Edward “E.B.” Batten is the EVP of Growth at BairesDev -the fastest-growing nearshore software outsourcing company in Latin America. BairesDev creates 100% bilingual teams staffed with veteran engineers in order to provide end-to-end delivery of technology solutions to companies of all sizes. BairesDev has the largest applicant pool in the industry, with over one million annual software engineer applicants. E.B. sits down with Chris Snyder to discuss how companies can leverage nearshore teams to build tech better and faster.
This episode is sponsored by Juhll. They are a full service digital marketing consultancy that has over 20 years of experience helping your business grow sales online. They've helped most of their clients grow more than 50% year over year by helping them meet their digital marketing goals.
Juhll Digital Agency works with companies who are doing $50 million in top line revenue that have a marketing budget of $2 million. They build your company from the ground up and they also help you in creating a strategy that will work best for your team.
[00:00:43] Hello, everybody. Chris Snyder here, host of the Snyder showdown president at Juhll Agency and founder of FinTech Startup Banks dot com. On this show, we take a no B.S. approach to business success and failure told through the stories of the top executives who have lived them. Join us today as we get the unfiltered backstories behind successful brands. Juhll is a full service digital consultancy, and we focus on helping executive solve their toughest digital growth problems while working as an extension of the executive team. That is today's sponsor. If you'd like to learn more, you can go to Juhll dot com. That's j. U h. L l dot com. Or you can email me directly. It's Chris S.H. Arias at Juhll dot com. OK, without further ado, our guest today is Edward “E.B” Batton. He is the EVP of Growth at BairesDev, the fastest growing nearshore software outsourcing company in Latin America. BairesDev creates one hundred percent bilingual teams staffed with veteran engineers in order to provide end to end delivery of technology solutions to companies of all sizes. Paris Dev has the largest applicant pool in the industry this year. They're pacing to have over a million annual software engineer applications. E.B. is here today to share with us how companies can leverage nearshore teams to build tech better and faster. Thanks for joining us, C.B. Welcome.
[00:02:16] Thanks, Chris. Pleasure to be here. How are you?
[00:02:18] I'm doing great. Thanks for asking. You know, we always kick. We always kick this off by learning a little bit about the early years. So if you could tell us about where you grew up and how you grew up and how you think you got to where you are today.
[00:02:32] Yeah, absolutely, so if it's not obvious by hearing me talk, I'm from the South. I live in and grew up in North Carolina. Grew up in the eastern part of the state, about 45, 50 minutes east of the capital, Raleigh. It's kind of a not an uncommon story that in Rhode Island, the country, until people it's it's depending on who you were and where you were, it's some combination of Jesus, tobacco and moonshine in no particular order in. And I only say that halfway tongue and cheek in a lot of cases. But I grew up pretty rural, quite normal from a middle class standpoint, did not farm myself with farms all around me. So I grew up a lot of appreciation with that. The the schools I grew up with, public schools, pretty diverse population, especially to be in the south, probably somewhere the range of forty five, forty five, black and white with good mixture of the time, Latin American. So it got kind of experience, a little bit of everything there. I grew up playing of sports, basketball, my favorite football baseball ran cross country. I hated it, but I had to do something to stay in shape.
[00:03:48] Well, you're a you're a big dude, though. So running cross-country. Yeah. That was just getting you ready for football and basketball, right?
[00:03:54] Yeah. For for all different purposes, it was something to keep me in shape. Right. And to be outside, which was nice. You know, at home growing up where I did it was pretty much playing basketball. Right. And for playing in the woods. So there was really a whole lot of difference. I would just be in time to then. Yeah. Anything else. But yeah. Pretty normal situation for growing up in the south here. Attended North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Go pack. Oh yes. I had to plug them. And a lot of our jobs through college, bartending, waiting tables, working at a car repair shop, all those kind of things. Majored in political science. Had had a lot of intentions. Just like yourself, Chris majored in science, had a lot of tensions of going into a consulting, even interned for a couple of firms on both sides of the aisle. And either that or law school.
[00:04:50] Yeah, I thought about the same thing. I actually interned with a congressman in South Dakota back then. There weren't a lot of pay interns. And you got what's called school credit for it, right? I think my job was taking the newspapers from every single county in South Dakota, reading every single one in clipping what I thought was important, and then taping it on a white piece of printer paper and then faxing it to our congressmen in Washington. That was my job.
[00:05:24] No money, just quray. You could have really used Google then, right? I could have used an iPhone and just taken a picture. The congressman could use the Internet. He could have used a good programmer from Berra's Deb back in the day. It got so.
[00:05:41] Yeah, no, that's interesting. So. So why political science? Did you always know you were gonna get into politics or into some kind of government service or why did you choose that path?
