Why look at Vietnamese developers in the first place? Well, Vietnam is a rapidly developing country in Southeast Asia. It is growing faster than just about all its neighbours and there is a great willingness to learn among a young and vibrant population.
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Why come to Vietnam in the First Place?
When visiting Vietnam, it is hard to believe that only 40 years ago this was a country ripped apart by a bitter and bloody war. This often stunningly beautiful country has thrown off the cloak of war and developed into a truly excellent place in which to do business. Saigon, in particular, is a very exciting city to live in. It is renowned for its restaurants, bars, and cafes, it has a vibrant nightlife.
Young Vietnamese are driven to learn new skills and to develop as people. Just a decade ago, the largest business sector in the country was ‘White Goods,’ now it is IT. Both skills and products are driving the IT sector in a huge way. Almost every young person you meet will be attending college in addition to working.
So often they will be studying either IT or learning another language. They have a great work ethic and they are constantly striving to improve themselves. Overall, Vietnamese developers are genuinely hard working.
Another huge advantage for company founders and startups to move to Southeast Asia is the standard of living. There is no doubt that your standard of living will improve massively if you up sticks and move your company out there.
Even if you decide to stay where you are but employ people from the region, that is likely to result in regular visits to one of the most beautiful countries on the planet. There is so much to see and do here, it offers wonderful life opportunities.
If you decide to come and live in Vietnam to develop your company you can look forward to great cuisine, amazing scenery, a wonderful social life and a huge increase in your disposable income. So many people move here as a temporary measure and end up staying.
What to Keep in Mind When Choosing Vietnamese Developers
Let’s not be glib about this, outsourcing to Vietnam will have its advantages and its challenges. Every place has its differences and these vary from country to country. Every country has its cultural differences and Vietnam is no different. These differences can sometimes be frustrating but if faced with good humour the rewards are worth it.
Whilst young Vietnamese developers will have been educated to a high standard within their chosen field, there is every chance that they come from poor village families. The English skills that they have picked up will likely have been paid for by themselves working extra hours to learn English on the side.
This doesn’t mean they are completely fluent in English. There may still be some barriers when it comes to communicating in and out of the office.
What’s great about most international companies in Vietnam today is that they offer supplemental English language courses so their employees can continue to develop their communication skills. Third party companies who offer competitive employee and freelancer connections can typically weed out the freelancers with weak communication skills being that it is part of their qualification screening.
The Brain Drain
Google engineer Neil Fraser, who works at the company’s education department, visited Vietnam in 2013. He noted how Vietnamese children start learning basic programming in second grade.
“It is an understatement to say that I was impressed with the Vietnamese primary school CS (Computer Science) curriculum”, he writes on his blog.
One day, Fraser walked into a high school CS class without advanced notice. He found they were working on the assignment below.
Curious, he took the assignment back to the US. He asked a senior engineer at Google how he’d rank that question’s difficulty in a Google interview. The engineer judged it would be in the top third.
“There is no question that half of the students in that grade 11 class could pass the Google interview process.” Fraser writes.
In recent years, a large number of talented Vietnamese developers have left the country to seek careers in more developed countries such as Australia, Japan, Singapore and of course, the United States and Europe. This has led to a gap in senior developer levels.
Thankfully, in very recent years there has been some reversal in this trait, with many returning home having gained invaluable experience. Their return home has made Vietnam’s network of freelancers some of the most qualified developers out there.
Soft skills such as interpersonal and teamwork skills, or presentational skills can sometimes be something of a challenge for Vietnamese developers. They are taught everything they need to be great at when it comes to the technical side of the job, but rarely given any tuition in these other, important areas. With this in mind, technical students who have taken part in internships before applying for jobs are often the best candidates.
At Pangara, we require a minimum of 3 years’ experience. This helps ensure you will only work with programmers who have well-developed soft and technical skills.
Cultural Differences and Communication
The cultural differences are often quite hard for foreigners to grasp at first glance, but they can be a blessing in disguise when approached correctly. Although Vietnamese are typically better suited to working in small teams and they are shy and quiet in nature at first, with the right encouragement, tools and positive working environment, they can help excel your team to great lengths.
There’s no doubt about it that Vietnamese are extremely hard-working and if you communicate your team’s needs effectively and upfront, you will see results. Like with any company and in any working environment, communication is extremely important.
