SoftwareBY RabIT software engineering · March 04, 2020

DigitalOcean’s Currents report analyzes the most relevant trends of the software development world. As one of today’s most discussed topics in IT, last year’s survey focused on working with remote software developers.

 

Their key findings on working with remote software developers

The 4300-person survey showed that:

  • Remote work has become the new normal – Remote work is increasingly practiced and even demanded by both developers and employers. 86% percent of respondents currently work remotely in some capacity. 1/3 of them work remotely full-time.
  • Remote developers are connected – The traditional narrative states that working with remote software developers results in the remote team being disengaged from the company. This is rapidly proving wrong, with teams and employers reporting that they feel connected even while working from different locations.

 

The United States and Canada are the leading countries in terms of working with remote software developers with 44% and 43% of those surveyed working primarily remotely. The following countries are the United Kingdom with 37% and India with 25%.

 

working with remote software developers by country

Source: digitalocean.com

 

Communication tools preferred by remote software developers

The survey showed that remote teams make use of all types of communication channels and collaboration software. Business collaboration software like Slack and Skype are most preferred, followed by instant messaging, email, phone (either texting or calling) and Video conference tools (GoToMeeting, Zoom, Hangouts, etc.)

 

Source: digitalocean.com

 

We can testify to this ourselves, as we also use Slack and Skype most often while working remotely with our clients.

 

How to mitigate the challenges of working with remote software developers

While it is quickly becoming common practice, remote development work still provides unique challenges and obstacles teams must overcome to reach success. You’ll find that communication, project management as well as technical aspects of software development all require a bit different mindset in a remote setting.

We have plenty of experience with this topic, as our team works 100% remotely with every client. After completing 40+ international custom software projects, we’ve gained some very valuable insights and experience about the dos and don’ts of remote development work.

 

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THE MOST COMMON CHALLENGES APPEAR IN THE AREA OF:

Onboarding

Introducing new team members to a large codebase requires quite a lot of time and effort. Under codebase we mean a whole collection of source code that is used to build a particular software system or component. If the code is messy and poorly documented, newly joined remote developers will find it difficult to understand how all pieces of the code are working together.

This is why it is extremely important to follow industry best practices and standards and to writing code. Clean code is written using suitable design patterns and is easy to read and understand for fellow developers.

Adding clear and detailed documentation is also crucial at every stage of the project. Before writing a single line of code, the first thing for new team members should be reading any available information about the project.

 

Communication

Communication-related challenges are frequently mentioned as the biggest obstacles while working with remote software developers. Collecting daily updates, discussing urgent issues, or explaining new tasks and objectives becomes somewhat more difficult if you are working in different locations, or even time zones. As remote team members often work with flexible hours as well, gathering everyone involved together in a virtual meeting room at the same time becomes a challenge of its own.

To make sure everyone is always on the same page, we schedule frequent (sometimes even daily) online meetings with our clients and other development teams. To discuss more urgent issues, our team primarily uses channels like Slack, Skype or Email.

Apart from this, we also have longer weekly meetings and a product demonstration meeting at the end of each development sprint (every 2 weeks). This may sound like a lot, but the people we work with really appreciate having such a deep insight into the project at all times.

 

Tracking progress

Without version control and issue tracking systems, working with remote software developers would be an absolute nightmare. They make web projects much easier to implement and manage in particular. Version tracking allow each team member to work on any file at anytime without having to worry about overwriting current versions, or wasting time locating where the latest iteration of a file is being stored.

Issue tracking tools have proven particularly useful for project managers and product owners to oversee complex development projects. Everyone can see scheduled work tasks and what each developer is working on at all times. We like to invite our clients into our issue trackers to help them see exactly what we’re working on at any given stage of the project.

During our remote development projects we mainly use Asana, Jira or Trello for issue tracking, and GitLab, GitHub or BitBucket for version tracking.

 

Feeling disconnected

If someone works as part of a remote team for a longer period of time, they often feel like they’re not as valuable to the team as the people working on site. This can lead to them overworking themselves to contribute as much as possible, or to them feeling depressed and demoralized.

Meeting the remote team in person and organizing team building events can have a great effect on morale. It can also help everyone involved form a more personal connection. Even if your team is located overseas, we would encourage you to meet with them at least once a year, if your’re planning an ongoing cooperation.

 

To Summarize

 

Remote work in software development has become the new norm instead of the exception. You are truly missing out if you aren’t utilizing the benefits of working with remote software developers. A few of these benefits are a larger available talent pool, higher employee satisfaction and higher cost-efficiency.

The development of sophisticated online communication, version tracking and issue tracking tools makes this form of cooperation more seamless and efficient than ever. New innovations in this space will continue to remove the remaining barriers of working remotely.

More niche products designed for specific roles will enter the market. Some experts also predict that AI technology will help keep an increasingly remote workforce aligned to an organization’s timelines, goals, and priorities.

With all the necessary technology at our fingertips, and the growing demand for software development experts, it’s safe to say that remote work will only become more widespread over the next decade.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

IT ProcessBY RabIT software engineering · November 27, 2018

There are a ton of reasons why a project can suffer, including poor planning and execution, or a lack of coordination. You can avoid project failure by deciding to hire a dedicated project manager. He or she will enable you to reap the promised benefits of the project.

