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Passionate Coders

One of the best pieces of advice my father gave me was to set yourself up to love your job. Depending on what your passions are, this could require a college degree, an apprenticeship, or years of paying your dues in the minor leagues. As I’ve gotten to know some software developers over the years, one of the things that impresses me the most about them is their passion for what they do. These people love talking about software languages, frameworks, and the projects they’re currently working on. Some even do side projects as a hobby because they love to code.

 

As with any profession, there are always some who consider coding to be merely a job that pays the bills. Or as a way to climb the corporate ladder. And it goes without saying that the most valuable devs are going to be the ones for whom coding is a passion. Ideally, an employer will be able to determine which ones love to code and which ones do it out of a sense of duty. These interview questions can help recruiters discern between the two:

 

  • Why did you choose to learn to code?
  • What do you do in your free time?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

 

In case it’s not obvious why it’s better to hire a developer who is passionate about coding, consider the thought of Walt Disney being indifferent about the idea of entertaining families. He might have retired once his animated mouse became a cultural phenomenon. The world would have missed out on such a tremendous gift if Walt had not been passionate about his craft.


Check out https://bit.ly/3JWMvNa to see available high-level software talent.

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The Universal Language

Someone once said that coding is the universal language. Is this true? Let’s take a look.

 

Multiple definitions have been presented for “language.” Some say that language is a system of words or codes used within a branch of knowledge. Others say that it’s a system of communication using symbols or sounds. Linguist Noam Chomsky defined language as a set of sentences constructed using a finite set of elements. 

 

Regardless of which definition you use, language necessarily includes the following components:

 

  • There must be a vocabulary of words or symbols.
  • There must be a meaning attached to those words or symbols.
  • There must be grammar, which is a set of rules that outline the use of the vocabulary.
  • There must be a syntax to organize the symbols into a linear structure to communicate an idea.
  • There must be a narrative consisting of a string of syntax.
  • There must be a group of people who use and understand the symbols. 

 

Coding meets all of these requirements. While there are a plethora of different coding languages such as Python, Java, C#, and more, a software engineer in the US that understands Java (for example) will know and understand the code written by an engineer on the other side of the planet, even if they don’t speak the same verbal language.

 

The key to building an effective and profitable system is to have effective and efficient communication between the development team and the project manager. Assuming there is not a language barrier, sometimes a cultural barrier can stand in the way of good communication. An advantage of working with a team in Latin America is that the cultural similarities are such that communication barriers are rendered almost non-existent. A lot of the food and traditions that Americans enjoy come from this part of the world. Families are often spread over either side of our southern border. And Latin Americans have a close understanding of the American workplace culture. 

 

While the various coding languages may be universally understood amongst a variety of regions and cultures, it’s important to consider the cultural compatability that can drastically affect the profitability of your product or service.


Check out https://bit.ly/3JWMvNa to see available high-level talent.

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What Makes A Good Software Engineer?

There is a decent sized list of things that make a good software engineer: programming skills, a healthy curiosity, desire to build things, ability to articulate their expertise, ability to master their tools, etc. 

 

But the reality is that software engineering is a business and should be treated as such. And so one of the most important skills a good software engineer will have is to think about more than just the code. A good engineer will also think about how the product can help the company’s bottom line. If the software isn’t beneficial to the user, then it won’t be profitable to the company. 

 

When Microsoft launched Windows Vista in 2007, it had so many compatibility and performance issues that the product flopped and many of Microsoft’s loyal customers abandoned ship, which Apple was more than happy to absorb. 

 

A good engineer asks questions such as:

  • If we take shortcuts, will this affect compatibility?
  • Will the use of certain technologies affect our ability to deliver new features in the future?
  • How are we securing sensitive information that we are storing?

 

It behooves companies to screen new talent accordingly. It’s easy to become hyper-focused on certain components of our business while glossing over others that might be just as, or even more, important. Imagine if Ford focused only on the aerodynamics and aesthetics of the cars they’re producing without paying much attention to the quality of the transmission. A good software engineer will think beyond the code and bring genuine value to their company.


Check out https://bit.ly/3JWMvNa to see available high-level talent.

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Don’t just survive, thrive

Two years ago, the world completely changed and companies in every industry had to adapt to a new economy. From Zoom meetings to outdoor dining tents, business leaders relied on their survival instincts to come up with crucial and creative solutions in order to keep their doors open and ride out the storm.

