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Would you hire designers and developers from Cuba?
5 points by dippa on July 30, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 11 comments
I am thinking in promoting great Cuban freelance designers and developers to work remotely for start-ups that need to save money. It has worked for me and my brother in the past, we has worked for start-ups in Sf and Finland but so far can't get more work easily, so maybe I can create a channel to find more jobs at better and interesting start-ups. sorry for my English, Thanks

Aren't there still trade restrictions? I wouldn't inherently be opposed, anymore than anywhere else, but I wouldn't want to step on legal landmines.

There are still pretty heavy economic restrictions on US Citizens & companies doing business within Cuba. IIRC there is also US imposed restrictions on foreign companies who do business in the US doing business in Cuba as well. It makes for a very messy question.

There's also software specific rules, such as sharing high encryption code with embargoed countries. I'm no expert but it seems to me that even sharing a JVM or git repo that has crypto in it might be illegal.

Answering to some of your doubts:

There are probably restrictions, but I can't be sure, I have to do some research (that would be just for US right? and in case of developers), from the designer perspective I don't see any issue (I have worked for a NY start up with just and NDA contract signed, worked for a Finish Agency with a long term contract and NDA signed for over a year, my brother worked for a start-up in SF) no problems so far.

Connection is an issue indeed, but as was said in previous comments, 'Sometimes people from constrained countries HAVE to develop some skills ...' Finding Internet access is hard but not impossible. the most evident con it has, is that most of communication should be by IM chat, Skype is blocked and even if we could use it, or use a similar service, there is no enough connection speed to support this ... but as I said some my have this possibility as well if their payment is enough to cover a high speed internet access (i mean a faster speed connection, saying high is not quite accurate). But as I said I've been several years working like this.

And I know there might be some cons, but wouldn't save money be a pro? And not because I am Cuban, but there are very talented people living here, and there are more living outside Cuba that might benefit as well who knows ...

Another thing that happens often is that Cuban freelancers relocate in a country with no need for visa (with high speed internet connection) like Serbia or Ecuador and keep working with the client from there, with no need for higher salary.

... but overall, I think the opportunity to do some work you are proud is invaluable imo.

thanks for your time ... and sorry for my English

No problem and please bring some cigars with them ;)

Now talking serious one friend of mine worked with Cuban Programmers. What he said:

"They have old and outdated machines so they are ninjas in optimizing the code to run faster"

It is not scientific but it was a first impression. Sometimes people from constrained countries HAVE to develop some skills that may be very useful for some companies.

Great talented people can be live in any country and by any means I think the world is interested in interesting things created by talented people. The short version...please do.

what about internet access? my understanding is that is very limited

It would be great if you do this.

I would, viva la cuba

especially because it is a near shore, I have worked for several years with Costa Rica, and the selling point is the time zone, another is language, and thirdly culture, CR is a very American country. I would need to research the community in Cuba and understand its needs and desires before i would start working relationships, another question is money transactions and accountability. Things would have to be paid post delivery and the price would have to be cheap enough to entice Americans to take the financial institutional risks.

It's just "Viva Cuba".

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