The decision to outsource web development can be a huge one for any enterprise. Especially if your business is based on the internet, web development forms your core requirement. Outsourcing web development to a local company can be an arduous task, so outsourcing outside one’s own country can require a significant amount of trust in the outsourcing company and the web developers that you will be dealing with.
Over the years, India has developed into one of the world’s main markets for web development. In India, skilled and experienced engineers are available at prices that may appear low to those based in the US. In this blog, we shall be exploring the various responsibilities and skills required in a web developer and the scenario for front-end web developers in the US, Europe, and India.
Responsibilities and Skills of a Front-end Developer
Being a front-end developer comes with several different responsibilities and skills. As a web developer among thousands of others, simply having subject knowledge is no longer enough. Let us take a look at the primary responsibilities of a front-end web developer.
- Design and Development: The primary responsibility of a front-end web developer is the design and development of web pages. At the front-end, design takes a much more important role in the development process than at the back end since this is the part of the website that the user will interact with.
- Coordination: A front-end web developer needs to interact with scores of other people. The primary interaction of a developer will be with the UI and UX team, who will provide their own inputs in the design of the website. Additionally, the front-end web developer will be in regular touch with the back-end team for a seamless website or app experience.
- Strategy: The front-end web developer needs to work with the business team to devise a business strategy for the company. The business team utilizes user data as well as data from surveys in order to provide the developer with its needs, and the developer analyzes these needs and attempts to implement them on the website.
Being a front-end web developer also requires certain skills. Here is a list of the primary skills required of a developer.
- Responsive Design: While front-end web developers are not expected to be expert designers, they are expected to be capable of adapting the webpages they create according to the device of the user. Every user can now access the same website on different platforms, and the developer must create the website in such a way that it adapts to these platforms.
- Testing: As a front-end developer, you can no longer rely on having a separate testing team that you can send under-cooked code to. More and more companies are now implementing continuous testing, and developers are expected to own how to test their own code and improve on it.
Front-end Developers in the USA
Front-end web developers in the USA are among the highest paid in the world. As per Glassdoor, the average salary of a front-end web developer in the US is USD 69000 per year. At the entry-level, this is around USD 45000, while at the senior level, this can go as high as 104000 a year.
From the data available, it does not seem likely that outsourcing of web development from the USA is a result of a lack of resources. With some of the best computer science, universities based in the USA, and a bustling gig economy established, getting both experienced and freelance web developers is not difficult.
However, a significant proportion of companies in the US are still outsourcing web development to countries such as India. As per a study by NASSCOM, 42% of American companies have been outsourcing their development activities to India. The main reason for this trend is that the cost of hiring web developers in the US is significantly higher than that for India. As we shall observe in further sections, outsourcing development to India can save companies cost and improve their bottom line.
Front-end Developers in Europe
Yet another location where the outsourcing of web development is prevalent has been Europe. The average salary for a web developer in Europe as per Glassdoor is around 52000 EUR, which comes to around 61000 USD. At the entry-level, this number is 45000 EUR, while at the senior level, this is 65000 EUR.
In Europe as well, there are several avenues through which scores of people can become professional web developers. There are universities as well as academies that facilitate these activities and provide world-class expertise in both front-end and back-end web development.
However, the issues with carrying out web development in Europe are two-pronged. Firstly, the costs of web developers are very similar to those in the US and much higher than those in APAC countries. Additionally, labor laws in most European countries are very stringent and implemented strictly. This can inflate the cost of hiring local web developers and also reduce the productivity of the developer’s process as compared to outsourcing.
As a result, European companies also prefer to outsource development activities abroad. As per the same NASSCOM study cited above, 80% of the firms that outsource web development to India are from either the US or Europe.
Front-end Developers in India
The cost of hiring front-end developers in India is considerably low in comparison with the US or Europe. The average salary of a front-end web developer in India as per Glassdoor is 500000 INR, which comes to around 6500 USD. The entry-level salary is around 200000 INR, and the salary at higher levels is around 1000000 INR.
Even at the highest levels of income, the cost of hiring web developers in India is much lower than even the lowest levels for both the US and Europe. This is due to the fact that a living income in India is much lower than in the US and Europe. This makes outsourcing to India a win-win proposition for both the outsourcing company and the developers to whom the task is outsourced. Such low costs endure that companies get to maintain a decent bottom line Since hiring and associated costs also go down.
Despite the apparent low costs, the amount of web development expertise available in India is immense. In the last 3-4 decades, among the largest engineering workforce has developed in India. A large proposal of this workforce is computer engineers, meaning that the number of developers in India is only growing. Foreign companies can leverage this experience and expertise by outsourcing their development activities to India.
Yet another advantage that foreign companies get when they outsource to India is that labor and employment laws are not as strict as they are in the US and Europe. This allows them to save significant extra costs and gain additional efficiency through outsourcing. India is also home to a gig economy that has only been growing in the past few years. This has meant that an ever greater number of prospective employees has been shifting from traditional employment to freelancing. This growing base of freelancers gives foreign companies the opportunity to hire at even lower prices and to outsource web development for the short term.
The above reasons have led to India establishing a major role for itself in the world of web development outsourcing. As per the above NASSCOM study, nearly a majority of Fortune 500 companies outsource development to India. This is a greater proportion than any other country in the world and all other major countries put together. Over the past years, there has been competition from countries such as China, Indonesia, and others in the APAC region. However, due to reasons such as a lack of expertise, high costs, or stringent labor laws, they have not been able to capture even small parts of India’s customer base.
The outsourcing of front-end web development has been on for about three decades now, and India has had a major role to play in this. The largest companies expect web developers to have skills such as knowledge of languages and frameworks, creativity, and the ability to work in teams, whether online or offline. Such resources are available in both the US and Europe, but costs can run to the tune of 60000 USD a year. On the other hand, India provides the same experience and expertise at about 10% of this cost. This has led to nearly 42% of Fortune 500 companies outsourcing their development activities to India.