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How to Manage Remote Development Teams during the Uncertain Times of COVID-19 - The Next Tech

How to Manage Remote Development Teams during the Uncertain Times of COVID-19

DrewZola
by Andrew Zola — 2 months ago in Development 3 min. read
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We now live in unprecedented and historical times. As the coronavirus or COVID-19 public health crisis spreads, whole cities, states, and even nations have shutdown to contain it.  Or some people are spreading a lot about it. Which is a fear in all of us? Us must know about coronavirus myth and fact.

However, even with “social distancing” in full-force, there’s still a lot of work to be done. The same applies to cutting-edge custom software development.

Across the United States, companies have enforced Work From Home (WFH) policies to protect their staff. These measures have wholly disrupted and transformed traditional working models overnight (with more employees working remotely than ever before).

This is evidenced by Microsoft Teams experiencing significant downtime with the sudden increase in traffic that surpassed its capacity.

The shift to working remotely will also bring some changes to the company’s work culture. But when you add the fact that we’re currently living through a pandemic, it comes with its own unique challenges.

How to Manage Remote Development Teams

1. Engage Your Remote Team Regularly

High performing software development teams are always talking to each other. So product owners and project managers should take proactive steps to accommodate the needs of individual remote developers and regularly engage them in a meaningful way.

It’s also important to create a virtual culture where they feel free and encouraged to communicate with each other during each iteration. It’s also essential for team leaders to take time out to reach out to each remote developer to discuss any potential personal challenges. Homeschooling, for example, might demand their attention during daytime hours.

However, it doesn’t have always be work-related. You can also have a casual chat while you touch base with each team member.

2. Make Self-Care a Priority

Some software engineers would have already worked-from-home before the pandemic. But these are uncertain times, so even experienced remote developers need to be encouraged to incorporate wellness practices into their daily routine.

This could be apart of your one-on-one video conferences every week. For example, you can talk about practicing mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety and stress related to these days of continuous lockdown.

3. Leverage Communication and Collaboration Technologies

Building software remotely demands robust communication and collaboration tools. With the right combination of technologies, your development team will be well placed to work seamlessly through each iteration.



Some all-in-one solutions are as follows:

  • Hive

  • Paymo

  • TipHive

Task management tools:

  • Avaza

  • Jira

  • Trello

Team communication tools:

  • Microsoft Teams

  • Slack

  • Skype

  • Zoom

4. Ensure Data Privacy and Security for Development Team

Threat actors are taking advantage of the present situation to deploy relentless cyber attacks. So it will be critical to build a solid and secure foundation where software engineers can collaborate and develop innovative products.

As your developers are already in the know, project managers just need to remind and reaffirm security best practices while they WFH:

  • Always connect via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to enterprise networks

  • Audit home WiFi connection to ensure security

  • Implement a robust backup strategy (and prepare for the worst)

  • Leverage robust encryption tools

  • Restricted access to sensitive information

  • Update all security software

5. Deploy a Healthy Feedback Loop

Whether your software engineers are working from home or on-premise, innovation comes from consistent feedback. So product owners and team leaders shouldn’t be afraid to provide clear feedback every step of the way.

This approach can go a long way to help save time and money. When everyone is on the same page, you have a better chance of developing cutting-edge applications quickly.

Also read: Google's Web Crawler Googlebot Currently runs on the Most Recent Version of Chromium: Why This Is a Fantastic thing

6. Make the Process Highly Transparent and Visible

It’s critical to know what everyone is doing at any given time to ensure that two people aren’t working on the same task. Whether your team is based in the same city or spread across the world, take steps to provide real-time visibility, so team members know what each other is working on.

7. Make Time for Code Reviews

To minimize errors and bugs in the system, make time for regular code reviews. This approach can also help limit technical debt and headaches down the road. If needed, engage in a joint code review at the end of each iteration.

To sum up, managing remote dedicated software development teams can seem challenging at first, but it’s not. With the tools and technologies available today, companies can maintain a “business as usual” approach, even during the historical pandemic.

In the same vein, once work begins, don’t be afraid to make changes and refine the process during the software development cycle.

DrewZola
Andrew Zola

Andrew is a freelance technology journalist and a regular contributor to publications like Business2Community, Hackernoon, Security Boulevard, and more. While he’s not obsessing over cybersecurity, you can find him traveling around the world with his dogs and trusty Lumix camera.

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