Client: Software as a Service business
Industry: Real Estate
Technology: PHP, Open-source, Web services, DevOps
Remote Team: 4 Software Developers, 1 Tester
Location of remote team: Eastern Europe
Why did you pursue a remote team?
Our company is located in a limited employee market with high competition for engineers. It was taking us too long to hire developers, and retention is a challenge when competing with much bigger employers.
How do you utilize your remote team?
We work in a staff augmentation model with remote engineers who are dedicated 100% to our company. We have two remote engineers who extend our core platform team, and two other engineers who extend our devops team. For software testing, we placed a tester with our remote team to leverage their domain knowledge and cycle faster among them.
What steps did you take to make the distributed model work?
We had experience with distributed U.S. developers, and so processes and tools were already in place. It wasn’t a big leap for us. However, we had no experience working with offshore engineers. TeamFound helped us extend our processes and communications to support a larger distributed team. We sought ways to on-board developers easily. The solution that made the most sense is having our remote team visit and work with us for a few weeks. That was a huge help: our local team enjoyed the close interaction, and getting to know them. Building those relationships in-person is a best practice, and makes working remotely much easier.
Can you describe your software development process?
Our engineering processes have to meet the challenge of a competitive fast moving marketplace. We run an Agile scrum process: daily stand-ups, backlog, two-week sprints, etc. Having remote engineers means we have to be more disciplined about our workflow, particularly communications. But the process remains the same.
How did TeamFound help you ramp-up to the remote team?
TeamFound identified a partner that matched our business and technology requirements, and whom we felt we can trust and grow with. That turned out to work quite well for us. We also asked Ron to help us adapt to working with the offshore team, especially in areas of communications and process. He worked directly with me, the Director of Engineering, providing support and guidance, until we were comfortable with the remote relationship.
Does running a remote team pay off?
We believe that it does, even with the added cost of bringing them to our offices a few weeks each year. When we calculated how much it cost us to hire a local developer, meaning the full HR cost, the local overhead, and the lost product development during those lengthy searches, we get a much more realistic picture.