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How to Hire and Build a Successful Remote Software Development Team


#Custom Software Development
Need to engage a team of developers to work on a project remotely? Here are things to consider when hiring and building a successful remote software development team.

The world has turned to running many business processes remotely in the past years. This trend has particularly grown in the last 18 months due to the pandemic. Hiring a team of software developers that will work on a project remotely remains a very popular request. The questions is how to make sure you select and hire the team that will keep your business moving forward?

Here are some of our thoughts to help you find the right software development team that works remotely and fulfils your business goals.

Hiring overall is a challenging and a bit of a lottery process. We all know examples when promising candidates in theory failed to meet expectations in practice. Therefore, hiring the right team of developers should base on multiple selection criteria. Let us see what they are.

1. Team players

Successful developers must be good team players. The ability to share ideas and communicate with other project participants is key for any project size. Therefore, pay attention to how willing the potential developers are to engage with other project players and check their understanding of the common goal to ensure project’s successful outcome.

2. Proactivity

The ability to follow instructions is important for most projects; however having a team of good performers is not enough in this case. You need developers, who ask questions and share opinions, who are passionate about what they do and eager to transform that passion into actions. This does not guarantee that all the suggestions will work, but it certainly sets the right vibe to brainstorm ideas and get better results.

3. Responsibility

We all want a responsible team who treats your business as their own. The tricky part is it is hard to spot if your candidates are responsible or not at the stage of interviewing. Try to prepare a few questions or simulations, in which your developers can demonstrate this ability. For instance, ask them how they would react if things do not go to plan, or how they prioritise tasks and plan multiple assignments etc.

4. Out of the comfort zone

Knowing what you are good at is great, but a successful software development team needs to be able to go out of their comfort zone and be ready to do things differently. Constant yearning for learning new skills, expanding boundaries and the ability to take on other members’ functions is a solid proof for your dream team.

Now, what if you need to build a successful remote development team?

The secret to establishing a solid team lies within common goals, shared values and work ethics.

As your team members may not necessarily be based in one office or premises, apart from having clear work processes, including effective onboarding, your job is to make sure everyone understands the project and has a clear vision of the software they will be developing.

Raising a successful team stands on three pillars: Educate – Engage – Empower.

Educate. Make sure each of your team member is well familiar with their role in the project mechanism. Have a release plan with deadlines, deliverables and resources needed to achieve your goals. Estimate the risks and work through ways to manage them. Ensure efficient communication on all levels; make sure your team members know who to approach if things go not to the plan or if issues arise. Have this information available to your team at all times in writing, so they have a guide they can follow if needed.

Engage. Create an environment where your team feels welcome and encouraged to share their ideas and exchange opinions in an open and friendly manner. Invite them to participate in project meetings and feel part of the process for the future success. Encourage their initiative and allow them taking on extra tasks from the release plan.

Empower. Increase your team’s ownership of objectives and their roles in the success of a common goal. A great team will have the confidence to manage their work independently. Developers will know what to do should the project require them to work on a self-directed basis or within a team. Empower them to make decisions both within their area of responsibility and as a team.

Every project needs a structure in place. Roles and responsibilities of your remote development team will depend on the project needs. Whatever they are, make sure every team member has a detailed description of their roles and responsibilities in writing.

As a rule, a proper functioning remote software development team comprises 5 to 7 members. They are enough to engage into project details, know the scope, understand challenges and work out solutions. Larger teams normally require a supervisor and more detailed workflow processes.

The team structure consists of core and additional functions.

Core functions:

Additional functions:

– Frontend and backend engineers

– Team lead

– QA engineer

– Business analyst

– Product owner

– UI/UX Designer

– Project manager

– Scrum master

– Chief architect

Depending on your project, you will certainly need frontend and backend engineers. While you may do with a full-stack engineer at an earlier stage, you will need to engage an experienced senior engineer later in the day. This will be worth the investment and will save you from the trouble of multiple mistakes. In addition, an experienced engineer provides better flexibility if the need for additional skills arises, for instance switching coding languages.

QA engineer checks the software before launching and fixes bugs and errors to eliminate any issues with software performance. This team member makes sure the final project meets the initial project requirements.

Product owner is the person responsible for implementing product requirements by the software development team. This team member plans the scope of work and makes sure all tasks in the backlog are done.

Project manager is the key figure who manages communication processes on all levels, controls meeting the deadlines, stays in charge of project documentation and budgeting and leads the team.

Team lead can be part of the development team and is responsible for the technical side of the project development, including resources required for project implementation.

Business analyst focuses on the benefits that the new software development will bring to the business. This team member is also responsible for analysing challenges and opportunities that may arise once the new software is built and keeps budgeting, planning and reporting under control.

UI/UX Designers are part of the team responsible for the looks and functionality of the final product. They make sure the end users receive great customer experience using the software.

Scrum master, often acts as Project manager, is responsible for implementing and following Agile principles by both development team and the client, so that they do not interrupt sprints with unwanted features. Any changes in the software should be sent to the Product owner and put in the product backlog, if not agreed otherwise.

Chief architect is the person responsible for coordinating work between various software development teams when the project is complex and of considerable scale. Having several software developments teams engaged in one project often leads to challenges and complex technical changes. This is when Chief architect steps in to coordinate multiple teams and ensure smooth operation.

As you can see, the project determines how large your team of developers should be. Whether you decide to hire or build a team of remote software developers, remember that a good team can manage their work and tackle project development without supervision. Here at Magnise we have a number of successfully implemented projects when we had to find the right team of developers for our clients. Our expertise allows us taking projects of various scopes and we will be happy to take on yours. Contact us to find out how we can get you the team that will successfully build the software based on your project requirements.


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