Today, we have a different mountain to climb. Regardless of your definition of a recession, it is clear that we are in one of the most challenging economies we have seen in decades. Survival instincts are once again rising to the surface among companies in every industry. While some solutions may be obvious, others might not be. Labor costs are obviously high, but offshoring that labor to Asia might not be as straightforward as it once was. 

 

This is where nearshoring comes in. With the US inflation rate hovering around 9%, companies that can reduce costs without sacrificing quality will have a stark advantage over those that can’t (or won’t) reduce costs. In the software industry, the talent pool in Latin America is rich. Back in the early 2000s, Mexico began to improve their higher education system and within a few years, their universities were churning out well educated graduates in software engineering. Fast forward to 2022, these graduates now have several years of experience under their belt and even have some significant experience working for large American companies such as Venmo and Shopify. Mexico isn’t the only country that has used this strategy. Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia are all among the top 50 countries with the best software talent. This is no small feat.

 

Reducing costs while maintaining high quality standards with a team that shares your cultural values and works in a similar time zone? Sounds like a pretty obvious decision. In the words of the great Jack Sparrow, “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?” Once we understand how we can position ourselves to beat out the competition, we will not just survive in a tough economy, we will thrive!


For more information about nearshoring, check out https://bit.ly/3MoDJY4.

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Be The Hero

Managers have a multi-faceted job that requires a variety of skills, not the least of which is creativity. One of the jobs of a manager is to bring new ideas to the table so that his or her superiors can decide whether or not to implement them. It can be tricky, and even intimidating, trying to convince your superiors that your idea could be good for the company. But there are some things you can do to help your boss understand why your idea can take the company to the next level.

Explain the Benefits

As clearly as you can, communicate how your idea benefits the company. Use charts & graphs if needed. If there is no benefit, your boss won’t have an interest in implementing your idea. Be articulate and do your research. Bad communicating can kill an idea.

 

Show Your Passion

Showing a passion for your idea will help your superiors get excited about it also. It’s hard to get excited about an idea when it’s being pitched in a robotic, monotone presentation. This is your opportunity to be a coach to your boss, helping him or her to see something that might not be immediately apparent. 

 

A Bad Idea Might Not Be Bad

Don’t withhold an idea just because you think it will be perceived as a bad one. Some of the best outcomes have started with seemingly bad ideas. The first guy to suggest moving from print newspaper to online newspaper started a global and lucrative movement, but this might not have sounded like the best idea in the early 90’s.

 

In the IT/software industry, many ideas come and go. As a manager, don’t let the idea of nearshoring slip through your bosses fingers. Show them the benefits of outsourcing to a relatively local region without the headaches of offshoring to the other side of the globe. Be the hero that takes your company to the next level.


Check out https://bit.ly/3MoDJY4 for more information.

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Something Significant Happened This Year

Tech salaries are, as we all know, increasing. And, like the blood pressure measurements in a coaches meeting before the Super Bowl, there is no telling how high it will go. In February of this year, Amazon increased the base salary for its tech staff from $160k per year to $350k. Todd Bishop at GreekWire wrote that Amazon’s decision to more than double the base salary will have a “likely impact on other companies and their employees.” 

 

Amazon’s prior base salary had been significantly lower than that of Facebook & Google. This helped to offset the high salaries of Amazon’s peers and keep the overall market for tech talent in check. Amazon’s move will inflame the inflationary increase in salaries that we have already seen, but perhaps another effect will be that it will help companies overcome the so-called “Great Resignation” due to the incentive of an even higher average salary. Nevertheless, it’s never been more important for smaller companies, particularly start-ups, to get creative with their efficiency. If there is anything that can be outsourced, it’s worth looking into it. Because the reality is that most outsourcing companies will usually be able to do the job cheaper and better.

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The times, they are a changin’

Let’s face it! Our world is a vastly different place than it was just a year ago. Inflation has always been a factor in the business model of any given company, but this year it has become one of the biggest factors. And relief is not expected anytime soon. Kiplinger predicts that inflation will peak this summer, but they also predict that it will remain as high as 8% through the end of the year. 

As salaries increase in this environment, it is incumbent upon companies to compensate for this added expense in creative ways. There are many ways to accomplish this, from analyzing employee efficiency to implementing technological improvements and everything in between. One strategy that must not be overlooked is the use of alternative resources. 

