Posts By Rural Sourcing

Software Development Trends for 2021

As we welcome the start of a new year, we also welcome the excitement that comes with new technology on the horizon. This is especially true in the world of software development. We talked to some of our developers to learn the latest updates and trends that they’re excited about for 2021, and what those improvements will bring to our clients.   “I’m excited to see the .NET framework and machine learning coming together. ML.NET (machine learning in .NET) is a ‘neural net in a box’ we can apply to many potential applications to bring the strength of neural net processing to our client applications. It’ll empower our clients to make better business decisions.” - Kenn, Fort Wayne Development Center “I’ve been helping a client transition to using Elixir/Phoenix for their codebase for the past two years. There are changes coming up in 2021 that should improve the speed of code running with the Elixir Virtual Machine. There are also more developments on the horizon within the Elixir community that will make it easier to troubleshoot errors in the codebase. I’m excited about the possibility of us gaining additional expertise in Elixir, and Rural Sourcing utilizing it as a solution for more clients.” - Matt, Albuquerque Development Center “Snowflake has really taken off lately! I’m excited about how it could help our database colleagues offer a more Agile or extreme datawarehousing approach to our clients.” – Margret, Albuquerque Development Center “Deno as the next generation of Node. It’s doing a great job of addressing the security concerns associated with Node applications, and will help prove to any Node naysayers that the technology is mature enough to adopt, even for enterprise level applications.”  - Devin, Albuquerque Development Center  “A big trend right now is API-first development. I think this is exciting for Rural Sourcing, because it gives us the opportunity to call attention to the contribution that QA can provide for our clients. QA can ensure that the foundation of a complicated system is a solid one and protect a client's brand by providing a reliably positive experience for those who are consumers of these APIs across a variety of platforms.” – Andrés, Fort Wayne Development Center “The new .NET Core means we won’t be working with two divergent stacks any more. The improvements they've made to how their platform works are really exciting.” – Eric, Oklahoma City Development Center “Kibana is a new open source dashboard that provides search and data visualization capabilities within Elasticsearch. The project we’re utilizing this technology on helps our client better understand how their data is being used, what problems are occurring, and how often. I look forward to getting to use this tech stack with more clients in the future.” – Brandon, Jonesboro Development Center DISCOVER MORE

Our Mission in Action: Bill Combs

Our guiding force at Rural Sourcing is our mission: to create high-quality technology jobs in Middle America cities where talent is often overlooked. Our Mission in Action showcases Rural Sourcing colleagues who represent how this mission impacts individuals and the communities in which we operate. Bill Combs’ love for technology began at the age of 13 when he received his first computer. After discovering BASIC and learning a few commands, he was hooked. Despite discovering this new hobby, however, it would take a few life changes before he was able to pursue a career in tech. The path to Rural Sourcing In 1999, Bill joined the Navy as an Aviation Structural and Hydraulics Mechanic. After leaving the military, he began a career in manufacturing and construction, and while he always took pride in his work, he didn’t find it fulfilling. After years of taking on solo development projects on the side (and a serious injury on the job), he finally decided to go all-in down this new path. After many late nights and weekends, Bill received his software engineering degree. Finding the right fit After receiving his degree, Bill started to apply for full-time developer roles. Despite having worked on solo projects for much of his life, he didn’t have experience working on a professional development team or in an Agile environment. His application was rejected almost immediately at many of the companies where he applied. Rural Sourcing seemed different, though. Bill researched the company before applying and, from the outside, it seemed like they’d be willing to take a chance on people who were new to the industry if they had the drive to learn. He was excited to be brought in for an interview. An opportunity to grow After meeting with Bill Rose, Director of Rural Sourcing’s new Development Center in Fort Wayne, Bill knew that he’d found the right place to start his career in tech. He soon discovered that the culture was all about supporting and mentoring colleagues who come from different backgrounds. He says, “Rural Sourcing has a culture that doesn’t restrict you. If you want to learn a new technology, the tools are there to help you do it.” In fact, after his initial project finished, he was asked by Bill Rose, “What do you want to do next?” He answered .NET because, despite working in web, he’d always had an interest in it. That pivot sent him on an adventure that he described as “the most challenging and rewarding thing I’d ever done as a developer.” Helping others While Bill is still pushing himself and his technical abilities, he’s also focused on helping new colleagues. “There were colleagues in my first few weeks at Rural Sourcing who were extremely gracious with their time, and now that I’ve been here a while, I try to be just as helpful as others have been to me.” DISCOVER MORE