Companies invest a considerable amount in projects to upgrade systems, develop new applications, or to roll out strategic initiatives. However, sometimes the development teams dedicated to these projects fail to deliver the desired results. This tends to happen more often in case you are working with an offshore development team.

 

What is the role of a dedicated project manager?

If you have hired an offshore development team, successful collaboration between it and your on-site team is crucial for achieving success in projects. For that, you need proper planning, clearly defined goals, and effective communication. If you also hire a dedicated project manager, they will make sure that all the requirements are met. They have the skill set to plan, organize, execute, and bring the project to a close.

 

dedicated project team

 

Dedicated project managers also play a vital role in improving the performance of the team. They make sure that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities, and the goals of the project. Not only that, but they also regularly monitor and assess the team’s performance.

There is no one right project management methodology for all cases. There are plenty of options to pick from, and the dedicated project manager selects the approach based on the specific requirements and scope, so that it doesn’t fail to deliver the expected results.

Additionally, as the onus of the project’s success is on the project manager, you are free to focus on other aspects of your business.

 

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Let’s take a look at how a project manager ensures that the projects are completed on time and on budget. They:

  • Create a clear vision.
  • Provide a framework for the project-related tasks.
  • Identify resources needed to achieve project goals.
  • Set milestones, gauges progress, and ensures they are achieved.
  • Coordinate activities between different team members — offshore team and onshore team; and mediate if there is a conflict.
  • Motivate team members.
  • Identify potential risks that are present throughout the project’s lifetime, assess them, and proactively respond.
  • Keep work on the track.

 

What to Look for When You Hire a Dedicated Project Manager

Dedicated project managers must possess the ability to oversee complex processes and break them up into smaller, more easily manageable chunks. For this they have to understand the role and objectives of each work group (designers, developers, quality assurance testers, etc.).

Of course, each task must also be communicated in a clear and precise manner. Expert communication skills are essential for every dedicated project manager. The ability to write concise and easy-to-understand project descriptions is a must-have as well. It is also very beneficial if your project manager speaks multiple languages. because internationally distributed teams are quickly becoming the new norm.

Communication skills are especially crucial if your team is working as a supplier for a group of clients. In this case, the project manager is usually also tasked with communicating with clients directly, presenting the results and handling issues or complaints.

Knowing how to use all of the most popular project management tools shouldn’t be an absolute requirement. These tools (we mention a few of them below) can be picked up relatively quickly for anyone with a basic affinity for using software. However, having some experience with a few of them can help speed up the onboarding process.

 

dedicated project manager cta

 

A Few Project Management Tips

As the business environment is changing fast and there is high uncertainty, companies can no longer take their time to complete a project. Every business has to work with limited resources, and employees often handle more than one responsibility. So, how do you defy the odds and become a successful organization? A competent and resourceful project manager can make a big difference and help manage projects effectively.

Here are some suggestions for selecting tools and methodologies:

 

Project Management Methodology

An adaptive project framework can be the best approach today, as it continuously adapts to the changing circumstances of each project. It allows you to change the project’s scope. Moreover, as the projects progress in iterative stages, the team can evaluate the previous performance at the end of every stage. Based on the evaluation, they can improve their performance.

We recommend using Scrum or Kanban project management methodologies most of the time.

Scrum is a project management framework that breaks up longer development processes into two-week periods (or sprints). After completing each sprint, the progress is demonstrated to the product owner, who can then give feedback and make adjustments to the project if necessary. Close communication and constant inclusion of the Client makes the project much more likely to stay on course and deliver positive results.

Here is how dedicated teams usually visualize development tasks with Scrum:

dedicated project manager scrum board

 

Unlike Scrum, the Kanban approach is not iterative, so it allows the software to be developed in one large development cycle. This cycle has no predefined end point. The software requirements get broken up into smaller work items, which then enter the development process in a prioritized order. A work item is not allowed to move on to the next phase until some capacity opens up ahead. This approach is more useful if fixed time frames aren’t sustainable for the project.

This is how teams visualize development tasks with the Kanban Method:

dedicated project manager kanban board

 

As you can see, in Kanban, tasks are carried out in a specific order.  New tasks have to be added at the end of the Backlog queue, and they will be executed in order.

This is not possible in Scrum, because once a set of tasks in a sprint gets defined and approved, tasks cannot be added or modified. New tasks must be added to the upcoming sprints instead.

 

Voice Communication Tools

For excellent teamwork, effective communication is essential. With voice communication platforms such as Skype and Google Hangouts, which offer audio and video group calls, remote team members can easily plan, communicate and work as a cohesive group.

 

Chat & Messaging Apps

Slack, Microsoft Teams and Facebook Workplace, the group chat tools, enable distributed dedicated teams to collaborate successfully. WhatsApp, the cross-platform messaging and VoIP service, also lets the team members to plan, organize, and share work updates.

 

Task management

Leveraging task management software such as Asana, JIRA, and Confluence, the startup’s team members can manage, organize, and track the progress of project-related tasks.

 

If you need help deciding which tools to use to track and carry out your project management tasks, have a look at this list of the best software development tools for project management.

hire a project manager cta

If you would like to learn more, read about our approach to dedicated project management here.

