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Hi all, I'm brand new here and looking for some advice. I'm putting together plans to start a software development company. I live in Toronto, Canada and I'm not a programmer. I have an understanding of it, but never learned to code. My plans are to handle all client side dealings and to hire the programming offshore - either a small company or my own employees. I'm talking about a small operation here, just me and a small team of programmers.

From some research I've done, I'm considering Mexico and Argentina. They are closer than India and have similar time zones.

Am I on the right track here?

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Last Post by sungod000
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    Im my opinion I think you need a programmer at your side, or a former project manager to help you get started (doesn't have to be full time, just someone you can trust). Against was the lack of control over the software and documentation. We wanted to build a range … Read More

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From the timezone point of view I'd agree. Since you don't have a programming background, how do you know your not being charged double of what the workload is worth ? You have to consider cultural differences, international/local law, perhaps even export restrictions. Don't take this too lightly.

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You're right. I've thought about that. The other risk is that, what if my team decides to end the relationship? Without the know how, I could end up in a tough spot.

I guess I would have to learn to minimize these risks. Are you currently involved in some outsourcing operation pritaes?

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No. A former company was looking into it, but finally decided against it. Anyway, the same can happen with your offshore programmers. You'd have to make sure to get regular source/documentation updates, so even if it happens, you're able to switch to new partners.

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No. A former company was looking into it, but finally decided against it. Anyway, the same can happen with your offshore programmers. You'd have to make sure to get regular source/documentation updates, so even if it happens, you're able to switch to new partners.

To minimize these switching or billing risks, how much programming knowledge would you recommend? And how would you recommend learning it?

And what was the basis of your former company deciding against offshoring? What kind of company was it exactly?

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Im my opinion I think you need a programmer at your side, or a former project manager to help you get started (doesn't have to be full time, just someone you can trust).

Against was the lack of control over the software and documentation. We wanted to build a range of products. To guarantee consistency we invested in in-house developers. This does not necessarily apply to you of course.

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That sounds like a good idea. I've realized I need to think this through a lot more thoroughly. And I should look into learning how to program myself.

Thanks for your insights pritaes.

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Pritaeas has correctly mentioned, your outsourcing policy/strategy should be well defined and process should be full proof. Otherwise there is always a scope of getting into trouble. Again you need all above mentioned stuff even if you are doing inhouse development.
Best deal would be to hire a local technical person, build a small technical team. Later on start outsourcing for cost-saving and get it monitored by your technical team.

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Makes sense. Thanks for the input rajeevpareek. Is this what you do? Are you operating like this?

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Well I am on other side of outsourcing..I am a SW Engineer from India. This is how most of our clients works. If you need more inputs then let me know, I can share my learning with you.

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I would suggest hiring at least one project manager to manage your team, that can code.
Also I'd sugest you'll get familiar with new software remote management tools:
Video Conference (or at least chat) software - recommend Skype (http://www.Skype.com)
Issue Tracking software - recommend GLPI (http://www.glpi-project.org)
Timesheet Estimation software - recommend ProjectCodeMeter (http://www.projectcodemeter.com)
Groupware software - recommend FengOffice (http://www.fengoffice.com)

Best of luck,
Ben.
Logical Consultants

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Thanks Ben, I think I'm too fresh to look at this outsourcing idea.

I'm currently running a small trading business and I'm looking at changing careers as I don't think its a good fit for me. I really love software and thought because I dont' know how to program, I should hire or outsource. But I'm realizing that I should know how to do things myself before I can do it.

So now what I'm considering is whether I should basically start over as a 32 year old and learn from scratch, or just get involved on the sales end of things and work for a custom software house or a developer or something and progress from there.

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