Setting up a remote team of developers

Success comes with its own set of headaches. Having to scale up your development capabilities to be able to capitalise on the opportunities ahead poses a lot of questions which need to be considered. 

In a world where software developers are hard to come by in most countries, finding developers wherever they may be is the first, and probably the most important consideration to make. And with the reverberations of the pandemic expected to be with us in the coming months, it is likely that this talent will have to be managed in their home country. 

So what things should one look into when deciding on the country to set up a remote team? 

The first, and most obvious question, relates to whether the country has a steady supply of talent. Stories abound of companies that have ventured in particular territories, only to find that the non-availability of talent is nearly as acute as in their own home country. Equally important is the country’s infrastructure which should be reliable. Sounds obvious? Well, make sure you don’t take things for granted. The cost of talent could also be considered, although nowadays the discrepancies between countries in the developing world are shrinking as more and more companies seek to find great talent wherever that may be. 

Then there is the time zone coverage, which is many times correlated not only to physical distance, but also cultural. And by culture here we don’t only mean communication, work ethic, but also the resulting approach to employment legislation and taxation 

Having decided on the country to set up the team, you then need to determine how to proceed with recruitment. You may decide to do this part yourself, but having to contend with job boards in a foreign language is no mean task. Using a recruitment agency is possibly a better option, albeit at a much higher cost.

So that’s the easy part. Now let’s talk about what happens after you set up the team. 

Probably the most crucial part is having a well though-out onboarding process that engages new members and allows them to start contributing value quickly. This may include clear documentation and thorough wikis, meetings with different team leads, pair programming starting well-defined small tasks, an assigned mentor to assist new team members, frequent one-to-one meetings, setting clear expectations and measure progress against them, etc.   

From then on, the main challenge lies in creating an environment which keeps people motivated and encourages open communication and teamwork, eliminating any real or perceived Us vs Them” mentality between remote teams and the in-house teams. 

Overcoming communication barriers necessitates consistent communication, frequent meetings to maintain focus, and effective collaboration tools, such as using video where possible to maintain a more personal approach.  

Make sure that you work with experts in setting up and nurturing remote development teams. Cleverbit Software is here to help you with that as we have done this many times….successfully! 

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