Image from Pexels, by Christina Morillo
To be able to build a great tech team, you need a developer-centric approach. A team in which your members are empowered, valued, and given opportunities to be efficient and enjoy their work. From another (just as important) perspective, a developer-centric workplace is when you adopt and implement new software production methodologies, prioritizing speed, innovation, and agility. It’s a two-way win-win situation.
The developer-centric approach is crucial for remote workplaces where enhancing team cohesion, human contact, and productivity are more critical than ever.
Here is what you need to do to create a developer-centric remote workplace.
Define your company vision and culture goals
To successfully start a developer-centric workplace culture, you must clearly define your goals and work toward fostering a culture that values remote developers.
- Promote your goals. You should align the developers’ happiness and productivity with your company goals. Make developers familiar with your business goals, and explain how their work is invaluable and vital for your company. Promote a culture that inspires and celebrates open communication, innovative thinking, creative work, idea sharing, and feedback.
- Emphasize remote inclusivity. Make sure no one is left out for work or team bonding activities. Apply the same standards to everyone, and treat all developers equally.
Give developers the necessary tools and opportunities
If you want the developers to work the best they can, you need to give them the resources and tools required for the job. Some for the work itself, and some for better remote sync and bonding between everyone in the team.
- Development environments – Remote developers should have easy access to such environments. In remote workplaces, it’s vital to have easy and secure access to environments or databases. Developers should be able to code smoothly and do the testing and deployment just as quickly and without any obstacles.
- Collaboration tools – In a remote workplace, you must equip your team members with quality tools for their day-to-day obligations. This can be high-quality video conferencing tools, peripherals of choosing, specific apps/software for messaging or project management (premium paid versions), and more.
- DevOps and Version Control – You probably want to streamline code management, so you need DevOps practices and Version Control systems. These will also help with quicker automation of testing and deployment. DevOps is especially important for businesses adopting developer-centric approaches because it clarifies how everything works quickly yet efficiently.
- Documentation and informative meetings – In remote workplaces, it’s also crucial that things are easily and securely accessible on the cloud or wherever you store them. Make sure to have a centralized repository for all team members. Last but not least, encourage frequent knowledge-sharing sessions or webinars, where you can discuss fields of expertise information and promote mutual assistance.
Nurture open communication
In addition to providing all necessary tools, remember the overall quality of communication, too. This is vital to any remote workplace, which already needs more direct human interaction.
- Ask questions to stay in the loop – Stay up to date with what your team members do, what they think should be done next or improved, and ask them how you can make their work environment even better in some sense. Everyone should feel comfortable to ask questions openly, especially when asking for directions or assistance.
- Feedback goes two ways – How can a remote workplace be developer-centric if feedback is just one-sided? Nurture open communication, and be ready not just to give but also to receive constructive feedback.
Adopt flexible approaches
More often than not, results justify the means. Replace micromanagement with flexibility and trust. Don’t focus so much on whether developers are online; instead, monitor what impact and results they provide to the workflow.
- Flexible thinking – Replace micromanaging with more relevant observations, such as general metrics, quarterly numbers, and information that depict developers’ overall performance. Companies that adopt flexible thinking and strategies tend to progress forward successfully.
- Flexible work arrangements – A high-quality result is more important than following an unrealistically strict schedule. As long as developers keep up with project deadlines, there is nothing to stress about. Allow them to merge into their productivity hours as it suits them best because that’s how you get the best results.
Nurture the work-life balance dynamics
Achieving a work-life balance is tricky in a remote workplace because the boundary separating the two aspects often needs to be clarified. Here is what you can consider:
- A flexible working schedule – Flexibility regarding the work hours can help developers tend to daily personal needs, from chores and leisure time to more rest and utilizing focus time in different hours of the day. You can trust them to use their time as efficiently as possible as long as you clearly state the deadlines for a project they work on.
- Wellness initiatives – Take care of your developers by allowing them to improve their physical and mental health through such initiatives. Usually, resources for stress management range from a gym membership to other leisure classes, fitness centers, or paid lunch, among many others.
- Clear boundaries – You should suggest an expected start or end of the workday so developers can consider that when they organize their flexible hours around this. Specify what availability is expected of them in some instances (such as mandatory meetings on some days. Or let them know which meetings they can skip if it’s not essential for developers to attend them).
- A dedicated or improved workspace – Ensure developers have everything to work comfortably. Provide them with the necessary peripherals or other types of equipment, or offer them a rented-out workspace in the town they live in (in case they want a hybrid work model for a better work-life balance).
- Prioritize essentials – Once a project starts, be upfront and tell developers what is urgent and what can wait. Marking specific tasks as high or low priority is a good way for developers to maximize their focus time.
- Disconnecting after work – Encourage disconnecting after work to prevent burnout because once burnout happens, those developers will have to take more days off to recharge. Let them know they should go offline or snooze their notifications when needed.
- Encourage time off – In a similar context, also encourage developers to take days off for vacation or any rest they need, and it’s best to initiate this more frequently.
Evaluate your developer-centric strategy
Make it a practice to assess your developer-centric remote workplace for overall effectiveness. Encourage everyone to give you feedback and then analyze this compared to performance metrics for various sectors. If needed, be ready to make some adjustments where there is room for improvement and meet the needs of the developers.
Some good ways to get feedback are to discuss with the developers frequently, send out anonymous surveys, have frequent 1-on-1s, and set up channels for open discussion (e.g., a Slack channel where developers can mention suggestions, improvements, and more).
Lastly, remember to recognize and reward good work. At this stage of assessing the business strategy, you’ll notice what was done well and accordingly set up incentives and bonuses or give a raise/promotion to those developers that outperformed.
In today’s digital landscape, it’s essential to cultivate a developer-centric approach in the remote workplace. When you prioritize the developers’ needs, you boost productivity and move forward with any project more efficiently.
Remember to invest in the right tools and resources, provide upskilling, nurture mutual feedback, and let your developers thrive in a remote, flexible environment.
Hi there! I’m Marija Neshkoska, a Content Specialist, Editor, and Ghostwriter with over eight years of experience in the industry. I’ve extensively covered all sorts of content throughout the years – from SEO focus, Amazon product descriptions, tech, leisure and travel, and affiliate website content to ghostwriting for bestselling authors.