[00:05:52] I was interested in it from a I think the. I thought there was always a chance to impact, right? I felt that there was an opportunity. I still do think there's an opportunity to impact from that perspective. But it would have been maybe going into the consulting aspect of things or going on to law school. And I didn't have my aspirations set on any particular type of law. I just it sounded like something I thought I'd be good at. And I could protect people or help people. And it was rather holistic approach as a younger one. Right. By the time I got out of school, however, I decided I wanted to make money. I was kind of I enjoyed school. And I've always been technical by nature, but never by training. North Carolina State is is a well-known engineering school. But I majored in humanity and went on engineering school. And then my first job at a college, I actually went to work in metrology. Metrology. Metrology is the science of finite measurement. So without any professional background or education, I was immediately thrust into selling really high end measurement tools in the manufacturing space. Wow. What kinds of things were you measuring? Anything. So I was selling equipment that was called Kornet measuring machines. Yeah. Some of them automated, some of the manually driven. And you've seen maybe pictures you might have not even those videos where they show things being built. There's these little gantry machines with a ruby tip and they touch a little pieces of something and they're measuring them off. That means everything from, you know, bicycle pieces to weapons to like the airplane airplane. All kinds of crazy stuff. Didn't have a clue what I was doing to begin with. But I learned really quickly how to navigate myself around, to navigate around objections, and also to know that when I really don't know something, don't say that I know it to never got over it twice. Right.
[00:08:01] Learn that I'm not going on a lot of fast. Usually later in life, hopefully not later in life. But you learn lessons like that when you get in a conference room with a bunch of people that do know what they're talking about. And then you pretend like you do. That could be real trouble.
[00:08:15] So it's a lot of trouble, right? Something I'm really big with with with with my team now is you don't know. Just say you don't. But, you know, somebody does. Right now, people.
[00:08:25] Now, this is a micrometer part of that might that that tool set.
[00:08:32] Theoretically, yes. That's we were more on the the I guess we could say the heavy duty side of things. But at micrometers measuring things by microbes. Right. Whereas Kornet measuring machines are also typically measuring things based on microns, but they're at a much, much, much more precise. And typically for larger scale items as well.
[00:08:52] So what? So how do you get that job? You basically got out of college. You're like, wait a second. I don't want to go into law and I want to go into politics. I'm just going to go look at the back of a newspaper, because back in the day, that's probably how it work. That's how it worked for me. Look, in the back in the newspaper, you're like, okay, I want to be a sales guy.
[00:09:09] I think if I don't remember for sure, but I think I found this job on the early days of Craigslist. I can't swear by. Oh, yeah. I think I. Federal Craigslist. I could be wrong. But I do remember that was communicating through email for the job. Right. I met with I had one call with the hiring manager who is now a great friend of mine, Jason Miller. If you listen to this lovely man in a while, I had one caller on the phone with him. Then he met me at a hotel lobby in Raleigh. We talked and then they asked me to come down to the office in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to interview. I still really don't know what I was talking about. And I interviewed with Jason, again, the two owners of the company and a senior member of an organization that they were associated with. And I walked out of that interview so mad I could cry. I blew it. I absolutely just I blew it.
[00:10:08] I had I called my wife and said I blew it. You know what? Not even a job, not get the job.
[00:10:17] I got a call an hour and a half later and they offered me the job. And I still don't know why.
[00:10:23] Well, because this pride because you're an honest guy that's hard working and you're a nice guy. And they're probably like, you know what? Let's give this guy a chance. You know?
[00:10:32] I think so. I'd like to think that was the case, but went on to work there for a few years. Loved it. Learned to. Like I said, I'm curious by nature. So I got to walk into a lot of places that a lot of people don't get to. And so things that I also wasn't educated around. So it was like, you know, Devide walking into places. I mean, things were there, you know, working on things that are related to nuclear reactors going under a mountain for those type of things and people that are manufacturing stuff that are being used to power aircraft carriers. Wow. That's crazy. Super interesting, really. It was. But so did that for a few years and was successful there. And Juhll the people I worked with are still very great friends. But I lived in RTP Research Triangle Park, Raleigh, North Carolina, which is what some consider to be some level of like the Silicone Valley of the South. Right. And it's like looking at the software thing a little bit. And there is a small company in Raleigh that was looking to hire somebody to do sales for software development. And again, just kind of threw my hat in the ring to see what would happen. Interviewed with the owner a couple times and was offered the job and said, hey, let's give it a go. All right. I figured I should insert myself into this software space because it seemed like a good place to be, right.
[00:11:59] Yeah, that's working out well for both of us. I think.
[00:12:04] Yeah, I think so. We're sitting here talking about it right now. That's right. So, again, walking into a situation where I really I'm practically competent from a computer standpoint at that time, but didn't know anything about programing languages other than DOS. Right. I knew what it was and I knew how to navigate around an adult prompt, and that was it. But not only that, this organization also worked heavily in the military space. So there's all these nuances and new things to learn on the software space and also all the acronyms and other things to do with on military space. So that was daunting. It challenging. But again, I enjoyed it. Is the game curious by nature? But what came from that was a really good point. I guess an intersection of my background and interests and my job is that companies some how kind of managed to find itself working in the government space, primarily working with secretaries of states offices, which seemed to work pretty well.
[00:13:10] My background in political science and having worked in some consulting gigs locally. So I spent a few years with them primarily selling technology and service solutions to secretaries of state offices or the respective corporations and licensing offices across the US. Made a lot of great friends, competitors across the board. A really cool niche industry, but an industry that is really hard to sell into because, you know, typically, generally speaking, most government agencies or entities tend to be behind the curve from a technology standpoint. Yeah, reticent speech. There's a lot of risk involved, especially when you're dealing with offices where the principal is an electable person. Right.
