PHP (otherwise known as Personal Home Page), is a programming language used by millions of companies around the world in the development of software and the creation of websites (specifically widely used in content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal).
However, a PHP developer is a very specialised role. In the modern age, people are teaching themselves how to code and develop websites through informative tutorials, specialist books and helpful ‘how to’ articles on the internet and yet, there are so many developers out there that lack the experience needed to create a website swiftly, professionally and to a high standard. When hiring such professionals, it’s clear that an extensive portfolio and an organized approach to developing websites is crucial to your business needs. Without this high level of competency (or if it’s a junior role you are hiring for, how willing they are to learn the role requirements), the work they create for your business will cost you more in the long term if it is to a poor standard.
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Sourcing offshore employees, no matter what the role is for, carries a significant risk that can result in a positive or negative outcome for your business. In terms of hiring costs and paying wages, it’s arguably a more cost-effective way of running a business, in comparison to simply having an in-house team that is in the office full time. This is due to not needing as much space or any premises and paying a lower wage to those working abroad.
However, hiring PHP developers that live in non-English speaking countries (or whatever is your native tongue), may result in communication being lost in translation which results in the work not correctly fitting the brief and more time being spent on revisions that can cost your company more. There is also the issue of difference in time zone: Work may not be done as quickly as it would be in the country your company is based in, resulting in missing important deadlines. This also, in turn, affects communication, as you may not be able to contact the offshore employees to complete urgent requests; in comparison to having in-house staff completing it as soon as it arises.
What can be done to fix this?
Firstly, with language barriers, this issue can be amended by ensuring that there is constant and clear communication between yourselves and the employees that are working abroad. Developing a strong relationship with your employees or colleagues is undoubtedly key and this should extend to those who aren’t in the office full time. By communicating through email or other messaging services such as Slack and Skype for Business, a project will have a higher likelihood of being completed to a high standard, and in turn your relationship with the remote team will strengthen, leading to continued success in future projects as you understand each other’s working style more deeply.
And although the difference in time zone may seem like a hinder on first glance, offshoring PHP developers that are able to continue working on a project continuously through the hours when your in-house staff are not, results in higher productivity and projects being finalised faster. You should be aware that if you are outsourcing a project that needs to be done to a tight deadline with few revisions, strict guidelines on what should your acceptance criteria are will have to be put in place, with agreements around delivery dates, and scheduled communications organised.
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Another approach to outsourcing work to be completed by PHP developers is by having a mixture of in-house and external staff. This is easier said than done if you are a smaller business, but, if you can afford it, this combination will result in more work being completed as it will be developed throughout night and day. It also means that a blend of experience and ideas will create work that is imaginative and innovative; and — in the long to medium term — scaling the business can be done more quickly once this working practice is adopted and being used on a daily basis.
Overall, outsourcing PHP developers will be a judgement call, based solely on the business needs and what stage of development it is in. Weighing up the costs of hiring a full in-house team, compared to outsourcing all of your software development needs will need to be considered, whether you are either setting up a new business and sourcing your team from scratch or if you are already an established business that is looking to expand and continue growth.
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