We work very hard to find people who fit our culture and have a remarkable experience. This is not just a “motherhood and apple pie” statement. We’ve had the fortune of working with really high caliber people in the US and our expectations are pretty high.
Although the company is young, as individuals we have a lot of experience hiring world-class technical staff. We’ve gotten very good at recognizing and attracting the “good ones.”
Breadth and depth of experience are essential, and we look for that first, but sometimes we run into a young talent with “superstar” written all over and those go to the top of the list as well.
First and foremost, candidates have to have fluent English, both spoken and written.
They have to fit and work well with the current staff. Although people are assigned to specific clients, we all have to work well together as a team.
We can make the first few hires for a new team within eight weeks after the Kickoff. For an out-of-the-beaten-path skill, it may take longer.
We maintain a pretty deep pipeline of pre-qualified candidates for various skills. Our recruiting staff is constantly sourcing candidates.
The other side of hiring is attracting the top skilled people. This is made that much easier by our staff, who are very good in their fields and are very enthusiastic about working at Xipe Technology and communicate the excitement to new recruits.
It is our stated goal and company mission to become one of the top 10 best companies to work for in Mexico. And every year since 2008, we’ve had confirmation that we are right up there with the best of them!
No, we don’t just grab warm bodies. In fact, we work hard (and smart) to find people who “think right,” have a great experience and are good team players. We can do this, and do it quickly, only because we are always looking for talent and keep a long, up-to-date pipeline of candidates. We follow a ten-step recruiting process, and the first eight of those are completed as soon as a candidate is identified.
Our staff has a wide range of experience with many languages and platforms. However, by design, they are assigned to specific client teams. Because of that, when we sign up a new client, we invariably have to staff a new team from scratch. This gives us the flexibility to accommodate new technologies relatively easily.
So it really becomes a question of whether we can find people with specific experience in a reasonable timeframe. The answer to that we can make the first hire for a new team within 3-4 weeks on average, six weeks max.
Besides recruiting the right people quickly, we have also demonstrated that we can integrate them into effective working teams just as quickly.
From previous companies, we’ve had the experience of hiring many people, very quickly only to end up with a number of competing approaches to designing and creating software. Over time, these “camps” found it hard to work with one another, to the detriment of the business. This time around we’ve made sure that we would not go through that experience again.
Because of the nature of our business; everybody is assigned to a long- term team and so when engaging; with a new client, we invariably have to staff a new team with new people. This gives us the flexibility to accommodate new technologies relatively easily because we can staff the team with people with specific experience.
The overall SDLC and development methodology does not change because of the technology in use.
Also, having expertise in multiple software technologies gives us the breadth to recommend alternatives that may increase your chances of success.
Yes, that’s true. And that’s why we hire people with experience in the specific technology and eventually form “centers of excellence” (CoE) around the more popular ones. We don’t always manage to do this, but our strategy is to hire very senior people first to create Centers of Excellence around them.
Currently, we can claim CoE around Java, .NET, J2ME, LAMP (including Python) and Lotus. That means that for each of these technologies, we have a number of people with a mix of experience that can leverage each other.
Having said that, we work very hard at hiring people with a demonstrated ability to learn new technologies quickly and can just as quickly spot the strength and weaknesses of new technologies. Technology changes all the time and critical thinking is the skill for the long run.
On average, the hourly rates are going to be higher for equivalent experience. However, due to the time, cultural, and geographical proximity, the Total Cost of Engagement (TCE) can be lower in Mexico, by as much as 20%.
Xipe Technology is definitely not the “cheap” solution. If you are looking for a body shop or somebody to do a short-term project, as inexpensively as possible, then we are not a fit.
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a long-term partner to extend your development team, then Xipe Technology is an excellent option for you.
We will be happy to discuss this further. Please, contact us at your convenience.
It depends on what your company does. In some cases, it may still make sense to outsource to the least expensive offshore location. Call Centers, Business Processes, and other backroom activities may even benefit from the time separation. However, having a faraway team does not work if you are developing a software product.
Even under the best of circumstances software development is hard to do well. Splitting the development team across multiple time zones makes it even harder, almost impossible to do it successfully.
If you plan to outsource software development, you should first consider doing it in the US, but still within two time zones of your US-based team. Your Total Cost of Engagement (TCE) will be lower, and the risks will be much more manageable.
Alternatively, you should consider extending your team outside the US, but still sticking to locations that are within two time zones from your US-based team. And make sure that there’s excellent cultural alignment, too. Otherwise, you are going to waste a lot of times paying for misunderstandings (e.g., what does “yes” and “done” mean?).
The best approach, technically, is to have all developers co-located. If it makes sense to outsource, depending on the situation, doing it with a US-based team might be a great choice. In Life 2.0, author Rich Karlgaard describes 150 “reasonably priced US cities and towns you might consider.”
Even then, keep it within two time zones. Going beyond it makes it extremely difficult to keep everybody in sync and as one team.
For Call Centers, Business Processes, and other backroom activities then the time separation may be less of an issue. The assumption here is that these functions don’t require a whole lot of interaction between the people in the US and the people offshore.
However, if you are developing software products, this “benefit” does not apply. In this case “working around the clock” is as big a myth as "the mythical man-month" Even trying to do testing at an offshore facility is problematic, particularly when the teams’ working hours have no overlap whatsoever. For example, having daily standup meetings with people who are more than a couple of time zones apart is not sustainable for most teams.
Engineers need to talk directly to one another, as often as possible. Product Owners need to be in direct, close contact with engineers and not through an offshore Engagement Manager or some other bottleneck.
In the traditional offshore setting, the teams will play email ping-pong, sending questions and counter-questions back and forth. This is very frustrating to both the company and causes delays and quality problems.
On the other hand, working with folks in Mexico removes these negative side-effects. Everybody wakes up and goes to sleep at the same time, and they can talk with each other and clarify any issues throughout the day.
This is true given the sheer size of those countries, even after taking into account the different definitions of what an “engineering” degree is.
However, India and, in particular, China also has a lot of internal demand for these engineers. This means that offshore vendors will have a heck of a time finding and retainingexperiencedengineers and project managers.
India’s outsourcing industry has doubled every year for the last four years, and the unfortunate side-effect of that is high turnover as offshoring companies compete for experienced people. Also, the rise in salaries and the valuation of the rupee vs the dollar has made India more expensive.
Besides, thethe critical success factor for software product development is proximity in time, culture, and geography. Having access to a large number of engineers is a moot point if they are 10 or more time zones away and half a world apart.
There are daily flights to San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Houston, the city is within easy reach of Pacific and Mountain states.
It is easy enough to fly in on a Monday and be back by Wednesday. This makes it easy to drop by the office if there’s a need to work with the team face-to-face.