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    Golang Development Outsourcing: How to Find Balance of Cost, Quality, and Reliability

    Created by a group of Google developers and released in 2009, Go (alternatively called Golang) is currently among the top 10 programming languages. Combining traits of Python and C++, Go is praised by developers for ease of learning, compilation speed, advanced concurrent multithreading with Goroutines, and more. The language is suitable for various tasks, especially server-side, microservices, and web development. Top global companies, such as Netflix, Uber, and Monzo choose Go for their projects.

    If you want to use Golang in your project you’ll need developers with comprehensive Golang knowledge and relevant experience. Thanks to the widespread adoption of remote working, there is no need to limit your talent search to the local area. Outsourcing Go developers from another country or even overseas can significantly lower development costs without compromising the quality. Since 2010, Surf has been developing apps for companies from various countries and in various industries, using native and cross-platform technologies. In the article, we’ll discuss the ways to outsource developers, the pros & cons of working with development agencies and freelancers, as well as tips on how to pick the right outsourcing option.

    Benefits of outsourcing Go development

    Hiring in-house developers has undoubtedly its benefits: you’ll be able to manage every aspect of the development process and make sure that the developers are first and foremost focused on your project. However, there are several disadvantages of this approach that can outweigh the benefits, especially if your company requires developers for short-term projects that won’t be the main products of your business. Outsourcing Golang developers is a great alternative to hiring engineers as full-time employees and here are its main advantages.

    More cost-effective

    Where developers are located is one of the key aspects defining their salaries. Go developers in the US have hourly rates of $70-90, which, along with developers from Western Europe, are one of the highest figures on the global market. A US-based startup that decides to outsource application development with engineers from other parts of the world can easily save 30-50% of the app’s budget by employing developers from Eastern Europe (where common rates are $40-50 per hour), Asia ($25-40 per hour) or South America ($50-60 per hour). The developers from these regions can deliver code of the same high quality with significantly less expenses. However, two disadvantages of this approach deserve consideration: cultural differences, which usually can be overcome after a short adaptation time, and a big-time zone difference that can make online meetings slightly less convenient. To learn more about the best countries to hire remote developers, check our dedicated articles.

    Allows to focus the main business

    Hiring in-house developers comes at substantial extra costs: you will need to set up the HR process, hire HR managers familiar with software engineering, conduct screenings and interviews, and provide newly hired developers with the perks & benefits of full-time employees. This approach is justified if app development is your key business area, but if you need to develop the initial version of an app and then simply maintain it, you’ll likely won’t need half of these specialists after release. Outsourcing developers allows you to focus on your company’s main business, hiring engineers only for the tasks at hand and not puzzling over what to do with them when the main development phase is finished.

    Freelancers vs development agency

    If you decide to outsource Go development, there are two main options: finding freelance specialists or contacting a specialized development company. Let’s review the main differences between them.

    Hiring freelancers

    Currently, there are plenty of freelance networks to search for IT talent, such as TopTal, Guru, Fiverr, UpStack, and others. Most of them are free to use, while premium features (job post highlights, insights on how candidates view the company’s profile, etc.) come at affordable monthly subscription plans. Many freelancers offer their Go development outsourcing services at relatively low rates since it is a common practice for them to work on multiple projects at once.

    Pros:

    • Access to a large talent pool. Your job post will be seen by developers from all continents and you can choose the one with the best rate and reviews.
    • Quick hiring process. Depending on a task, a position can be filled within days, especially for quick short-term projects.
    • Convenient payment. Many freelance platforms provide secure payment services, so your financial department won’t get a headache about legally paying people from overseas for their services.

    Cons: 

    • Requires candidates screening. While most freelance platforms have a ‘reviews’ section where freelancers can present feedback from their past clients, it is recommended to take this information with a grain of salt. A candidate can provide a false portfolio or resell your tasks at a lower rate to a developer with lower qualifications. So, don’t forget to conduct due diligence and check our Go interview questions for the screening process.
    • Low degree of involvement. If your project is a complex one or requires a creative approach, freelancers, working on several tasks at a time, might not be able to provide the best solution, which in the future can cost more to your business than what you saved on hiring these specialists.
    • Poor communication. When employing individuals from other parts of the world, language barriers, cultural and time zone differences can all hamper professional communication, which can result in misunderstandings on what’s to be done, missed deadlines, or even developers quitting halfway through the tasks. Such slowdowns can be very damaging to emerging startups where momentum is key to securing investment and future success.

    Hire app development company

    The alternative to hiring freelancers is finding a Go development outsourcing company that provides development services. Such companies usually have deep expertise in working with clients in various industries and established working processes. They can handle the whole development process, including post-release maintenance, allowing you to focus on the main aspects of your business.

