There is a lot of advice out there on how to determine if certain talent is right for your company, but there is not a lot that talks about how to put the right group together in such a way that optimizes their teamwork and individual strengths. It’s largely about knowing what personalities work well and what each person can bring to the table, which can be a challenge in itself. Then you have to do that with a team of remote software and app developers who may never work in the same room or office.
However, having hired numerous groups of developers, I’ve started using a process to help put the right team together, which other IT departments can implement using similar parameters.
Talent Counts, But Motivation And Ambition Matter More
It’s critical to have the right skill set, of course. However, I have found that choosing developers who are motivated and passionate about what they are doing though they may have a smaller or newer skill set is better than just picking those with years of experience. Enthusiasm is so important in a technical team environment where everything could go wrong or personalities clash.
When you have self-motivated developers who want to see a project through, they will figure out how to get it done with their own skills and make the necessary decisions. It’s that passion and drive behind motivation that can be one of the most important ingredients. Of course, that also means you have to give them a project that really motivates them and that they care about enough to keep working at it.
Time Zone And Culture Alignment
Although there is a lot to be said about having a global team, it’s not the same for developers. Those teams I’ve put together with people who worked in different time zones and represented a mix of cultures did not work well.
If you want to use developers in India, put the whole team in that country so they can work together effectively. Or, if it’s another country or the United States, make sure they are all in a similar time zone and share similar ideologies. It facilitates working on technical issues so much easier because there is not a language or productivity barrier to the development work.
Balance And Proportion
It’s not just the type of people; the process of picking the most effective development team is also quantitative. You don’t want to have too few or too many developers. A balanced size for most developer teams and their projects is about five to seven developers. An example of what this looks like is to have one or two front-end and one or two back-end developers, a UI/UX designer, a QA or QC person and a project manager.
This is a manageable group that can divide up the work in a balanced way, especially when they work remotely and not all in the same location. As your company grows and projects get larger, it makes sense to have approximately the same number of people work together but create multiple teams, one for each aspect of the project.
The Right Tools And Resources
The skill sets and knowledge of developers are behind the ultimate success of the developer team and what they are building. However, it can also be said that people are also only as good as the tools and resources you give them. Since the team will be remote, they will need more collaboration and communication tools.
You will need to make sure the team understands how to use these tools and that they are open and willing to use them as part of a team. You want to have a team of teachable and open-minded developers that value regular and clear communication and are excited about learning new tools.