[00:13:59] Yeah. Those sales like this was not give be elected. Oh, yeah. Sales are roughly two years, right.
[00:14:06] Easily. Easily. So did that for a while and really enjoyed that, learned a lot there. Then had an opportunity to go work for a startup to do some exploration on the viability of their product in the public sector, which can kind of line pretty well, pretty well with what I was doing. Public sector things spent, I guess about ten or eleven months there, not very long. A lot of what we determined at the time was it wasn't necessarily what we were doing was not necessarily a good fit for very various reasons for the public sector. But what they're doing and have done is great. They actually were acquired by Ford Smart Mobility a couple of years ago. Company's name is TransLink. Great company. Great people have done a lot of really good things since then.
[00:14:54] So yeah, I did that. And then a transition to a company called IQ based on Centineo campus at NC State, which is really cool if you don't know anything about NC State in the Centennial campus. It's just just awesome. Just collaborative area of businesses and education technology. You've got campus where people are your kids, kids and well, I guess adults do to some degree or are in dorms and taking classes and buildings. Right next to them are some of them are housing facets of Fortune 500 companies. Really? Yeah, that's great.
[00:15:30] That is Sue. That is super intriguing. I've never seen that before. NC State, huh?
[00:15:34] NC State Centennial Campus. It also is home to the Hunt Library, which when it was built on roughly a decade ago. And I'm sure somebody listening this is going to correct me. But at the time, it was considered to be, I think, the most technologically advanced library in the world. Wow. Like automated book stacks. All kinds. It was like people would come from across the world to visit us from a a commercial perspective. Our company, INTUITY, they wanted the two things when they came. They wanted to go get North Carolina barbecue because that's like near dear to my heart. And they wanted to go to the library because they read that's where you have to go. And it's really worked.
[00:16:15] Way back in the day, I worked with a bunch of people. I didn't know this until I started working with them. And this was before Google was Google. There are people out there that have masters of library information science. It's called an email, I guess. And when I started working with these guys, they had said they had helped set up the technology for the British Library. And in there, the software we sold, we only sold to libraries. These were old card catalog systems in ways to scan books and barcodes. And it was hard core machine learning and information science like 20 years ago. And so it's almost not even really surprising to think that the library would be so cutting edge because some of the smartest people I've met are librarians. Oh, yeah. And they have Masters degrees now. And they had Masters degrees a long time ago.
[00:17:16] I had no idea. I mean, I guess if you want to learn and study and become proficient as you possibly can, at some point, you should be a master sport writer.
[00:17:24] Yeah, well, I think about page rank. The Google algorithm was based on some old library science and methodology that that basically said, hey, if you cite a book in your book, that must provide some authority. So it's part of the page rank ranking algorithm. You got that from libraries. So history repeats itself. Stuff evolves and know things get automated on purpose or on accident. But that's yeah, that's super interesting. The Hunt Library shout out to the Hunt Library. Again, the big thing I think I can. So how did you so how'd you wind up at SAS? SAS is a pretty big company.
[00:18:07] Yeah. So when I was with the company there at the Centennial campus, I did a few things in technology space.
[00:18:16] They really had two primary industries. One was the product lifecycle management space. Again, another intersection for me going back to the manufacturing space. But the other side was enterprise content management, or at the time the platform was Adobe SKUs, which is now Adobe Experience manager. And we were one of a few houses in entire U.S. It had a lot of people under one roof there. So it's been a fair amount of time there. And they were eventually acquired by a large company based in India KPI. But the Enterprise Content Group spun out to its own company. So I went to work there with them again and the spin out and Souse was a client of ours. And obviously SAS, for those who don't know, SAS, I believe, is one or their number one or two largest privately owned software company in the world, founded by Dr. Jim Goodnight. Another NC State grad, by the way, in the Raleigh Durham area. And people don't know as much about it because it's more of a business to business type organization. But I think they most people consider them to be kind of the generic maybe godfather grandfather of modern analytics. So really cool.
[00:19:34] Great place. A very expensive software package. By the way, for those of you who don't know, this thing is at least a quarter of a million dollars to use this thing unless your university, at which point you get to use it for free. I think they give a lot of those license or I know some of the folks, some of the analysts that I've worked with coming from major universities are all trained on SAS or you.
[00:19:56] So either Lesia place, I will place a plug for the small or medium business aspect of the organization. It's not a quarter million dollars for small or medium business s companies. And that's something they focused on a lot while I was there as well. And that part continued to grow quite a bit. But yeah, it is it is an extraordinarily powerful software. The campus is very much you hear about all the things that are really cool, like Google and Twitter and Facebook campus, the SAS campus, very similar. You know, its entire ecosystem, massive, beautiful people are taken wonderfully wonderful, good care of, great experience working. They're great friends, learned so much. I was missing, working in small companies and now companies. And then I enjoy that aspect of it. So then what worked for a company called Foster more another intersection here that I used to compete against when I worked in that space selling to secretary states and the government sector? I was there for a few years. I guess couple years, give or take, New Zealand based company who actually, as of, I believe, May of this year was joined forces with Canadian based company called Terryn that specializes in registry's. Just as does foster more.
[00:21:13] So what is it? What does a registry do in this particular to the registry people?
