In this article we are going to look at some cool tips on how to make your development team an awesome team. What does that mean? I mean, what do we mean by “awesome team”? Well, several things at the same time:
- A competent team that solves the problems and challenges faced by the company (technical level).
- A team capable of working autonomously and leading individual projects.
- People with high human and communicative qualities that allow quick problem solving and task distribution.
One thing that is clear is that developers are in high demand. So “getting the best team”, which meets the three requirements to the fullest, will always be difficult. But not impossible. There will be some top elements to take into account in the hiring process.
Look for people who are eager to learn
Maybe you won’t be able to hire the best developer available in the market because he/she has a great cache and because companies are looking for him/her. That’s okay. But surely you are able to detect, among candidates of lower rank and cache????, those who have more potential to learn and evolve.
In the personal interviews you have with each candidate, look for ambition, the desire to join the project. Also look for the developer to be someone who studies and evolves on their own. Someone who, beyond their university degree, wants to continue to expand their knowledge and show passion for their chosen profession.
Offer them continuous training as a value of your company
If you manage to find people who match the first point, this second point becomes easier. Provide mechanisms in your company so that these developers can continue training. It is not uncommon for the company to pay for online training courses, or to allow part of the working time to be dedicated to the study of tutorials, online resources, etc.
Offering that time and space for the developers in your team to continue training is key to retain them, to excite them and to improve day by day in all their technical skills.
Never forget continuous motivation
When someone adopts a too passive position within a work group, this can be a warning sign. On the other hand, if your team is involved, you will see that ideas and actions emerge from them, and that they are the ones who bring to the table possible changes or actions for your company.
Sometimes an employee’s passivity can be due to several factors:
- They do not understand the objectives or the task to be carried out.
- They are unhappy in the company or have personal problems.
- They lack training (so we would return to the previous point: offer the possibility of learning).
The task of motivating is simple and at the same time it is not. First: make the office environment pleasant. Promote “hang-out” actions outside office time and bonding. And beware, not everyone likes to have social gatherings outside working hours. So don’t forget, for example, to have informal meetings during lunch, or to dedicate some time during office hours to a relaxed activity, where you can also bond.
A key element is how a manager or team leader deals with failure to motivate employees. If you have failed to motivate your team of programmers with a particular action, don’t give up. Keep looking for ways to do it: be interested in what your employees are interested in and you will surely get results.
Delegate responsibilities and grant autonomy
If there is one thing developers have, it is autonomy. Many have trained on their own, spending hours in front of the computer. Many have their own solo projects. So it shouldn’t be too complicated or weird to assign them important tasks and give them leadership of them.
Instead of assigning simple code writing tasks, you can take a broader view and offer the possibility for members of your team to take the reins of developments that involve more people. Let them become leaders within your team.
Make change a new normal
Suppose your team is used to coming in, doing their job, and leaving. Now it’s time to “implement change” as the norm. The first thing you could do would be to order a few snacks, reserve the meeting room and create a meeting where you can bring your entire team together.
Offer in this meeting the vision of the company, the general objectives. Explain why everything is done so that the developers understand what their role is and can have a broader vision. Then, allow them to contribute ideas, suggest projects, without judging how crazy they are. This will be an informal, non-technical meeting. A brainstorming type meeting. If there is one thing that developers have for sure, it is intelligence and the ability to solve problems.
So, creating spaces from time to time in which to explain yourself and the company’s objectives will allow you to gather a lot of good ideas.
Don’t be firm with time management
Something that developers value a lot is that they are given freedom and free rein in their work. Here a team leader should not be too demanding with schedules or with the way their team distributes its time. You can set a deadline, but at the same time you must trust that your team will be able to respond on time.
Therefore, it is also important not to be “too much on top” of your employees. Avoid constant updates or active monitoring of each member to see if he or she is working hard. Set the goal, the date and allow them to meet it at their own pace. If they don’t meet it, that’s when you can take action.
Here we have reviewed some tips, from our own experience working with developers, to make your team the best there is at a human, productive and creative level. As you can see, most of them have to do with finding talent and smart people, offering training and facilities, and unleashing the creativity and development of the team.
By following these points, you will facilitate better team cohesion and greater rapport between the different levels of the team. Productivity will improve and, for sure, so will the atmosphere and predisposition.