How To Move From In-House To Outsourced Web Development


Many people who have worked in an in-house web development position for a number of years find that they have a hard time adjusting to life when they move somewhere that takes on outsourced work. One of the main reasons for this is that working in-house means that you don’t get to use all of the latest techniques and technologies in the course of your day to day work, so moving somewhere that allows you to can be a bit of a shock to the system. Use this guide to help you make the transition from in-house to outsourced.

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So, what sort of work does in-house web development actually refer to and how does it differ to outsourced work? Basically, in-house work means that you are only working on projects that are directly related to the business that has employed you. In terms of web development, this means that you will only work on the website, mobile applications and other online projects that are directly related to your company. Outsourced work, on the other hand, means that you will take on projects for a number of different clients; essentially, anyone who is willing to pay you for your services. Instead of being stuck doing the same thing all the time, you’ll get to tackle some more interesting tasks.
This is not the only thing that you will have to become accustomed to when leaving your job in in-house web development and moving into the sphere of outsourced. Some of the other differences include:

  • Network policies
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    It is likely that the company employing you to do web development for will have its own set of policies regarding the way you can and cannot do your work. One great example of this is a company that favours Windows and who will not let you install any new software on your computer. This means that you are locked into using Internet Explorer (and quite often it isn’t even the newest version), which isn’t the friendliest browser for development. These policies can also block access to tools that can make your life easier, including ActiveX content and JavaScript. Not only can this hugely affect the appearance of your work, it can make some tasks downright impossible.
  • Corporate intranets
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    Many companies like to lock all of their employees into an intranet that incorporates all of the websites and web applications that they think they would need to use. What this can mean for web development, however, is that any website you create within this intranet will looking completely different to websites created using a WordPress or a Drupal base, for example. When people try to view your work through a newer or different browser, many of the applications that it has been fitted with are known to ‘break’, meaning that they will not work or cannot be accessed.
  • Blackberry – In this age of smart phones and other mobile devices, many within the web development industry have tried to steer clear of Blackberry devices for the simple reason that they are known to cause a number of unwanted issues. Unfortunately, if you work for a company that insists all its employees’ use Blackberry’s to undertake work while on the go, you will be required to create websites and other online applications that are compatible with these devices. Whilst this may mean that you have fewer areas to focus your efforts on, it could actually mean that you are completely unfamiliar with development for Android, iPhone and iPad devices.

So, how can someone who has spent the last decade working in-house make the transition to outsourced web development? Really, all you can do is do what you can and work with what you’ve got. Don’t despair when you realize that companies who take on outsourced work are looking for certain skills and attributes that you simply may not possess. Instead, look into ways that you can build upon your existing skills and learn new ones, such as short courses at university or TAFE, online tutorials, and your own experiments. Don’t try to hide your past as an in-house developer – whilst this may be a period of your life that you regret, it is one that has taught you much about the industry.

At the end of the day, it is important to remember that things will always change, even if it does take some companies years to realize that this will be the best step forwards. Just because the company that you work for has been conducting web development work in a particular way for the past decade, as new advancements are made and explored these technologies will slowly be incorporated until anyone working in-house is up to date with anyone working outsourced (of course, those working outsourced will probably be experimenting with the ‘next big thing’ by then).