Nearshore Software Development in Mexico: The Complete Guide

Nearshore Software Development in Mexico | TurnKey

When I say Mexico, what three words that start with “T” come to mind?  Tequila, Tacos, and Tijuana… any chance Tech made your list?

I was in the same boat when I first started exploring the world of nearshore software development. Mexico certainly didn’t come to mind as a top choice.  However, after some research, I’m pleasantly surprised by how viable this option is for the international outsourcing market to hire tech talent.

In fact, Our People Management Department has been spending a great amount of time in Mexico, both recruiting and working with local developers, as well as working with Mexican legal experts and equipment providers. With all that hand on experience, we can confidently say that it’s a growing hub for hiring software developers. The proximity to the United States makes communication and collaboration seamless, while the lower cost of living and competitive salaries make it an attractive option for technology businesses looking to save on their development costs. From high-quality work to cost-effective solutions, this remote software developer region is booming and offers tremendous benefits to companies both big and small.

In this article, I compiled all the necessary information you need to get set up for nearshoring software development in Mexico. Let’s dive in and explore this location.

Everything You Need to Know about Nearshore Software Development in Mexico

What is Nearshore Software Development?

Nearshoring, a first cousin of Offshoring, refers to the practice of transferring software development to a location in close proximity to your company’s base of operations.  The key advantage nearshoring has over offshoring is better timezone overlap for effective communication. For instance, if your company’s software development team is situated in the U.S. or Canada, your nearshoring hubs options are Mexico or Latin America. Conversely, if you are based in London or Berlin, Eastern Europe will be a more viable nearshoring option.

Many SMBs opt for nearshoring due to the cost savings it offers while still having access to top-notch software development talent. Additionally, particularly when in-person collaboration is essential, nearshore locations can help minimize travel expenses and time. So why Mexico?

The Tech Ecosystem in Mexico

Dude, this might blow your mind, but Mexico is a booming tech scene. It’s insane! With their close proximity to the U.S., you have access to a huge market for tech products and services. And the best part? There are so many promising startups and established tech firms that are thriving in the country. I’m talking about game-changing companies that are making waves in the global tech industry. The Mexican government is fully on board with this tech revolution and has implemented policies to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. All of us techies couldn’t be more psyched about the surge of investment and funding opportunities for startups down south. It’s about time we expand beyond Silicon Valley and see what Mexico has to offer.

Mexico's Tech Scene | TurnKey
Source: Statista

It all started when Mexico began making an ambitious effort to promote financial inclusion and innovation by introducing tech reforms. For instance, in March 2018, the Government of Mexico took another step by introducing the Law to Regulate Financial Technology Institutions (“The FinTech Law”), which promotes innovation and integrates new technologies with existing banking and financial services. With this forward-thinking legislation now established, Mexico is set on becoming a global force in digital finance.

Want to Scale Your Business With the Best Developers in Mexico?

3 Mexican Technology Hubs: The Source of Skilled Developers

I was excited to realize that you no longer have to travel to California’s Silicon Valley to be part of the next big thing in technology. Mexico is bursting with innovative opportunities, and cities like Guadalajara and Monterrey are leading the way with reliable universities and a competitive edge over other tech hubs. Even locations like Mexico City and Querétaro are getting in on the action and catching the attention of tech enthusiasts.

It’s exciting to see Mexico at the forefront of upending the status quo for technological innovation, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store. Startups are scrambling to establish themselves in this innovative landscape, and it’s clear that Mexico is the place to be for anyone looking to make a mark in the tech industry. If you are considering accepting an invitation to this innovation party, I’ve scoped out some of the top cities to give you the lay of the land.

Mexico City

Mexico City Talents | TurnKey

Mexico City is a hub for tech innovation, with a thriving community of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The city hosts numerous startup incubators and accelerators, as well as a growing number of co-working spaces that foster collaboration and networking opportunities. Being the largest city in Mexico and the country’s capital, it’s no surprise many tech companies have set up shop here, such as Google and Microsoft. This city is home to some of the most prestigious institutions and venture capital industries, making it an attractive destination for tech talent. Mexico City has made great strides in the field of software development, engineering, and robotics. However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, as taxation can be a major roadblock for startups.


