Software outsourcing and offshore development: an inside view from China

Under the title ‘China. We’re not India’ this Always-On story gives an insider view of the opportunities, challenges (and sheer size) of the software outsourcing industry in China, while comparing it to India.

Remember, in Jordan we were saying, we ‘don’t want to be India’, we ‘want to be Ireland’. At the height of the Jordanian IT boom, six years ago, a company like OneWorld (now Estarta) grew, in front of my eyes (as we worked on projects with them) from 12 to 300 people!

It would be great if anyone out there can share with us the state of the software outsourcing scene in Jordan. I saw Estarta publish a huge recruitment ad a few days ago. So who are the big/hot/interesting players these days. Are there any new, untold success stories for Jordanian software exports?

5 Responses to “Software outsourcing and offshore development: an inside view from China”

  1. Hamzeh N. Says:

    Being a software engineer working in embedded systems, you can imagine how furious I get when I read about the “promising future” of Jordan and I find out that this future only includes one thing, IT.

    When are we gonna develop real technology? When are we gonna push the limits of what can be done instead of just taking what someone else already figured out, paying for it, putting it together and then offering it as a service package to customers?

    I’m talking about Jordanian R&D offices. When is our government going to seriously consider ways to promote real R&D in the country?

    How many software patents are registered from Jordan? How many from the Middle East overall, excluding Israel?

    How many cell phones are sold in the world? How many are designed in Jordan? Balash designed, how many are fabbed in Jordan? None. How many are sold in Jordan? A lot.

    Look at Israel next door. Almost all big software companies have R&D centers in Israel. When are we gonna start taking serious steps towards being like that?

    Dubai has already won the IT battle. We in Jordan need to realize that the real power is in R&D. Developing the technology itself, not just packaging it and selling it to customers.

  2. M Arrabi Says:

    Agreed Hamzeh. I struggled to find few good examples:

    Arabic Textware ( They develop arabic-processing systems: search engines and the like.

    Al-Bahith is a very interesting company to watch. They are developing chip-design using Qualcomm techonology. They have their first product out already: a local-loop wireless station.

    I know about another Java company (name escpaed me) that is developing Mobile-programs (server & client) for a company in the US.

    so, worthwhile companies do exist.. but they are still small and not very successful yet.

  3. nasimjo Says:

    & Thats it…. Companies in Jordan care about their pockets, fat managers in suits care to get the newest car and selling accounting software for supermarkets…...

    The 1st step in R & D is to get use of University students and give them internship opportunities,,, many undergradute students have fresh minds and ideas, hell with accounting software!

  4. Sam Says:

    While India, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Israel and almost every half descent third world country can’t keep up with the pace of R&D opportunities given to them by the west, Arab countries are still busy supporting Arabic text so more foreign manufactured products could be solled in their markets. IT is a good start since it’s easy to setup, just get a computer then setup a network and your in the IT industry. The problem with R&D and embedded applications is that it requires infrastructure and expensive equipment. R&D is expensive and requires a long term investment. Most Arab investors are busy pouring money into the real estate market and building ski resorts in the desert. Every Arab scientist or engineer is working hard at a western R&D lab designing products and making money. What a waste.

  5. Jawwad Says:

    I would say, all is needed, is just exposure, then university students hiring, making new smart stuff, HI FI guys going back to thier own countries etc etc , all would happen, just have to come out of routine stuff and increase exposure on what is going on in IT. I mean get your hands on real stuff, no rocket science is needed, just we people are shy to adopt technology even if its free and books and knowledge is all there. we are shy to think out of the box and to adopt new tech. But some guys are really doing amazing stuff, masha Allah. I am very optimistic that we wont be left behind. its a saying in farsi meaning that, late but right is Correct Path. we need to have mashroom growth for startups, then world will notice it as IT HUB or IT base to outsource to. Now you see how many companies like Syntax there ?. I dont know many. what is the that word ?? entrepreneurship yeahh, this word, we need this, then we can get quantity and quality for people to come and choose from.

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