Hiring Best Practices For International Software Development Teams In The US

Out of our Denver Labs comes advice on hiring third-party developers and the process of bringing international developers into the U.S. from the Founder and CEO of LegalPilot, Natalie Holzaepfel. Natalie is an immigration attorney who worked at one of the top ten international law firms in the world before pursuing her own tech startup and law firm. Note: WeWork Labs members are eligible for a $150 discount on any immigration services over $1,000 USD. For services under $1,000 USD, WeWork Labs members are eligible for a 10% discount. Click here to access.

Getting started

This team is an extension of your company

Critical things to think about

  1. Communication: It is super critical that you have someone who understands the application, what is its purpose, how will it work, etc.. This is a very critical aspect. If you remember we spent quite some time in understanding the nuances in order to get to a "Common Ground" of understanding. Asking a team to develop something in a vacuum will lead to terrible results. It is almost like having someone who understands business and tech, and can combine these thoughts to create a better view of the solution. We call this a "Technical Business Architect", and is both a product management function and a technical architect function.
  2. Documentation: Documentation, when entering into a project, there are probably as many "Unknowns" as there are "Known" aspects. Without the proper technical documentation, and the flexibility to make decisions, a project will often become inefficient, and the end result is not focused and stable.
  3. Specific Direction: While documentation is key, without a very clear set of guides and instructions, flows and explorations, your output will suffer, and ultimately you will not get the "Functionality" you desire.
  4. Skill Sets and Experience: It's all about having the right skill sets and experience. It is critically important to match the right skill sets to the right project, and that even extends to the coding language itself.

The agreement

  1. Scope of Development Services: This includes software development timetable, with specific milestones; intended scope and purpose of use of the software, including UX and UI files; service level defining day-to-day operations and other performance requirements; and technical specifications.
  2. IP Rights: These are all encompassing of the following:
    Copyright: Copyright typically protects software code and other work product created under a software development agreement.
    Patents: Patents will cover software-implemented processes and devices; you’ll have to affirmatively seek patent protection.
    Trade Secrets: Trade secrets will protect you software's source code and related confidential documents you’ve prepared
    Licenses: Discuss with your developer if they will retain associated IP rights and only license you the software.
  3. Fees and Payment Terms: Establish payment terms that ensure delivery of the final product before final payment.
  4. Dispute Resolution: Strive to include a forum selection clause for dispute resolution in the U.S.; you won’t want to have to enforce your rights overseas.

Planning and due diligence will pay dividends throughout this process. Once you've made it official, here are examples of Visas to have your developer or development team join your core team in the U.S.

Visa examples


It's all about the right team, the agreement and legal on the immigration front.

Please visit LegalPilot.io for more information or click here.

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