Monterrey Talents | TurnKey

Monterrey is a city in northern Mexico that’s seriously booming! With its advanced tech industry and highly educated population, it’s like Mexico’s very own Silicon Valley.  Big-name players like IBM, Microsoft (yes, another location), and Accenture have set up shop in this vibrant city. But it’s not just the big dogs who are thriving here; Monterrey also has an ever-expanding network of research centers and universities promoting innovative technologies that put it firmly at the forefront of digital evolution. And with big corporations like Coca-Cola, FEMSA, and Cemex calling it home, it’s clear that Monterrey is Mexico’s industrial powerhouse. That’s why international entrepreneurs are flocking to this city, especially with its prime location near the Texas border.


Guadalajara Talents | TurnKey

Dust off your sombreros, folks, because Guadalajara is the new place to be for any tech enthusiast. With a list of big-name companies calling it home, we’re talking Intel, Oracle, IBM (second location) and more, this city is becoming the Mexican software engineers hub. With over 300 flights going from the US to Mexico, it’s practically around the corner from you. Not to mention, it’s only an hour behind New York on the east coast and two hours ahead of San Francisco. But wait, there’s more! The city also won the bid for Digital Creative City and has seen an impressive surge in college graduates studying S.T.E.M. 

Now if that doesn’t scream “hub for technological development,” then I don’t know what does!

‍‍‍The Mexican Software Developer Profile

edu mex
Source: TCDATA360

Mexico’s tech educational system is impressive, and its software engineers are top-notch. In fact, according to the developer skills tests conducted by Coursera, Mexico reigns supreme in several areas, including:

  •   data analysis (38%)‍
  •   machine learning (20%)
  •   probability and statistics (83%)
  •   data management (55%)
  •   statistical programming (50%)

And that’s not all; in the 2022 Pentalog report, Mexico was ranked #2 in the world for its talented pool of developers. Mexican developers scored #1 in the world for Python and C/C++ programming, proving that they can compete with the best of the best. Mexico is definitely a country to watch out for in the tech world.

Mexican developers also have a reputation for being collaborative and team-oriented. This makes them well-suited to work in cross-functional teams and in environments that require close collaboration between developers, designers, and other stakeholders in Agile teams.

Benefits of Nearshoring Software Development to Mexico

Benefits of Nearshoring Software Development to Mexico | TurnKey

Cost-Effective Labor

The cost of labor in Mexico is significantly lower than that of the United States. This means that startups and growing tech companies can save some serious cash while maintaining high-quality output. So, if you’re on the hunt for a cost-effective solution to your software development needs, Mexico might just be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Overlapping Time Zones

With TurnKey’s experience of collaborating with software development teams across various time zones, believe me when I say Mexico’s overlap with the United States is an absolute game-changer. It will feel as if you are working in the same physical space with your development team, minus the arduous commute. This overlap can lead to more streamlined communication, easily achieving deadlines, and eliminating the need to compromise sleep for important meetings. Besides, who wouldn’t relish the opportunity to indulge in some spicy Mexican food and margaritas instead of just attending another virtual meeting?

Time Zone Overlap with Mexico | TurnKey

Deep Tech Infrastructure

Mexico has invested heavily in building a robust technology infrastructure that includes a network of high-speed fiber optic cables, mobile networks, and satellite connections. The country’s tech infrastructure is supported by several government initiatives that provide funding for research and development in the tech sector.

Stable Economy

Opting for offshore software development in Mexico ensures stability due to its strong economic standing, as reflected by its high ranking in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index in LatAm. This stability mitigates risks like currency fluctuations and political unrest. Moreover, Mexico’s burgeoning technical outsourcing sector, growing annually by 10-15%, promises a reliable and lasting partnership for your nearshore endeavors.

