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Factors to Keep in Mind When Working with Remote Developers

  • Posted by Adam Hoff
  • 30 May 2018

Proper handling of resources and personnel in a company is crucial if there is hope to build a successful business. And among the most important decisions to make is the one for hiring the right people to work with. And you shouldn’t just hire for the sake of it. Some thought and consideration should go towards finding the person with the right set of skills and experience to fill the position you have in mind.

It’s, however, not possible to get the right talent in your location. For such times, you need to consider going for a remote developer. A freelance worker can work just as well as anyone working on your company premises, if not somehow better. 

Of course, you will have to look for certain qualities in the person that you wish to hire as your freelance developer. Among the most useful features is the ability to be trustworthy, good communication skills as well as the desire to work in a diverse set of environment. 

Reasons why you need to consider remote developers

There are numerous advantages to work with a freelance developer. For one, they are capable to work at a relatively lower fee as compared to someone situated at your offices. You are also able to overcome geographical limitations to get the best developers to work with you on your project. But the greatest reason is this: developers can only work best if they are in a comfortable environment. They are usually at their most productive when working from their favorite chair at home than a desk at the office. Remote developers, therefore, get to enjoy this, which means that the quality of work they deliver to you will be top notch. In order to get the maximum benefit from working with freelance developers, you will need to take a few necessary steps. The following are some useful tips to keep in your mind when working with remote developers. 

  1. Find the right person

It’s going to be a rather tall order to work with someone whose ethics and work style does not match that of your organization. If you consider it important to keep to a strict work schedule, then you need to find someone who will fit that particular role. This will ensure that you don’t have to keep supervising them every time to carry out their duties. 

Choose a developer who has the same priorities as you when it comes to tasks such as documentation, coding of software and even testing. This will enable them to fit right into your culture as opposed to someone who constantly struggles to understand how you operate. A person who understands how you work and believes in your project will also be more willing to dedicate their time and effort towards producing the best quality work.   

  1. Excellent communication skills

A remote developer who has great communication skills in both the spoken and written form will be a great asset to your firm. Good communication is crucial, especially when dealing with the more complex aspect of the project. The developer will have to translate the instructions sent to them into the code for a particular program. A lot will, therefore, rely on their ability to understand and implement the instructions sent to them. The best developer will be that person who is adept at breaking down instructions and ideas into much simpler thoughts without being lost. 

You will also be looking for someone with the ability to listen well. Most of your conversations will be over the phone, video calls or through the email. A developer is quick to listen and grasp the concepts you are trying to communicate will be the best person to work with. 

  1. Encourage transparency and building of trust. 

Transparency and honesty are great qualities to cultivate when working with remote developers. You should endeavor to build trust with them so that you avoid any misunderstandings and misgivings they may have about you and the firm. You will need to keep them well-informed of what is happening for them to be in the know as well. Treating them as part of the team will make them feel appreciated and respected. Honesty helps to build a good working relationship which is important for any project.

  1. Consider introducing the new recruits to the rest of the team

An orientation for the new recruit to your project will be important if you wish them to catch the vision and run with it. It will be a good idea to establish a rapport with them form the word go. If it is possible, consider bringing them to the headquarters of your organization, if they can manage to travel.

This grants them the opportunity to meet the rest of the team and bond with them earlier on in the project. The relationship thus built will be crucial to the accomplishing of the goals of the project. You might also want to consider assigning the new member a mentor. A mentor is someone at the firm who will help the remote developer learn quickly what the project is all about, including the protocols to observe and the policies to be aware of. The mentor also serves as the contact person for receiving and providing feedback concerning the project.

  1. Define their roles and duties clearly 

You need to be quite clear from the onset about the roles and duties for the remote developer and what you expect them to accomplish at each stage of the project. Clearly set out in writing their duties so that they are not confused at any time. 

Try as much as possible to avoid vague job descriptions when hiring freelancers. A good way to approach this is to gather as much information as possible about the new role. This will give you a good idea of what the developer should do which you will communicate to them when you are interviewing them. Make them aware of what they will be working on and also establish the basic rules to be followed.

  1. Ensure that your developers are working hand in hand with designers

It will be good if you get both your development and design teams working in collaboration on the same project. This is particularly so if any team member works from a remote location. This is intended to minimize delays on those tasks that need to be worked on by both teams. The feedback loops are made significantly shorter thereby easing the process of communication. 

When the design and development teams work separately, it’s very possible to keep experiencing delays and confusion as a result of challenges in communication. Ensure that the remote developers and designers can be able to communicate, share ideas and provide feedback easily from the word go. It will greatly enhance the efficiency of operation and make it easier to achieve your objectives.

  1. Endeavor to meet your developers in person

Sometimes make arrangements to meet the freelance developers can work perfectly. Some companies usually plan for occasions to bring together all their remote team members at least once in a while. It could either be on a retreat or a social function. The purpose is to get the members to interact closely so that they build personal connections and relationships. 

Make appropriate plans for the team members to travel and have fun together. The benefits to be released from such an endeavor will far outweigh any expenses you are going to incur on the entire undertaking.

  1. Define the project scope and the level of commitment expected of the developer

It is important to clearly define the scope of the project and get some level of commitment from the developer. Specify what it’s going to cost them to work on the project, the time and resources they will need to commit, as well as the benefits they should expect in terms of remuneration. Once this is done, draw up a contract to capture all the details which will then be agreed to by both parties. And don’t remember to have a contingency plan in case things do not go as expected. 

In conclusion

Working with remote teams is becoming the in thing now for most companies. It gives them access to some of the best talents they wouldn’t have had by just targeting those that work in their specific location. If chosen properly, a good remote developer can be a great addition to your team to help you achieve your goals and objectives.