Looking at the now rather than at the long term benefits is a common theme that can be found across Asia. It is simply in their DNA to always think about now. In a country that has seen unimaginable suffering within a generation, the now is very important to them. The grass is always greener to Vietnamese developers.
This is extremely useful for freelance Vietnamese developers who want to continue working freelance for the long term. Focusing on the now allows them to insert themselves completely into their work, no matter how many late nights they have to work to successfully complete a project. The nature of the freelance work varying from short term and long term projects allows these freelancers to flex their skills, and to add versatility to their portfolio.
So Why Choose Vietnamese Developers?
In 2015, TechCrunch wrote of the promise of outsourcing to Vietnam (read it here). They said, “It’s no surprise that Vietnam is being talked about as an alternative, amid rising costs and attrition rates in popular offshoring destinations like China and India.” Reporting that giants among tech companies like Samsung, Microsoft, LG, and Intel were investing in Vietnam in a big way. Describing Vietnam in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular as a great outsourcing destination, TechCrunch was full of praise.
Although Vietnam is still in the early stages of development in IT, all things point to a very bright future. This might well be the perfect time to get in. Being involved at the start of a rising tide is always better than chasing the crest of a wave. Vietnamese developers could well be the perfect asset to drive your company forward.
Such is the nature of Vietnamese people to constantly learn and to improve themselves. They have transformed their country in a generation. Young people today are dedicated and hardworking. It is generally assumed that people work 6 days per week. A Western office working 5 days per week presents a very desirable opportunity for Vietnamese people. Just a generation ago it was normal for people to be working 12 hours per day 6 or 7 days per week.
These guys are not scared of hard work.
Vietnamese, especially the young, have a great aptitude and concentration levels. It is noticeable in recent years that the Japanese have been turning their attention towards Vietnam in large numbers. Many Japanese companies are now outsourcing the development of their software to Vietnamese engineers.
This is the case in everything from smartphone and tablet apps right through to car and systems for medical equipment. This trend reflects Vietnam’s wealth of high-quality, hard working engineers. They also happen to be 30% to 40% cheaper than their Chinese counterparts.
Taking Over From China?
For a very long time indeed, China has dominated software outsourcing in Japan. They control approximately 80% of the market, but salaries are rising rapidly in China at the moment. Very soon, costs in large Chinese cities will be close to those in small Japanese cities.
With time they will catch up completely. This is having a marked effect on the business dealings between the two countries. As the domestic markets rise in China, so their reliance on Japan is decreasing. Japan is, therefore, looking elsewhere.
Technically they are very well trained, they seem naturally gifted and will get their heads down and work until a problem is solved. Vietnamese developers also have incredible concentration levels and can work on a specific task for long periods until they solve it.
Why Use Pangara
Many people rely purely on personal recommendations to fulfill their recruitment needs, and of course, that will always be true. However, in Asia and in particular in Vietnam a more professional approach is paramount. That’s where Pangara comes in.
Going at it alone is fraught with pitfalls. After having found a candidate you will need to secure their CV and then arrange a meeting. Here, of course, the language barrier might well be the first problem you incur. There will be others.
Sometimes people to simply not show up or to turn up very late. This is more common in Asia than probably anywhere else you will have worked. Others will list skills that they simply don’t have. It is quite common for people to say they are fluent in English when in fact they are far from it or too reserved to interview in English.
It is often a good idea for interviewers to take a Vietnamese speaker with them. Being fluent in English normally means a higher salary, hence the temptation for them to be a little economical with the truth.
Pangara can relieve all of those headaches mentioned above. Our professional approach to recruitment means that we will have the ideal worker for you already on our books. Our unique qualification process vets out developers who are not only 100% committed but they are also completely qualified for the job. With great experience in this sector in the past, we have already faced all of the pitfalls mentioned above and we know how to handle and overcome them.
To summarise, it makes perfect sense to choose Vietnamese developers and indeed for many other positions within your company. They have all the attributes that you should be looking for in your employees. Vietnamese people possess loyalty, honesty, high concentration level, and dedication.
They are hard working and trained to expert levels of competency. It is not surprising that the country has the fastest growing economy in the region.
So, have we convinced you yet? If you’re ready to take the next step and hire your first Vietnamese freelancer then let’s get started.