In my opinion, development costs are some of the scariest expenses of a business that integrates the web. Generally speaking, front end isn’t too bad, but a back-end that allows dyanmic interface and webmastery, not to mention shoppingcart and customer accounts can add up fast…
I was first introduced to offshore outsourcing by John Jonas, who was researching its possibilities in his various ventures. I was really impressed with Danny Sullivan and the model he had developed for web outsourcing in the Philippines. The prices seemed reasonable enough but I was concerned about reliability and consistency and language barriers etc.
At first it was a little frustrating… We hired on a trainee. A great price, but really not quite as fast as we were hoping or expecting. We stuck with it, and after a while our trainee began to deliver much more on our requests. Better yet, he even began suggesting some of his own ideas and accomplishable creativity.
It is absolutely different than working with qualified american programmers. The pros and cons really depend on where your company is its development.
I would highly recommend it for any company that has more work to do than it can handle alone. In fact I have often thought that like re-selling webhosting, there might be some money in reselling webdevelopers Really.
I also think it would be relatively easy to start a development company and pick up work from anywhere in the world. It would be a simple model, with a fixed overhead of labor and enough qualified programmers to grow as fast or as slow as you would want.
I will not at all be surprised if this model begins to be replicated and re-sold, a lot like webhosting… We’ll see