Intellectual Property Protection

Mexico has got it going on when it comes to protecting intellectual property. They’ve got laws in place at both the national and local level to ensure that businesses can confidently outsource their software development without having to worry about their intellectual property getting stolen.

Growing Tech Talent Pool

Mexico’s tech talent pool is continuously expanding, thanks to a focus on education and investment in technology infrastructure. This growth ensures a steady supply of highly skilled software engineers and developers, providing a reliable source of talent.

Several universities in Mexico offer specialized computer science and engineering programs, producing thousands of qualified software developers each year. The country is also home to several top-notch software development firms that have established themselves as leaders in the industry.

Mexico boasts a thriving and innovative technology ecosystem that encompasses a range of government initiatives, tech parks, and startup investments. Notable programs that underpin this thriving tech sector include:

  • 500 Startups LATAM, which provides funding and mentorship to local startups across various industries.
  • Fondo Nacional Emprendedor, a grant program spearheaded by the Mexican government that encourages entrepreneurs, particularly in the tech sector.
  • Over the last few years, Mexico has established 120 tuition-free tech universities to incentivize young people to pursue STEM fields.
  • Mexico is home to over 20 tech parks, such as the Creative Digital City, Guadalajara Software Center, Apodaca Technology Park, and Monterrey Technology Park.
Startups in Mexico | TurnKey
Source: Statista

Long, Established Relationship with the United States

Mexico has a long-standing relationship with the United States, making it an ideal destination for nearshore software development outsourcing services. As the US neighbor to the south, Mexico’s close proximity to the US makes it a prime location for companies looking to offshore or outsource software development needs.

Cultural Proximity

As someone who has worked extensively with remote development teams, I can attest that Mexico is an ideal option for Americans. Not only is it a neighboring country, but it also shares many cultural similarities that foster a conducive work environment. From our mutual love for spicy foods to our shared passion for soccer, there’s no shortage of common ground.

Let me demonstrate this with a real-life example involving a Mexican nearshore team for Headspace.   TurnKey often helps clients coordinate offline parties to build even stronger bonds between their onsite team members and nearshore developers we hire on their behalf.  This Mexico City team-building event provided an opportunity for the Headspace team to connect with their Mexican counterparts and collaborate on various aspects of development, including technical skills and cultural compatibility. These meetings provided a platform to forge meaningful relationships with their Mexican colleagues and work towards a common goal. And, of course, have a good time together!

Headspace's R&D Center Teambuilding in Mexico City | TurnKey
Headspace's R&D Center Teambuilding in Mexico City

Ideal for Agile Development

Mexico is an ideal destination for Agile development. The local culture emphasizes strong relationships and collaboration, which aligns perfectly with the iterative, teamwork-focused nature of Agile development. So if you’re looking for a new location to take your Agile projects to the next level, Mexico might just be the answer!

I know I’ve been wildly crazy about Mexico’s tech industry. However, as you likely guessed, it can’t be all sunshine and rainbows, so now let’s explore the disadvantages.

Don't Let Borders Hold You Back – Try Nearshore Hiring Solutions in Mexico.

Disadvantages of Nearshoring Software Development to Mexico

Mexico has become a destination of choice for companies looking to take advantage of lower costs and skilled labor. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are some potential drawbacks to this approach. To get the real scoop, I grilled TurnKey’s People Management Department, as they are on the ground working with clients and have first-hand experience.

Disadvantages of Nearshoring Software Development to Mexico | TurnKey

Bureaucracy and Legal Compliance

Mexico may be a land of tacos, tequila, and sunshine, but when it comes to business, it can be a bit of a legal minefield. The country’s legal system is about as complex as a Rubik’s Cube, with different regulations and requirements at both national and local levels. For companies that are not familiar with the ins and outs of Mexican law, it can be a bit of a disadvantage. Failure to comply with the regulations can result in legal battles, fines, and your company’s reputation taking a hit.

