Working with a Remote Software Developer: 3 Essential Tips to Avoid Confusion

Even though remote software engineers can look similar on paper, why is it important to know exactly who will be working for you?

What are their individual differences and idiosyncrasies which will either make them an excellent or terrible choice as team members? Here are 3 essential tips to avoid confusion no matter where your remote software engineers are based: in Eastern Europe or Subcontinent Asia, or wherever.

1. Meet with your assigned developers at least online, but in person if possible

For this measure, it is important to talk not only to business development managers who tend to be better communicators but to the individuals who will be assigned to your team. It is important to understand how communicative these individuals are, what their level of English is and are they capable of solving complicated problems and offering solutions etc.

Particularly if you have a larger project, it makes sense to jump on a flight and visit your prospective software partners onsite & in-situ. Try to meet with the senior executives and individual developers (not just the Business Development Manager or Project Manager) and to observe their body language and how they communicate to prove to yourself that these are trustworthy people.

However, still take guard, because it is sometimes the case that companies can have good sales skills, but not the integrity to back up it. This is the reason for the measures to be taken when choosing your new software development partner.

Become Acquainted. YouTeam recognises that it is important for clients to interact with team members as soon in the process as possible and has created a means of booking time directly with remote software developers of interest.

Vadym, CBDO at Exoft argues:

“Communication is a key player when working with offshore teams. From passing the vision of the project and discussing the requirements to communicating constantly during the overall cooperation process. 

It’s extremely important to agree on communication channels and as for me, I would strongly suggest to get on with regular video calls as a must so two sides can see and understand each other better.”

2. Ensure you have someone technical on the Client-Side (i.e. CTO or Head of Tech)

It is always good to have someone technical on the client side, such as a CTO who can observe the quality of the code being developed and also assist with the technical decisions being made. Even if you are fairly experienced as a project or product manager, for instance, you still can’t read the code, as well as a lead developer, does.

It is also possible that the software development firm will try to cut corners because they might have larger projects, which they deem to be more important and hence put less effort into your product. To ensure these aspects of the offshore development process and operate correctly and efficiently, you will need a CTO.

Tip: If you don’t know of anyone suitable to act your CTO, some development companies on the YouTeam platform offer CTO-a-a-Service. All you need to do is search for the right Tech Stack and filter for some ‘Super Senior’ in that technology.

3. Provide top-notch product documentation to avoid confusion

If you don’t have necessary product documentation you can rush into development phase with an unclear product vision and build the wrong thing! So it is important that you work through a rigorous design process to clearly define the scope of works.

See our interview with professional design studio QubStudio, on this pivotal process.

Most of the design documents need to be developed on the client’s side so that you have more control over the process. In some cases, this can be used as a trial period to experience how the design/development firm and its employees operate, how quick they work and what their true resource commitment to your project is.

If you need a UX/UI designer for your project, we often have a few dozen available at any given time, accessible here

2.2 Perfect team, Eastern Europe
Written by
Tristan Senycia

Tristan Senycia is an ex-Product Manager at YouTeam.

He is also the founder of LeverPoint Advisory, which consults in the areas of commercialisation management, go-to-market strategy, High-Tech marketing strategy and customer development. 

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