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What Is Nearshore Development?

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What You Should Know Before Engaging a Nearshore Developer

Hiring skilled developers from different countries is becoming popular today. Thanks to the increased use of technology, businesses don't have to rely on local talent alone. IT outsourcing has become a reliable option for most software development companies. 

When hiring overseas talent, nearshore outsourcing is one of the best options. What is nearshore outsourcing? Find out more about nearshore development, its advantages and what you should know before hiring a nearshore developer. 

Key Points

  • Nearshore development is the practice of outsourcing software development projects to developers in nearby countries. 
  • Software development companies hire nearshore developers to compensate for staff shortages, save time, optimise costs and improve their organisation's efficiency.
  • Nearshoring increases communication and collaboration because the client and the developer share the same or similar time zone and work culture. 
  • When hiring a nearshore developer, you should consider technical expertise, time zone compatibility and ease of communication.

What Is Nearshore Development?

Nearshore development, also known as nearshore outsourcing, is a practice in which software development projects are outsourced to developers in nearby countries. One feature of nearshore outsourcing is that the client and the nearshore team share the same time zone and work culture. 

Hiring software developers in countries nearby creates time zone alignment and makes it easy to communicate and collaborate with the team in real time. Aside from that, nearshore outsourcing allows businesses to save time, cut costs to put up or expand their in-house team, and get quick access to the right software developer.

Who Is a Nearshore Developer?

A nearshore developer is a software engineer who designs, builds, deploys and maintains software for clients. Unlike regular software developers, nearshore developers work from a country nearby. That is from a country with the same or a similar time zone as the clients. 

An example is a developer in Lithuania working with a software development company in France. Or a nearshore team of developers in Latin America working with clients in the United States of America.

When You Should Consider Hiring a Nearshore Developer

IT outsourcing services do nearshore outsourcing for several reasons. Here are reasons software development companies might consider hiring a nearshore developer. 

You Can't Find Local Skills

Experienced software developers are difficult to find. Even when you find the right developers, they are not affordable. Hiring a nearshore developer is the right choice for most software development companies. It makes it easy to get skilled software developers from a country different from yours and helps you grow your team in a short time. 

You Have Extra Projects During a Specific Period

If you have lots of projects to complete and are short of developers to help, you might want to hire nearshore developers. It is the case with software development companies that need developers to complete a short-term project. 

Hiring in-house software engineers is not an option because you won't have tasks for them afterwards. So, the best solution here is to hire a nearshore team to help you scale on-demand where you have a staff shortage.  

You Have a Limited Budget

Engaging an in-house team of software engineers can be expensive if you have just started a software development company. Nearshoring can help you run your business with minimum investment. If your idea works, you can continue with the nearshore team or hire local developers.

Onshore vs Offshore vs Nearshore Development 

There are three types of IT outsourcing services. They are onshore, offshore and nearshore outsourcing. While it is easier to understand onshore outsourcing, people often mix offshore and nearshore development. Let's compare them and discuss the differences. 


Location is one way to distinguish between the three types of IT outsourcing. Onshore outsourcing or onshoring is when software outsourcing companies seek talent from within the country. 

An example is a web development company in the UK hiring a team of developers in the UK. In offshore outsourcing, the company hires a developer from a country that is far away and in a different time zone. 

A typical example is a US software development company hiring a developer in Poland. Nearshoring or nearshore development is similar to offshoring, except that the developer and the client are not too far away, usually in the same time zone. An example is a Canadian-based software development company hiring a developer in Mexico.

Ease of Communication 

Another difference between offshore, onshore and nearshore development is the ease of communication. In onshoring, communication is accessible because you can quickly contact the developer and collaborate on a project. After all, there is no time difference. 

Nearshore development is similar to onshoring because the developer and the client are not too far away and can easily communicate on a project. In offshoring, communication between the client and developer is slow. 

Daytime in the client's country can be night in the developer's. The time zone difference will break the communication line and can delay the software development project. 


Onshoring is the most expensive IT outsourcing since the developer and the client have the same living standards. 

Nearshoring is cheaper than onshore outsourcing, but it is a little more expensive than offshoring because the client's and the developer's countries are likely to have a similar cost of living since they are close. 

