10 Questions We know You Have About Building and Managing Remote Teams

By Hugo Hemmen

What’s it like building a remote software team? Here’s answers to frequently asked questions about our model.

You’re probably thinking, how do I get started? or how will this add value to our business? Even if you have had prior experience, building your own remote development team with Gapstars is different and we are keen on telling you why.

As I talk to senior executives from ambitious scale-ups, I constantly hear about the need for “sourcing the right tech talent”, which has become the “new normal”. To succeed and grow in this challenging and hyper-competitive market, businesses are forced to source talent to continuously adopt and look to new ways to fuel their growth.

In this post, I have decided to personally pen down the most frequently asked questions about setting up and managing a remote team with Gapstars, and to answer all of them in one-go to help you get a better understanding about what it means to partner with us.

1. What services do you offer? and how is your model different from IT outsourcing?

Gapstars recruits, builds, and supports dedicated remote software development teams for ambiguous scale-ups looking to accelerate growth. Our method allows you to extend your local development team with professional developers that will work on your product.

You will work directly with the software engineers you’ve personally interviewed and hired. The team becomes an extension of your company DNA without any third-party interference. 

2. What’s the first step to getting started?

It all starts through a kickoff call with our growth team. We begin with gathering all the requirements in building your dream tech team. Our team of recruitment specialists will then assemble a list of potential candidates and pre-screen them to make sure they’re likely to be a good fit. After that, we share the best candidates for you to personally interview and assess. We recommend our clients to initially visit Sri Lanka and meet potential candidates. This will help you get to know your new developers better and vice versa.

3. How long does it take you to build a software development team from scratch?

It takes 8 weeks to build a team. This may vary according to the number and type of developers. Don’t be surprised if it takes a bit longer to find the right fit. With lots of options, we know selecting a candidate could take time.  We will setup a timeline based on your requirements after our kickoff call. 

4. What programming languages/technologies do you work with?

In the past ten years, the Sri Lankan tech industry has expanded by 300% and employs more than 80,000 professionals. The tech community in Sri Lanka includes Java, C#, C++, PHP, JavaScript and Python engineers, along with other languages.

5. Once my team is setup, what kind of support do you provide?

Our goal is to provide your team with all they need to start work smoothly. We take care of all the back-office work which includes:

  • Maintain a dedicated office space for your team – with fully equipped workstations.
  • We have a dedicated support team to take care of all administrative issues, including payroll, travel arrangements and managing leave. This will be managed transparently through periodical reporting.  
  • Our support team works in the same office as your team and is available for queries, updates and requests from your team.
  • Culture is at the heart of everything we do. Our values help us work together as a global organization.
  • We provide your team with the flexibility to build and grow. 
  • There is lots of fun – we organize a monthly fun sessions, sports events, weekly fitness programs, wellness days (we have a masseuse in the office) for stress relief, family trips, parties and more. 
  • We are organizers of the largest PHP meetup in Sri Lanka and organize monthly knowledge sharing initiatives. 

6. What kind of software development methodology do you recommend?

There is no one way. It’s really up to you. However, we are firm believers in the Agile philosophy when it comes to building dedicated scrum teams and SaaS software. Within the Agile framework, teams have the freedom to organize themselves and manage their own work. On a daily basis, we enable teams to deliver SaaS products with the best time-to-market and the highest possible quality. As a result, our clients benefit from a competitive business advantage, which in turn enhances their customer’s satisfaction.

We also offer Agile coaching and training as an optional service. Read more about how Agile is helping clients build engaging teams. 

7. What’s the recommended way of conducting effective meetings?

  • Set up goals
  • Get everyone to contribute
  • Breakdown tasks
  • Pre-Schedule meetings

Synchronize daily with a 15-minute scrum meeting and plan the days work. This optimizes team collaboration and keeping a track completed work since the last meeting while forecasting upcoming Sprint work.

8. Can my remote team visit the Netherlands for business?

Absolutely. As I type, we have a number of Gapstars people visiting the Netherlands, Germany, other parts of Europe and Dubai. Whether you want your developers to visit your HQ or your team prefers visiting Sri Lanka, our support team will take care of all travel needs including visa arrangements, transportation, and accommodation.

9. What are best practices in building and managing remote teams?

Going remote is easier than ever before. However, with remote benefits such as flexibility and continuous connectivity, comes new challenges. That is why we shared 3 best practices from our own experience with ‘going remote’. Here are a few points to get started.

  • Define the scope & key milestones – From day one, be clear about your expectations from your developers.
  • Work in an Agile way – This way your team members are aligned to have the same understanding and expectations when developing a product.
  • Never underestimate the importance of culture – Encourage teamwork and engagement. 
  • Invest in face-time – Get to know your developers and meet them in person. It’s a great way to start your cooperation.

Also check out CTO of Temper, Jeroen Jochems sharing his experience on managing remote developers. 

10. Finally, why choose the our model over project outsourcing? 

With an extended team model you are in control. From personally choosing your developers to managing them with the tools and methods you prefer, your in charge. Our method provides you flexibility to scale-up.

Choose to grow team sizes within months, request new equipment, travel to Sri Lanka to work alongside your software developers or bring them over to your headquarters. Gapstars Developers our full time employees dedicated to your success as your team.