From 500 programming houses worldwide down to a dozen?

It is sad to say, but when you boil it down, you get the bottom of the pan, and no usable substance. I am referring to outsourcing companies. We did an experiment where we called 500 programming houses specializing in internet programming. They specialized in .Net, PHP, Java, and other online applications and languages. Most of them either didn’t answer the phone or couldn’t communicate properly. But, the ones who did answer failed our bid project.

We asked people what they charged first of all. Most companies were charging so little, that we couldn’t imagine them being any good. In my experience, someone who charges $15/hour for programming will be so bad, that they will be a complete waste of time. So, I tried to find more expensive options, but those turned out to be a disaster too in terms of the efficiency of their bids, etc. I tried to find American companies to help out, but they were too busy to assist.

We called companies in Europe, America, and India. Those who answered the phone and could communicate well, were given an easy test project to bid on. Our goal was to see if they could bid properly. The mark of a true professional is their accuracy and reliability. After we got our bids together, we found that only about 10% of the companies who could communicate well (which was only a fifth of the total who we called) could bid properly. Most bid astronomically too high on a simple project, while a few desperate and incompetent companies bid too low. Hmmm.

So, we went from 500 to 100 by weeding out those who couldn’t communicate well, or simply didn’t answer our calls or emails. Then we went from 100 companies to around 10 by weeding out those who couldn’t bid. We’ll keep you informed how our lucky 10 do.

I will say, that there are two huge programming companies in Belarus who were not the most efficient in town, but their bids were not that unreasonable and they are serious about doing business. They have hundreds of employees and do what I call “volume” business.

The most important thing I learned is that you can’t really get American programmers to be reliable in the long run. I also learned that Indian companies usually hire sloppy programmers. To get anything done, you either need to find an exceptional Indian company that takes their work seriously, or find someone in Eastern Europe. I’ll do more research and keep you posted!

(1) We boiled 500 programming houses down to 10 by calling them & asking for a bid.
(2) Most programming houses in India charge too little, but those who charge more are also a nightmare.

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The 2nd test project & the second bid

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