Is your business set up to utilize talent south of the border? What needs to be done to position your company to adapt to nearshoring? How much value can nearshoring bring to your business? These are questions that should be asked by the decision maker that wants to thrive during times like these.

Learn more about the benefits of nearshoring.

You may also like “Why are U.S. Companies running to Nearshore out of Latam”

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Employee retention: the key to business success

Employee retention is not merely a metric that alerts the HR department to take action when indicators are bad. Rather, it can be a competitive advantage and key differentiator for companies who pay close attention to it.

The true costs of employee turnover

The cost of employee turnover is incredibly high. Large U.S. businesses lose at least $1 trillion each year due to voluntary employee turnover, much of which, according to exiting workers, their managers or organizations could have prevented.

Gallup’s research shows that the cost to replace an employee can range from one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary.

The reason is that every time you have to replace an employee, it has an impact on operational costs, revenue, productivity, company culture, and customer experience, all of which end up compromising the company’s growth and profit.

So, having understood the scope of the impact of employee retention on an organization. How much should be invested to improve employee turnover?

 

The business success path

This is where an organization has the option to take different paths; from creating & implementing a budget, especially for this strategy, to partnering with companies that have already implemented a talent retention strategy to hire new resources at no extra cost to you. 

Whatever strategy you prefer, it is crucial to understand the importance of taking action. 

While creating a successful employee retention strategy may take a fair amount of effort, organizations that put in place the strategies, tools, and processes necessary to retain their best talent know that it’s a worthwhile effort that pays off.

On the other hand, organizations that don’t focus on employee retention and reducing turnover can suffer significant consequences.

Not only in terms of the hard costs associated with finding, hiring, onboarding, and training replacements, but also in terms of lost productivity and knowledge, impact on customer and employee experiences and reputations, lower morale, and weaker corporate culture.

 

Nearshore Strategy based on Talent Retention

During the more than 9 years we have been providing Nearshore services, our main objective as a company is to separate ourselves from our competitors through our high talent retention rates.

Our holistic approach allows our employees to have good benefits and a work-life balance and has helped us achieve the goal. 

Find out more about how we can do the same for your company. Schedule a call with our experts.

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The new IT outsourcing industry scenario

The challenges of IT outsourcing in the face of the political conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Disruptions caused by the conflict endanger organizations that outsource IT support to Ukraine. Unfortunately, there have been communication blackouts that threaten security and productivity. Additionally, reduced operational capacity can mean fewer bug fixes, less customer support, and fewer security patches. These will force organizations to go back to the blackboard, devise contingency plans and, if possible, find a way to continue with their Ukrainian service providers but at the same time protect against interruptions.

The reality is that it’s not just about quickly switching providers to fill the gap. Switching IT vendors takes months of planning and discussion, and usually can’t be done in the blink of an eye.

For that reason, in the short term, organizations have to act fast and take simple actions like monitoring the situation 24/7 to mitigate immediate risk, as well as more complex actions like preparing for the cyber risk presented by the conflict or reviewing the “force majeure” clause in all contracts to analyze the risks if the execution is hindered, delayed or prevented in the event of war.

In the longer term, business leaders should establish new relationships with different outsourcing providers. Some factors to consider before taking any decisions are the following:

  • Partner with IT service providers with a convenient geographic presence and solid business continuity or expansion plans, avoiding over-reliance on one country.

In this sense, Nearshore service providers with a presence in Latin America have a great advantage since they give you the possibility of having resources in North American countries with Mexico, Central America, and South America, thus allowing you to not be pigeonholed in a single region. Another benefit of having a team in Latin America is the possibility of working in the same or a similar time zone, which allows you to increase productivity and improve communication between teams.

  • Establish network, application, database, and platform security measures that include firewalls and intrusion detection/prevention systems that identify and block unauthorized activity with continuous monitoring for malicious activity and policy violations.

In the face of uncertainty, companies must remain flexible to change and generate strategies to stay afloat. However, today more than ever we must keep our values in mind and never ignore the human suffering that is taking place in Ukraine in the name of “The Business”.

If you’re in need of outsourcing support, temporary or long-term, we’re here to help with amazing Software Engineers in Latin America ready to join your team. Go to our Talent Portal to find out amazing candidates or get in touch with us to receive personal support.