At TurnKey, clients have no headaches regarding legal complexity and risk. Our Rest Easy! Promise ensures you can focus on building a team while professional counsel takes care of your legal part. This is a quick summary of the promise:

Rest Easy! Promise | TurnKey

Protracted Hiring Process

Companies looking to snag the best of the best in the local talent pool have to navigate a competitive market filled with other multinational corporations and local businesses vying for the same skilled employees. But hey, no need to stress – with the right strategies and resources, it is possible to make it through the hiring process in one piece (and with a killer team of software recruiting gurus, to boot).

Work Culture Differences

Work culture differences can throw a wrench into things. Mexican companies tend to have a more formal and hierarchical approach to management, which can affect how you work with their software engineers. And don’t forget about expectations around work hours, breaks, and vacation time. It’s important to keep these things in mind to avoid any conflicts or misunderstandings. But hey, every culture has its quirks, right? Just make sure to do your homework and it will be smooth sailing.

Upfront Costs for Establishing Operations

So, you are considering opening a local office to nearshore your software development to Mexico, huh? Good call! But before you pack up your bags and head south, you gotta be ready to shell out some serious cash upfront. We’re talking setting up an office, hiring staff, and getting equipment. And if you’re a small or medium-sized software development company yourself, this can be a pretty daunting task. On top of that, you gotta remember that there’s gonna be ongoing costs like rent, utilities, and salaries. It’s all gotta be factored in if you wanna make sure you’re still saving on costs in the long run.

Yourshoring Benefits | TurnKey

Still, you don’t need to go that far – we live in a world of remote. Call our white-glove account managers that live next door, or even grab a beer with them to learn more!

Connect With the Best Developers in Mexico With TurnKey' Hassle-free Hiring Solutions.

Alternatives to nearshore development in Mexico

Alternatives to nearshore software development in Mexico include offshore development in countries like Brazil, Bulgaria, Ukraine, or the Colombia, where the tech talent pool is vast and cost-effective. Onshore development within your own country is another option, offering closer cultural alignment and time zone proximity but typically at a higher cost. Each alternative comes with its own set of advantages and trade-offs related to cost, communication, time zone differences, and cultural alignment.

Building a Dedicated Tech Team in Mexico: Summary

Being a remote-first work advocate, I learned a lot about hiring and building tech teams across the globe. If you’re looking to tap into top talent for your tech company, Mexico is the place to be. With a young, educated population and a rapidly growing tech industry, Mexico is quickly becoming a hot spot for companies seeking skilled workers.

Building a dedicated tech team in Mexico isn’t as simple as posting a job listing. It requires careful consideration of language barriers, cultural differences, and legal requirements. Despite these challenges, building a tech team in Mexico can be incredibly rewarding for your company. With the right approach, you can find the skilled workers you need to take your company to the next level. 

At TurnKey, we’re here to help you along the way. Just drop us a line, and we’ll be happy to assist you with everything from navigating legal requirements to finding the right talent for your team. Why wait? Start building your dream team in Mexico today – join Turnkey’s list of nearshore partners, including well-known technology startups Headspace, Glorify, BellXCel, to take advantage of all that this incredible country has to offer.


Is Mexico a good choice for nearshore software development?

With its proximity to the United States, it's a convenient choice for American companies to outsource their needs. But convenience isn't the only factor. Mexico has a booming tech industry, with a strong focus on software development. In fact, it's the second-largest exporter of software in Latin America, after Brazil. And with a rich culture and talented workforce, it's no wonder why more and more companies are choosing Mexico for their software development nearshoring needs.

How many software developers are in Mexico?

According to Statista, Mexico had over 225,000 software developers, making it one of the largest tech hubs in Latin America.

January 1, 2024

TurnKey Staffing provides information for general guidance only and does not offer legal, tax, or accounting advice. We encourage you to consult with professional advisors before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business or legal rights.

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