Offshore Software Development: Best Practices to Use

July 20, 2017 / in Blog, IT Outsourcing, / by Number8

Outsourcing often has a negative connotation. The general public thinks of an impersonal, rigid work environment where employees do not necessarily feel invested in the work they do. In actuality, offshore outsourcing is an extremely amicable practice. Especially today where technology allows for fluid communication across borders, offshore employees feel as much a part of a company as those onshore. To ensure this stays a reality, employees have a responsibility to dedicate time and effort into strengthening relationships among coworkers and clients. Below we have gathered a few of the best practices in offshore software development.

Full-Time Onshore LeaderBest Practices in Offshore Software Development

Important to have a leader who is fully dedicated to the success of the company. Some people think that they can supervise an offshore team in addition to all their other responsibilities. But really there should be one team member whose main position is to work with the offshore developers so that they get the attention they deserve.

Corresponding Offshore Team Leader

To complement the onshore team leader, there should be an equal counterpart within the offshore site. This employee should be responsible for checking in with the onshore leader on a frequent basis. This will allow for constant updates regarding current projects and assignments to ensure that all teams are fulfilling their duties.

Schedule Video Chat Meetings

Even if you can’t always be face-to-face with offshore employees, technology today allows for personal communication in other ways. Take advantage of platforms such as Skype, Google Chat, or Slack for regular meetings.

Build Community

Onshore and offshore teams should communicate as often as possible to create a cohesive work environment. If the company lacks unity, it will show in the quality of work and level of engagement.

Curate Small, Skilled Teams

Hiring the most skilled and motivated software developers is obviously a priority for any company. However it is especially imperative when it comes to offshore relationships. The added miles and potential time difference presents a more demanding environment and requires committed employees.   At Number8 we always work to use the best practices in offshore software development between our teams in Louisville, KY and Costa Rica. If you're interested in learning about outsourcing and offshore software development, read more here.

How to Identify a Team Player for Your IT Department

February 15, 2017 / in Careers, IT Team Player, / by Number8

Everyone is familiar with the phrase “there is no ‘I’ in team” and the meaning behind it. We’re all taught from a young age that achieving a goal is much more probable when you work with others. This school of thought is usually applied to sports; however, teamwork is crucial if you want to succeed in the world of IT, too. Often in the field of IT projects are not assigned individually, but in more of a scrum approach. This approach to product development and problem solving makes it impossible to avoid working as a team member in order to complete the assignments at hand. To have a successful work environment where teamwork is embraced and applied to daily tasks, employers must hire team players. This begs questions to any company looking for great tech help. What is a team player? And how do I look for one? Looking for a team player?It’s hard to identify a team player if you don’t know what to look for. Unfortunately, in most situations, employers aren’t able to see if their hires have the qualities of a team player until they are put in the group environment where those qualities are used. Most team players do share certain qualities, though. And if employers can identify those qualities through the interview process then they will be able to identify potential hires that would work well in a team environment.

Three Traits of a Team Player

  1. They work well with others.

    The most tell-tale sign of a team player is their ability and willingness to work with others. If an employee resists working with co-workers then teamwork is going to be very challenging. By working together, coworkers build relationships and strengthen communication skills. These qualities can take a team far in the work environment. By having a better sense of community through strong relationships, employees are able to act as one in many situations. Whether that situation may be supporting one another in tough client situations or coming together to address a company-wide issue – being a strong team as a whole will make those hurdles easier to jump over. A team comprised of players that work together effectively also brings more focus in meetings and throughout the work day. If one employee does not want to be a part of the team then this has the potential to cause a rift in the social settings of the work environment. This usually leads to distractions on an interpersonal level among coworkers.
  2. A focus on common goals.

    Another trait of a team player is willingness to help others in order to reach common goals. When set in a team based environment, projects are presented to groups of employees. If a new hire is a team player then working in this situation will be beneficial to them. Furthermore, employers will watch them flourish. A team player that can set aside personal goals for the common good is optimal for an IT team. Even better is a team player who helps with common goals as well as others individual goals. Helping others speaks volumes about a person and guarantees success within the team environment. By helping others to reach their goals and group goals, the sense of community becomes even stronger.
  3. Being able to handle disagreement effectively.

    A third trait common among team players is the ability to listen to a coworker’s point of views. Even if they may not agree with them, they can come to an agreement on issues within the work environment. If a person is too stubborn to give way on issues then the team environment is not one that they will flourish in. Putting aside personal issues when in the work environment and also having the capability to listen to other’s points of view and find a middle ground is very important in a team-based office environment.
Offices that are built on collaborative team environments and focus on a building teamwork oriented cultures are becoming more popular. Seeing how effective the ideology of teamwork is when applied to sports, CEOs are borrowing that concept and applying it to office environments. In order for this to be a successful approach, hires and contractors must be team players. Finding good team players means focusing on skillsets that include: working with co-workers, helping others reach their goals, and being able to concede on personal points of view to come to mutual agreements in the work environment will guarantee success for the new hire in the office environment. At Number8, we provide high quality IT talent to businesses of different sizes and sectors. Our success comes from how our team works best as an extension of our client’s team in their office environment. We are a company built on team players and this is an important part of what makes our entire business model a success. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8, or hiring a Number8 IT team player to join your team, give our offices a call at 502-890-7665 today!

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