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Thread: flash developers at $10/hr and less???

  1. #1
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    flash developers at $10/hr and less???

    hmmm.
    i'm hearing a lot about flash developers willing to work for $10/hr or less from countries like india.

    here is a cnn article about it:
    http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/biztech....ap/index.html

    has anyone else out there been affected by this? is anyone finding that getting flash work at livable wages is increasingly difficult?

  2. #2
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    i've found (knock on wood) that this hasn't affected what i consider my strength: communicating with clients to find out what their needs are and how best to design solutions for their shortcomings...

    a 10 dollar an hour programmer may take the quick OOP job from under me, but that's not where i butter my bread--it's on the relationship-built consulting practice where my clients are more concerned with their message than what they paid for a custom object.

  3. #3
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    More and more companies are looking into the cheapness of off-shore development in all programming languages (Flash, PHP, ASP, etc.). It's just a fact of life at this point. It's either pay a guy $80/hr or pay another guy $10/hr or maybe even $5/hr. Once people get over any ethical problems, the money talks.

    There will always need to be someone to communicate with this group of cheap workers and someone will need to review what they do. I mean, it's not like American developers will become extinct; they'll just be required to bring a more advanced skill-set to the table.

    Scott

  4. #4
    FK M.D. pheck's Avatar
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    i was contacted by an indian-based company with an office out here recently to farm out work to them. interesting sales pitch. i listened, checked out their site, but was not very impressed with the skillset and products. this of course isn't true for all companies there. i have a couple e-acquaintances out there who do excellent work.

  5. #5
    Senior Member MG315's Avatar
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    Originally posted by nocrapchurch
    More and more companies are looking into the cheapness of off-shore development in all programming languages (Flash, PHP, ASP, etc.). It's just a fact of life at this point. It's either pay a guy $80/hr or pay another guy $10/hr or maybe even $5/hr. Once people get over any ethical problems, the money talks.

    There will always need to be someone to communicate with this group of cheap workers and someone will need to review what they do. I mean, it's not like American developers will become extinct; they'll just be required to bring a more advanced skill-set to the table.

    Scott
    If you are referring to small businesses who need, for instance, a website developed, then i disagree. In my experience, clients offline would rather spend $50/hr working with a local studio than finding the cheapest person in india or wherever for $10/hr to do the same work. Its not the price thats the deciding factor in most cases, its the presentation and lack of risk. I work in a print shop and people come in and have their business cards made, sometimes they ask "do you guys do websites also?" they don't but redirect the people over to me and i talk to them. of course it gets around to price after a few minutes but i just say something like "it all depends on the extent of the site. it could range from $500-500,000" and they understand that i can't give them a proper quote until i review the project in detail. well not one of the clients i've gotten from there have looked around for the cheapest deal (i'm reasonable though, i'm not charging as much as 2a or anything). They associate me with the print shop i work for which has been around for 25 years and feel much more secure working with me.


    I'm sure theres people all around the world that are cheaper than me, i'm sure there's people right here in my city that are cheaper than me, but price isn't what matters. In the end its more about the relationship and the security they feel when they know there site will get done properly. They will easily pay double to make sure there's no question in their mind that it will be done right. Your job is to convince them that you WILL get it done exactly how they want and that it will benefit them. once they are comfortable with you they will be less likely to leave and find someone cheaper.

    So price doesnt matter that much, there's always someone cheaper than you. Your job is to instill confidence, not to enter a bid war with every designer around. Just be able to justify your costs.



    ok maybe i've been reading a little too much of brendon sinclair's stuff...



    [edit]just so you know, 75% of the jobs i've gotten there from people needing websites decided to go with me before they ever saw my portfolio. so its not so much skill that matters either
    Last edited by MG315; 08-14-2003 at 02:17 AM.
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  6. #6
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    I think the biggest impact has been felt by people in the IT job market, as in the case of the person mentioned in the article. I read a similar article which said that a $50,000/yr programmer costs just $8,000/yr in India.

    In my experience, clients offline would rather spend $50/hr working with a local studio than finding the cheapest person in india or wherever for $10/hr to do the same work. Its not the price thats the deciding factor in most cases, its the presentation and lack of risk.
    This has been our experience as well. However, I am concerned that more web development companies will begin outsourcing offshore. If the client is interfacing with a local company, they wouldn't even know (or care) that the actual development work is done elsewhere. This could potentially put all of us up against competition with much lower overhead, making the playing field quite unlevel.

    The same thing has happened in manufacturing. I wonder if this is going to happen with web development. My 7-year-old thinks that China is one huge toy factory, because everything he has is "Made in China."

  7. #7
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    but some of us can use this to our advantage.

    if i can secure a $10,000 project and all i have to do is art direct it and produce copy, while paying some dude not even ten percent of my return, that's not bad.

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    two years ago, i was employed at a computer company where my role was to design, develop, and manage two company websites in flash. this company went out of business. i am now faced with finding clients on my own.

    it feels so different when you are not associated with a company - e.g. printshop - to create a sense of a secure foundation for prospects. when it is just YOU and that is it... people are more skeptical, and want to do due-dilligence to lower their risk.

    if clients do not even ask for a portfolio, there must be other factors that create credibility for you. maybe they have had good experience with your company in the past and associate you with them. do you design for the print shop? maybe they see your work in this way.

    how does one start out from scratch - in salt lake city, utah - and create that secure foundation for clients to build trust on?

    "lions, tigers, and bears"!!

