5 Tips to Train Your Remote Web Development Team
The global health crises brought along many paradigm shifts. The way we live, the way we travel, and most importantly, the way we work.
The phenomenon of working remotely may have happened out of compulsion. But it looks like it's here to stay, even as we progress towards normalcy. According to Forbes, 74% of professionals expect remote work to become standard and 97% of the employees don’t want to return to work full-time.
Web development is one of the many job roles that enjoy the flexibility of working from home.
65 percent of IT executives mentioned that one-fourth of their workforce will continue to work remotely even after the pandemic. Equipped with the right tools and access to the internet, they are dedicated to finishing their tasks.
The challenge with remote work is not about the lack of trust in your development team about fulfilling their roles and responsibilities. It lies in implementing a robust change management strategy and establishing a continuous learning process to maintain productivity and efficiency.
The experience of training your remote web development team will be nowhere near the experience of providing in-person training. How do you inculcate the organizational culture and expect them to have a team spirit if they haven’t met any of their colleagues in person? It definitely adds a layer of difficulty as you deal with the communication, time, and individual barriers.
You need a solid strategy to navigate these challenges.
Listed below are some tips on how you can improve training for your remote web development team. Let’s check them out.
1. Set up a Solid Onboarding Flow
More than your onboarding, it is the pre-onboarding process that will take extra effort for remote developers. Your newly hired developers may not be having the technological infrastructure to work remotely. You’ll have to help and notify them to set up the system in advance. By the time they join, they need to have access to your internal systems, have an authorized email id, access to communication tools, and HR tools.
There will also be added steps in between where you’ll need to guide the developers on the extra tools they’ll use to collaborate, work, and manage their tasks. Assign a mentor who is constantly in touch with the new team developer and allow him/her to guide them into how to use the tools and how to go about each of their tasks daily.
When a developer joins the office, you would probably have an onboarding flow already. They get familiarized with colleagues, are given training materials, are given insights into the development protocols, briefed on the company policies, leave policies, and so on. While transitioning to a remote onboarding flow, you’ll just have to digitize all these processes through virtual callings and meetings.
2. Invest in the Right Tools
Training tools streamline the training process and automate key areas of learning and onboarding. But when you’re providing training in a virtual environment, you will need to ensure that both you and the developer are equipped with the digital infrastructure to support the training. Some of the top common tools you’ll need for training your web developers are:
- Learning Management Systems like Mindflash
- Project Management tools like Trello
- Communication Tools like Slack
- Knowledge Base and Standard Operating Procedure tools like Document360
Additionally, for web designers, you’ll need to incorporate collaboration tools like InVision. It helps them to automate handoffs and keep in touch with the entire product team and the content team while working on new projects.
For web developers, train them on pair programming tools like Motepair by Atom where two developers can work on the same at the same time. It allows programmers to run remote pair programming sessions using Github's editor.
Also, incorporate collaborative screen sharing tools that are tailor-made for developers. For example, CoScreen facilitates multi-user editing, simultaneous screen sharing, and video chat and calling. It will make it easier for developers to write codes and fix bugs in real-time with teams.
3. Create a Dev Group for Resource Sharing and Discussions
When you have team members that don’t meet every day, you need alternative virtual methods where they can share knowledge and resources. It helps to build a virtual discussion forum where developers can collaborate and discuss their day-to-day tasks and also keep up with their teams’ progress. Tools like Google Drive can help your team be in sync with each other’s work.
Additionally, they also need an information medium where they can share feedback and experiences of working on a project. This is very challenging considering the different time zones that the team works in. To counter these issues, you can use tools like DailyBot for Slack, and Jira by Atlassian. They help teams to share resources, measure progresses, and encourage discussions.
4. Provide Free Access to Online Courses
Think of a regular office setting where time and again, you had random training sessions that ranged from work-related topics to wellness topics. You could easily create a learning ecosystem and encourage participation from your teams.
The excitement of training shouldn’t die with the onboarding process. But your teams won’t have the same motivation to upgrade their skills to take part in training while they’re working remotely.
You’ll have to entice them with something extra. If you want to keep the learning process ongoing, incorporate free courses for remote employees.
There is always something new to learn in website development and design. Providing free online courses can help your team keep up with the updates, and operations required to create and maintain a website.
5. Don’t Forget Non-Technical Skills
We often overlook honing soft skills when it comes to web developers or software engineers. They need to know that what they do is valuable to the company but being a developer doesn't just mean to code. Soft skills are just as necessary for personal growth and development. Some of the top soft skills you’ll need to train them while they’re working remotely are:
- Problem-solving skills
- Openness to new experiences
- Time management
When your development teams are working remotely, it becomes all the more important for them to inculcate skills that make them not just good but great developers. These skills also ensure successful teamwork and guarantee overall progress despite the lack of physical proximity.
Building a creative and impactful learning experience in a remote environment may seem overwhelming. But the good part about training your development team is that they’ll be most embracive towards adopting new technologies. Take this opportunity to virtually upskill them using the various tools at your disposal.