Remote software development team: its benefits and management tactics

15.06.2022 Oleg Bychek

Table of contents

How can you be sure that you will build a successful remote software development team? First, establish a baseline with a clear idea of the product you want to produce. Second, hire the right people for your future development team. Let’s discuss these and other steps, as well as the benefits of a remote development team, in detail.

Benefits of a remote development team

  1. Access to the best talent pool
    Currently, talented people are distributed worldwide, and hiring a remote software development team is a great chance to get the best of them.
  2. Cost optimization
    Developing countries usually offer attractive tax breaks that can lower transaction costs for technology companies. As a result, a remote software development team will cost you less than the same in-house team. In addition to lower labor costs, you will also enjoy lower operating costs for equipment, procurement, office rent and maintenance (if any), IT infrastructure, and more.
  3. Risk reduction
    A remote development team scales up or down easily. You can start with 2-3 developers to test their work and then scale up to a team of 10, 50, or even 100 people. Hire more engineers to meet new business needs or fire them if you decide to close. And with the right engagement model, you can secure the finance you need to invest in development.
  4. Acceleration of processes
    The extra workforce will certainly speed up product development and get you to market faster. Distributed teams, whether a remote game development team or any other, also help keep your business running around the clock by bringing in people from different time zones.
  5. Development of new markets
    Large pools of IT talent are often supported by a strong startup ecosystem in the region. If you are interested in entering new markets, starting with an employment relationship can be a good idea to learn more about the local IT industry.

remote software development team

What to look for when hiring remote software developers?

Good programmers are team players

The era of programmers who simply write quality code is gone forever. Especially in software development, you need talented engineers who are also good at communicating.
The success of your future product depends on effective communication and good relationships between team members. Look for candidates who are happy to share their experience of achieving a goal with the team, discuss conflicting opinions, and acknowledge the individual contributions of their colleagues. Look for people who not only create great software but also strive to get things done and succeed as a team, not just collecting stars for their crown.

They are proactive

The developers you need to look for won’t sit back and wait to be given a task. They will want to join your company not only because of the compensation but also because of the interesting and challenging project. This is where motivation comes in. They will ask questions, offer their opinion on the best way to organize sprints, etc. And even if their ideas are not always good, they spark a thought process in other employees.

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They take responsibility

“Responsibility” is the most common soft skill you’ll come across on a resume. While it’s almost impossible to guess if a candidate is really responsible, you should still try to find out. Ask how they plan their day, prioritize tasks, write reports, and deal with unscheduled fixes, aligned meetings, or even rollbacks.

They seek to step outside their comfort zone

The ideal members of a great remote software development team show sincere self-learning and enjoy learning new skills. They are great at taking on new challenges that require you to get out of your comfort zone. Ask them what they would do if they were offered to temporarily take over the duties of their colleague in area X and see how easily they accept. Beware those who say that if a specific task is not on their list of responsibilities, they will not do it without additional payment. You will have endless arguments about who does what and how much.

remote development team

Number of people working remotely

What is the perfect team size?

A typical productive remote software development team consists of 5-7 people. This size allows each team member to fully immerse themselves in the details of the project and understand the scope, problems, and possible solutions. If there are more than seven people on the team, you need to establish guidelines and work processes and always make an effort to coordinate the group (or hire someone to coordinate for you).
As you build your development team, promote a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. Medium and large organizations prefer to create innovative management processes and use innovative software. However, if you’re a team of ten and aren’t prepared for the extra expense, keep it simple. Take in fresh ideas from your development team by organizing regular discussions to identify areas for improvement and set aside time for sprint reviews after each iteration.

When working remotely, the efficiency of systems and processes becomes much more critical. Relying only on the talent of employees will not work here. The mistakes of management are much more serious and are immediately evident. A remote software team can save a lot of money, but when working with it, especially at the beginning, much more accuracy and care are required.

FAQ

What is a remote development team?

A remote IT development team is a group of professional engineers or developers located at a remote destination. They usually work in an office rented by their employer or from home. Such a team can meet the essential business needs of any company, but traditionally technology companies (both small and large) developing their products use this model the most.


What are the most popular models for hiring a remote development team?

IT outsourcing and IT outstaffing.


What is IT outsourcing?

If you decide to outsource software development, you will get a team capable of implementing your project 24/7. Outsourcing IT professionals is more profitable than hiring them, especially when you need to test the MVP or strengthen the team quickly. Software development outsourcing is a modern approach to solving your business problems by connecting a team of professionals. IT companies take on the task of creating and changing software: analytics, software development, and strengthening or replacing the development team.


What is IT outstaffing?

Outstaffing agencies can provide you with a remote custom software development team. In this case, the client gets access to the team within the framework of one contract: programming, layout, design (including banner rendering), DevOps, and consulting. Integrations, including API creation, are also included, as well as the ability to strengthen the project with a manager (project management) and a QA team (testing).

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