Location – in the rare event that you do find software developers that have the necessary skills and disciplines required by your company or organisation, it turns out that they are often based hundreds of miles away from you! This isn’t so much of an issue if you and the potential candidates are both based in a major city, but if one party is based out in the suburbs or is considerably distant from a major city, it can often be a deal-breaker, especially if the candidate in question isn’t willing to relocate;
- Perceived image – when it comes to hiring employees, it is also the opportunity for candidates to interview their prospective employers in order to see just how well they would fit in with the existing culture and working environment. All too often, some software developers will refuse to work for an organisation simply because they don’t have offices that resemble those used by “creative” firms such as Facebook!
Can software outsourcing be the answer?
The solution to this problem, and an increasingly popular one, is to simply outsource any software development work to freelance developers or external agencies. Rather than having to spend the time and money advertising for software developers to work in-house with you, it is often more cost-effective to simply outsource the work.
One of the major benefits about doing this is you can explain exactly what it is you want, thus finding the right people for the job. But don’t let the fact that these outsourced developers aren’t based in the same location as you, because thanks to video conferencing technology it is possible to have face-to-face conversations and meetings with them as if they were in the room with you!
Online project collaboration tools also make it easy for all stakeholders to effectively communicate with one another and work on projects together, and is also a great way of reducing employee overheads.