    Pros:

    • Cross-industry expertise. Most development companies have clients from various industries, providing their teams with rich experience and a deep understanding of every industry’s specifics. For example, Surf worked with clients from fintech, e-commerce, and digital media, while our apps redefined mobile experience for grocery shoppers, pet lovers, traders, and many others. Such a rich portfolio of projects allows us to come up with a better solution for every challenging project.
    • Latest technology. Compared to freelance developers, a company specializing in software development is more likely to have access to and know how to use the latest technologies. Being initially a Google-certified development studio, Surf created native apps with Kotlin and Swift programming languages and then was an early adopter of Flutter cross-platform framework, creating the first banking apps on Flutter in Europe. Cross-platform technologies offer many benefits compared to native development: you need only one team of developers to create both iOS and Android apps, the platform provides high security, fast performance, along with native-like user experience.
    • Easy project transfer. One of the downsides of hiring freelance developers is that each of them can have their own ideas of what understandable code means, which can potentially complicate things in the future. Development companies usually keep in mind that after initial release an app can be handed to another team for further maintenance. To make things easier, they aim to provide understandable documentation of the project’s structure, features, and code. In our projects, we at Surf always adhere to current industry standards and document every aspect of the app. For example, when we worked on an app for one of TOP-15 European banks, we wrote autotests in Gherkin, an easy-to-understand language for developers, which enabled a seamless project’s transfer to the bank’s in-house team.
    Banking apps developed by Surf

    Cons

    • Higher cost. On average, trusting your app development project to an IT outsourcing provider gets slightly more expensive than finding several independent freelancers, but it is important to keep in mind what you get for the money. Hiring a development company gets you a project manager who sets up and manages the whole development process, seeing that a client’s requirements are taken into account and deadlines are met, so you won’t need a dedicated in-house person for those tasks. Along with engineers, many development studios usually have other specialists with proven track records on hand. For example, the Surf team includes designers, business analytics and QA specialists, who can handle other stages of app development besides the coding itself.

    How to outsource like a pro

    Whether freelancers or development studio, if you decide to outsource app development you’ll likely have to choose between several candidates and then agree on the details of the process with the developer of your choice. To help you avoid costly mistakes, we’ve assembled several tips that highlight common outsourcing pitfalls.

    Don’t settle for the cheapest option

    Experience, skills, available hardware and software — all of this goes into the price of development services. While saving money by going with the cheapest option might sound tempting, below-market price usually goes hand in hand with a compromise on quality. If you think about going extra cheap with development, consider the potential expenses of fixing mistakes.

    The most expensive one doesn’t mean the best one

    Of course, a higher price usually means you’re hiring more resourceful and skillful talents but don’t forget about other variables affecting the final price. As we mentioned before, a developer’s location means a lot — the average annual salary of Go developers in the US and Canada is two times higher compared to East Europe or Asia. Also, if your project is relatively simple and doesn’t require unique or unorthodox solutions, you can save some budget by hiring fewer senior engineers.

    Pick specialists with relevant experience 

    When choosing developers, carefully review their portfolios. Try their previous apps available in App Store or Google Play to see how they implemented various features and whether the apps have any issues or negative feedback related to the code’s quality. Choosing developers who have done projects in the same industry or used similar functions is also beneficial to the final result.

    Don’t forget about confidentiality

    Creating software almost always involves access to servers and sensitive data. Hiring in-house developers is the best way to prevent a data breach, since any hardware with access to confidential data can be strictly controlled. However, when outsourcing developers confidentiality risks can be significantly reduced by doing proper due diligence on the developers and signing a non-disclosure agreement. Such a document will legally protect your business from stealing app concepts, internal data, and the private details of your customers.

    Establish clear deadlines and budget limits

    For many emerging startups time is of the essence and a dragging development process can be equal to a project’s failure. Unexpectedly running out of funds in the middle of app development is another situation no company wants to find itself in. Proper project assessment is key to establishing realistic deadlines and costs prior to starting the development. While a fixed price model, in which the final figure is agreed upon from the start, is one way to go, many development companies, including Surf, use the time & material price model, in which the client agrees to top-level estimation and then pays for what’s done during each sprint, allowing developers to introduce minor adjustments along the way without lengthy additional agreement process. This model allows the client to get a product, adapted to the current technical requirements and market demands. Learn more about app development estimation in our dedicated article. After agreeing with estimation and deadlines, don’t forget to identify limits of possible time and price deviations as well as repercussions for violating them in a written agreement.

    Post-release support is a must

    After the project’s release, the scale of programming works decreases but doesn’t come to naught. Stable front-end and back-end performance require continuous improvements, testing, and support. Even if users encounter no errors at all (which almost never happens), the fast-paced mobile industry constantly introduces new versions of operating systems and hardware that require updates to the app’s code. Prior to starting the development process, discuss the post-release maintenance period with your development partner. Ensure they will prepare documentation and descriptions for every feature so that if you decide to transfer an app in-house post-launch to another team, it won’t take weeks for new developers to simply understand “how it works”.

    Final thoughts

    Benefits of Golang include simplicity, advanced technological solutions, and great performance, which clearly explain why more companies want to hire Go engineers for their projects. The language sees stable growth in popularity, as server-side and web development with Go is adopted by such brands as American Express, Soundcloud, Dropbox and others. 

    Go development outsourcing can supply you with the best talent at a lower budget compared to hiring in-house. While hiring freelancers can be an affordable outsourcing option for simple and short-term projects, specialized development companies that have established development and management processes generally deliver more consistent results with fewer risks. For over 12 years, Surf has developed apps for various industries, using both native and cross-platform technologies. We provide services in Go development along with solutions for all other aspects of software development. Drop us a line, to get a free quote and discuss your project in detail.