 

More useful Agile project management advice and resources:

Overcoming Communication and Cultural Challenges

Overcoming Challenges During the Work Process

Overcoming Challenges with Day-to-Day Operations

Overcoming Challenges from a Lack of Experience

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

SoftwareBY RabIT software engineering · October 31, 2018

Code review is a process by which developers review each other’s source code. Peer code review not only makes a better code but also makes better teams.

The two roles present in a peer code review are –

  • The author: A person who is responsible for developing the code being reviewed.
  • The reviewer: He is the person who is responsible for examining the code.

 

Commonly used forms of peer code review

 

Over-the-shoulder code review

In this type of review, the author writes a code and calls the reviewer over to have a look at it.

Benefits

  • Easy to implement
  • Fast to finish

 

over the shoulder peer code review

 

Email pass-around reviews

Most open-source projects prefer this form of code review. Here, the author emails complete files to reviewers. Reviewers then examine the files and suggest changes.

Benefits

  • Works with remote software developers
  • Easy to implement
  • Easy to involve other people
  • Doesn’t disturb reviewers

 

Pair-programming (review)

In this form of code review, two developers write code together at the same workstation.

Benefits

  • Effective at promoting knowledge-transfer and spotting bugs.
  • The reviewer is very close to the code and can provide a detailed review.

 

Tool-assisted code review

Reviewers and authors use specialized tools designed for code review. The tools are used in all aspects of the peer code review: collecting metrics, transmitting and displaying files, commentary, collecting files etc.

Benefits

  • Automated file gathering
  • Workflow enforcement
  • Automated metrics collection

 

peer code review cta

 

Why do you need to devote time for code reviews?


HIGHER CODE QUALITY

While QA testing is absolutely essential to improve the performance of your final product, code reviews are just as important. Source code reviews guarantee a higher quality code base. Not only do they improve software performance, they also allow you to expand your product and add new features much more easily in the future.

Higher code quality also leads to less time spent in handling technical debt and resolving errors. Technical debt, also known as code debt, is the expense a software company pays out due to poor development processes within its existing codebase. These debts should be resolved as quickly as possible.

Codacy conducted research and found that software developers spend about 26% of their time working on technical debt and on fixing bugs. According to the same research, code reviews have the greatest impact on the quality of the code, followed by coding style and standards and testing.

 

REDUCED COSTS

The earlier a bug is spotted the less it will cost to resolve it. Discovering and resolving errors at the early stage of development is relatively less costly as compared to the expensive process of bug fixing happening at the advanced stages of software development. An external reviewer can quickly and easily spot mistakes made by software developers.

 

IMPROVED DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

In addition to fixing bugs and improving software quality, code review improves your software development processes and the team as a whole.

 

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TRAINING NEW, LESS EXPERIENCED DEVELOPERS

Code review helps development teams train new developers and familiarize co-workers with other modules. The process of code review encourages the sharing of ideas across the team and provides an opportunity for new developers to acquire skills and improve their code’s performance. These younger developers also get an opportunity to sharpen their skills and become experts in their field. The reviewers also get to learn new ideas and techniques from the code they are reviewing.

 

BETTER ESTIMATES

Code review helps in sharing of knowledge between the reviewer and the author. The reviewer is quite familiar with the known issues in the code base and the complexity of the project. Therefore, the development team members get to know the product in detail and the software developers learn to make better estimates of the future work from the reviewer.

 

CONSISTENT CODING STYLE

Code review enforces a consistent coding style throughout a software project. This makes the code readable by developers who might have joined the project at any given time during software development.

While this might seem like a trivial matter, you can save a ton of time and resources on the long run if the source code is easy to read. This is especially crucial if we are talking about a huge code base.

peer code review coding styles

To Summarize

Peer code review should be an integral part of every software development process. Apart from fishing out errors in time, your team will also learn to work together more effectively. Less experienced developers can also learn a lot from their senior colleagues during this process.

Choosing which method you’ll use depends on your preferences and team setup. The important thing is to start implementing reviews into the development process as soon as possible.

If you would like to learn more, read about our team’s approach to conducting code reviews.

In here we talk about our process, what tools we use and what are the most crucial aspects during reviews.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

Dedicated TeamBY RabIT software engineering · October 10, 2018

With the rapid development of communication and project management technologies, the popularity of remote business cooperation is also on the rise throughout the globe. Today, you can outsource business processes easier than ever before. Be it offshoring or nearshoring you are after, there is a plethora of new tools and platforms that you use to set up a working partnership within just days. This can work really well for more simple business processes like copywriting or graphic design projects. However, when it comes to complex work processes, there is a need for deeper involvement from both parties. This is where outsharing comes in.

Outsharing stresses on working partnerships and encourages collaboration. An outsharing partner thoroughly examines your business case, reads beyond the specification lines and suggests optimization solutions. They focus on value whether it’s designing and creating new functionality, optimizing the processes, or improving the user experience.

Over the past few years, outsharing has been gaining in popularity. Many companies consider outsharing to be the next level of outsourcing software development. It is believed that in the coming years outsharing will replace outsourcing.