  9. #9
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    referrals are obviously a great way to get new work, and referrals don't have to come from former clients.

    ask your accountant to recommend his new customers seeking start-up advice to come to you for their web site.

    even if people know what you do they can get you work...two of my bigger proposals out right now are from one of my girlfriend's friends from college who just knew i "made websites", as with her old job.

    connections come out of nowhere, and if you know how to present yourself professionally and do good work, they'll continue to come.

    unfortunately it's business ripe for the cliche feast or famine, because there may be months without new work, and there can be weeks of new contracts coming in...

  10. #10
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    your work is very nice, erova-

    i noticed you do Video Editing and Compositing Software. have you looked into director?

    after sending out some cds with flash presentations on them to some local ad agencies, i was told that director is being requested more and more by their clients (euro rscg).

    now, i am studying director, but do not know much about video.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by erova
    but some of us can use this to our advantage.

    if i can secure a $10,000 project and all i have to do is art direct it and produce copy, while paying some dude not even ten percent of my return, that's not bad.

    i'll be that "dude" until i get my own work coming in... send the $10/hr flash work right over!!

  12. #12
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    Originally posted by windowwink
    i'll be that "dude" until i get my own work coming in... send the $10/hr flash work right over!!
    haha, this one's learning...



    The salespitch is strong in you, young Flasher.
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  13. #13
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    never mind the companies that are outsourcing for cheaper money...

    what about the goofballs who put a big ad on their website looking for a flash developer and then are only willing to pay $8 an hour!! it has happened to me more than once...

    after going to several job interviews in which i was offered said price, i finally got fed up and told these jokers that i went to school for this and my education is worth way more then $8 an hour. offering me $8 is insulting. especially since i have over 5 years experience in this field with loads of other experience too.

    "if you want someone to work for a little bit above minimum wage, go get some punk-ass kid with a home PC who thinks he's the master of webdesign and see how far you get..."

    i know you have to start somewhere, but come on... my 17 year old brother makes more working at a Bingo hall.

  14. #14
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    Originally posted by windowwink
    your work is very nice, erova-

    i noticed you do Video Editing and Compositing Software. have you looked into director?

    after sending out some cds with flash presentations on them to some local ad agencies, i was told that director is being requested more and more by their clients (euro rscg).

    now, i am studying director, but do not know much about video.
    thanks pahtnah,

    actually macromind director and asymetrix toolbook is what got me into this damn multimedia game...

    i don't think you have to think your skill set is short if you know director but nothing about video.

    chances are if the project actually requires the heavyweight features of director, there should be someone on staff or outsourced who would be responsible for shooting and/or preparing your video work.

    and i think, fortunately or unfortunately, that for all the 8 dollar an hour companies out there, there are also companies that are expecting to pay something sweet like 150 an hour, but we sell ourselves short and ask for $75 an hour...you just have to know your value you bring to a project and stick to your guns if you ask me...

  15. #15
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    Exchange rate...

    I've been in a somewhat similar situation. Located in s. florida, I work with a lotta brazilian clients (am 1/2 meself). Sat down with this chap last week, we went over his site, discussed site structure and put together a strategy. When providing the quote, the guy wanted me to lower my price, since he could get the job done for a fraction in Brazil. I calmly told him that web designers down there are not my competition, and i encouraged him to find one down there.

    Now, not implying that labor is cheap down there, but...when taking the exchange rate in account (i think brazil is $1 Dollar = $3 local currency) you're gonna find a gazillion good deals anywhere ouside the US...perhaps even in europe.
    Of course I'm the man for the job! What is the job, by the way?

  16. #16
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    hey aeroflash,

    I'm 1/2 U.S 1/2 Br too... and i've seen this issue from both sides of the globalization divide...
    I used to work in NY and have clients tell me about some guy in Ukraine who'd say he could do the same job for a tenth of what I'd charge.

    Now I moved back to Brasil, and in trying to keep U.S. clients willing to work with me by telecommute I've had to cut down my prices by more than half - which is still more than Brazilians get paid.

    and for ethics, hey, Americans are the first to shove "free market" down people's throats by whatever means necessary.

    But in general I agree with what a lot of people are saying here, most (sane) clients will rather pay more so they can get a strong productive relationship. As much as I would like to speak in favor of them, most sweatshoppers in the third world won't be able to provide that, as they're almost always burned out, have little insight into the 1st world markets - of how biz relationships are carried out, quality expectations, trends - and have big language and general cultural barriers.

    But this may be changing very quickly...

  17. #17
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    I think a big advantage would lie in creative ability. I've looked at a lot of these sites created on rediculously low rates and most of them look pretty ghastly from a design perspective. I don't claim to be an expert designer or anything but I think how attactive a companies website LOOKS has a lot to do with how people perceive their image.

  18. #18
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    also let's keep in mind that a lot of times (at least with my clients) bigger companies have a budget to work with, so they're not always concerned about finding a solution for ten bucks an hour. they have 10 or 25 grand to drop on a project, and they know that's what they are going to spend.

    obviously this isn't the case when you're talking to someone like a business owner where every dime is accounted for etc...

  19. #19
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    I think that the untalented Western designers will go out of work. However those who are skilled will move to higher places as directors and such, maybe. You might have to learn how speak some Tamil or Punjabee first!
    glhf

  20. #20
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    Erova,

    that's an interesting point - would you say that smaller companies are a more realistic market for telecommuters from overseas?

    since I moved out of the US I've been trying to define my target market... nowadays I've been going for small web shops and medium-sized businesses, so it would be good to hear if I'm following the right lead.

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