Our Mission in Action: Brandon Avant

Our guiding force at Rural Sourcing is our mission: to create high-quality technology jobs in Middle America cities where talent is often overlooked. Our Mission in Action showcases Rural Sourcing colleagues who represent how this mission impacts individuals and the communities in which we operate. As he was entering his senior year as a computer science student at Arkansas State University, Brandon Avant was looking for an internship that would set the tone for the rest of his career. He’d already spent much of his childhood educating himself on the latest in technology, so he wanted an employer that would support his passion for lifelong learning. After meeting with Rural Sourcing and connecting with our mission and his potential colleagues, he decided to join our Junior Associate program as a programmer analyst. The opportunity to grow Ten years later Brandon is now a successful Principal Consultant and Technical Lead where he’s worked with clients in many industries, including agriculture, medical, and transportation. He says that being at Rural Sourcing has given him many opportunities to grow his professional skillset, and has enjoyed being able to mentor younger colleagues. Brandon shares, “Ever since I was a child, I’ve been interested in software development; I consider designing and writing code more of a hobby and less of a job, which is why I write software during my personal time as well. My career here at Rural Sourcing has allowed me to take what I enjoy and make a career out of it; for that, I would like to thank Rural Sourcing.”

Is Offshore Outsourcing Really Cheaper?

Offshoring software development has become a common practice for many companies, having gained immense popularity over the last 10-15 years. So much so, that in India alone, outsourcing is now a nearly $150 billion industry. Why? It’s simple: offshore labor is much cheaper. But in reality, the hourly rate that you pay is just one factor when it comes to determining the actual cost of offshoring. Read on for four areas of potential hidden cost that may make you think twice about considering an offshoring investment.   Project Management Costs                      A critical component to ensuring a successful outsourcing engagement is the ability to manage the project effectively. Time zone differences, frequent and fast-paced requirement changes, plus the inherent nature of agile software development means additional management and oversight needs can pop up unexpectedly. This leads to the possibility of teams getting stretched too thin while trying to coordinate communication among developers and stakeholders, across multiple time zones. Often, additional management resources must be put in place, which means additional cost. Resource Ramp-Up/Turnover Rates                    Depending on the offshore provider and your ability to command their attention, it may take much longer to ramp up the right resources necessary to meet your requirements. Unless you are a very large enterprise, you may have to wait in line for the best people. Additionally, if you’re working with a smaller or midsize offshore company, retaining top talent can be a problem which causes project delays due to the variability of resources being used on a project. Cultural and Communication Barriers The ability to communicate effectively with your outsourced development team has a direct impact on the timeliness and quality of deliverables. Cultural differences or misunderstandings can also affect how well teams work together, and sometimes cause unnecessary friction. In fact, in some cultures, maintaining positive relationships with clients is so important that in order to avoid any sort of tension, sometimes overseas colleagues will simply say what they think the other person wants to hear, instead of the true state of affairs. This is in stark contrast to the United States, where employees tend to value being straight forward and specific in order to get the job done as efficiently as possible. Additionally, a lack of understanding of how business is conducted in the U.S. or unfamiliarity with regulations can slow processes down. There may be less application of best practices and fewer innovative ideas as a result. Geopolitical Risks Economic, social or political strife can cause additional risks (and costs) when you’re offshoring. We’ve seen trade disputes between the US and China, more stringent H1-B visa restrictions in the U.S., terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka and most recently political tensions in Belarus. In other countries, health crises, ongoing violence and petty crime may make you less inclined to send employees to these areas, reducing important local training and vendor management time, and adding risk to service delivery. While there’s no doubt that the offshore model for software development has been an effective resource for many companies, it may not be the right fit for every organization or for every project. To determine your true cost of offshoring (TCO), use our free TCO calculator to help understand which outsourcing option may work best for your organization. TRY OUR TRUE COST OF OFFSHORING (TCO) CALCULATOR

Our Mission in Action: Jeanne Schmidt

Our guiding force at Rural Sourcing is our mission: to create high-quality technology jobs in Middle America cities where talent is often overlooked. Our Mission in Action showcases Rural Sourcing colleagues who represent how this mission impacts individuals and the communities in which we operate. Jeanne Schmidt has had an impressive career in tech. For many years, she worked at PeopleSoft in Silicon Valley, where she watched the company grow from only a few hundred people to over 10,000 employees. She learned a lot during her tenure at PeopleSoft, and really enjoyed the culture, but after Oracle’s acquisition of the company, certain things changed. The culture she had come to love was no longer in place, and frequent meetings at Oracle’s headquarters meant a much lengthier commute. As the mother of two young daughters, Jeanne wanted to make a change to support a better work/life balance for her family. Heading east With the high cost of living in the Bay Area, Jeanne and her husband decided to start looking for jobs in more affordable areas, preferably on the east coast to be closer to her family. After her husband got a job in Augusta, Georgia, Jeanne enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom for a few years while her children were still young. Eventually, she wanted to return to work, and spent a couple of years at other organizations, before getting a call from a recruiter at Rural Sourcing in 2013. Challenging but rewarding Working at Rural Sourcing presented an opportunity for Jeanne that otherwise might not have existed in Augusta: the ability to work for “an impressive list of clients” while living much closer to family, and with a higher quality of life. Jeanne says, “Since I started at Rural Sourcing, I’ve been able to watch the company grow and maintain its fun, positive culture. I’ve been impressed with the type of project work we do and the list of clients we have. This is challenging, rewarding work that has allowed me to grow in my career and mentor others.” DISCOVER MORE

