5 tips on how to work effectively with remote developers
By ZOLTAN PERESZTEGI
Working remotely on software development
The interconnectivity provided by the internet through increasingly modern technological devices has reduced (and in some cases virtually eliminated) the physical barriers to communication and interaction between people, creating a new form of relationship and greatly expanding the possibilities for problem solving and product creation. When it comes to software development, it is increasingly common to have projects involving people from different areas, in different offices and even in different countries communicating with different languages. This integration enables resource sharing for more effective and agile solutions.
A few years ago, when the internet was not so widespread and fast and markets were more closed, control of such projects was highly complex because it required a great deal of communication and synchronization effort. Often projects with scattered members became unviable for these reasons. Working remotely more and more has become the goal of many software development professionals around the world and is undoubtedly a growing scene. Remote work requires a lot of responsibility – after all, it depends solely on your discipline and motivation. Discipline, because working from home, others your children will want attention. If you are unable to clearly plan daily activities as well as set goals for activities, remote work may not be the alternative. Motivation, since not everyone can police themselves to wake up at the right time, stay productive without having a coordinator or tech leader by their side pulling or even without being in a contagious work environment. Migrating to remote work is a trend for years to come, but change requires developer maturity and an early effort to avoid future problems. For those who want to work remotely, the most important of all is discipline and communication. Working from home or wherever is not an easy task, you have many more things that can get in your way and get you out of focus.
Methodologies that favor asynchronous work
Some development methodologies favor remote work more than others. Since the work will be done asynchronously (that is, each member performs their duties without having to be on the same page as the others), this planning should allow the whole process to be broken down into individual, more malleable steps that can be snapped together as in one. A jigsaw puzzle. Scrum, for example, is an agile framework used in this remote development model, and is a good way to solve its management. In it, the team defines a backlog of activities to do and organizes each step into sprints. With a shared tracking of everything being done (called a burndown chart), all team members are able to do their work independently but still get a sense of everything going on to achieve the goal.
Tips to improve the remote software development work
1. Manage your time
The first big challenge is knowing how to manage your time! And I say that not only for those who work remotely, but for those who work allocated as well. Our area is constantly evolving and we need to be always studying and updating. Procrastination is a serious problem and there are several ways you can do to try to reduce it.
And coupled with good time management comes the discipline, a remote developer needs to maintain that discipline, no matter how distracting they are, to focus on what’s important and necessary so that they can do the other things they want. Therefore, set times for starting and ending functions, taking into consideration the lifestyle you are looking for and the purpose you have in the world.
2. Be organized and know how to list priorities
Sorting tasks in order of priority is of utmost importance when working remotely. In some projects there will be a person in charge of management who will indicate priorities, but in others not. Ideally, you have or develop the necessary autonomy to attack what is most relevant at any given time, and also to know that the level of urgency can change from time to time.
3. Maintain constant and effective communication
Unsurprisingly, home office developer work is only possible thanks to the internet. It is also the basis for communication between project members, which is even more important when acting remotely. It is common to even start and end the day with some email, message or conference by some video application. In an agile development model, communication is one of the pillars, so the use of collaboration tools is essential to keep communication practical, fast and effective.
The best way to achieve transparency is by betting on communication tools. Whether it’s messaging or work sharing, you need technology support to help your remote work. Remember that effective communication is important because it generates transparency throughout the process (agile or traditional). Mismatched information not only decreases productivity, but also causes unnecessary friction between employees or development centers.
Therefore, it is essential to have a way to share all the information about the process in real time, in an open documentation, messages between members and productivity charts available to everyone.
4. Do care about your environment when working from home
Working from a distance is very convenient because it allows you to create a comfortable office to program, design or manage people involved in an IT project. In addition to warmth, the work environment should be well equipped, with desks, chairs, computers, notebooks and books, as well as a stable, fast and secure internet connection. Decorating your table is also worth it. Remember that you will spend most of your day in this space, hence the importance of it (which can eventually be converted into a coworking) for your performance.
5. Use collaborative development platforms
You can get even more productivity if planning and communication are tied to a collaborative development platform, cloud utilization, and other tools that support distance work. This is because the ideal in such processes is for the manager and team leader to be concerned with setting goals and doing the best work at the best time, without wasting effort trying to build a structure behind what really matters: development of your product or service.
With digital transformation taking over companies in every industry, the ability to have a team working remotely is a solution for gaining productivity, efficiency and quality of delivery, as well as the cultural aspect of being able to work with people of different nationalities, cultures and backgrounds. Ways of thinking that generate innovation and creativity in the process.