Quenching Utah’s “Developer Drought”

Travis Isaacson

5 min read

Utah is ranked as the #2 state in the country for the severity of its “developer drought.” For anyone who’s been trying to fill tech roles that likely comes as no surprise.

After all, there are currently 5500+ open software jobs across the state and companies are reporting that it’s taking 2+ months to fill positions. To make it worse, inflation is at its highest in 40 years, which means it also costs more than ever to attract and keep top talent (or any talent).

However, ignoring your open tech positions is also not an option. In our modern world, a lack of the right tech skills can severely hinder your organization’s ability to grow—which is the last thing you want with the possibility of a recession on the horizon. So what is a company to do with this “perfect storm” set of circumstances that’s making hiring tech talent more challenging than ever?

In today’s market, the companies leading the charge to solve the tech hiring crunch are exploring outsourced software development. Here are a few of the benefits and drawbacks of this approach along with the questions you should ask as you evaluate outsourced software developers.

The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Development

There’s a reason the top outsourced software shops, like Utah’s Tech9, are among the nation’s fastest-growing companies: They help organizations meet development needs while saving time and money, scaling and innovating faster, and accessing top talent without being limited to the local market.

Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits of outsourcing along with a couple of areas where you’ll want to be cautious (for a deeper dive on the pros and cons be sure to check out this blog post!):

Save headache with access to talent

Rather than limiting yourself to the talent pool in your local area (or even a wider, remote work pool), outsourcing gives you direct access to some of the most talented experts in the world—who are already vetted and tested on the type of work your needs require.

Save time with access to systems and processes

Outsourced teams are experts in what they do and they have the experience and systems to effectivity and efficiently pinpoint and solve problems. Rather than internally developing the needed processes, you save time with an outsource provider by piggy-backing on the momentum they’ve already built.

Save money with project-based pricing

Hiring employees is expensive. There are salaries, benefits, onboarding and professional development, equipment costs, and on and on. In contrast, when you’re outsourcing you only have to pay for the services needed, keeping your costs lean and more nimble.

Be mindful of communication

This is an area where outsourced providers vary widely and you’ll want to make sure you do your homework. When your development team is internal, communication is typically much simpler, whereas it will likely need to be more formal and structured when you’re working with an external team. Be sure any outsourced team you choose has a plan in place for streamlined and effective communication at every stage of the project.

Be mindful of security

This is another area where outsourced software development providers vary widely. No matter your project, it’s likely that to accurately create the software you want a developer will need access to key pieces of information. Make sure to ask questions about the security measures they have in place and how they would handle a leak or hack.

7 Questions to Ask Outsourced Software Providers

After weighing the pros and cons and making the decision to go with an outsourced software development provider, it’s critical to first get clear on the problems you’re trying to solve as well as your time and budget constraints. Having clear answers on those elements will make it much easier to begin a conversation with a development shop and get a feel for whether they’ll be a good fit for your needs.

When you’ve narrowed your search down to a few options based on your scope of work, we recommend asking external developers these 7 questions:

  • What projects have you done similar to mine?
  • What software technologies do you use?
  • How do you find and hire your developers?
  • How involved will we be in the development process, and how will you communicate progress to us?
  • What security measures do you have in place?
  • How do you handle testing and quality assurance?
  • Can you provide testimonials or reviews from previous clients?

(For more details on why each of these questions is critical and what to look for in their answers, check out this blog post.)

Whether you’re tired of the constant struggle to fill tech positions in Utah’s “developer drought”, you’re looking to expand the bandwidth of your existing team, or you’re not quite ready to build an internal team, outsourced software development is an excellent option that’s here to stay within the market—and when you ask the right questions and know what to expect it can be a great fit for nearly any project!

If you’re looking for help with your tech needs, reach out to Tech9 today to learn more about our full-service development team and how outsourcing software can benefit your operation.

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