 

Reasons for outsourcing

Outsourcing can provide solutions to software companies and businesses anywhere in the world. Depending on where you live, you can save about 70% on hourly rates by outsourcing software development to development shops or freelancers. When you outsource your work, you don’t need to go through long and costly hiring processes.

You only need to look out for the quality of the companies’ previous work. You get access to talented and skilled labor at a low cost during outsourcing. That’s why businesses and companies consider outsourcing development in the first place.

Outsourcing partners hire talented people in their team who know how to manage different business situations. They understand how a company’s goal can be attained. External service providers are fully aware of the latest technology of the industry and are capable of providing their clients with the best services at a much faster rate.

Most importantly, outsourcing allows you to focus on the core of your business processes or invest in research or marketing.

 

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Risks associated with outsourcing

No doubt, there are numerous benefits of outsourcing internal business processes to professional outsourcing companies. However, it has its own set of flaws. There are many risks associated with outsourcing, such as potential cybersecurity attacks, poor communication, lack of cross-cultural awareness, misuse of sensitive corporate information, insufficient product quality, and management difficulties due to a lack of centralization.

Most businesses fear a lack of direction and authority when an outsourcing company is doing their work. Company personnel loses control over their own process and technologies when certain services are outsourced. The consequences can be fatal or serious. Contractual disputes can occur or the quality may suffer.

Many outsourcing companies do not bother to understand their client’s product vision and strategies. Their involvement in the product development is limited to delivering the code that matches the list of specifications. Many of these clients don’t get the product they envisioned and the quality they deserve.

Keep in mind that it is very important to choose the right outsourcing partner. Engaging with the wrong outside service provider could cost your business in terms of performance, productivity, employee morale, and financial outlay.

Read more about the most common reasons why outsourced software projects fail.

 

What exactly is outsharing and is it better than outsourcing?

Outsharing means having an equal remote partner, who is completely involved in realizing the client’s product vision and helping them reach their strategic goals. Outsharing partners not only deliver code but also function as a remote Chief Technology Officer.

They offer well-reasoned and valid opinions about your product roadmap and enlighten you on how to reach your goals and objectives in the most effective manner. Outsharing partners will also tell you about new technologies that are worth adopting for your company. They also have the soft skills to build strong relationships with their clients.

Outsharing partners need to share the same product vision, and truly understand each other’s organization. Both parties need to invest time and effort and communicate openly. Keep in mind that open communication is essential to remote business success. You should encourage your outsourcing partners to share their concerns and ideas, both negative and positive. This will give them the sense that they are valued. Ineffective communication, on the other hand, can easily lead to project failure.

Outsharing is necessary to develop and create complex technology solutions and products that make life better and easier. It is for companies that want constructive expert input and deeper involvement from their outsourcing partner.

 

To sum it up

If you have concerns about the risks that are associated with traditional outsourcing, outsharing could be your solution. Think about your outside IT service provider more like a strategic business partner. By gaining full access to their unique perspective and technological expertise, you can gain even more value than you would from an in-house IT department. The principles of outsharing help you gain more and more value over the long term instead of focusing on the completion of single projects.

If any of this sounds appealing to you, we would love to talk more about the topic. Visit our website and feel free to drop us an email with your questions. Thank you for reading!

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

IT ProcessBY RabIT software engineering · September 05, 2018

The methodologies used in an Agile development process follow the Agile Manifesto. The Agile Manifesto is a guideline that is based on continuous improvement, the input of the team, flexibility, and the delivery of results with good quality.

Although the principles of Agile are well-defined, companies that have nobody with Agile experience will most likely face many challenges while adopting these methodologies. They should not try to adopt an Agile development process word for word. Instead, they should experiment and create a version that best meets their projects, clients, team members, and organizational structure.

 

Resolving budgeting problems

Unplanned or poorly defined product requirements can easily make a project run out of money and time. This can give rise to conflict between the development team and clients.

Clients say that the development team failed at estimating time and money for tasks. The development team, on the other hand, says that the unplanned tasks were not on the initial list of requirements.

Actually, it’s the mix of both. Clients did not talk about important details while communicating their requirements. If one can’t communicate important details to other people, it makes their jobs more complicated. At the same time, the developers do not have the same level of in-depth knowledge into the client’s industry. That’s why they were not able to estimate these requirements.

Understanding the client’s business is key to collecting requirements effectively. Knowledge of the business of the clients will allow you to form a positive professional relationship with them.

To resolve the budgeting problems, communication between the clients and developers should be improved. Unplanned tasks will not come up if more detailed information is shared.

You should stay away from fixed budget projects. Accept such projects only if the initial requirements are well-defined and documented to the letter by a very experienced expert.

 

Do not allow outside people to estimate project size

Do not allow inexperienced product owners or SCRUM masters to estimate the size of the project. They are inclined to present an unrealistic version to stakeholders to make the estimation more appealing. This creates problems for the team later.

Also, avoid allowing individuals outside the team to estimate for the developers. The members of the development team absolutely have to be included into the estimation process.

 

Use performance metrics to measure your team’s performance

Use performance metrics (Velocity, Estimated Complexity) to monitor the efficiency of your development team throughout the Agile development process.