Our Mission in Action: Natascha Thomas

Our guiding force at Rural Sourcing is our mission: to create high-quality technology jobs in Middle America cities where talent is often overlooked. Our Mission in Action showcases Rural Sourcing colleagues who represent how this mission impacts individuals and the communities in which we operate. Before starting at Rural Sourcing, Natascha Thomas worked for companies where many young developers have dreams of making their mark one day, including EA Games and Disney. With the exciting subject matter, however, came some drawbacks. Natascha’s work-life balance was basically non-existent, and she had become defensive and untrusting of her colleagues due to the competitive nature of the office. Plus, she wasn’t able to achieve her savings goals because of the high cost of living in Los Angeles.  From the ocean to the gulf Natascha and her family decided to move to her husband’s hometown of Mobile, Alabama where she accepted an offer at Rural Sourcing. Here she found a much more collaborative and supportive culture: “I’m never ashamed to ask for help, and have never had anyone say to me, ‘you should know this.’ I can tell my manager if I’m feeling ‘underwater’ or have too much assigned to me without fearing that it could negatively impact my career advancement.” A better quality of life Natascha took to living in Mobile right away: “I think the things that really drew me in about Mobile compared to Los Angeles were the low traffic, clean streets, and polite folks with cool accents.” And while she hasn’t exactly grown fond of the “most massive insects I’ve ever seen,” Natascha feels as though living in Mobile and working at Rural Sourcing has truly given her the space to thrive. DISCOVER MORE

Geopolitical Uncertainty Brings Risk to Offshoring

There has always been some risk associated with outsourcing software development. The question of which outsourcing option (offshore, near shore, onshore) is right for a CIO depends on an equation that addresses price, speed and risk. That equation, however, keeps changing as the risks of offshore rise, with the COVID-19 pandemic only adding to those uncertainties. A report from Gartner outlines major geopolitical concerns that are impacting both offshore and near shore development. “Political and economic stability is an important factor in offshore outsourcing arrangements,” said Jim Longwood, research vice president at Gartner. The outsourcing market has been relatively stable for the past few years, according to Gartner. But that may be the quiet before the storm. We've seen a trade dispute between the US and China, terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, and most recently political tensions in Belarus. These global incidents demonstrate the potential dangers of relying on offshore development. “Gartner has started fielding more questions from clients about how to address these scenarios. This includes whether to stop sourcing services from a particular country, move services to another country or bring them back onshore. Each option is quite costly and can disrupt service delivery in the short-to-medium term.” “Concerns include potential disruption to or cessation of services, increased tax added to export labor rates and reduced quality of service due to ‘patriotic’ backlashes by local staff,” said Longwood. “All organizations should review their offshoring and nearshoring arrangements.” With so much instability with offshore development, it is critical for companies to proactively mitigate risk to ensure the stability of their systems. According to Gartner, that is leading companies to develop a multi-country sourcing strategy. Gartner predicts that by 2023, 65 percent of large companies will switch to a multi-country sourcing strategy. The sometimes overlooked category that has been added to the procurement strategy for many companies is use of the low-cost, onshore development. We’re seeing more and more companies add the category as a strategic sourcing bucket to meet ever growing digital demand. Onshore outsourcing can be competitive while bringing the added benefits of speed, improved communication and lower risk. By finding tech talent in Middle America, where there is a lower cost of living, companies can lower costs while maintaining the high level of quality and security that CIOs, CISOs, and CTOs demand. Plus, as we've seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. adapted quickly to workplace changes, when other countries struggled. Great infrastructure, an evenly distributed workforce throughout the country, and a smaller learning curve have all helped the U.S. stand out as the most reliable option for outsourcing. Organizations cannot control geopolitical unrest, but they can control their exposure to risk. Onshore software development is the solution needed to manage risk, lower costs and ensure development work meets goals of speed to market and quality. DISCOVER MORE