When conducting an offshore software project, who is the best team to hire in implementing your various software tasks—offshore DevOps engineers or offshore full-stack developers? What are the factors to consider in resolving the dilemma of hiring the best offshore development team for your software project?
With the introduction of information-technology operations (DevOps), the product owners are free to select either full-stack or DevOps as their main skill. Full-stack developers are well-versed in creating front-end and back-end apps by employing the recent programming languages and tools being used. DevOps refer to where the developer is a subject matter expert in a specific area of implementation, which includes server-side programming, database management or app programming. Also, this involves acquiring expertise in any one or a couple of languages and tools employed for development in that field.
The shift to DevOps developers
In recent years, full-stack developers are quite lagging in terms of upgrading their skills. As a result, many global software development firms opt to hire a DevOps team for their software project needs. The reason behind is that most technology-specific delivery requirements have brought the process to become too complex to be managed by full-stack developers.
Advantages of offshore DevOps
DevOps methodologies are crucial to establish a team of developers who have the expertise in different facets of software development and willing to collaborate to find a solution to any prevailing issue with the concerted effort of the offshore development team. This strategy to app development has been modified ever since how developers think and technologies are applied. Instead of being the jack-of-all-trades with many skills, the developers are required to focus on agility, scalability, and modularity in their specific expertise. This brings being specialized with in-depth background on more valuable areas of expertise compared to a full-stack background in an Ops environment.
DevOps engineers vs. full-stack developers
It is highly advised to identify the existing requirements of your business venture before deciding whether to employ offshore full-stack developers or DevOps engineers. Below are the essential factors that must be addressed to achieve a conclusive decision.
The complexity of the software stack. Today, we have much more diverse and varied software stacks. For instance, Java has currently two runtime environments. MySQL is not the sole database solution. There is also NoSQL. In this case, if you have a too complex app stack, it is futile to seek experts with many technologies from a full-stack developer. It is sensible to choose DevOps and recruit technology-specific skilled personnel for every stack component.
The need for agile execution. Implementing agile is for apps that seek to address highly volatile consumer industries. It is where there is a great competition between similar companies to achieve the recent features that impact the balance of customers on either side based on the utility brought those features. In case the business is an industry-facing entity, which requires solutions that do not need regular changes other than white labeling for the client companies, opting for DevOps is not recommended. The enterprise would perform better using full-stack developers who can manage minor app version changes and maintenance needs.
Required team size and existing budget. The team size per project is highly dependent on the business capacity to allot funding on team recruitment today and less on the app requirements. However, this can an ineffective approach. The team size should be based on the needs of the app complexity and specific expertise needed to develop the app.
For a complex app that seeks modularity and uses diverse stacks, DevOps resources should be selected. Otherwise, for those apps with limited scope and not too complex with several update requirements, full-stack developers are the better option.
In the development of complex apps, the budget is a key factor in recruiting offshore DevOps team. These offshore development experts are usually costly to employ in exchange for their in-depth background in the assigned tasks. If you have budget constraints, you may consider full-stack developers instead.
Future growth plans. Many startups usually launch regular new app products. Other enterprises seek to do unplanned software releases, causing them to spend time and resources despite limited ROI. Startups need to hire offshore DevOps to survive in the competition. Businesses should make aggressive moves based on their future growth plans. They should evaluate whether their application suite is sufficient or will be profitable in the future. Consider whether their chosen applications are subject to regular modifications or they have legacy apps that may evolve in the long run.
The lean offshore development team
Previously, when developing a software application, an entire team of experts is hired. One developer is assigned in writing the code. Another takes the database management. Someone handles the codes’ quality assurance. One is tasked to deploy it while the project manager works to oversee everything. These were the team players in the past. Based on the app scale, there can be dozens or hundreds of experts with specific tasks assigned.
Currently, the entire offshore software development team has embraced a sea of change. Old practices had been revised and different teams have become redundant. After the launching of cloud computing, innovative software delivery platforms, and mobility, these have modified the IT architecture. This involves the common software stacks such as DBMS, Java, and SQL with improved variation, making things more complicated to create software teams with different specializations.
With this, full-stack development has become popular. Full-stack developers provide both advantages of specialized skills and cost-savings. Meanwhile, DevOps and Agile practices have become an option for IT companies as they provide them agility and quicker means of software releases.
Two specialists with varying processes and strategies
In general, offshore full-stack developers and offshore DevOps consist of the two sides of a coin. Selecting which team to work with is quite s a tricky choice. Both offshore development teams are highly advanced personnel who are focused on the same goal. It is to develop software in the fastest turnaround time with no bugs.
Both the processes and principles that they employ to attain the objective are what sets them apart. Several factors are considered the best fit for specific situations.
Conventional software stack was less complicated. Some advanced apps still use the traditional software stack for faster releases and more consistent performance for their apps. In any situation, a DevOps engineer may seem unsuitable. You require a full-stack developer who can execute the entire app development and deployment end-to-end. Also, a full-stack developer can reduce the project costs as they do not require a complete team to work on the software project.
Agility in conducting software projects
For years, Agile processes have been widely employed on ‘pilot mode’ by Silicon Valley giants. Also, following reiterations and effective success product launches, Agile has become a necessity for software development to get things done quickly.
However, in recent years, the software development’s agility that provides rapid creation, regular update delivery, and continuous enhancement can be quite overwhelming for offshore full-stack developers. A full-stack developer takes things as quickly as possible, which provides him adequate time to keep things in pace and be consistent. Agility cannot be entirely provided by a full-stack developer.
However, offshore DevOps engineers are designed to provide agility. They have the necessary Enterprise architecture background, expertise in app development environments, testing methods, and improved perspective in shifting things so that the whole project can be done on time.
At times, the best concepts are often supported by limited funding. For software projects with a small budget, choose a full-stack developer. It is like this type of specialist is a jack-of-all-trades who is a master of them all. A full-stack developer can make things done easily the same as a specialist would work at a cheaper cost.
In terms of scaling, you can scale the product features or increase more services or business offerings. Whatever the case may be, you will require added resources, specifically man-hours. If scaling is part of your agenda so your product features can increase its current ranking, then you require hiring an offshore DevOps engineer. They can work by focusing on what will help boost the overall product feature list.
Meanwhile, if expanding your current services list that you desire, then more man-hours of a full-stack developer would be necessary. A full-stack developer could be flexible when spending more hours when creating code for a target programming language or platform. The all-rounder features of an app will also aid in quick releases of minimum viable products or wireframes before initiating the final launch.
Both offshore DevOps and full-stack development are two similar sophisticated software development principles. Both possess their development environments, goals, and objectives. In certain situations, full-stack developers may assist in drive growth while in some cases, DevOps engineers can put your software project forward.
The option of software development is entirely based on the specific requirements, required software stack, expected agility, and time availability. Also, this requires the budget quantum necessary for resource expansion.
In summary, there is no right or wrong in selecting a full-stack developer or DevOps for software development projects. Everything depends on the actual needs of the business upon hiring an offshore development team.