With the momentum the gig economy has earned, many highly qualified software developers are discovering demand for their skills abroad. For more experienced technology experts—software project managers, and development team leads, remote work offers access to a highly-skilled, flexible, resource pool, particularly if you’re seeking java developers. It can be budget friendly. It’s likely heterogenous, meaning you get access to a different point of view, new ideas and best practices in other markets free.
In short, remote projects have a lot to offer everyone: From the freshest java job seeker, to the most experienced developer, to people who want to hire them both.
So how does one get it right? What’s the right way to strike a balance between trade-offs of remote software development projects, and their promising gains? Many differences between onsite and remote software project management become obvious during the onboarding process. And by themselves, they offer a helpful guide to the challenges ahead, and how software project teams can work around them.
Time zones: If the software project is a collaboration between two parties, time zones will be relatively easy to decide. But what if your team has a java developer from Mumbai, a software project manager from New York, and an SQA resource all the way from Ukraine? Tough call.
Coordination: How complicated coordination gets depends on two factors: the length of the chain of command, and project complexity. With an experienced team who has collaborated on similar projects before, coordination will not be as big a challenge. But for newer, team members—the rookie tester, the new software engineer, whose performance is tied in with sign-offs, not receiving timely feedback and direction can be problematic. Continued unabated, issues emanating from poor coordination run the risk of stalling the project itself.
Communication, (Including Language Barriers): When assembling a technical team, project managers tend to place an emphasis on hard skills. But it’s usually the lack of soft skills that presents practical impediments during software project execution. While learning a new language isn’t required, it helps if you have detailed conversations before the project with the rest of your team members, to familiarize yourself with accents, jargon and turns of phrases that dominate their part of the world.
Even beyond linguistic issues, communication that’s too frequent as well the kind that’s too infrequent, can both hurt team performance. Communication that occurs too infrequently runs the risk of derailing team direction, blurring expectations and reducing motivation.
On the other hand, software teams bombarded with constant messages, reminders and notifications are at risk of losing sight of what’s important when critical messages get lost in a sea of other communication.
With milestones that are defined by deliverable instead of timeline, this can be extremely frustrating. It’s hard to streamline processes with frequent, trivial updates coming from across the world. On the other hand, it’s not unusual for project managers to shoot out a string of messages to assuage their anxiety. Many prefer reviewing updates in one go, giving instant feedback. To their team, it appears like a flood. Is there a healthy middle ground? Yes.
Conflict Management: Team conflict is inevitable, and comparatively easier to resolve if the disputes are taking F2F. But remote conflicts? Hint on what doesn’t work: Scroll-ups and screenshots might resolve the issue, but they don’t resolve the conflict.
Legal Issues: Maintaining control over NDAs and intellectual property is easier onsite. In remote technology projects, there isn’t just the issue of data theft, but legitimate access to data being misused by project stakeholders. In the typical collaboration environment, it can be hard to track and control these violations.
Even if the legal issue pertains to routine challenges, like compensation or timely payments, there can be legal issues if the problem isn’t clearly understood by both parties. Legal recourse can get tricky once project execution starts. It’s better to develop a contingency plan (i.e. “Plan B”) mentioning all these possibilities before embarking on the project.
Data Travel: Data protection has earned more importance in the wake of cyber-crime, data theft and other violations of individuals’ and organizations’ digital rights. Make sure you know the data protection laws that govern your client’s place of business.
E.g. while serving clients in Europe, be mindful of the data rights listed in the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which restricts the movement of data without explicit consent, and adds the right to erasure, access etc. California’s data protection laws reflect many of the clauses listed in the GDPR. But those in the State of Texas are more comprehensive, making provisions for data protection rights of children etc.
Whether you’re looking for software development jobs, or java developer jobs. Or even if you come from the other side of the IT recruitment spectrum—offering jobs to top talent, there is no reason your potential should be bound by geography. Remote software projects have a lot to offer aspiring technology professionals. Make sure you make the most of them!
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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