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NTR Lab blog, July 2007

Offshore software developing companies in Russia pursue partnerships

According to an article by Wayne Rash, posted in on June 22, 2007, "The Russian software development industry is working to move away from traditional outsourcing models, relying more on becoming partners with overseas companies and touting talent and innovation over cheap labor"… According to Valentin Makarov, president of the Russoft Association, "When you come to Russia, the question is, ‘What is your problem?’… this approach is different from that used in most of the rest of the world, where programmers simply code to a specification and provide no input into whether the specification makes sense. You create a joint team."

Unlike many IT companies in India, China or South America, the Russians are looking for stable, long-term relationships, which are more sustainable due to the industry’s low turnover. "I call it team-sourcing," Makarov said. "You have a team dedicated to solving just your problems."

A distinctive feature of Russian programmers is their initiative in applying creative thinking to define a problem and a solution, adding exploratory work and personal input to the typical development process.

Additionally, Russians are more appealing to Western clients because of their cultural alignment to the West. Alex Adamopoulos, general manager and senior vice president of Exigen Services, in Boston, says, "There’s a strong collaborative effort as part of the [Russian] culture. This [country] is very results-oriented rather than task-oriented. That also leads to a more successful engagement. These are people who solve business problems."

Russian software developers have strong engineering, software and electronic skills, and are especially good at the Agile Alliance methodology, social networking technology and embedded systems.

Dmitry Loschinin, president of Luxoft, in Moscow, summed up saying, "Companies looking for commodity programming for well-defined tasks might do better in India or elsewhere. But for new development, or systems where you need to put a lot of things in place before you start coding, Russian talents can contribute to success."

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