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The Silicon Valley Talent Shortage

Recent articles in the media have been focusing quite a bit on a Silicon Valley talent shortage. According to Indeed.com (by way of GigaOm), job postings in IT have increased 69% and Google among others was in the news for offering a valuable engineer substantial compensation not to jump ship to Facebook.  Within this context, it’s interesting to think about possible solutions to the problem.

One solution that common wisdom seems to discard is that of outsourcing part or all of a start-up’s engineering team.  Indeed, in Quora, there are a number of posts on this subject and most discourage taking this direction.  Nevertheless, Scott Dinsmore recently wrote a guest post for OnStartup and offers some excellent reasons for outsourcing including: 1. The need to stay lean, 2. You can test your team before “hiring” them and 3. Some amazing professionals will work for much less cost in different parts of the world. 

Now, not every startup team needs to outsource development, especially those with a sharp technical founder.  Nevertheless, the amount of opportunities within the market right now are too numerous to discount teams without a technical founder.  Obviously, there are ways for these teams to locate a technical founder, but other options such as outsourcing development can’t be discounted.

As a recent article in VentureBeat and the NYTimes mentioned, here at Koombea, we’ve seen the result of talented startup founders (many in Silicon Valley) such as Badgeville who need assistance in Product visioning and development work with a nearshore team (us) to develop innovative products.  After building more than 20 products for such teams and winning the 2009 Ruby Rumble, I believe we at Koombea have proven our chops.

Aside from our success at exceeding our customer’s expectations and producing consistent results for them, being located here in Barranquilla, Colombia has actually been a blessing.  In addition to counting on an unexploited talent pool of incredible capable and creative developers, many of our customers truly enjoy visiting this fun coastal city when, if ever, the need arises.