The Challenges of Remote Work And App Development
Over the past years, there was a change towards remote work. It's becoming a standard form of working rather than just an alternative choice. But what are the challenges of creating those very same apps in remote settings? In this article, I'll present the difficulties of application development, and generic creative product development for remote teams.
Understanding Remote Work
As businesses invest more and more into their online presence, even industries that were traditionally bound to physical locations have noticed the change. For example, the real money poker industry which once relied on physical buildings, but now is making most profits online. Many of them don't even operate a real branch at all.
Just like the benefits of online stores, and services, remote work helps many companies to cut their costs and work with talents from all over the world. But it's not that simple.
Challenges With Remote Work
While we have a ton of digital tools for everything, nothing can really replace face to face interactions. Also working with people across different time zones can be difficult especially when working on short deadlines. And trusting employees to stay productive without constant supervision requires tracking tools and a shift in managerial approaches.
Difficulties of Creative Product Development With Remote Teams
Product development is a complex process that thrives on collaboration, instant feedback and even some gut feeling that is hard to replicate when people only look at their screen.
In real office environments the conditions are designed to boost creativity. However, when working remotely from home minimizing distractions becomes more challenging, not to mention creating an atmosphere for inspiration. Additionally, remote work can introduce delays in processes due to misunderstandings of requirements and the lack of real time feedback.
Loss of Shared Vision
The heart of creative projects lies in prototypes, quick iterations and interactions. When working remotely most team tasks require some scheduling that makes it less easy and people tend to skip them. These factors can hinder the back and forth collaboration that's essential for effective teamwork.
Also, when we're not together, it becomes more difficult to generate ideas on the spot and maintain a shared vision. In an office environment a casual conversation in the kitchen can lead to a new idea. Remote work doesn't always offer these moments.
Team morale is heavily impacted in remote teams. In a real office, there's a vibrant energy that comes from brainstorming or discussing ideas in coffee breaks. This energy helps the team to be creative and motivated during the project. However, recreating this ambiance remotely is more challenging. But not impossible.
The lack of in person contact can also lead to feelings of isolation or detachment from the larger vision. Many companies are turning to virtual team building activities to build better connections between team members. They can range from virtual lunches to virtual escape rooms.
Tools for Application Development in Remote Teams
The development of tools plays a role in remote work, particularly when it comes to successful application development. With teams divided across the world, technology becomes the basis that allows collaboration. Let's take a look at some essential tools that are essential for any software development process.
Every project needs a ticketing system. A ticketing system allows team members to assign each other to different tasks, track their progress and discuss requirements and connections between these tasks. They also allow managers to have a bird eye view of the current state of the project. Examples include Jira, Trello and Asana.
In any creative project, brainstorming and planning are just as crucial than the execution itself. Virtual whiteboards mimic the experience of using a real whiteboard in office in person meetings. They allow team members to draw ideas that help others understand them and get immediate feedback. A picture tells a thousand words. Recently platforms like Miro, MURAL and Lucidchart have gained attention.
Code Review Tools
When developers are writing code, it is crucial to maintain quality and consistency across different parts of the system. Code review tools enable peer reviews, insights into code vulnerabilities and ensure that the code is readable by others. They promote a culture of learning and improvement between developers, by making sure other developers also understand the code changes. Popular choices for code review tools are GitHub, Bitbucket and Crucible.
While remote app development is challenging; with the right set of tools at hand these challenges can be mitigated. And with the right tools and with a proper team, remote application development is faster and more agile than with traditional office teams. As the saying goes: having the best tool for the job truly makes all the difference – especially when it comes to remote work.