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Finnish perspective on tackling the IT skills shortage with international remote development teams
03 / 10 / 2018
In recent decades, digitalization has extended its reach to an even wider area. Today, every sector of the economy needs digital know-how, causing an acute shortage of qualified software developers – which is only going to get worse faster.
This kind of shortage of skilled IT workers is sharply felt in Finland (just check the soaring numbers cited by Business Insider). This led us to think of solutions that would allow us to quickly and easily find software professionals.
The result was Skillwell, a service that connects companies and skilled IT professionals. Our main cooperation partner, Unity Group, brings a large portion of software engineers and remote development teams we hire when offering IT skills on the Finnish market.
I’ve found that certain questions and concerns come up again and again whenever a Finnish business is thinking about hiring a remote Polish development team to solve its IT skills shortage. Let me outline these issues and suggest some proven practices to help you get the most out of working with remote development teams.
First worries are practical
Often, the first questions that come up are operative ones: how will assignments and responsibilities be shared with a coder or a remote development team? In my experience, you should start with the basics of your team’s structure.
So here’ how you should begin:
1) Truly make the new developers a part of your current team.
2) Enable effective communication.
3) Provide your new team members with the same tools as other team members (Slack, JIRA, etc.).
4) Get involved: try to speed things up and make sure team communication gets up and running right from the start.
5) And remember: your new team member, a remote software developer , is usually accustomed to virtual working. It’s a part of their professional skills.
After this, you need to plan and agree on how daily meetings will be held. Will you use the increasingly common “virtual stand-up” tools or more traditional methods? Think about it and try different things out to find what works best in your team.
Then focus on skills and culture
What is the next thing we talk about with Skillwell clients? Often, the conversation turns to skills and culture. On the basis of our discussions, it seems that quite a lot of people already have experience in working with Polish software developers.
Frequently, our clients’ experiences match my own observations. So here are some recurring issues, collated in the form of a table for you
The above points demonstrate that starting to build international cooperation with remote development team is easy. When the starting positions are good and there’s a firm desire to collaborate, both sides can quickly find effective operating models for their everyday work.
Finnish companies that have worked with us have been vary satisfied with the abilities of the Polish developers they have hired. You could check what the Jyväskylä – based startup Prasos says about it on Clutch.
Without expectation, the concerns and suspicions turned out to be groundless and our cooperation with Unity Group has worked every bit as well as we had hoped.
If you’re interested in working with us, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.