The market for software development will probably always continue to grow. It is the nature of the growth that becomes important as you look backward to divine what will happen in the future. Two decades ago, object-oriented design was just coming into vogue. As a result, everything that has come after has been more like integrating and manipulating existing pieces of code instead of creating something completely new for the very first time.
This important distinction for companies has made it easier to consider outsourcing software development. As the need arises, depending on the requirements, it can often be a faster way of getting things accomplished.
Over the past decade, several software companies in the United States transformed themselves into design and architecture shops; creating the specifications and driving development with their requirements, and then passing off the actual work to colleagues in China or India or some other country.
After a decade of watching high levels of growth in the employment of software engineers in both India and China, companies began to notice two things. First of all, when there was a middleman for the outsourcing, the jobs were often going to middleman based in those countries who would turn around and outsource the work to Uruguay or Mexico or some other country where they had operations. For the company that thought they were being geo-strategic by choosing a particular country to outsource to, it became necessary to read the fine print.
Secondly, they noticed that when they audited the firms that they were outsourcing to, there was often very little distinction between using a low-end domestic alternative because the salaries for outsourcers were often padded by the extra amount of time that it took to accomplish things. For the savvy company involved in outsourcing, this meant writing contracts that providing more rewards for performance. It also meant that there was a rise in near-sourcing, which meant that in order to keep a handle on projects that were progressing, companies began to specify that outsourcers should locate operations within a certain physical distance from the company people overseeing the project. That way company managers could fly down and return from meeting the engineers in the space of the same day.
Over the past couple of years, the continued rise of internet communication has seen the first completely virtual development house, Mysql, sold for over one billion dollars. Similarly, online marketplaces that allow companies to post entire projects for contractors that they hire virtually, like Odesk, or 3D services that allow companies to choose from onsite, offsite, or virtual hiring with online project coordination, like Imaginot, have become popular. Quantum Consulting is a great new company for outsourcing software development.