[00:21:19] Yeah. Good question. So registries can mean a lot of things, obviously. I think most the most people here registry of things like wedding registry. Right. In this respect, it's more along the lines of commercial registries and licensing. So we'll speak in terms of secretaries of state as a as an individual or company in the state of North Carolina. If I want to form an LLC or corporation, whatever type that is, I have to register with my state. And in most cases, as the secretary of state's office. But in some cases it might be the corporation commission, whatever that is. And so in those cases, we are providing a software system that allows people to do that and reduce the paper intake systems. Got it. Got it. Maintaining in your business owner in California. Actually, I know some of the folks in the corporate registry space there. When you're having to when you first register your organizations, you do renewals, you have your registered agents take your things for you, making that as paperless and automated as possible.
[00:22:22] Yeah, no, I'm glad. I mean, it's still a pain in the ass, but I can't even imagine what it used to be like. I mean, I can go I can get on the state of California's SBA Web site and find all my stuff. And I guess that's the software that provides that. Absolutely. So how did you get in to what's next? Berra's. Yeah. Then you get into Beras.
[00:22:46] So I serendipitously met the co-founder and CEO of the company, I think in twenty fifteen or twenty sixteen somewhere that range and just would randomly connect once in a while. And at the time I think we were a hundred and fifty people give or take as an organization. I didn't know much about Bairstow at the time. What is this near shoring thing. I mean having worked in I.T. for years as a nurse and having been acquired by a company based in tune, a very Mary was offshoring, but there with what was going on in Latin America. So I kept tabs on them and we'd talk and kind of catch up also really informal. But in January of twenty nineteen. The time was right. And when I came in, we were roughly 500 people full time. And you fast forward to June 19th of twenty twenty. So just a shade over a year and a half and we're right at eclipsing fourteen hundred people. Wow. So extraordinarily fast growth controlled fast growth. But it's been a heck of a ride so far.
[00:23:59] Well, you're the executive vice president of growth. So I'm going to give you most of the credit that you're sitting in the chair. And I know you know what you're on. I know you're not like that. You're blushing a little bit. But you know what? You've got a you've got a lot of experience. You've got a big job that you've done behind you. You've also got a big job in front of you. Let's talk about development in a little bit about the macro development environment and how that environment is maybe propelling Berra's dev forward. Because, Dev. Depending on what side of the fence you sit on is a very tricky and difficult thing, or at least it has been for me in my firm. And by the way, shameless plug for Berra's dev. I work with Bears Devin of work with Bears Dev for a couple of years now. They're awesome.
[00:24:54] Which is why we have him on the shows, because really wanted to talk to the leadership team and let everybody know how awesome they are. But thank you. What makes. There are a million of these people. There's when I say these people, I mean firms. There's a million of them. So how are you guys building what appears to be one of the best? And one of the biggest nearshore firms on the planet? How are you different?
[00:25:22] I get asked this every day, right? So many times, and so I will respond and hopefully not sound overly canned here. Right. You're right. There are a lot of organizations that do this and a lot of organizations do this because it's a great industry to be in. You can be a success. There's a lot of opportunity, especially in the current environment right now. You know, the vast majority of our organization works from a distributed environment. We've got a great, beautiful big office in downtown Bodhisattvas, Puerto Madero, the financial district there, share a building there with the Japanese embassy, the World Bank, some some large names.
[00:26:03] Nobody could be in that office right now. Right.
[00:26:07] So some of the beauty of the distributed side of things is that as long as you have good quality talent, the infrastructure and oversight to ensure that things are managed as they should be. There's significant advantages to having a type of environment because.
[00:26:25] I'm kind of backing backing into your question, but.
[00:26:30] We don't have to be worried about what the general population in a certain area provides for from a talent perspective. Since I am making use of recruiting talent all across Latin America and quite frankly, across the world. I'm not limiting myself to anything I can find just the best talent anywhere. A lot of people can say that. I can say that as well. But that's truly what I'm doing. So it starts off with numbers. You mentioned earlier, the talent pool that we're pulling from. I think the easy thing for me to say is I spent about three times. I say we spend about three times on talent acquisition and retention than we actually do on new client acquisition. And some people may think that's part of the force or vice versa. You know, if you sell it, then we'll get the people right. That's not the way it works.
[00:27:22] We'll get your product right now. I love. I love that approach because if if you just go out there and sell, sell, sell, sell, sell, sell, you outrun your supply chain, which in this particular case is your people, which is your product. And I have personal experience with this. We have weekly check ins, the resumes we get are fully vetted. Actually, can you talk about your vetting process? Because I think that separates you two.
[00:27:55] Yeah, I'd love to. So, again, we talk about those million applicants per year. Right. And this is across the board. Any top roles within the software development lifecycle? We run through that. Any technologies? We are completely agnostic organization, which usually is in our favor sometimes that explain to people that I can say yes. And I do say yes to pretty much everything because we just can't because sheer numbers. Right. So obviously, if I'm talking about that level of of of applicant applicants, I've got a lot of automation going on. Right. I wouldn't stay in business for two weeks. I had to assign everybody to a million people. So there's a lot of things automated on the front end. The first thing that ever happens when somebody applies to work with our organization is. You mentioned earlier English proficiency. So there's these proficiency test. And an infrastructure test. Right. If people are working remotely, we need to make sure their infrastructure is appropriate. After that, it's somewhere between a two and three month process on average and somewhere depending on the role or roles or they're looking at between six and eight steps. Some are automated and some are personal.
