Torc blog

Insights and resources from Torc leadership, the Torc community, and industry leaders.

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Calling all Torc developers. If you aren’t using Codealike yet you are missing an opportunity to earn  extra money and peer recognition across the Torc Community!

We’re excited to announce the first of a set of new awards to recognize and reward the most productive Torc developers–the Torc Productivity Award.

What is the Torc Productivity Award?

A monthly award given to the Torc developer at the top of the Codealike In the Zone leaderboard. The award winner will earn a $100 productivity bonus, a Productivity Award badge on your profile, recognition in the Dev Monthly Newsletter, a special highlight on our Productivity page, and the chance to win even more prizes for quarterly and annual productivity rankings. 🎉

Why did we create the award?

Our goal is to help developers thrive and build successful careers. A big part of that is helping talented developers find great jobs. But we know that a great job on its own != a thriving and successful career. Other key inputs are understanding how you work, improving your behavior to become even more productive, and clearly communicating the value of your work for your team and company. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered there too. 🙌

Codealike is a free tool from Torc that analyzes your behavior as a software developer and generates personalized insights to help you become a coding powerhouse and prove it with real data. Read more about it from our recent blog post and productivity page.

We created the Torc Productivity Award based for two reasons:

  1. We believe Codealike is a game changer for developers to understand and continually improve your productivity
  2. We believe the best and most productive developers should be recognized and rewarded for your hard work

How does it work?

To be eligible for the Torc Productivity Award, you must use Codealike and be placed on an engagement with a Torc customer. The monthly ranking is determined by the users with the most focus hours logged through Codealike during the award period, which runs from the last full week of the preceding month through the third full week of the current month (e.g., The award period for April 2023 is Sun. April 23,2023 through Sat. May 20, 2023).

At the end of the award period, we calculate the total number of focus hours for Codealike users placed on engagements with Torc customers and create a leaderboard. (We’re in the process of creating a public leaderboard so you can always follow your progress.) Each month, the winner will be notified with a request for a headshot and a short comment about how you achieved such high-productivity.

That’s it! Your productivity bonus will be included in your next Torc payment and your coding prowess will be highlighted in the next newsletter

Developers
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Productivity
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2
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Introducing the Torc Productivity Award

Torc developers are encouraged to use Codealike for the chance to earn extra money and recognition through the Torc Productivity Award. This monthly award is given to the top Torc developer on the Codealike In the Zone leaderboard, with the winner receiving a $250 bonus, a Productivity Award badge, and other perks. By using Codealike, developers can analyze their coding activities, improve productivity, and showcase their skills with real data.

developer looking over their code

Ending a year and beginning a new one naturally creates a time of inward thought and outward consideration within us. We ponder our lives and recall the year that has passed, while mentally planning for the year ahead. This includes many aspects of our lives. Both personal and professional.  As far as the personal stuff goes, you’re mostly on your own (though let me just give a couple of quick pointers: stay hydrated, get enough sleep and exercise, call your parents, read a book on a topic that interests you from cover to cover). 

As for the professional aspect of your life, we can offer some more direct information. We are Torc after all, this is our bread and butter.

If you are a developer or aspiring developer who is gearing up for the year ahead with plans to learn a programming language to land a new job, or just because you want to broaden your knowledge and add to your vocabulary, we’re here to give some pointers.

Whatever your reasons for seeking further knowledge are, we believe these programming languages will be popular in 2024, act accordingly:

Learning your first language:

There are several abundantly used languages that already occupy a massive part of the wider vernacular. They will continue their prominence in the near future. This includes:

  • Javascript
  • HTML/CSS
  • Python

Most programmers already use at least one of these languages, possibly two, maybe even all three. Those who don’t use more than one probably don’t need the other two in their specific line of work. If you’re not a web dev for example, JavaScript may not be all that useful to you.

