Quality is important in every business and every industry all over the world. While nations are diverse in terms of how business is done, quality is imperative across the globe. As distributed teams become more popular, especially within the tech space, working with other cultures while maintaining quality product is a challenge. The key approach for outsourcers is to develop with clear objectives while tracking goals through code review. All while using the right tools to monitor progress. We’ve got four tips to help you maintain code quality while managing distributed software development teams.

1. Team
We can’t all be rockstar developers, so it’s important to find the right developers when working with a distributed team. Some teams consist of developers who are sharing your office space while others may be across the Atlantic. Either way, curating a team who can deliver quality and timely results is a must. Distributed teams should update teammates and demo their work on a regular basis. Communicating blockages will help to resolve issues quickly. When managing distributed development teams, those who communicate to find solutions are highly efficient.
By optimizing your team, you can have the right employees for each stage of development. Some offshore development models, like Zibtek’s, make managing distributed development teams easy! We’ll help you hire for the specific skills and capabilities you need for your specific project.
2. Process
Getting processes set in place at the beginning of the project will pay dividends in the long run. Following standards for code reviews, commits, and pushing code live is essential. Not only will sticking to the agreed upon processes make teams more efficient, it will also maintain a proper flow of work, leading to higher quality code.
Documenting work progress is another key for success in distributed teams. Written communication of work progress will assist in carrying out action items without postponing advancements. This can also help to overcome issues with support from other team members. Explicit guidelines for bug reports and troubleshooting helps to resolve issues by any member of the team. Finally, automated tests will prove code quality and help to catch any surprising side effects. On the topic of processes, check out what really good end to end code verification should look like.
3. Tools
A man and his tools make a man and his trade. This is particularly true in software development. Mark Devisser of Akiban Technologies, says “Toolsets define behavior. Companies who use tools that are globally accessible whether a developer is just down the hall or a continent away are ahead of the game.” With so many great developer tools for distributed teams, there is no reason for any team member to be out of the loop. Using tools like these will help distributed teams manage workload from the start. These tools are essential for managing distributed development teams as they help to maintain product backlogs, manage task boards, plan iterations, and track bugs. Our team uses GitHub to help us deliver quality code on time.
4. Communication
Communication in any work environment is crucial to overall success. And when you’re building new software, transparency will make the development easier and faster, increasing your bottom line. Many teams are comprised of a team lead for both local and remote employees. The team lead is an invaluable resource who should be responsible for streamlining communication between the client and the developers. Here is a checklist of communication musts for managing distributed development teams.

Zibtek’s Communication Checklist:

  • Utilize online chat and project management tools such as HipChat, Skype, Slack or Google Hangouts to build rapport and streamline team communication.
  • Share calendar access with all members across the distributed team.
  • Hold daily scrum meetings or standups.
  • Maximize “the golden hours” when local and outsourced teams are working at the same time.
  • Be nice. Its quite easy to misunderstand written communication. If there is a misunderstanding amongst the team tackle it right away.
  • If necessary, over communicate.

Want to take a deep dive into communication tactics? Check out our post on overcoming communication challenges with you offshore software development team.
Quality code doesn’t come easy. In fact, it’s downright back-breaking. By using Zibtek’s tips for high quality code with distributed development teams, you can rest assured that your product will be top notch. Remember to develop with clear objectives while tracking goals through code review and quality will be no problem. If you need a hand with a new app, a database build, or another development project, we’d love to show you what our developers can do for you.

Offshore software development can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be!