Am I dating myself? “Oh, those Russians” was the last line of “Rasputin”, ’78 hit by Germany-based pop and disco group Boney M. Well, of course that’s not what this post is about. A few days ago I talked with an old friend of mine once a VP of engineering for a s/w startup in the Bay Area and now a successful entrepreneur and owner of a small offshore outsourcing firm with a development center in St. Petersburg, Russia.
We started to chat about two sides of outsourcing, challenges of trying to do things right and make money in the process, and then found ourselves locking horns on a portrait of a Russian developer. Both of us are originally from Russia even though from two “competing” cities. Both of us have tons of experience working with outsourcing teams from all over the world. Both have been working with Russian developers for years. Yet with my friends’ past years of provider experience and my experience being mostly on consumer side we found ourselves on different sides of the barricade. Since we’ve known each other for years we could also take the gloves off and beat each other to pulp. At the same time there were not much difference in opinions and we could easily shift the sides. Well, I guess you would have to take my word for it. So, what makes Russians special, different, easy / hard work with? What to expect when you find yourself outsourcing with Russians?