So you may not need to know all three of these languages, but you almost certainly need at least one. If you’re an aspiring programmer, start with one of these three. How do you pick which one? Well, it depends on what exactly you want to program. Spend some time considering what it is exactly that draws you into the world of development. What do you want to build? What do you want to accomplish? Figuring out a path before picking a starting language may be a more efficient entry point than diving straight in with little thought. The beauty of programming is the sheer amount of free resources that exist on the web. Check out YouTube and Reddit. Check-in regularly on Torc for our weekly  blog posts. Sign up for our newsletter. Engage with all the available information that is freely accessible to you.

Learning a second language:

If you’ve learned one of the above three, you’ll want to extend your vocabulary and pick up another language. Here are some good options:

Go (Golang)

Designed by Google, Go is a newer language than the three previously mentioned. It is a high-performance language and will teach you some skills that you won’t need to learn when studying JavaScript or Python, helping to round your abilities out a bit more. Go is more focused on back end, being specifically designed for building cloud services, back-end services, infrastructure, etc. Learning Go will help you gain a better understanding of pointers, references, threading, and concurrency. It will also show you the difference between dynamically typed languages (Python and JavaScript) and statically typed languages (Go)

Rust

If you’re building a performance-critical application, such as a game engine or operating system, Rust is a reliable, safe, and secure option. Much like Go, learning Rust it is also a good way to fill some of the gaps in your knowledge, as it will teach you things you would likely not have learned from Python or JavaScript. Highly recommended if you are interested in using concurrency. Rust’s memory safety and lack of a garbage collector is a large part of its appeal.

Swift/Kotlin

If you’re interested in learning to build mobile apps, Swift and Kotlin are your best options. Swift is specifically for IOS usage, while Kotlin is for developing for Android. Java can be used for Android too, but Kotlin is the way to go in 2024.

Ruby

Ruby’s robust Rails framework, in combination with its elegant syntax, makes it an excellent language to learn for web development. It is conventionally designed and uncomplicated to use, making development and maintenance quick and easy.

C# 

A valuable language to learn for development in the Microsoft ecosystem, C# powers game development with Unity, as well as Windows applications.

SQL (Structured Query Language)

If you work with databases or have any intention to enter that niche, SQL is the language to learn. SQL proficiency is mandatory for anyone interested in database development or administration.

AI development:

AI is the specter that is now haunting the tech industry. Some developers fear they will one day become obsolete because of the advent of AI. While others welcome the emergence of powerful AI tools such as Chat GPT, which they find will only make their jobs easier. One way to lessen your fears about AI, should you have any, would be to gain an interest in AI development. You can’t be rendered obsolete by artificial intelligence if you’re the one deciding how intelligent it actually gets to be, right?

If you want to focus on AI development, consider these languages, some of which we’ve already discussed, and you may already know:

Python

Python’s general-purpose nature lends itself to AI’s development needs, such as deep learning, computer vision, and machine learning. Python is already such a widely used language, making it a prime candidate for development in a newly vital industry.

Java

Java’s device-agnostic nature, being able to run on a wide variety of devices such as medical machinery and gaming consoles, as well as computers of course, makes it a prime candidate for AI development. AI has a history of Java utilization, having been programmed on Java since the 90’s.

Haskell

A lesser-known programming language, Haskell is a general-purpose programming language that can be used for handling inconsistent data, and in developing machine learning systems.

R

Much like Haskell and Python, R is useful when applied to machine learning use-cases, such as sentiment analysis, image recognition, and language processing.

No matter what your intentions, interests, ideas or plans are, there is a programming language out there for you. Happy learning, and remember to always try and use the knowledge you gain to make the world a better place.

Developers
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Productivity
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What programming languages will be popular in 2024?

