Iranian developers seeking clients and job positions globally and the sanctions

Time to time I see people get surprised when I tell them Iranian software developers have not access to international job market and can not have global clients easily.

It's a long time that Iran is under US and international sanctions due to political issues. As a result foreign employers especially US based companies are not legally allowed to employ Iranian developers because paying them and having business relations is forbidden.

Some web sites like ThemeForest.com (An online market for HTML themes and other materials) does not allow browsing their websites inside Iran. They explicitly stated that their site is not available in countries like Iran.

envato

Some other marketplaces does not have Iran in their registration forms fields. You are forced to select another country instead of Iran. An example is upwork.com.

upwork

Some other websites have no problem until payments. They need a copy of Passport or a proof of address that obviously would cause problems if you are from Iran. Another problems raises when you want to use PayPal to transfer money. PayPal is based in US.

One of my friend that was working in a freelancing website told me that he had trouble transferring money to Iran. He used a bureau de change via Dubai, UAE to transfer his own money to Iran. A noticeable commission applied to this transfer.

One another friend that wanted to be employed as a remote member of western software development company said everything went OK with the interview. They were satisfied with his skills but when they realized he is Iranian, process stopped.

There also problems getting service from none job websites like Google Developers (formerly Google Code) or Oracle. They do not allow Iranians to use their services.

 

developersUnfortunately some web sites are censored from inside Iran by government. Twitter is a sample.

twitter

 

How Iranians look as software outsourcing contractors?

A good conversation between Dave Hecker from SourceSeek and Vasili Yavorchuk CEO of an outsourcing company from Belarus shows interesting factors that are important for customers and vendors of software outsourcing. Customers tend to divide outsourcing companies by their country. Then try to predicate their behavior by noticing their country. In this conversation we see that American customers loves to see outputs soon but Belarusian developers tend to be more patient. For more info see original blog post here.

 

I wonder how a typical outsourcing Iranian company would appear for international customers. How customers will encounter while working with an Iranian company. During sanctions and long periods of isolation currently there are few software outsourcing companies in Iran but there are hopes that this will increase soon as world need more affordable prices and higher quality software.

iran

First thing first Iran is well known for the world because it is placed in Middle East and because it is always in the news because of its political issues and nuclear crisis. IT and computer is in first ranks of student population in Iran universities. So many computer/IT graduated can be found in Iran. Iran has copyright law but this is not considered seriously so Iranian software companies are mostly focused on custom software development not product development. Another bad result of not having copyright law is everybody can buy MS Windows, Visual Studio and MS SQL Server for less than 10 USD. As proprietary software is almost free, people and developers does not consider Linux and open source very much.

 

Computers, smart phones and tablets are widely accessible in all over cities in Iran, in homes, work places, universities and all other places. This is also true for Internet access. Internet in Iran is slow and expensive but exists in everywhere via ADSL, GPRS, 3G, Wimax, etc. Enterprise software development have good market in Iran. Because government agencies and banks are large customers of IT companies. Consequently many developers in Iran have good knowledge in Java and Microsoft .Net. Along them PHP is widely used. Iranian developers love to work with foreign customers but English language may be a problem for them.

 

Despite all negative points, Iran could be a nice software outsourcing target for international customers as huge amount of developers lives in the country and among them very good developers could be found. Developers in Iran are more satisfied with their jobs than developers anywhere else according to 2015 survey by StackOverflow.com.