In offshoring, the living standards between the client's and developers' countries are significantly different. That is why offshore companies charge less than onshore and nearshore companies.

Advantages of Nearshoring

Little Time Differences

One problem of outsourcing to a remote offshore team is working simultaneously to finish the project quickly. Significant time zone differences can hinder workflow and team members' communication, slowing the project. 

But working with a nearshore team means that you can communicate with the developers in real-time. Since there is little time difference between the client's and the developer's country, you can expect a quick response to messages sent to the team, making it easy to collaborate and finish the project on time. 

Saves Money 

Nearshoring is cost-effective compared to onshoring or hiring in-house developers. To illustrate, the average hourly pay for software developers in Eastern Europe is far lesser than in Western Europe. 

It means that a software development company in Germany will save money by engaging developers in an Eastern European country like Poland than hiring an in-house team. 

Aside from that, when you seek talent in a nearby country, you don't have to spend money to find, interview, hire employees, and expand or set up an office. The nearshore development company will do everything for you.

Similar Work Culture 

Work culture is the attitude and behaviour of employees within an organisation. A strong work culture means sticking to an organisation's values and getting things done quickly. 

In offshore outsourcing, differences in workplace etiquette can cause friction between team members and delay project completion. 

When you engage a nearshore development company, the cultural differences will not be as vast as when you go for offshore development. It is a plus for you because it allows for better collaboration between you and the developer.

What to Look for When Engaging a Nearshore Developer

Technical and Industry Expertise

High-quality work from a nearshore developer or development company is pertinent to your company's success. The client should ensure that the developer has the needed expertise. 

So, you should assess the developer's skills and past work. Don't hesitate to ask for proof of quality work from the nearshore outsourcing companies. Does the developer have a portfolio of previous projects? 

The chosen team must have the experience to deliver quality and complete projects on time. So, examine the developer's portfolio to find a great match. You can ask for statistics on turnaround time, project completion and reviews.  

Time Zone Compatibility

When hiring a nearshore developer, time zone compatibility is another consideration. 

Since communication and collaboration are necessary to get a project done quickly, working with a developer in a different time zone might be less productive. If you wait hours for your team on one end of the world to wake up, your software development project will slow down significantly. 

That is why matching with a developer in the same time zone or in a time zone that is one to three hours ahead of yours is the best option for you. It will ensure that the team works at the same pace and that you will never have to take late-night calls or spend hours waiting for a response. 


When choosing a nearshore developer, it is crucial to consider how you will communicate. There is no gainsaying that effective communication is vital to completing a software development project. 

That is why you should hire a software developer that understands your primary business language. If English is your primary business language, it is best to hire a developer that is a native speaker. 

Communicating clearly with the developer you hire is necessary for getting your software development project done quickly and correctly. The IT project will fail if the two teams cannot work together due to a language barrier.


Hiring experienced software developers from a nearby country is one way you can boost your team and increase productivity. Of course, you should engage with a nearshore development company with similar values and work culture to complete your project on time. 

Also, you should hire a nearshore developer from the same time zone to make it easy for you to collaborate and work synchronously with the team. You should consider how you will relate with the developer and ensure that you hire one that understands the primary business language of your country. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Nearshore Software Outsourcing?

Nearshore software outsourcing involves getting a project done by people in neighbouring countries instead of the client's country. Typical jobs nearshored are software development projects, web development projects and technical support. Nearshore development helps an organisation to save money, access the talent pool and work with a team with a similar culture. 

What Is an Example of Nearshore Outsourcing?

A typical example of nearshoring is a US software development company outsourcing to a team in Mexico. Both countries are nearby in the same time zone and share similar work cultures. Another example is a web development company in Germany outsourcing to a team of developers in Poland. 

Why Do Companies Nearshore?

Nearshore outsourcing helps software development companies to compensate for staff shortages; companies can explore the talent pool in a nearby country. Also, nearshore saves time because there is no need to hire staff or set up an office. Aside from that, it optimises costs and improves the organisation's efficiency. 

How Do I Hire a Nearshore Developer?

IT outsourcing companies should look for the right software development skills that match their needs and hire developers with enough experience. Ask for past projects or portfolios to determine how they work. Also, choose a nearshore developer that understands your business language to make collaboration easy.