Velocity, which is a key metric in Scrum, helps to measure the progress of your team. You should pay attention not to inflate tasks only to increase your agile team’s velocity. Organizing every small change into separate tasks will mean that your team completes more tasks, but your team’s velocity metric won’t show real progress.

 

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Make the daily stand up meetings effective

Hold daily stand up meetings with discipline. Do not keep meetings too long. Keep them short and focused. Give one minute to each member of the team to speak. If you want, you can also organize separate stand-ups for SCRUM team leaders. Keep in mind that each meeting is an opportunity to resolve problems, improve focus, set direction, create alignment, and move goals and objectives forward.

 

Develop your own solutions

View the Agile Manifesto only as a set of guiding principles to enhance your software development processes. There is no need to implement them in exactly the same way. Use these guidelines to develop your own solutions.

You will need to do a lot of experimentation. You should assign the person who has the most experience working with your clients, development team, and methodologies the task to create the first version of your new Agile methodology. This, together with every later iteration, should be customized to meet the requirements of your clients and company.

For example, decide the number of meetings according to how efficiently the development team interacts. If the meetings do not result in the exchange of important information, reduce the number of meetings. Use email and Slack instead. You should customize every individual work element of your new Agile methodology in the same way.

With all said, you can still follow Agile methodologies word for word. Odds are, you will be much better off if you find a solution that fits you and your clients best.

 

More helpful resources about the Agile development process:

Overcoming Communication and Cultural Challenges

Overcoming Challenges During the Work Process

Overcoming Challenges with Day-to-Day Operations

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

IT ProcessBY RabIT software engineering · August 28, 2018

The development team is the heart of any Agile software development process. It takes the idea of the product owner and converts it into a product that creates value and meets a pressing need. The development team is involved in the process of developing the software product and ensuring its quality.

Often, they face issues and challenges with Agile methodology such as planning and executing tasks and flow of information and overcoming those issues can yield big results.

 

Too many meetings wreck productivity

Agile should not involve too many meetings. Fewer meetings allow your developers to concentrate on doing the actual work. Meetings should be designed carefully to increase the productivity of developers, not the opposite.

An unplanned meeting can become confusing and messy and can hamper the development work. The efficiency of the sprint can be greatly affected by having too many meetings.

Developers are often inclined to spend time during meetings talking about work instead of actually writing code. You should decrease the length and number of meetings and allow an open flow of information outside of these meetings.

Go for Ad-hoc communication as it is more effective than organizing 4-hour meetings to discuss the finished work. Flexibility and robustness are the benefits of this system.

 

Complex software development tasks should be broken into smaller doable tasks

Unplanned issues and tasks can be easily handled if the complex issues are broken down into doable small tasks. During sprint planning, assign work to your employees that they can complete in one day.

Include your quality assurance team into the sprint planning process. If you can calculate the time spent on QA testing and fixing new issues, you will able to meet important deadlines. Meeting deadlines every time is a foundation of a successful business.

You can use Estimated Complexity as an indicator to know the approximate time you need to finish a particular task. One Estimated Complexity equals 4 work hours.

Also, include the approximate work hours for quality assurance testing and resolving potential problems that come up. This will definitely increase your software development efficiency.

 

Poor flow of information decreases organizational productivity

Share information with others in enough detail. Avoid giving out brief instructions. Be aware of the fact that not everyone will understand instructions that are not well defined.

Remember to send out even the easiest tasks with as much detail as possible. This will help your developers to complete the task correctly. Formulate the instructions in such a way that an outsider who knows nothing about the project would understand them. However, you should check for understanding even after giving detailed instructions.

 

The following example will help you understand the concept.

INCORRECT – Insert the charts that we talked about into the middle of the analytics dashboard.

CORRECT – Insert Chart A, Chart B, and Chart C into the analytics dashboard as specified in Task[89], directly after the visitor analytics table.

 

To implement features of a product correctly during software development, make specifications as clear as possible. Features will not be correctly implemented in case of unclear specifications. The faulty features may even make it to release without a second round of review.

 

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Encourage employees to seek help when they need it

Encourage your development team to ask for help from your company’s senior technical leaders or trusted outside consultants if needed. Some developers discuss their work problems only with other members inside their own team. If they didn’t get the solutions, they try to resolve the issue themselves. In doing so, they may miss their deadline and fail to complete their task on time.

You should reward those who seek advice from technical leaders and the senior people. Make your developers understand that taking help of others is not a sign of incompetence or weakness. The development team should trust their senior experts. Everyone should work together to reach the same goal.

 

More helpful resources about challenges with Agile methodology:

Overcoming Communication and Cultural Challenges

Overcoming Challenges During the Work Process

Overcoming Challenges From Lack of Experience

 

Thanks for devoting your time to reading this article. If you have any unanswered questions regarding challenges with Agile methodology and software development projects, feel free to ask them during a free consultation.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

Dedicated TeamBY RabIT software engineering · August 14, 2018

For many software companies and organizations throughout the world, outsourcing or contracting out development has proven to be a huge success. Cost-efficiency has been among the main reasons to outsource software development, but company leadership around the world is beginning to focus more on other benefits as well. Outsourcing some of the functions also helps companies to minimize their internal costs and concentrate on their core competencies.

