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Why Soft Skills Are a Necessity in the Nearshore Industry When it comes to software development, the last skills most developers focus on are the soft ones.

By Steve Taplin

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In recent years, outsourcing of tasks has become a norm in most industries, especially the software development industry, where most programming jobs are remote. As the name suggests, the nearshore industry focuses on outsourcing to areas near the shore. It could either be locations in the same country or neighboring countries. However, like any co-working environment, specific skills are necessary.

Soft skills in the nearshore software development industry

When it comes to software development, the last skill most developers focus on is soft skills. It is a source of significant setbacks when it comes to software development in the nearshore industry. Real-time nature means there's a lot of back and forth communication that requires immediate action and response. As a result, software developers on both ends must have soft skills to work together. Soft skills are also necessary to bridge multi-cultural barriers and work-culture barriers. Without it, it becomes challenging to make the necessary changes to a project due to miscommunication.

Emotional intelligence and other soft skills come in handy when handling team projects or working under pressure. Soft skills are also essential to other members of the team that are in charge of linking the groups working on both ends. The person in charge needs to have leadership skills and emotional empathy to handle multiple personalities. To top it all off, soft skills are essential when it comes to handling conflicts in the team. Soft skills will also impart emotional intelligence that will help to defuse tension before things get out of hand.

Related: 8 Soft Skills That Make You an Even Better Leader

Benefits of U.S. businesses working with nearshore software development companies

Outsourcing software development tasks can be very beneficial to a company looking to lower its operational costs. It also comes with quantifiable advantages that will add real value to your company.

Hiring software developers from a developing nation is less costly than hiring labor. Additionally, remote workers are paid less than in-office software developers. The pay rate in neighboring countries may also be cheaper than in the United States.

The software development nearshore industry is known for its exciting talents that tend to cost much less. Additionally, the outsourced labor will not require training to sharpen their skills. The company also saved money on employee benefits, which reduces overall labor costs.

In addition, when you have people working remotely, the cost for running office facilities and buying other items needed by in-house employees is significantly less. It leads to lower overhead costs in the long run. On top of office expenses, you will also save money that would otherwise go to acquire software licenses, acquire extra server space, or buy specialized computers.

Related: Common Misconceptions of Nearshoring

Access to a deeper skill pool and quick project turnaround time

Outsourcing enables companies to broaden their access to untapped skills that may be beneficial. There are hundreds of software developers who work as freelancers who have sharpened their skills by working on many projects.

Because software development companies and outsourced developers share a time zone, they have a faster turnaround time. Due to geographical proximity, it is much easier, quicker, and cheaper to have video conference meetings with the nearshore team.

The meetings are the closest thing to working together in person while making employees feel there is no distance between them. It makes it easier to discuss project deliverables and issues. Additionally, sharing a time zone makes it possible to work on the project simultaneously, which leads to quicker delivery time.

The key to soft skills development

It is easier to train individuals to improve their soft skills than to be good at software development. However, it does not hurt to ensure that the nearshore company you end up working with provides the necessary training to ensure they have the needed social skills.

One thing is for sure; if you train the team on your end, it will be easier for them to handle all sorts of issues due to cultural barriers. Training your team to anticipate future social matters will go a long way in improving working relations.

Related: How Soft Skills Can Help You Get Ahead in a Tech World

Steve Taplin

CEO of Sonatafy Technology

Steve Taplin is the CEO of Sonatafy Technology (www.sonatafy.com), a premier nearshore software-development-services firm that provides its clients with expertise in cloud solutions, web and mobile applications, ecommerce, big data, DevOps practices, QA, IoT and machine learning.

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