We are part of a software company which was just acquired by a larger one. This company has a large development center in India; we are based in Europe.

We don't yet know what will happen with our projects, maybe they will be outsourced, maybe not but I want to know if we can rival an indian programmer as what salary is concerned.

I know there are a lot of factors involved here, not just the salary issue, but I just want to get an ideea of the difference.

Can someone mention salaries (in euros or dollars) and associated years of experience. I found some info on the web but it is not that recent.

Thanks in advance!


When well managed, an offshore team can be more efficient than a onsite team, and sometimes cost half the price.

A typical freelance C# developer can earn up to $100 per hour in western countries (sometimes lot more). The same guy (same experience) in india is 5 times cheaper (sometimes lot less).

A typical employed C# developer can earn up to $25 per hour in western countries (sometimes lot more). The same guy (same experience in india is 3 times cheaper (sometimes lot less).

I also discovered recently that you can take developers on leasing (or renting), just like objects (cars, etc)!

You tell the leasing/renting company you need 4 C# developers with knowledge of nHibernate. They will find them, they will hire them, they will pay their salaries, they will buy computers, they will put them in an office, they will add phones, emails, etc.

You pay a monthly flat fee for the service.

Want more ? Just tell the company they add more developers. Want less? No problem bob, they remove developers.

The world is changing... you have to do something.

I suggest you this great book:

My Job Went To India

alt text

It will helps you improve yourself in order to avoid being replaced by a cheaper (and more competent) offshore developer.

To summarize: offshoring will eventually become legion. And "simple developers" with no added value will be replaced.

Invest in yourself

  • Thanks for the reference. Already read that. A good book. But I was looking to make a salary comparison (big bosses look into spending less not into "added value", at least that is my experience). – user097822 Nov 11 '10 at 10:39
  • As a comparison, a very good developer can earn up to $15000 a month (if freelance) here Belgium & UK and a better one in india (also freelance) can cost less than $3000. As an employee, I've see very good developers from russia, india, philippine earning less than $800 a month. I practice offshore developer management since 10 years now, and when you do it properly, the good calculation is that you can reduce the costs by 40% in many case, and 30% or 20% is more typical. You can't compete. – user2567 Nov 11 '10 at 10:45
  • Good comment Pierre.. "It will helps you improve yourself in order to avoid being replaced by a cheaper (and more competent) offshore developer." – Geek Nov 11 '10 at 10:50
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    How can a well-managed team in India be more efficient than a well-managed team wherever your company is? If nothing else, it's harder to communicate with people in India, so given equally good people (and it's a lot easier to control developer quality on the same continent), good management can only mitigate problems. – David Thornley Nov 11 '10 at 22:34
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    Also, suppose you rent X people in a given technology. What you're getting is X warm bodies with stated experience (one hopes), not X people with qualifications. That means that, since they aren't going to be able to sell higher-quality people for more, you're getting the less competent people. Convenient and inexpensive, maybe, but you aren't getting good people. It's simple microeconomics, based on asymmetry of information, and this analysis has applied to numerous commodities in the past. – David Thornley Nov 11 '10 at 22:40

This is very subjective, it keeps on changing from the technology you work on the kind of work you want to get done in India etc etc. Plus some Developers are really expensive in India as well.

From what I know from peers in Europe a rule of thumb will be European Developers(5-6 years experience) will be at least three times as expensive than their Indian counterparts.

Also a lot of other things like Infrastructure/Electricity which companies consider will probably be cheaper in India.


if you try to compete on price, you are doomed. the difference in cost of living alone guarantees this.

worst-case scenario: your projects are outsourced and you are let go

best-case scenario: you have some specialized knowledge/skills so your part of the project cannot be outsourced...but now you have a bulls-eye on your back

typical-case scenario: your knowledge and experience are just valuable enough to keep you around...to manage the outsourced developers.

probable scenario: nothing will change right away, while the bean-counters run the numbers (based on bad assumptions and no input from those involved). then you'll be surprised at work one morning (see scenarios above)

my advice: forget about salary comparisons; start looking for another job, just in case.

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