If you are a developer or aspiring developer who is gearing up for the year ahead with plans to learn a programming language to land a new job, or just because you want to broaden your knowledge and add to your vocabulary, we’re here to give some pointers.

programming languages

Latin America is quickly becoming a hotspot for nearshore outsourcing, offering tech talent and cultural affinity for US companies. Major tech hubs are emerging across the region, providing high-quality software developers, IT services, and customer support representatives. Countries like Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and Costa Rica are investing heavily in tech talent and infrastructure to meet the demand. These emerging tech hubs provide abundant talent pools, tech parks, startup ecosystems, and government support to attract global businesses.

Companies that nearshore outsource to Latin America can take advantage of similar time zones to key markets, high English proficiency, and significant cost savings over onshore locations.

 

Mexico: A Mature Tech Powerhouse

Mexico has long been a dominant force in Latin America’s tech landscape, offering a deep talent pool, advanced infrastructure, and geographic proximity to the massive US market. The country has established IT services and software development clusters in cities like Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey.

Mexico’s IT industry employs over 278,000 people, with 72% of tech companies planning to expand operations each year. Software developers and engineers benefit from Mexico’s emphasis on STEM education. The majority hold engineering degrees, and over 25,000 IT students graduate annually.

Mexico’s nearshore outsourcing industry focuses on software development, IT services, and digital transformation for US clients. Mature engineering talent and cultural affinity make Mexico a natural tech services partner. Many developers have English fluency, agile development capabilities, and specialized expertise in areas like cloud computing and cybersecurity.

Colombia: A Rising Star for Tech Talent

Colombia has emerged as one of Latin America’s most promising tech hubs, with a fast-growing pool of software developers and IT professionals. The country has prioritized STEM education, infrastructure improvements, and supporting the tech sector. This has led to a booming startup ecosystem and the influx of tech centers, most concentrated in Bogota, Medellin, and Cali.

The government has initiatives like Colombia Bring IT On to boost English proficiency and develop workforce skills. There are currently over 277,000 IT professionals and thousands of tech graduates annually. Software development for mobile, web, and enterprise applications is a strength, along with software testing and QA services.

Nearshore outsourcing clients benefit from Colombia’s central US timezone and cultural similarities for easy collaboration. Cost savings are around 20–25% lower than in the US. The tech scene continues to grow at a rapid pace, providing a new hotspot for agile development, digital services, and customer support centers.

Brazil: Latin America's Largest Economy

As Latin America’s largest economy, Brazil offers scale and diversity for nearshore outsourcing. The IT industry employs over 1.5 million people, with major tech hubs in Sao Paulo, Campinas, Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte. Brazil has a $13 billion IT export industry and over 48,000 tech startups driving innovation.

Brazilian developers and tech professionals have strengths in application development, data analytics, IoT solutions, and sophisticated enterprise systems. Many global banks, fintechs, and retail brands leverage Brazil for customer-facing and back-office IT and support services. Cultural affinity with North America and Europe makes collaboration seamless.

Significant infrastructure and data center investments position Brazil as a regional cloud computing power. The country offers cost savings of around 23% compared to the US. Rapid digital transformation and a vast domestic market ensure abundant opportunities to continue growing Brazil as a major tech services hub.

Argentina: Skilled Talent and Cost Competitiveness

Argentina has a fast-growing pool of IT talent and tech capabilities that make it attractive for nearshore outsourcing. Over 100,000 IT professionals work in the country, with extensive capabilities in web development, mobile app development, software testing, and game development. The best talent centers are located in Buenos Aires, Cordoba, and Rosario.

The country’s high-quality universities graduate over 7,000 IT students annually, many with advanced English skills. The culture of Argentina rates very high for Western affinity, making collaboration smooth. Cost savings for outsourcing average around 45–55% lower than US equivalents.

The Argentinian government has also launched initiatives like Argentina Programa 4.0 to boost growth in the technology and knowledge economies. This includes tax incentives for the IT sector and facilitating innovation clusters. As Argentina continues to emerge as a tech services hub, it provides a unique blend of talent, cultural alignment, and cost competitiveness.