If you’ve already decided that you want to work with a software development outsourcing provider, here is some advice that can help you find the best development partner for your business, or read this step-by-step guide on how to successfully outsource software projects.

 

According to a survey carried out by Statistic Brain, about 43% of companies in the United States contract out programming jobs. Chief executive officers and chief technical officers from organizations based in the US participated in the survey. The survey found the following reasons that inspire organizations to outsource software development:

  • Reduction of cost – 44% of respondents
  • Gaining access to the IT talent unavailable internally – 34% of respondents
  • Freeing up employees – 31% of respondents
  • Improvement of the business and customer focus – 28% of respondents
  • Acceleration of the digital transformation – 22% of respondents
  • Fast software development – 15% of respondents
  • Access to the management expertise unavailable internally – 15% of respondents
  • Reduced time to market – 9% of respondents

According to the top management, reduction of cost is still on the top of the “reasons to outsource software development” list. However, other reasons are also important to achieve long-term company goals.

 

Other reasons to outsource software development

 

Addition of new skills

It is best to choose external providers who have a proven track record of success for software development projects that need complex skill sets. Complex skills require more concentration and are not so easy to perform. Many organizations and companies do not have these skills readily available in-house. External partners help software development companies to build highly advanced solutions with the newest technologies.

 

Access to exceptional engineers

Exceptional talent is always in demand. Companies may find difficulty in recruiting skilled engineers. They have to put in a huge amount of hiring effort or take the help of external partners to form an outstanding team. A leading outsourcing provider can help such organizations and software development companies to get access to talented engineers.

 

More efficient development processes

External developers can help a company make their software development processes more efficient and better. They have in-depth knowledge of agile methodologies, design patterns, and best practices and can offer tools and valuable advice for meeting your organizational goals.

 

Thinking outside the box

External members adopt new approaches and use out-of-the-box thinking to create great software products. They will give new perspectives that can bring about positive changes to your business. Their thoughtful feedback and innovative ideas will help you improve your software development project.

 

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Reduced time to market

Skilled domestic developers are not only expensive but also hard to find. That’s why you should consider outsourcing the task to an external partner. Software outsourcing can help reduce your time to market and ensure your product reaches the market efficiently and fast.

 

Acceleration of the digital transformation

Gaining access to a team of external developers can help you to skip the tiring and long recruitment and training process. You will also be able to digitize business processes and accelerate development to reach the target market as quickly as possible.

 

reasons to outsource software development

 

Free up workforce

Giving the simple but crucial tasks to outside developers will free up your employees and allow them to devote more time to critical tasks that are essential for the growth of your business. You will also be able to utilize the full knowledge of your talented engineers on new complex projects.

 

Improved business and customer focus

Recruiting an external project manager can free up your organization’s management and allow them to concentrate more on important activities instead of day-to-day activities.

Management will be able to concentrate on corporate strategy and develop a more customer-focused way of doing business. It is important to note that improving customer focus is essential to business success and growth. To ensure customer happiness, you should place their interests above everything else.

 

Summary

There are probably a lot more reasons to outsource software development. Together with cost-efficiency, all these benefits add true value to outsourcing relationships. Like any highly specialized service provider, industry-leading software companies can give you access to a whole new level of knowledge and expertise, that would be otherwise out of your reach.

If you would like to enhance the digital growth of your own organization and would like to find out if we are the right fit, you can schedule a free consultation here. Thanks for reading!

 

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

SoftwareBY RabIT software engineering · August 01, 2018

To fulfill their market’s requirements, businesses are upgrading their services and products continuously. Custom software helps business owners to meet the growing demands of customers and change their business system when needed. The tool helps their business to grow and earn. To improve their customer service delivery and employees’ efficiency, business owners need to select the best software development company that can customize software programs according to their business’s requirements.

7 Reasons Why You Need to Start Business Digitization Right Now

Assuming you have already verified your product idea with your target audience, here is some advice on what you should consider when searching for a software development provider.

 

Where to find the best software development company?

Given below are some platforms and sites that can help you find trusted and good software development companies.

Clutch.co – Clutch is an independent research firm that identifies software services firms that deliver the best results for their clients. Clutch collects every review themselves via phone interview, guaranteeing their authenticity and quality.

Goodfirms.co – This B2B research platform lists software development companies with hourly rates, ratings, reviews etc.

Extract.co – It helps you find firms that create custom applications and websites.

Softwaredevelopmentcompany.co – The site analyzes the best software developers from around the world to determine the top software development companies across all specialties and in all locations.

Google search – Carry out your Google search. Use more specific search queries to find software development companies with the right expertise that are situated in your target areas.

LinkedIn – Your trusted colleagues on LinkedIn may know software development companies to recommend.

Make an initial list of software companies you would contact later.

 

Read companies’ reviews, references and case studies

Read companies’ reviews, references, and case studies in the applicable technology field. Case studies allow companies to show how their product or service can be used.

If a company has no case studies or reviews in your technology field, don’t get upset. Find out whether they have good reviews from different projects that involved working with different technologies. Positive and good reviews instill faith to go ahead with the company. If the software development firm has positive reviews, it will be able to adopt new technologies and tools to fulfill your needs.

