Working with an Outsourced Developer

Working with an Outsourced Developer

Working with an Outsourced Developer
05
APRIL, 2018
Day to Day
Ever wondered why most companies fail in their road towards web or software development? I understand the bold statement I made there but hear me out. There is something I would like to share what I have experience working with an Outsourced Developer.
Today marks the fifth-month working with an outsourced developer from India. I was assigned to project manage a dynamic web application using Javascript framework, React.js.
A little background about the client, they are well versed and detail oriented people. They are super meticulous on the project requirements and specifications. In the very beginning, I thought, it would be excellent for me because it will reduce the trouble to deliver the message to the outsourced developer.
“Let’s just call the outsourced developer by Miss A.”
The project started out in good fashion. All the requirements are given, and most of the items are well briefed. I assumed we move off to a great start. Unfortunately, I was wrong…
I run the project in an agile method. Meaning, whenever there’s need for change, we will concurrently update client and get further feedback on what needs to change. Along the way, Miss A seems to miss out many important key factors of the task required to do. It appears to look like I need to spoonfeed every information for her to do a simple task.
For example, there one task that requires her to do up a simple landing page with a simple email sign up form. I told her to follow exactly the same as the mockup that I have prepared for her. All she needs to do is to strictly follow the mockup and refer to the UI Style guide (given to her prior to the project). But she didn’t!
At this day and age, responsiveness is a norm to all websites. It may be something new few years ago but all business websites should be responsive at the very least. I just don’t know what Miss A was thinking back then.
“In the end, I have to tell her again and again until she gets it.”
And that is time-consuming for sure. Sigh.

Another thing that we should take note is their national holidays. India has plenty of public holidays! Meaning, if you need to get things done urgently and it’s their public holiday, all the best to you. You can only hear them back on the next working day. Sigh.

At this point in time, the project is still ongoing. Our actual deadline is March. Unsurprisingly, its April now. It’s the matter of waiting for the client to turn into a devil.
So in conclusion to my experience working with them – I do not quite like it. Language is indeed a barrier. It took them awhile to understand the certain task. Style of work is not comprehensive. They do not look into the project in a holistic manner. If I were to list out the brunt of their work, there are plenty.
“In the end, I have to tell her again and again until she gets it.”
But I’m going to stop here. I am not going take everything from them. They can still do the job. It’s just the manner of them doing it. I am not referring to all Indian developers, but I have quite a number of feedbacks from other companies that hired them said the same thing too. So what does that tells us?
They might be charging us cheap but I guess the price speaks for itself. Low quality work. Perhaps there are those who are skilled and easy to communicate ones – you are looking at 1 out of 20? The rate that they set is ‘spoil market’. It appears to look like they’re degrading their development work.

Enough of my rant, I would like to know what is your experience like working with outsourced developers. Comment down below and let me know. I’m out.

Life of a Singaporean Web Developer

Life of a Singaporean Web Developer

Life of a Singaporean Web Developer

22

NOVEMBER, 2017

Day to Day

When I was working for a local bank, I am blinded to how much they are paying me. It took me 2 long years to realize that it was a DEAD END job. Let me share with you the journey to the life of a Singaporean web developer.

Since I graduated from Singapore Polytechnic in 2009, I’ve been doing WordPress websites on the side. I took it as a hobby. Because trust me, WordPress is nothing like a server side programming language (Java, C++, etc). So I enjoyed doing it. Make a little dollars here and there but nothing big.

I spent 4 long years working for a non-tech companies because I didn’t see web development as a career back then. Every developer has their own route from where they got started. I am thankful to have realize this on the 1st of April 2017. Yes, it was April Fools Day! It kept me thinking,

“Is this what I am going to do for the next 10 years? I would definitely be a ‘fool’ for not challenging myself.”

I did a brief research on courses I can take to bridge me back to the tech world. Being someone who has no work experience in this field, it’s going to be tough. I then enrolled myself to Lithan Academy. The course they provide – ‘Advance Certification Web Development’ within 6 months. I thought it was a good programme because it serves as a refresher knowing that I have programming skills back in my poly days. Their modules consist of front and back-end development.

Lithan position themselves as ‘Digital Skills Accelerator’. For those are researching on Lithan Academy, hear this out – it is a crash course. They lump various topics within 6 months. Just imagine, learning PHP + e-learning exercises + project in 1 month. That’s crazy. Close to half of my batch dropout of the programme. For whats worth, I persevere and complete the course.

Within 3-4 months in the course, I got employed as a backend web developer intern in a local web agency. I picked up all necessary skills required for the ongoing projects. It was tough, the struggle was REAL. I had sleepless nights going through tutorial after tutorial. It was my first encounter of a PHP framework called Yii. My mentor was forever busy so I have to ‘mentor’ myself throughout my time there. I even seek help from my cousin, and lecturer. It was a stressful period.

To add more misery to my hardship of learning, I lost my wallet and my laptop crashed. I got pressured and depressed. I go online to look for a cheaper alternative laptop. That crash forces me to finally get myself a refurbished 15′ MacBook Pro 2015 edition. It was kinda impulsed. But it’s all worth the money. I managed to familiarize myself using Mac as my primary machine at home. 

Its quite weird to balance using 2 separate OS at home and at work. After awhile, I got used to it. So now, I can consider myself as a web developer working in a company. I used to do it for passion and hobby. It took me about 4 months to land myself a web developer job. I am grateful for what I have achieved this year. 

I know the whole story above sounds like my ‘journey’ of becoming a developer. From a dead end job to the job that I always want do in 4 short months. So here’s how my day to day looks like:

  1. Work starts at 10, so I did a short HIIT workout in the morning. On lazy days I sleep.
  2. Reach work, check email inbox and reply if necessary.
  3. Start off doing necessary task base on urgency and priority level.
  4. Lunch will be at 2, my colleagues and I will end up taking slightly more than an hour at times. Not that we purposely do it, time is just not on our side.
  5. Back from lunch, continue with the heavy task. Crack the brain to solve bugs on the codes.
  6. Occasionally will take breaks by watching YouTube videos of ArsenalFanTv (yes guys, I am a die hard Arsenal FC fan)
  7. Resume working and make sure all task are complete by end day.
  8. Knock off work at 7, do my Magrib (evening) prayer and head home.
  9. In most cases, dinner is served by my awesome mom.
  10. An hour or 2 before I go to bed, I will watch a few tutorials on the current web dev trends (I’m on Laravel now!)
  11. Sleep.

 

So that’s that! For those who aspire to a career change to become a techie, web developer, web designer, or anything software engineer related, hit me up by commenting on this post. I would love to hear feedbacks from you guys. If you encounter struggle, you’re not alone. I recommend joining local networking groups at Meetup.com or Slack. Till then, have a good day. Take care!