In September 2022, we wrote an article on why Moonward is a 100% in-house software design and development team, you can read this article here. We wanted to expand on this article more as things have changed in the industry, and hey, Moonward is another year wiser.
What hasn’t changed over the course of the year is that App Development continues to be an extremely complex player in the tech industry. In Development, there is no governing body and no rule book on how to write code that seeks to solve a problem. For this reason, offshore development is so popular. All you need to do to claim you are a Developer is own a computer, do an online course that you completed a few weeks ago, have some general knowledge of the concept you are writing a solution for and then you’re away. In any other industry (medicine, tattooing, professional chef, accounting, engineering) this is a recipe for disaster.
We as a market have contributed to a level of this economic instability. There is a huge demand for development, which means an inflation of low-quality workers and a surge of companies looking to profit from the wave. But, as we know if we have studied economy — an environment of instability and oversupply can have devastating effects on industries.
An important starting question, is how can an in-house design and development team have any understanding of how offshore development works? Well, Moonward has been very transparent in the fact that when we started in business six years ago we initially leveraged offshore development. Within the first year of business, we quickly understood that offshore quality, care and communication were not even close to a position where we could build a sustainable business. At Moonward, we also interact with clients who have been stung by offshore development in the past by assessing their code and providing them with solutions on how they can move forward. This article focuses again on the benefits of choosing an in-house design and development team over an offshore team. Please enjoy.
This point is not always obvious. When you are purchasing custom App Development, you are purchasing someone's time, not a ready-made product off the shelf, a car made on a conveyor belt or an item from a fast food restaurant. Instead, you are purchasing the collective knowledge of a team, the training that goes into an individual and a shared culture and benchmark.
We need to be careful of companies that treat the service as a product by providing a productised quote instead of a quote based on their team's esimated time. They are either wildly overcharging to compensate for the many iterations and challenges that come about during development, or are wildly undercharging and will hit you with further bills when their project begins to run low on resources — or worse begin to cut corners when the budget is stretched.
We also need to be realistic from a client perspective in the fact that we are not buying a car, we are buying a software product. We cannot force assumptions like we can with a car: the horn is going to honk and the wheels are going to turn. In a fractured development process, the things we might assume are obvious to us as the client, may not be so obvious to the person who is developing it. This sets us up for a string of disappointments.
We can mitigate this frustration by understanding that App Development is a service and we are dealing with service providers. It is a higher effort from a client perspective (meeting with them regularly to ensure they understand our needs), but the return on our investment is seen.
There are best practices in app development and ways of writing clean code, but only a united company can share that benchmark and not a group of disjointed people from different corners of the world.
Not many things can survive long-term in an environment of chaos. But things that exist in a controlled environment, imagine a greenhouse, have the opportunity to thrive. When we buy development, what we are really buying is people. We are buying shared passion, a collective of knowledge that has not been learned online but through real-world experiences and challenges, as well as the office where they sit together and can communicate with each other.
We are not saying that just because a team is 100% in-house, it makes them the best. We are saying that with a controlled environment such as the right leaders, the right people and the right vision, an in-house team will always outperform an offshore team.
As always, keen to hear your thoughts and experiences.
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