[00:29:07] And obviously, the further down that pipe you get done that funnel you get, the more personal complex they become. Some things that we're really big on. It's not just a technical aspect of it.
[00:29:18] A lot of our tests can be quite infuriating because they're situational awareness test, IQ tests, these things that may not necessarily be represented on a CV but are massively important. When you're talking about working is about something else to point out is that, you know, we're generally bringing these people, as it are, all full time employees. So you're not contracting with the contractors contract?
[00:29:45] Yeah. Oh, my God, how annoying is that?
[00:29:49] But on the bedding side of things, we have a lot of very strict cardstock guidelines throughout our process, not just technically, but also on the personal and soft skills side of things. I'm very upfront about the fact that it's not perfect and that goes both ways when I have some of these hard line requirements. Sometimes I'm going to get a false negative, right. Somebody's got to be pretty good. And but for some reason, other something didn't fit.
[00:30:14] Something didn't click right now.
[00:30:19] We are. We do our best to be aware of that and in situations where that arises, where everything else checks out really well, we have some mitigation processes to try to validate whether or not that should have been a false negative or not.
[00:30:36] And by the way, your clients, they would have the exact same problems you have, but the pain that they're going to have, the lack of knowledge and experience potentially. Now, look, if you've built your own dev team and you used to work at Google and you go do this yourself. Good for you. Right. But if you can't, you don't know the questions to ask. You have no one to trust in your doing the contractor with a contractor, with a guy from the the the lady's uncle that used to be in high school for I.T. and technology. And he knows how to fix computers. So I think he or she can build my Web site. You've heard I've heard it all. But you really should not. If you are a large business owner or if you're a small business owner, you should not be trying to go at this on your own unless you are a professional, because you will get fooled. And when you do get fooled, because even the professionals get fooled. What are you going to do now? You've just wasted three or four months of your time giving people test. And now you've got nothing in the pipeline. You've got nothing to fall back on. You guys have a million people to fall back on. You can easily pull someone else right out of the candidate pool that was in the pipeline. War might produce and manage that whole process. Is that accurate?
[00:31:54] Yeah. You know that. I mean, you've been working with us long enough to know and there's the aspect of, like you mentioned, the organization that or the people that don't necessarily know how to do this or have done it before. Do it efficiently. But even for the ones that know how to your point, it's it's scale also. Right. You might be able to do this for a few people, depending on the size, your organization, what your role is. Maybe you've got time to do that. But we work with large scale Fortune 500 companies as well. And one thing that they love about us is one thing to point out also is only seniors. My average engineers got 10 and a years of experience. You'll never see anybody with less than five years. And that's a big deal, too, because so many people are working distributed. There's a certain level of maturity that we need to ensure that we have here as well. Right now, that maturity can come at all ages and in all different types of roles. But generally speaking, our expectations are that the longer you've been doing something, the better you are going to be. It's not always the case. We know that. But that's why our testing and our processes is so heavy. Anyway. But, yeah, scaling up quickly. You know, we've run into situations where we've had an opportunity with potential client. They've decided to go elsewhere, either do it themselves or work with a maybe a smaller nearshore organization that's localized in a another area that may not have access to a lot of help, but there were less expensive. And that's really good when they need three or four people. But as a company grows and now they need five people, they need seven people that 18 people, they need an entire team to come into a project for them. That localized group doesn't have the population or the talent pool to meet those needs.
[00:33:33] Well, now they're trying to run a business. Right. Like like the in my business partner. We've built a business from scratch. And you when you get really good at what you do and in this case, it might be developers and Jimmy is cheaper now. And then if you hired Jimmy, Jimmy is going to hire Susie and they're gonna they're going to start building this team. Well, what happens when Jimmy, who's the most talented engineer and developer, now has to run a business? That's that now you start to decide to get into some trouble. Right. So you guys have an executive team. You have a process. You have technology. You have connections. You have clients. You have some girths where you guys are actually running the business and letting these people do their work.
[00:34:17] Yeah, I mean, it's it's we strive to be as plug and play as possible. Right. And depending on who our client is and what it is they're looking for, they can sometimes be 100 percent plug and play. You just you sign on the dotted line. We show up. We're good to go right now. Let's be honest, it's never completely like that because there needs to be integration of the teams, understanding of roles and responsibilities. You know, another benefit and this is not this is not specific to better esteve, but to really any organization working with in Latin America compared to offshore is the quote unquote travel readiness of people. Right. So that's majority work, lentils and egos. And by no means do I require of course, today's environment doesn't allow for this, but I always like to suggest that when the time is right, let's have our people come meet your people. A day or two, a week, maybe more people come to see our people. It's all in at the mothership in Buenos Aires. Yeah, it's much easier to do that. Coming from Latin America than it is actually. Yeah, a lot of that, too, is it means that our people are working just normally in your hours. Right. It's a big deal from a collaboration standpoint.
