Offshore development is a minefield

Yesterday at 6AM I was on my daily meeting with Boris, a software developer from our East European branch. He ‘s a really good developer. Four days ago, I asked him to develop four screen for the demo application. This was not meant to be a real project yet – just the pilot.

Yesterday, while answering my boring question, “How ‘s the demo? “, he simply said, “I need a little more time, because I got stuck with this auto-complete component – it doesn ‘t works properly on holidays “.

I knew it. Another one got carried away. Software developers from former USSR need special treatment – they are different.


The problem is, that I don ‘t need better product tomorrow. I need a mediocre demo today, otherwise I won ‘t get money for development of this project at all.

I said quietly to Boris, “Boris, imagine a minefield…I need you to get to the other field safe and sound and not later than Thursday! Just strictly follow this path….Step to the left, and you ‘ll lose your leg. Step to the right, and you lose your balls. Please, please, please don ‘t try to fix things at this point. I ‘ll give our demo application to a marketing person and explain her how to walk the walk and present the functionality of the system-to-be “.

I went on, “Boris, don ‘t be a sapper at this point in the game. Just go to to the other side of the minefield. Agree? ”

Boris said “OK “, but I was not convinced.

I was right. This morning Boris told me about another issue that took a little bit more time than expected… ” I repeat my song about the minefield again, and hopefully the things will get start moving. I ‘ll see tomorrow.

There is a big difference in managing local and remote project developers. If Boris would be sitting in the cubicle next to me, I ‘d figure out a lot sooner that during the last three hours he ‘s disarming a sophisticated mine jeopardizing his life…oops, the success of our project. If you won ‘t talk to each of your offshore developers AT LEAST ONCE A DAY, the chance that you ‘ll lose your balls on that minefield are very high.Trust me. Been there. Lost them.

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