Costa Rica: The Silicon Valley of Latin America

Costa Rica has established itself as one of the top tech hubs in Latin America, offering world-class talent and business environments. The country is a leading choice for IT outsourcing and shared services centers. Costa Rica invested heavily in education and infrastructure to build a thriving ecosystem, often referred to as the "Silicon Valley of Latin America."

Major multinational companies have delivery centers in Costa Rica to leverage deep talent pools, free trade zones, and strategic location. Over 50,000 people work in the IT industry, with extensive skills in areas like software development, cybersecurity, and data analytics. Costa Rica also has the highest English proficiency in Latin America.

The quality and sophistication of Costa Rica’s tech sector rival top global tech hubs while providing significant cost savings over the US. The country offers around 30% lower costs than in the US. Strong infrastructure, talent, and business environments will continue to grow Costa Rica as a leader in IT outsourcing in Latin America.

Conclusion

Latin America provides a rich landscape of emerging tech hubs that offer world-class services and strategic advantages through nearshore outsourcing. Countries like Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, and Costa Rica combine advanced talent with cultural affinity, geographic proximity, and cost competitiveness.

As these tech ecosystems continue to mature, global companies have immense opportunities to leverage Latin America’s IT and engineering talent for software development, services, support, and more. Tapping into these regional tech hubs with a partner like Torc, ensures quality talent, a fast seamless hiring process, and project success. Let us know what you’re looking for and you’ll have the software engineering talent you need before you know it.

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Rising Tech Hubs in Latin America for Nearshore Outsourcing

Latin America is quickly becoming a hotspot for nearshore outsourcing, offering tech talent and cultural affinity for US companies. Major tech hubs are emerging across the region, providing high-quality software developers, IT services, and customer support representatives.

Latam nearshore

In the ever-evolving tech industry, the quest for talent has led companies to explore global horizons, particularly nearshore outsourcing. Hiring Latin American developers has become a strategic move for businesses looking to enhance their tech capabilities. However, navigating the legal landscape is crucial to harness the full potential of nearshore developers while ensuring compliance. The goal of the article is to arm you with information so that you can navigate these excellent talent pools, or make a smart decision in choosing a partner who can be your guide in the region.

Understanding the Legal Framework for Nearshore Outsourcing

The Basics of International Employment Law

When considering nearshore outsourcing to hire Latin American developers, it's imperative to understand the international employment laws that govern these arrangements. Different countries in Latin America have unique legal requirements concerning employment, taxation, and data protection. For instance, Brazil's labor laws differ significantly from those in Mexico or DE43Colombia, especially regarding employment contracts, termination rights, and social security contributions.

For example, In Brazil, employment protections include stability rights for specific employee groups, requiring written dismissal notices and complex severance structures. Colombia allows for more flexibility in contract termination but requires compensation and has protections for certain workers. Mexico's approach includes severance for unjust dismissal and views non-compete clauses as generally unenforceable, except under specific conditions. These variations highlight the importance of understanding local labor laws for effective management of nearshore developers in Latin America.

Navigating Contractual Agreements

A robust contractual agreement is the cornerstone of a successful nearshore outsourcing partnership. These contracts should clearly define the scope of work, deliverables, timelines, payment terms, and confidentiality obligations. Furthermore, it's essential to include clauses that address compliance with local labor laws, dispute resolution mechanisms, and any intellectual property rights concerning the work produced by the remote developers.

Compliance with Taxation and Social Security Regulations

Tax implications are a critical aspect of hiring nearshore developers. Companies must comply with the tax laws in the developer's home country, which may include income tax withholdings, social security contributions, and other employment-related taxes. Understanding these obligations can prevent future legal complications and ensure a smooth operational flow.

Best Practices for Engaging Remote Developers in Latin America

Conduct Developer Due Diligence

Before engaging with nearshore developers, getting to know their experience, work habits, and capabilities is critical. This process involves verifying the developer's credentials, experience, and references. Additionally, it's important to assess the legal and regulatory environment of the developer's home country to anticipate any potential legal issues if you were to engage them.