[00:35:30] So what do you. So what are you seeing out there? And let's take it maybe two different ways, because obviously you were at barista before KOVA 19. Yeah. And today, as we record this episode, it's Friday, June 19th. We're in the middle of a pandemic. They're starting to loosen stuff up, but there is no vaccine. There should be social distancing, yada, yada. But. Before covered 19.
[00:35:56] What did you see as some of the macro trends? Because I always look at it this way a long time ago. We decided to pretty much outsource as much as we could. Except for what's core. Right. So why would we have accounting in-house? Someone else should be doing that. Why would we have analytics in-house? I'm not an analyst. I'm not normal poly sci guy. Right. I'm a business development sales guy. I'm a communication guy. I'm not going to manage and analytics team, even though I did that for like five years and spent half a million dollars a year on analytics overhead. I had no idea what those people were doing. So in my mind, you know, I made this shift a few years ago into one hundred percent, what I believed to be sustainable, outsource. All to say outsource. Forget onshore off shareholders to use outsource primarily. So you saw something embarrass dad, saw something years ago that might suggest and maybe you can confirm this, that this is a trend. I mean, I have a small company, but there are large companies doing this. So can you contrast is this a trend? Is it a macro trend? Are people moving in this direction? And then what has been the changes since covered 19 as it relates to outsourcing?
[00:37:19] It's absolutely a trend. And I think that the. I won't say a layperson, because it almost sounds demeaning, but in general, most, most when you think about the term outsourcing, almost everybody thinks about overseas. Right. Yeah, because it's been happening for years, right? Yeah. And it's been happening for years to various levels of success. Right. So what has driven the I guess the dynamics some to move towards Latin America, at least open up Latin America to that? Well, many years ago, I say I don't know the exact arbitrarily say twenty four, fifteen, twenty years ago. Muslim countries in Latin America, where, by the way, most countries you can go to college for free. You can go to public or private schools as well. But college is very, very affordable. And most of those countries, but even the secondary higher education systems realize that there's a real opportunity here. You know, let's let's let's see what we can do so that the general populace is highly educated across Latin America. Right. And they began to trend more towards technology. So as those people 15, 20 years ago started making that shift and became more of a cultural norm to learn these things and start working in these fields. You know, they they've got their bumps and bruises. They've become hardened professionals. And that trend has continued to the point where I have this just massive amount of talent that's experienced to pull from now, this just aching to do more and to grow more. Right. So, again, we have clients in Latin America that are great clients. We do a lot of work with them. And we also have a lot of clients in Canada and the UK. But again, the US is where majority of our client hail is. And there's a lot of fun stuff being done there. That's another thing, too, in terms of what makes us attractive to the talent. And it's it's cyclical. It makes us attracted to the talent. Since we have the talent, it's attractive to our clients. But what's attracted to our talent, among other things, is that we're doing really cool, fun stuff. Right? Yeah. We're not doing a lot of, quote unquote, mundane work. We're working in some industries. And I can't talk with clients that I can't talk about, not because of some fancy MBA, but because of like the industry doesn't allow me to do that. Yeah. And people don't necessarily think about outsourcing as an option there. But FinTech health care I.T., you know, burgeoning organizations in the SMB space and all throughout the buzzword technologies. But we do that and we do a lot of it. And it's really fun being, for lack of a better word. And I'm relatively self deprecating and ignorant American. Some of things that we're doing, the work we're doing in the clients we're working with is just mind boggling to me.
[00:40:17] And so all interpreted a little of that by saying, hey, look, the macro is towards some of these other. Nearshore destination's, because 20 years ago. You believe and there's probably a lot of evidence of this, that schools are cheaper. And these cheaper or free, these countries, these developing countries are emerging markets decided we are going to send our children to development, engineering and then now 20 years fast forward. I mean, candidly, I don't think America's done a great job of this. So even if we didn't want to nearshore, we didn't want to outsource and we didn't want to offshore. We actually are at a point where we don't have a choice. But what you're saying is, and I agree with this, as education in America becomes almost unattainable. And I think there's some startups trying to get after that to teach some basic score, develop like basic core development skills that they can get a certificate in six months and hopefully make some money. But I mean, candidly, we're late to the game. And I guess what you're saying is, given all the investment from emerging countries, the labor costs in the availability of talent there, and these are really good folks. I know I've hired a few of them myself from Bury's Dev. You don't see this trend slowing down?
[00:41:46] No, it's escalating.
[00:41:47] It's increasing tremendously. And into your question about the impact of COGAT prior to COGAT, as I mentioned, you know, when I came in in twenty nineteen January, we were shy. Five hundred. We were over eleven hundred by the end of last year.
[00:42:06] So we almost doubled in size. And almost all of us delivery talent, we're not growing because there's we're not filling a vacuum from an outsourcing perspective or we're filling a vacuum from a local perspective. Right. There is a there is a severe lack of software development talent. Locally in the US, there's a lot of software engineering professionals. There needs to be more. Where are you going to find them? Are you going to find Caldwells so freaky? Yeah. Still growing phenomenally. Right. In the throes of code, we've grown by almost 300 people. So now the dynamic has absolutely shifted. There's really for me to make it very simple. There's there's two different personas right now from the commercial purpose perspective for me. There are.
