It’s no secret that the supply of high-quality software development professionals is not keeping up with the demand. More and more, Western companies are exploring options abroad to fill their employment gaps.
India has long filled that role for a multitude of reasons, but sleeping giants like the Ukraine and Mexico are rapidly rising through the ranks to capture up market share. Ukraine is conveniently located for European firms seeking talent, and Mexico is a hidden gem full of talent and possibility, especially given its close proximity to the United States and Canada.
Having more options comes with a lot of pros, but now you’re faced with the difficult task of choosing between them. If you’re anxious to get to work, then let’s take a closer look at what separates each of these countries software development teams so you can make a more informed decision:
The major cultural differences among India, Ukraine, and Mexico are worth noting before committing to a new software development team. Religious and cultural beliefs largely influence India’s culture. One such custom is using your right hand only when shaking hands, offering gifts, or accepting gifts. They believe the left hand is unclean and shouldn’t be used for such formal gestures. In initial meetings, it’s not uncommon to spend a good portion discussing family matters or social subjects. With such a focus on relationship building before business, it can be challenging to conduct business remotely via email, phone, or Zoom.
Ukraine more closely matches the Western European standards of doing business and have unusually flexible work hours. Management or leadership roles may arrive late to meetings. With future appointments, it’s normal and even considered polite to call ahead to confirm the meeting is still on. Ukrainians tend to be more forward and blunt with business dealings meaning they’ll discuss delight and disappointment openly.
When it comes to software development Mexico shines because the United States heavily influences its business culture. Silicon Valley has long been influencing Mexico and leveraging their talent because they both cultivate free-flow thinking which is critical in software development. Mexican managers tend to treat their subordinates like family and have a deep sense of loyalty. They also have the advantage of being bilingual with Spanish and English, so they have an advantage in working with customers in the US and Western Europe since both have heavy English and Spanish speaking populations.
Direct and Indirect Costs
When it comes to cost, India, without a doubt, wins. Indians and most Southeast Asians tend to compete on price, but that’s a losing game. Any great developer is worth their weight in gold, and although Mexico and Ukraine’s developers cost a bit more, they’re worth every penny. Not to say there aren’t great developers in India, there are. It’s just a time-consuming task trying to find one since the population is so high. Ukraine has cost-effective developers, but the indirect cost of possible travel and timezone difficulties can add up.
Coordinating projects with Mexican teams are considerably cheaper than most parts of the world and come with the bonus of real-time collaboration. That close proximity to the US reduces the risk of any misunderstandings and prevents staggered communication barriers.
Here’s a helpful breakdown of the average rates of software developers:
Timezone Challenges & Travel Considerations
Mexico wins easily for any US-based jobs since they share the same timezones. A developer from Ukraine has a less convenient (but still doable) GMT +2 timezone making it a good option for European countries since it’s only 1-2 hours ahead.
India has a clear disadvantage here, being a 10-12 hour difference from the US. When working with Indian developers, it often means if there’s an issue with your project, you’re not going to get a response until the next day. If you’ve got an ongoing project, you may be able to get used to the schedule, but it can still be cumbersome over time.
As a customer, you’re more than likely in the habit of meeting people you regularly work with, and choosing between Ukraine, India, or Mexico can really narrow the field. Flights to India and Ukraine from the US are expensive, but once in-country, you’ll find it’s relatively cheap lodging and food. You’ve still gotta factor in the 18+ hour flight to Ukraine and 30+ to India.
When it comes to software development, Mexico has a clear advantage here because the flights are only a few hours, and you don’t get jet-lagged from crossing so many timezones. Plus, it’s a popular tourist destination meaning you can mix work and pleasure.
Whatever you do, don’t outsource blindly. You’ll find the performance of your remote team is heavily influenced by matching your company’s culture and how convenient it is to work together. Make the time to do extensive consultations and, if possible, try meeting in person to really solidify project expectations and build some much-needed rapport. You’ll be happy you did.