When going through case studies, see if the companies discuss cases where they made a special effort to meet specific requirements of their clients. You will get to know if a company is really client-oriented or not and also how it will react if you make a request that requires an extra effort from its side.

 

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Choose people from a time zone that you are comfortable working with

Gather information about the location of the vendors. Select software development providers from a time zone that you are comfortable working with. Understand their local business culture to increase your business success. This will help you decide whether you will be a good fit or not.

Check their websites to know more about their core values, and if they are compatible with your own. Going through their social media pages and blogs will help you find out if the vendors engage with their industry and clients online.

 

Contact the shortlisted companies

Make a list of 10 potential software development companies that you think will be able to meet your needs based on the information you gathered from their websites and listing sites. Begin contacting these companies.

Ask the software development providers for references. Contact their clients and ask them about their experiences working with the vendor.

Take note of the performance software development companies give even before they get their payment. If the company invests time in pre-development preparation and tasks such as market analysis, solution and feature recommendations, and estimating projects before signing a work contract, it is a good indicator that the company is trustworthy and dedicated.

 

Sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect your sensitive corporate information

Sign a non-disclosure agreement with each software development company you talk to about your work. This will help prevent theft and misuse of corporate information. Businesses use these documents to ensure that their ideas won’t be stolen by individuals they are negotiating with.

 

Pay close attention on the way they communicate

Good communication is absolutely crucial to every software development project. If you have no technological expertise and you don’t understand what the other party is saying, it’s not your fault. If you and your provider “don’t speak the same language” – they don’t make an effort to help you understand what they are saying, later cooperation will also be problematic.

Frequency of communication is equally important. We recommend communicating with your service provider face to face at least once a week. Not only to check up on your project, but also to share your vision and ideas, and develop your relationship. If they think this is too much, you should probably keep looking.

 

 

Select the best companies and discuss the project in detail

Remove every software development company from your vendor list that doesn’t meet your requirements. Select the best three companies and contact them for a pre-development consultation. Ask for a detailed presentation to find out how they can help you create a brand value and perform better. Give them all the information and details about your project. Understand how they would carry out the software development tasks.

Hear their professional opinions and thoughts. See if they have ideas on how you can improve. If the vendors criticize your ideas constructively, consider it as a good sign. They will carry out orders taking into account the consequences from their point of view also. We all need to be open to constructive criticism. It allows us to grow and learn.

If you are a startup without in-house IT experts, look for the best software development company that offers a full range of development services, complete with project management, QA testing, design, etc. If the chosen company doesn’t offer these services, find an outside project manager or consultant who has relevant experience and knows exactly how to successfully carry out a development project.

 

More advice how to avoid project failure here: 3 Common Reasons Why Outsourced Software Projects Fail

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

IT ProcessBY RabIT software engineering · July 25, 2018

There are a number of benefits of Agile software development methodologies for project management. Development teams can react to changes in requirements and market conditions, communicate directly and closely, and deliver a superior product within budgetary limitations using an Agile methodology. Agile teams work extremely well and react excellently to the unavoidable changes that come with the projects.

However, businesses and organizations encounter many challenges when trying to adopt Agile software development methodologies.

We’ve already written about ways to overcome challenges regarding communication and organizational culture in an earlier article.

 

Management and development teams should work jointly in Agile software development

Top management support is necessary for agile software development methodologies to succeed. Individuals at the top level of management can be hesitant to embrace Agile models. Management might ask the development teams that effectively use Scrum methodologies to deliver conventional measures of work progress.

It is important to note that converting results on the daily, mid-sprint, sprint end and project levels into conventional waterfall-type progress measures takes a lot of time and effort.

 

Conventional methodologies concentrate on longer-term results. Translating daily work progress to fit these methodologies is not easy. Management and the development team must work closely to understand the new way of measuring work progress.

 

Make your sprint a success

In product development, the team has to complete a set of specific tasks and make the work ready for review during a sprint.

The sprint starts with a planning meeting during which the development team and the owner of the product decide what work will be performed. Sprint duration is agreed upon at the start of the project, and is usually set between 1 – 4 weeks (with 2-week sprints being the most common).

After a sprint starts, the owner of the product should allow the development team to do their job. During the sprint, the development team holds daily stand-up meetings to discuss what they did since the previous stand-up meeting, what they are working on currently, what is their next planned task, and if there are any blocking issues. Solutions to the challenges are also discussed.

 

The project owner (often called chickens in Scrum circles) can attend the stand-up meetings; however, he or she should not participate unless it is to answer queries. During a sprint, the owner of the project can put forward his or her requests for changes. The power to stop or interrupt the sprint lies in the hands of the project manager or scrum master. At the sprint end, the development team presents the finished work to the project owner.

 

How to conduct an effective daily stand-up session?

Restrict your daily stand-up session to no longer than 15 minutes. Hold the stand-up meetings with the same individuals at the same time each day. Discipline is needed in Agile projects. Don’t let team members miss daily stand-ups, and try to engage everyone during the meeting.

Conduct the meeting at the beginning of the day and near your team’s workspace. The meeting should be attended by the team members responsible for executing tasks.

 

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Focus on training when adopting Agile

Companies do not concentrate much on initial training when adopting Agile methodologies. It goes without saying that the members of the development team should be trained properly. Organizations and companies also need to give training to their management personnel and clients who are new to Agile development methods.