[00:42:57] Clients. I'm sorry. Potential clients who are interested in what we're doing. I don't have as many I guess we'll call them leads. For now as I did before. But the ones that we do get their series right. It's not a and going on right now. And a lot of those might not have given us a second thought. Three or four months ago, they were dead set on local only. Again, I completely get it. I respect it. Right. That's reason why we want our people to go visit people. We want there to be that human element, that aspect of it. But people have been forced remote. So when you've been moate, just like we have done, if you're forced to go find the best talent you could find anywhere, whether they are down the street or on the other side of the world, just find the best tool and at the most efficient M.A possible. Yeah. So that's new client to our current clientele. They already bought into that myth or met that model. Right. And so their businesses have been built on their business plans have been built on maybe making use of that model. And they're doing a lot better than the ones that work. Right. And I may have mentioned early, we're completely privately owned, independent, no outside interests whatsoever.
[00:44:16] So where our clients are coming to us and saying, hey, you know, quote unquote covered, we can actually be kind of an action in that way. So we're at a really good point right now as an organization to grow and continue to grow, but also not be so big that we don't care about our clients and can't find some ways to be helpful there.
[00:44:40] Yeah, that's that's a great, great description. And I and I'll just say, you guys have been extremely helpful and awesome with our firm during these challenging times. And so but that's you know, I've talked about this in other podcasts. And I think what gets lost in where we've been over the last 10 or 12 years is that we may have four we may have been chasing growth in profits, not may have the industry. And this is one of the most competitive industries on the planet, software development, advertising, product, building stuff. B2B says this is big stuff from a competitive standpoint because it's like a gold rush. Everybody believes they can be the next billionaire drive a Ferrari. But I think what we're lacking we had been lacking is this notion that when you get close to someone, a partner, that. You decide to invest this time in whether it's three months, six months, a year, if they're doing their work. Why would you ever want to unhook that? Because you should be growing together. And even if it means that some years are a little bit tougher than others, you take the good with the bad. You figure out how to work together and you roll the room. Right. So, you know, I appreciate that comment about being privately held and doing what you guys believe is right, instead of being forced into doing things that a potential investor, you know, or the public markets might think you should be doing. So you guys primarily design and development, project management. Are there any other roles? Do you guys do growth marketing? Do you guys do advertising? Do you guys do? Is there anything outside of Dev that you guys do?
[00:46:33] Yeah, absolutely. So we have a we've got a niche group within our group that specializes in the e-commerce space. And what would be considered the vast majority of highly proliferated in and current platforms. So a lot of a lot of work in that space as well. I think, again, the easy thing for me to say is, in general, if it falls literally anywhere within the software development lifecycle, and that can even be to the point of we do some things along, like fractional CTO SEO consulting. Oh, interesting. OK. And it's not a heavy thing for us to do in a long term basis. But we do have the talent both in the US and globally to do a lot in that space as well. We've done more and more of that and that's been rewarding. It's been kind of fun for us because it's it's less head down work and more. It allows us to really we've done it more so our current clients, but more of a an opportunity to grow and really get attached at the hip, even more so there. But from an industry perspective, again, completely agnostic, I'm very upfront about the fact that a lot of our growth has been fueled by the health care sector, the financial sector and the gain that kind of overall aggressive growth. Small medium sector, which is where most people have grown these days. Right. Because that's where the market tends to be running. Yeah. So your standard type of standard. There's no such thing as standard, but helpdesk, I.T. support, things of that nature. All those things, if it is anything within software, we've got this right.
[00:48:16] Interesting. So if we look back at how nearshore offshore and outsourcing has been managed over the last 20 years and you guys are looking at it today and saying, hey, we already differentiate ourselves, your talent. We already differentiate ourselves through a cost model and process and we care. We're privately held. We have all these differentiators. But if you had to step outside the box and go, okay, 20 years from now, which I know is a little bit difficult to think about given the environment 18 months from now, two years from now, five years from now, how do you think if you had a crystal ball or what are your ideas for this outsourcing space? What do we need to make it better or how can we improve it?
[00:49:05] I think what's missing a lot of times is is it seems kind of generic response, very good oversight from a delivery perspective. I think and I've been on the other side of the equation. Yeah. Outsourcing a lot of times tends to be a companies want it to be said it forget it like a product is. Right. Doesn't work that way. It doesn't. Right. It'd be great to have have a product company and not just sell licenses and have my partner network and install it for them. And I just, you know, count the money. Right. But that's not what we do. We are. We are providing. If I strip it all down, we're providing a product that represents historically the most.
[00:49:54] Unreliable and hard to manage product in the world. I would agree with that based on part based on 15 years of personal experience. I would agree with that.
[00:50:04] And so there there has to be tremendous amounts of oversight, governance involved structure. And some of those things can be trained and people can begin to, I guess, get in line with those things and then some things cannot. And that's where a lot of the vetting side of things comes. So I think going beyond just technical chops and talent is a big deal. Right. Some of the most impressive cities on the planet are not going to be a good fit for your company. Absolutely. For whatever reason that might be. Now, that doesn't mean that it might not be a good fit for somebody else's company. Yeah. And that's why we have to be able to score those things and understand where they fit. In some cases, they just might not appeared. They might not be somebody that we want to represent us, not because it's a bad thing, but just because of the way that they've worked or whatever that might be. Right. There's there's absolutely a human element to this that that has to be massaged. We do not look at our people as cogs in the machine that we're just going to force them to a role right at the growth that I'm at right now. And I'm very upfront with our clients and potential clients. When you have interest in this specific resource or these resources, my advice to you is to make a decision very quickly because he or she is being presented with to it, just like you're being presented with some options from other organizations.