Developing a Comprehensive Onboarding Process

A well-structured onboarding process can significantly mitigate legal risks associated with hiring remote developers. This process should familiarize the developer with the company's policies, procedures, and culture. It should also include training on compliance with data protection regulations, confidentiality agreements, and any specific legal requirements of the project.

Leveraging Technology for Compliance

Technology plays a pivotal role in ensuring compliance when working with remote developers. Utilizing project management tools, secure communication platforms, and compliance software can help manage the workflow efficiently while adhering to legal requirements. These tools can also facilitate transparent communication and documentation, which are vital for legal compliance.

Mitigating Risks in Nearshore Outsourcing

Intellectual Property Protection

Protecting intellectual property is a major concern when outsourcing development work. It's essential to have clear agreements that specify the ownership of the work produced by the developers. Implementing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and non-compete clauses can further safeguard your company's intellectual property.

Understanding Labor Laws and Worker Classification

Misclassifying employees as independent contractors can lead to legal challenges. It's important to understand the labor laws in the developer's country to ensure that your working arrangement complies with local regulations. This includes adhering to minimum wage laws, work hours, and benefits entitlement.

Planning for Dispute Resolution

Despite the best efforts, disputes may arise in any business arrangement. Planning for dispute resolution involves specifying the governing law and jurisdiction in your contractual agreements. It may also be beneficial to include arbitration clauses as a mechanism for resolving disputes outside of court.

Conclusion

Navigating the complexities of international employment law, taxation, and intellectual property rights can be daunting when hiring nearshore developers in Latin America. Companies face a choice: negotiate these intricacies on their own or partner with an expert who handles these challenges daily. By choosing to partner with Torc, you're not just hiring remote developers; you're leveraging a gateway to global innovation, expertly navigated through our nearshore outsourcing solutions. Torc mitigates legal risks by offering expertise and streamlined processes for hiring and managing Latin American talent, allowing you to focus on your core business while we ensure compliance and foster successful collaborations. Let's explore the future of tech together, with the best Latin American talent by your side.

Companies
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Guide
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Hiring
4
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Navigating the Legal Landscape: Hiring Latin American Developers

Hiring Latin American developers has become a strategic move for businesses looking to enhance their tech capabilities. However, navigating the legal landscape is crucial to harness the full potential of nearshore developers while ensuring compliance. The goal of the article is to arm you with information so that you can navigate these excellent talent pools, or make a smart decision in choosing a partner who can be your guide in the region.

Latam compliance

Torc recently hit a milestone with young Brazillian developer Ewerton Xavier, our 20,000th platform user. To mark this milestone, we sat down with Ewerton to discuss his previous experiences in the tech world, his time with Torc thus far, and his plans for the future

Q: I want to start with just some facts about you, your life and your experience pre-Torc. Could let us know a little bit about that?

A: I'm Ewerton, I'm 23 years old, I'm from Manaus, Brazil. I have a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Manaus. I have been studying programming since I was 13 years old. Since then, I have learned three programming languages. I work with React primarily, I also work with JavaScript, and I know Python. During high school, we also worked with Delphi and Pascal, but those are two languages that we don't use any more.

In the final year of my undergraduate, I had the chance to start an internship as a front-end developer. So since then, for around two and a half years, I have been working as a programmer.

After graduating with my Bachelor, I started working as a system analyst for a company here in Manaus. I worked in the banking sector for this company, they were responsible for building ATM’s. Using React, I helped build a test system to test their machines.

After that, I got another job at a different company, which came with a promotion. I worked as a mid-level full-stack developer. I worked there until September of last year and was responsible for programming in the IoT environment. I built dashboards and assisted in the automation of their system. We utilized Excel spreadsheets, and I was responsible for transferring this data to a database to help make the system more reliable. And that’s my story up until Torc.

