Getting Your Dev Team Right

Getting Your Dev Team Right

Alexis van Schalkwyk
January 9, 2023
Blog cover image

Getting Your Dev Team Right

Software is said to be eating up the world at an incredible pace and as this voracious system gets hungrier and hungrier, the demand for developers increases exponentially to match its insatiable appetite. For a business, this rapid change can often cause an HR nightmare, particularly when this change is largely incalculable. Your company is now faced with the challenge of discerning just how hungry the business is for software developers, the skills the specific project/s might require and how to maximize productivity in a way that inspires the output of top-quality software.

With this surging growth in software development, the prospective tech trends for 2018 alone are wildly exciting; the advancements of Artificial Intelligence (AI), white collar automation and Blockchain components are expected to become bigger, better and largely inescapable. Making sure your business software can give your clients, as well as your internal team, the best possible experience means that you need to be on point with the latest, future-facing tech and software out there.

Your software is crucial in securing your business’s future relevance and success, so getting the right development team in is an absolute must.

If you’re looking to innovate and grow your business, whether software is new to your business or you’re simply expanding current projects, we’ve highlighted some worthwhile tips below to help you get started.

Getting the right software developers for your team or business

Hiring developers to your team is like hiring any other kind of employee; you need to hire the right skills to fill the need. So, how should you go about finding the perfect piece to fit your organisational puzzle?

1. Make an investment; hire some senior developers.

Senior developers have a lot of invaluable experience to be shared amongst the more budding developers. They have the strategic know-how and development skills to make sure that the quality of your software is never compromised. They’re usually more expensive, but worth it.

2. Cultural fit is key.

Make sure your developers have the right personality to fit in with the overall organisational culture. It should be a natural and comfortable fit. Perhaps most importantly, make sure your new developer fits in with the rest of your development team (or if you’re hiring a full team, ensure they’re all a fit for each other). You want a bunch of team players who will work well together and produce the best possible software for your business.

3. Women make excellent developers.

Studies have shown that bringing female developers onto your dev team ups overall productivity levels and allows for increased innovation compared to male-only teams – yes, really! This plays into the scientific theory that the heterogeneity and diversity of team members leads to greater view points and differences of opinions, meaning a more extensive variety of skills within your team and with that greater creativity.
If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to add some #girlpower to your development team!

Keeping your software developers motivated

Once you’ve hired your rock-star dev team, keeping them motivated is your next challenge. A passion to create top quality software products should be the stimulus that gets your development team going above and beyond the set targets. Here are several tactics to help maintain a motivated and inspired group of developers.

1. Trust their expertise

Once you’ve got the right group of developers working for you, trust them and their expertise. Recognise their skills and hand of the reigns to allow them to do what they need to do to implement the best possible software solution. Don’t micromanage your developers, they won’t like it (and neither will you in the end). Developers are the artists of the future and an artist requires the freedom to come up with the solution they see as the best fit for the tasks on hand.

2. Go with technical knowledge

*Handle with care* – Should your development team ever be at a standstill or in some-kind of developer-related argument, your best course of action as a manager is to go with the right decision. What is the right decision you might ask? It most likely lies with the person with the most technical knowledge. (Going back to the first point we mentioned, make sure to get yourself at least one senior developer for your team). Throughout this process you need to make it clear that the decision is not personal and is for the good of the project and the software. Remember to be delicate about the matter.

3. Give them what they need

Make sure your development team has everything it needs to complete the task as well as maximise innovation and productivity. If your developers ask you for additional items that will assist their work, improve their productivity or make the software better – give it to them! With the rate at which both software and hardware are evolving, it’s more than likely developers will require further support to ensure your software is right on trend.

4. Help them grow

Invest in your dev team! The return on your investment will be more than worth it; the better your developers are, the better your software product is going to be. It’s as simple as that.

Upping Productivity

Keeping your software developers productive is important and requires a little extra work from management to accomplish. It may sound like an added workload but the reality is that the output and productivity generated almost always outweigh the efforts put in from management. Here’s how to go about it:

1. Non-development related work? Add it to the manager’s task list.

Seriously. Developers find non-development related work (such as “unnecessary” admin tasks) tedious and unimportant. Just let them be and leave them to do what they do best, code.

2. Set meaningful priorities.

Be realistic about development priorities and deadlines and make sure the software requirements are of high standard. Make sure your development team has a crystal-clear understanding of what’s expected of them. Then let them get to it.

3. Get the development team involved.

There are two key areas where your development team should be very vocal. Firstly, where priorities and requirements are set. Let the developers ask questions, and make sure they have all the information they need. Let them pick holes in the initial requirements – if they can find and fix something before getting started, that’s already time saved. Secondly, get the developers involved in the review process, for both performance and product. Ask them to be honest about the project and how things went, and where there might be areas for improvement.

4. Get rid of the roadblocks

There’s nothing worse than a roadblock that could have been potentially avoided. Adding a new developer to the team mid-project? Roadblock. Because getting your new developer up to speed takes a while. Switching up tasks? Roadblock. The cognitive overload that comes with constant task switching leads to fatigue and poor performance. Just don’t do these things, make sure to always have the bigger picture in mind and effectively plan ahead for it.

Software development is an essential part of any future-facing business, with a myriad of operational, productivity and revenue benefits to name, but the most important benefit to remember is this; relevance. As software products continue to take up more space in the world, becoming a leading game-changer or innovator within your industry becomes a more challenging and technical task, a task that’s almost impossible to realise without the presence of key software (as well as the developers that make it) to help drive your business forward and stay relevant.

As seen on FOX, Digital journal, NCN, Market Watch, Bezinga and more