Ever worked with remote software engineers? If not, you probably have a lot of questions about what it’s like to recruit, hire, and manage people remotely. Even if you do have experience working with outsourcing vendors or freelancers, building your own development team with Daxx will likely be a bit different than what you’ve done in the past.
In this post, we decided to gather the most frequently asked questions about setting up and managing a remote team with Daxx, and answer all of them in one go to help you get a better understanding about what it means to partner with us.
Before we get started, let’s take a look at the list of questions:
- When I partner with you, what’s the first step?
- What can I do to help my team deliver great results?
- Once my team is set up, what kind of support do you provide?
- What software development methodology do you recommend?
- What tools for communication and project management do you recommend?
- What’s the best way to run an effective meeting with a distributed team?
- How is managing remote employees different from managing my local team?
- Can my Daxx team take business trips to my office?
- What will my remote team’s typical work day look like?
- How can I get good results when managing a remote team?
It all starts with recruitment. At Daxx, we begin by gathering your requirements for the team, and then passing them to our recruiters who assemble a list of potential candidates and pre-screen them to make sure they’re likely a good fit. After that, we present you the best candidates for interview and, if all goes well, approval.
You’re free to give candidates test tasks, view their code samples, organize live coding sessions — anything to make sure the people you end up approving as members of your Daxx team are the right fit, both in terms of their skills and their personalities.
Don’t forget that an interview isn’t just an opportunity to select the best tech talent for your project. Software engineers are in as high demand as ever, so this is also your chance to help candidates understand what sets your project or company apart from the others.
One of the biggest mistakes companies make when they decide to outsource a project or a set of tasks is thinking that your remote employees can work without technical direction or leadership from their in-house team.
If you want to build a successful remote team, you’ll need to have an in-house employee with enough of a technical background to manage these developers. This person can be you, a Product Owner, a project manager, or a team lead.
Regardless of who’s responsible for running your remote team, they should be available for the majority of the team’s working day to answer questions and respond quickly should an urgent issue arise.
We like to think of the developers you hire with Daxx as your employees on our payroll. You manage them directly, and we’re there to handle the back-office issues that would be difficult for you to manage remotely.
- We maintain your team’s office space, provide them with fully-equipped workstations, and make sure they have everything they need to get the job done.
- Our retention managers keep your developers happy and motivated.
- Our HR/Client Managers work in the same office as your team and are in touch with updates, requests from your team, and any other issues you should be aware of.
- Daxx’s accounting and legal teams handle all administrative issues, including taxes, payroll, and managing sick days.
Since you’re the one managing your team, it’s really up to you. We can say, though, that 70 percent of our clients follow Agile, and we also offer Agile consulting and training as an optional service. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from clients who have used Agile training to make sure their internal and external teams stay synchronized.
We always leave the question of communication and management tools up to our clients, since they usually have processes in place that work for their existing teams.
Here’s what some of our clients use to stay organized and stay connected:
Studytube (E-learning platform) — Jira, Confluence, Slack, Hangouts, WorkFlowy.
AgriPlace (AgTech startup) — Jira, Bitbucket, HipChat.
Unomy (Sales and marketing intelligence platform) — Jira, Slack, Skype.
Pricena (Price comparison website) — Bitbucket, Skype, Hangouts.
- Set a clear goal that you want to have achieved by the end of the meeting.
- Invite only those team members who will be able to contribute something useful to the discussion.
- Choose the right meeting format (that is, the right duration and frequency) and stick to it.
- Break up the agenda into smaller chunks that can be handled within one meeting.
- Give your team time to get ready for the meeting.
The only difference between managing a remote team and managing a local one is that, in the case of the former, you’re not physically present in the same office. Everything else will be pretty much the same, provided that you give your remote team a good manager who has experience running a development team.
As a rule, our clients have an in-house project manager who’s in charge of managing their Daxx team.
One alternative to having an in-house project manager who’s in charge of your remote engineers is to hire a team lead in Ukraine with us. Some of our clients take this approach because they don’t have an in-house employee with the right skillset, or because they believe it’s better to have someone supervising the project who works in the same space as their remote team.
Some of our larger clients have sent their own managers to work from our offices in Ukraine alongside their development teams, and we’re always happy to provide logistical support if you want to take the same approach.
Absolutely. Whether you want to bring your developers to your office for a short get-together or a longer period of time, our travel managers will help your team with visa arrangements, transportation, and accommodation.
Another good thing is Ukrainian citizens don't require a visa to enter the EU for 90 days in a 180-day period.
Keep in mind that according to current visa laws, Ukrainians still need to obtain a visa to travel to the US, and can spend no more than 6 months there.
Each team’s working day is unique, and can vary depending on time differences, internal team processes, and client preferences. The majority of our clients’ teams, however, work a regular 40-hour, Monday through Friday, week.
Since most of our partners follow Agile, the majority of our teams start their working day with a stand-up meeting. On some teams, everyone actually stands during ‘stand-ups’, and video-conferencing tools are used to replicate the feeling of meeting in person. Some teams even do ‘planks’ when speaking to keep meetings short and to the point.
Another interesting technique employed by one of our clients is to have a large screen installed in each of their offices, onto which is projected real-time footage from each of the other offices. This creates the feeling of a shared office space, despite the fact that the different offices can be hundreds of miles away from each other.
If you have special requirements for your team’s work space, just let us know and we’ll adjust accordingly.
- Make sure that the person managing your team has experience managing remote developers.
- From day one, be very clear about your requirements for your developers.
- Allow your remote developers to take part in brainstorming and strategy sessions. This will make them feel like part of the company, which will in turn increase their motivation and sense of ownership.
- Be ready to strike compromises, especially when it comes to arranging meetings for geographically dispersed teams located in different time zones.
- Never underestimate the importance of people. Invest in face-time as often as possible, since meeting in real life is the key to getting people to connect and commit.
We hope this article went a long way towards answering your questions about building a remote development team with Daxx. If there’s something we left out, or if you want to go over these questions in more detail, send us a message using the contact form below.