Q: How did you first discover Torc?

A: I discovered Torc around a month and a half ago. I was looking for a new position on LinkedIn. I found an opportunity as a junior developer using React, and I took the chance to send a message to apply. Soon after, a Torc representative contacted me, and we talked about the opportunity. A few days later, I subscribed to the platform, and I was number 20,000!

Q: Big milestone! And how has the Torc experience been so far?

A: The experience has been great! I have had great support from the team since day one. I have been enrolling in some available positions through Torc since joining up, and I am happy I can contribute to Torc projects.

Q: How does your experience as a developer with Torc differ from your previous experience?

A: Well, the support is really terrific, The Torc team has been a huge help for my career and development as a programmer already. I'm seeing new opportunities in the tech space through Torc, and it's going to give me a great chance to develop even further and create some new connections with my first international experience through Torc.

Q: Speaking of connections, how important is the aspect of the network and the community on the Torc platform to you?

A: I'd say the network is going to give you a chance to work beyond your country, to find some opportunities, to understand some cultures. You can avoid some mistakes along the journey with the help of the network, and Torc has been a great chance to achieve this, with all the support and experience offered.

Q: Are there any specific types of projects or technologies that you're particularly interested in working with in the future?

A: I'd say getting really mature about building dashboards appeals to me. Dashboards and gaining knowledge about the backend of structures, because it's going to help me to get a chance to work for some startups and in this way take a leap in my career.

I think this is the first step, building more robust dashboards, understanding more about security and I think this is going to be the first step in order to achieve something better in my career as a developer.

Q: Are there any features you hope that we'll add to the Torc platform in the future?

A: One thing that I think would be a nice addition would be some details about the vacancies. For example, you can enrol for a position and not receive feedback. And this makes you sometimes a little bit unsure of what you should be looking for in a vacancy. I think some more feedback for the user would be nice. Sometimes you enroll for a position, but you don't know what the next steps are, or you don't know your status in the process. It would be nice to know a bit more about when the next step should start, or where you are in the process, how many candidates are also applying to the position. Things like that.

Q: Looking further ahead, what upcoming trends do you think will arise in the tech industry?  

A: I expect to see more AI development. Development of more startups related to AI. And I'd say the tech industry will become an even more competitive environment. It’s going to be tough for some beginners to come into the industry, though programming is going to be much easier to learn as well. So, the jump from beginner developer to getting your first position in tech will be harder, but the ability to gain knowledge will be greater. And I think this is going to be the trend in the future.

Q: My next question was actually about AI. Could you expand a bit on your feelings towards AI and your thoughts on its impact on the future of tech?

A: Yes, it's going to help the developers for sure. Many people use Chat GPT right now to assist their development. In the future, I’d expect these resources to give users even more accurate feedback. And in this case, the development process is going to be faster. Developers must adapt in order to gain knowledge in AI use, as it is only going to become more widely utilized in the industry. And I'd say that in the next five years, some positions can or will be replaced by AI. But I do think that it can make a career easier in the future for some. Definitely.

Q: Finally, I wanted to ask, what are your plans or goals in the future for your career?

A: Well, my plan is to start a position working abroad. In this case, remotely from Brazil. If I get a chance to go abroad in the future as well, it could be a big step in my career.

But for now, I'm looking for remote positions, or positions in my region so I can gain a little bit more experience and become a senior developer in a few months or a few years. To make this leap in order to see another environment, and who knows, someday possibly start my own enterprise, my own company in order to put this knowledge into practice. It's something that I think is going to be helpful for the people around me.

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Torc's 20,000th member in interview

Torc recently hit a milestone with young Brazillian developer Ewerton Xavier, our 20,000th platform user. To mark this milestone, we sat down with Ewerton to discuss his previous experiences in the tech world, his time with Torc thus far, and his plans for the future.

Ewerton Xavier, Torc's 20,000th member in interview
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