You should treat Agile methodologies as a framework for doing work. For every new project, the work processes should be started from scratch. Build your work processes from the ground up with respect to project and client requirements. They should involve developers, clients, and management right from the beginning.

 

Make your development team more engaged

Sometimes, the development team shows no interest in adopting a new methodology. They often feel frustrated by having to deliver reports on a regular basis and show their incomplete work to the higher management.

We successfully deal with this challenge by making it mandatory for developers to regularly commit their code during the work process.

It means that the development team has to commit work (even work which is not fully done) at least once a day. You can also apply feature branching workflow in your team. Feature branching enables developers to work on their own feature and stay isolated from changes occurring elsewhere.

It is important for a development team to keep track of its activities. Our developers are also required to administer their daily progress in an issue tracker. You will probably have to develop your own policy for this over time. As always, find the best way that works for you and your projects.

 

Make your clients’ needs your top priority

It may happen that the clients themselves are not interested in committing to Agile software development methodologies. So businesses and organizations should try to assess the needs of their clients regarding product release, reporting, and sprint planning.

Clients should also make an effort to understand a company’s work processes thoroughly. Do your best to explain the processes to your clients with in detail. However, you should be aware of the fact that you might never gain full commitment from the client side.

 

More helpful resources about the Agile development process:

Overcoming Communication and Cultural Challenges

Overcoming Challenges with Day-to-Day Operations

Overcoming Challenges From Lack of Experience

 

If you need help optimizing your methodologies, or have other development-related questions, feel free to reach out to us at info@rabit.hu, or sign up for a free consultation.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

IT ProcessBY RabIT software engineering · July 18, 2018

Today, the importance of a dedicated quality assurance tester often gets overlooked by project managers and clients alike, seeing them as an option rather than a requirement. Quality assurance testing plays a very crucial role in the process of software development. It saves money and time by spotting bugs and errors early in the software development life-cycle.

Software that is newly developed may have inconsistencies, redundancies, and flaws; therefore, proper QA testing is mandatory. The testing ensures that the software product a company is developing meets all requirements, truly provides value to end users and has a long lifespan.

 

Role of a Quality Assurance Tester

QA testers communicate and build relationships with stakeholders, clients, database administrators, project managers, and developers. They help connect everything together and ensure smooth product development.

Quality assurance testers perform tuning, testing, and debugging. They use tools to find the flaws and errors and create a plan for manual testing, working very closely with the development and product teams. They can work independently or as part of a team.

We wrote about improving communication between QA testers and the development team in an Agile setting in last week’s article.

 

why is a quality assurance tester needed on a software development team

 

Skills of a Quality Assurance Tester

  • They are experts in verbal and written communication, finding solutions to complex issues, logic and reasoning, documentation and time management.
  • They have a good experience in software development and quality assurance.
  • They are aware of the ongoing technological trends and recent advancements.
  • They have an excellent knowledge of QA processes, tools, and methodologies.

 

Technical Skills of a Quality Assurance Tester

  • Create methods and procedures to identify the quality of a product
  • Determine enhancement areas
  • Perform risk analysis
  • Understand technical and business objectives
  • Review user interface for consistency
  • Research new testing processes and technologies

 

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Common misconceptions and why they are wrong

Here are two common misconceptions that we come across, and people actually believe in:

1. The developer should deliver error-free work
2. The software testing should be done solely by developers

Both of these notions are absolutely wrong.

Proficient developers can create code with no or little error. However, they cannot visualize every user scenario. The software testers, on the other hand, hold a strong expertise in finding every possible user scenario to test every function satisfactorily. Developers interpret some requirements and functions in a different way than the client. That’s why it is essential to have a quality assurance tester who can check if everything is functioning as required.

QA testing takes a lot of time to complete, and software developers have to devote a huge amount of time to test a software product properly. Individuals who are experienced in software testing can complete the testing process fast. A quality assurance tester, who possesses exceptional testing skills, can identify the errors and bugs with ease. Moreover, software testers charge less than software developers for their service.

Delivery of a raw software product can upset the client. If they want to avoid this, companies and organizations absolutely need to view software testing as an essential element of the software development life-cycle. These people should be deeply involved in every stage of the development process.

 

quality assurance tester meme

 

To truly understand what is wrong with these misguided ideas, let’s see how they would look in some traditional industries:

Example #1 – Imagine the auto production industry without dedicated quality assurance testers. The automotive industry simply could not work without QA because any resulting functional errors can cause serious injuries to customers. Assembly workers also cannot perform their task flawlessly and assure the quality of the product simultaneously.

Example #2 – Articles that are published in a newspaper also go through many rounds of reviews first. If these articles were published without reviewing and editing, they would be full of grammatical errors, typos, or unreliable information. It is not easy for authors to find their own mistakes in writing. They work to the best of their knowledge.

It works the same way in software development. To ensure quality in the work process and the product, the role of a quality assurance tester is vital in the software product development life-cycle.

 

If you would like to find out more about ways to integrate QA testing into your software development life-cycle more efficiently, feel free to ask your questions at info@rabit.hu, or ask for a free consultation through our website.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.