Why Home is Best for Developers
We’re a remote technical recruitment agency. We’re specialists. We’re not as optimistic as those other recruitment agencies who think you’re going to have the very best talent right on your doorstep. We’re pragmatists who think that’s probably unlikely, and if you want to find the very best people? You must look all over the world.
There’s a reason that we chose to make this our specialism. It’s because we think that virtual employees, working from home in a distributed team are in the perfect position to give you the results that you want. You’ve got the best people, working in the best environment. And if you’re using the Agile development methodology then you’re giving them the trust and tools they need to get the job done. Not convinced? Give us a few minutes of your time, and we’ll see if we can change that.
All professions have their own unique sets of skills. Things that are needed not just to do a good job, but a great one. You wouldn’t want a pilot who tended to day-dream on the job. But as a writer a lot of my best ideas come to me when I let my mind go off for a wander without adult supervision.
Developers need to have specific personality traits. In addition to education, training, and experience you’ll want someone with an enquiring mind, and the ability to think outside the proverbial box. Software engineers need to able to work autonomously but also communicate with others, especially when they’re working out what the requirements are for a project.
Programmers also need to be able to concentrate. Their work requires critical thinking skills, analysis and being able to work systematically. They also need determination for when that thing which seemed simple in theory ends up being complicated in practice.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI has become very popular amongst employers for working out whether a candidate is a good fit for a role or not. Although the system has its detractors, the test can feel uncannily accurate. If you haven’t come across it before, it is a questionnaire based test that reduces personality down to one of 16 personality types, referenced by a 4-letter acronym.
One of the things it measures is whether someone is more introvert or extrovert. Back in 2002, a study was carried out to examine personality types in software engineering. It found that there was a spread of engineers from across all the MBTI types. But more than half of those surveyed were introverts.
There are still some myths about introverts, but perhaps the biggest one is that they’re antisocial, or hate company. They don’t. If you think of people as batteries, for introverts they recharge by being alone and get depleted by being in company. Extroverts are the other way around. By working remotely, you give your developer the chance to be in full power more often.
It’s what they want
Software developer is the number one career among digital nomads. Almost 8% of programmers work from home, as opposed to the average of 3% across all professions. Developers are the ones designing the tools that make working from home possible. Slack, Skype, Basecamp, Bluejeans – all these tools were made by developers to answer their problems.
Of course, they’re not alone. Most of the population wants to work from home at least some of the time. It’s good for employers too. They’re more likely to retain developers if they work from home. The team will also put in longer hours and be more productive for the firm.
Virtual teams are Agile
Here at DistantJob, we advocate using the Agile Development Methodology with your remote teams. We think that remote working naturally provides workers with the space to be autonomous. It goes a long way to stopping micro-management, and you can hold your daily stand-up virtually to stay in touch.
If you’re working with remote developers, it’s possible to have continuous development across time zones. If you have a developer who finishes work in London, England at 5 pm, he can seamlessly hand over to his colleague in Portland, Oregon where it’s 9 am.
If you’d like to learn more about why we think these two things go together like peanut butter and jelly then you can download our free eBook.
They can stay focused
How many time have you walked into your developer’s workspace to find there’s someone at their desk asking for a favor? A salesperson asking if they’ll just pull off some figures, or make a quick change for a customer.
Worst case scenario they’re giving advice on buying a computer for a family member or explaining how to reinstall windows on someone’s home laptop. The fact is that your software engineers are smart people, and you’re not the only one who knows that. They’re also usually at their desk, which makes them sitting ducks for colleagues who want their help.
This is one problem with VR headsets trying to fix. Mure VR’s Breakroom creates an immersive 3D world in which developers can only see their hands on the keyboard. The idea is to blinker them from distractions. But why buy a headset and software, when you can just let your people work from home where those distractions don’t exist?
They can let their minds wander
If you work in a creative role of any kind, then you need to let your mind wander sometimes. Sitting at a desk and staring at the problem only increases frustration. When I worked as a software engineer, my only escape was to go for a cigarette. It often took me away from the problem for long enough, and the solution presented itself.
Now, when a piece of writing is stalling, I go and do something far healthier. I change mental gears by doing household chores, or yard work. Your developers can do the same. If you’re cringing at the thought of workers not being chained to their monitor? Then you might want to start thinking about measuring results rather than hours spent. It’s better for everyone if you do.
Recruit the best
We hope we’ve convinced you that telecommuting is the best thing for your developers. If you have vacancies and you’d like to put our theory to test, then get in touch today. We are great at what we do, and we’d love to do it for you.