[00:51:38] So is he or she is there and you've got to treat him well, then you've got to be interested in working with you, because, I mean, I don't know, I, I have my hands dirty in a lot of things, and someday maybe I'll get out of the weeds, probably not anytime soon. But I'm on just about every single stand up with our designers and developers. I am personally because I feel like as a leader, we need these people. Right. And they've got great talent. And I know they have options because the supply and demand equation, as we talked about with education, our labor force in the United States, with immigration and the new rules around immigration, who knows what's going to happen with that. So, I mean, clients, if you're listening, play ball and be nice so you can get the best talent. That doesn't mean you have to be a pushover, and that doesn't mean you have to not hold people accountable. That is not what we're talking about. Well, what we are talking about is come to play be a pro. Right. Hold people accountable, but do it in a way that's going to allow them and make them want to pull rope for you because they have options.
[00:52:47] Absolutely. And maybe slightly shameless plug. You mentioned early immigration. We know what's going to happen. We don't know. Right. We know that, generally speaking. Thank you. Very friendly. But it's another reason to make sure that you you don't lock yourself into an organization that is located. It's tempting to look at it in one spot. Right. Just like anything else. Divert. Diversify. Quality. Right. If you can diversify quality, you're going to be better off in pretty much any situation in your life.
[00:53:17] Yeah. You guys chose Latin America because you had a relationship there. The founders had a relationship there prior. Or was it specifically a talent and time zone thing? Because the time zone thing works really well, I got to say. Oh, yeah.
[00:53:32] Well, our our founders are from Argentina. Oh, God. That that is the easy answer. Right. OK.
[00:53:39] And. Our CEO lives in Sam Ziska. He's there. And the rest of our ownership organization lives globally. They're all heavily involved with the company on the day to day basis. I can say that our CEO, my boss. Most CEOs work a lot. I think he probably takes the cake. For anyone I've ever worked with and it's I've never seen anybody get into the weeds as much as he does, which is great because he knows what's happening and he understands the ins and outs. Not just that, not just the dashboard view, if you will.
[00:54:18] Yeah, well, this is great. We're going to start to put a wrap on it here. But before we do, Eby always ask our guests if you could think back along the years of experience that you've had, because as you know, we only have people with a lot of experience on the show that can give us some good insight and provide some good words of advice. You had to think back across your years of experience and tell us, hey. Should it on this different you guys need to think about that, whatever it might be, what are your words of advice as we wrap this episode up?
[00:54:52] Patients as heart patients is really hard. You know, I'm someone who believes that I'm an impatient person and I have to force myself to be patient, and that's with myself, with the people that I work with and the people that I work for. I think sometimes lack of patience and being demanding is. Fries more than it should. And it's somewhat counterintuitive to true success, right to your point earlier about people seeing this space as a gold mine gold rush right now. Right. This has been known for a while.
[00:55:34] You're not going to walk into this space today and. Walk out looking like Bill Gates in a year from now.
[00:55:42] And the growth aspect for us, even though it has been tremendous. It's been happening over a 12 year period and a lot of it didn't. A vast majority of this massive growth didn't really take hold until, what, year? Nine or so to that point. Everybody was working to the wall. I wasn't even in the company. I just I knew the people I knew. And I saw what was going on in the background. And I've heard the stories. And I think that's something to take into account. Now, patience is not the same as reluctance to make fast decisions. Right. Being agile. From a growth perspective does not necessarily have to be superseded by being patient, but being patient and understanding what your process is, also understanding that it's OK to be wrong. And that's where a lot of patients look at to be wrong, as I'm sure you understand and acknowledge it. A former CEO company is worth. Donald Thompson, DTG. How are you, sir? You always here to talk about, you know, let's look at this like a football game, three yards or sorry, three downs. If this doesn't work, it's punt and come back to the sideline and figured out we'll get the ball back, right? Yeah. Obviously, being in the software space and being an agile development shop causes me to think in those ways a lot. But I think applying an agile methodology to the commercial aspect of things, if it's good enough for software development, especially in my field and software development where we make our hey, it's what we do and we preach about how great agile is and what the benefits of of of proper growth. I think there's many facets of that that can be applied to the commercial aspect of things as well. It serves everyone, serves everybody in a positive manner.
[00:57:36] Now, that's excellent. Excellent advice. Well, everyone. Edward Eby Batton is the EVP of Growth at Berra's Death, the fastest growing nearshore software outsourcing company in Latin America. Go to the show notes. We'll have all their contact information so you get a hold of these guys if you want to talk to them, they're a partner of ours, fully endorsed by Juhll agency and also Snyder Showdown EBE. Thank you so much for coming on the show today. And I'm sure we'll be talking more later, Chris.
[00:58:07] Absolute pleasure, man. Really appreciate it. And. Have a great weekend. I will. I will. Thank you, sir. Take care.