Frequently Asked Questions
About Nearsoft.

About Mexico

Mexico? Really? Are there enough experienced developers in Mexico? Do they speak English?

There are plenty of experienced software developers in Mexico. The domestic economy supports a thriving market for technology businesses. Their experience spans the gamut of programming languages, platforms including mobiles, and applications.

New graduates learn English as part of their requirements. Earlier graduates have learned it on the job along with other work experience. In any case, we only hire developers who can hold a spoken conversation in English--this is one of the steps in our interview process.

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Engagement Model

How do you engage with new clients?

Each situation is different and we accommodate each client as needed. In general, however, we follow our Engagement Journey .

We use several techniques/tools to stay in contact and keep track of things. Each team uses its own combination of tools adapting to their client.

  • Daily meetings are a key practice. Maybe as part of a full Scrum process, but not necessarily. These short, 10-15 minute meetings are irreplaceable to keep the team in sync and make course corrections in a timely manner as needed.
  • Our Operations Team designate a Success Coach/Scrum Master to adjust the needs of the clients to their extended team. She will be on the lookout to keep everything running smoothly communications-wise.
  • Everybody in the team communicates online using Skype, Slack, Hangouts Meet, Adobe Connect, etc. throughout the day.
  • Meetings Minutes.
  • Collaboration portals, wikis, GitHub, document sharing, etc.

On Recruiting

What kind of people do you look for?

We work very hard to find people who fit our culture, and a lot of experience. This is not just a “motherhood and apple pie” statement. We’ve had the fortune of working with really high caliber people in the US and are our expectations are pretty high.

We’ve gotten pretty good at recognizing and attracting the “good ones.”

Breadth and depth of experience is important and we look for that first, but sometimes we run into young talent with “superstar” written all over and those go to the top of the list as well. The Nearsoft Academy trains young developers into world class software engineers.

We’re also wary of “brilliant jerks,” we don’t need people who are great at their craft, but can’t work as a team.

First and foremost, candidates have to have a very good, fluent English, both spoken and written.

They have to fit and work well with our current teams. Although people are assigned to specific clients, we all have to work together as a community.

How quickly can you staff a new team?

We can make the first few hires for a new team within eight weeks after the Kickoff. For an out-of-the-beaten-path skill, it may take longer. For us it’s about delivering a team that exceeds expectations at the right time.

We maintain a pretty deep pipeline of pre-qualified candidates for various skills. Our recruiting team is constantly sourcing candidates.

The other side of hiring is attracting the top skilled people. This is made that much easier by our community, everyone is very good in their fields and are very enthusiastic about working at Nearsoft, and communicate the excitement to new recruits.

Nearsoft Jobs is a spin-off brand that nurtures communities around us. We understand their needs and help them enhance their training with workshops and talks.

We’re also part of WorldBlu’s Freedom-centric workplaces since 2009 and, a top 10 Great Place to Work in Mexico since 2008.

How do you find people so quickly? Do you just hire anyone who comes along?

No, we don’t just hire anyone. In fact, we work hard (and smart) to find people who “think right.”

We can do this, and do it quickly, only because we are always looking for talent and keep a long, up-to-date pipeline of candidates.

We follow a thorough recruiting process that involves our recruiting team and several, experienced, software developers. This is a significant, but strategic investment for the company.

  1. Sourcing. Our recruiters will look through resumes to find the candidates with the right set of skills and experience.
  2. First Contact. Once found, the recruiter calls the candidate to invite her to join our recruiting process.
  3. Logic Test. The candidate takes our logic test. It checks out how disciplined the candidate is, not what they know (that comes later). This has turned out to be an excellent tool to identify candidates who “think right.”
  4. English Interview. A one-on-one phone interview to check level of spoken English.
  5. Screen Interview. One of our software engineers screens the candidate in a 30-minute call. This determines basic technical knowledge and whether we should move to the second technical interview.
  6. Profile Interview. The candidate is interviewed by several software engineers. In this hour long interview we check their depth of knowledge in technical areas.
  7. Task Interview. The task interview is either a Pair Programming test for developers, and anybody who codes, or a test task for Manual Testers. It’s as close as possible to a typical working environment. The candidate may search the web for information, ask questions or talk to their pair partners. In addition to the quality of their code, during this 90-minute session we observe how the candidate works in teams, how their ideas evolve and how fluent they are when using their favorite tools.
  8. Thumbs Meeting. Everybody who’s been part of the interviewing process gets together for a Thumbs meeting. They grade the candidate based on their tech skills and cultural fit.
  9. Offer. Candidates that get a thumbs up then get contacted with an official offer.
  10. Client Interview. Our clients have the last word. To join a team the candidate is interviewed one last time.

Once the candidate is green-lighted,

  1. Ready to join! Arrangements are made for the new Nearsoftian, including the move, temporary housing, desk, computer, telephone, email, etc.
  2. Welcome aboard! Our onboarding program trains them in our tools and processes so they can become well integrated with our work culture.

Questions of Fit

Do you have people with [fill in the blank] experience?

Our staff has a wide range of experience with many languages and platforms. However, by design, they are assigned to specific client teams. Because of that, when we sign up a new client we invariably have to staff a new team from scratch. This gives us the flexibility to accommodate new technologies relatively easily.

So it really becomes a question of whether we can find people with specific experience in a reasonable timeframe. The answer to that we can make the first hire for a new team within 8 weeks.

Besides recruiting the right people, we have also demonstrated that we can integrate them into effective working teams.

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What technology do you specialize in?

Because of the nature of our business, everybody is assigned to a long-term team and so when we engage with a new client we invariably have to staff a new team with new people. This gives us the flexibility to accommodate new technologies relatively easily because we can staff the team with people with specific experience.

The overall SDLC and development methodology does not change because of the technology in use.

Also, having expertise in multiple software technologies gives us the breadth to recommend alternatives that may increase your chances of success.

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Yeah, sure, but if you’ve used [technology X] before, you’ll know where the bones are buried, so to speak.

Yes that’s true. And that’s why we hire people with experience in that specific technology and eventually form “centers of excellence” (CoE) around the more popular ones. We don’t always manage to do this, but our strategy is to hire very senior people first to create Centers of Excellence around them.

Currently we can claim, CoE around Java, .NET, JavaScript, Android, iOS and Python. That means that for each of these technologies, we have a number of people with a mix of experience that can leverage each other.

Having said that, we work very hard at hiring people with a demonstrated ability to learn new technologies quickly and can just as quickly spot the strengths and weaknesses in new technologies. Technology changes all the time and critical thinking is the skill for the long run.

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Do you have experience in the [fill in the blank] industry?

If often makes sense to look for a vendor who has some experience in the overall market your product fits into (e.g., travel). While the technologies in use may change, the functional demand of these fields do not, or do so only slowly, so you can leverage a vendor’s experience to your benefit.

That said, we have over ten years of experience working with software companies in the Travel and Hospitality industry .

Staff Turnover

What kinds of things do you do to retain people?

The “magic” is that we treat each other as responsible adults. People are in control of their work lives. They are also responsible and held accountable for their actions, but not by some “higher” power but by their team.

  • We are very careful in selecting the people we hire.
  • We try our best to make clear commitments and then live up to them religiously.
  • Nearsoft is also a fun place to work at. People like working with each other and it shows.
  • We encourage people to take charge and lead. And they do.
  • We work with very innovative clients that keep us at the bleeding edge of technology.
  • We have three offices, Hermosillo, Chihuahua and, Mexico City. They are all designed to be comfortable places to work and create a community.
  • And most of all, we care about people.

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