Let's face it: most Americans rarely get the chance to work closely with people in other countries or far away continents. Such was true about myself only five years ago, when universal online chatting was still gaining popularity. In fact, the only contact I had experienced with people outside of the United States was through Yahoo! Game chat rooms.
Back in 2004, one of my personal clients requested that I write my web based projects in ASP.NET. At the time, I was basically a makeshift Classic ASP developer with a knack for making quality designed websites. I was not a sound web developer, and learning ASP.NET was not quite what I wanted to do with my time. At this point in my career, I decided it would be more efficient, and I would prefer, to manage other people who could do the client work. This was the first time I started looking for international talent to help me deliver successful .NET projects to all of my clients.
In my search, I was able to find a few online portals where I could have several people around the world place bids on my projects. After posting my first project on one of these sites, I was amazed at how many people started responding. Different people from different countries all around the world wanted to work on my project. It quickly hit me--in a world of more than seven billion people, surely someone out there could produce quality work for my projects at a lower cost, which would allow me to be the project manager I always dreamed of becoming.
I spent the next few years working with several different companies in various countries; I worked with different teams, freelancers, and project managers, and quickly learned all of the good and bad aspects of IT outsourcing.
A few positive things I learned:
- People are capable of doing nearly anything all over the world.
- Globalization is here to stay, and it's only getting stronger every day.
- Other cultures, societies, and traditions are interesting to learn about, and easily discovered through outsourcing.
- IT work is valuable and can be found in India, Philippines, Bangladesh, Eastern Europe and Pakistan, the countries I primarily worked with.
Photo of Randall Agee (Allshore Virtual Staffing - CEO) and Raheel Afzal (DatumSquare IT Services - CEO) Islamabad, Pakistan - 2012