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A recent survey found that more than 80% of developers suffer from burnout due to increasing workloads.1 To combat this, companies scaling their products and services also need to grow their development teams to distribute tasks among engineers better.

But scaling can send teams into a tailspin and hurt productivity and communication if not done with care, especially for distributed software development teams rarely in the same room.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how to scale and manage your teams to increase developer well-being and keep them from burning out. 

1. Streamline your tech hiring process

To grow your development teams, you need a pool of quality candidates from which you can then hire the best. To this end, work closely with your recruiting teams to establish a successful acquisition and hiring process.

Support recruiters by sharing the needed information to build a strong hiring pipeline that attracts the right people to your teams. Come up with ways to reach developers outside of the usual hiring platforms, such as meetups and conferences. Hosting coding challenges is also an exciting way to fill your recruitment pipeline.

During the hiring process, make sure you and your recruiters follow a strategy that reflects your hiring goals and provides candidates with an all-around positive experience. After all, every candidate carries their opinion of your company out into the world. So leave a good impression and ensure that fairness, transparency, and unbiased evaluation are a must. 

Building stronger development teams starts with these best practices.
Sound hiring practices, helpful onboarding, and effective communication are essential to leading healthy development teams.

2. Use supportive hiring tools

Invest in the right tools to help you assess and interview candidates, especially if you offer remote positions. Hiring platforms enable recruiters and managers to spend less time on organizational tasks and instead focus on face-to-face interviews.

Code testing tools help you hire the right person with the right skills. And instead of creating tests from scratch, you can choose from a task library with different difficulty levels, languages, and more. CodeCheck also helps you with unbiased test evaluation so you can promote diversity and inclusion in your tech hiring and software development teams. 

Finally, make it a priority to get to know candidates during interviews. Find out how they can contribute to your team’s well-being and whether they share its values and mindset. Tools like CodeLive can help you set up the ideal environment for whiteboard interviews, group video chats, and pair programming activities that create a positive candidate experience. 

3. Optimize your onboarding processes

Joining a fast-paced and rapidly growing team can be intimidating for a new hire. Therefore, proper guidance is needed to help newcomers become productive quickly and confidently.

While many companies focus on building solid hiring practices, onboarding is often overlooked. In fact, nearly 22% of developers surveyed by Stackoverflow said their company has no onboarding at all! 

Help new hires get up to speed by designing an onboarding process with all the necessary steps to join your software development teams and projects. Also, look for dedicated mentors on your teams whom you can use to transfer knowledge and support new hires.

Finally, include some social activities in the onboarding process to ensure that the new developer gets to know their teammates. This way, they will feel part of the team faster, ask for help more openly, and not feel like they have to solve problems all by themselves.

Read more like this: Is Your Technical Hiring Tool “Valid” for Your Recruitment Process?

4. Simplify communication for development teams

A growing team is usually a busy one, often having to prioritize meeting deadlines over quality communication. However, lack of awareness or visibility over team workload or opportunities for help and assistance, can again lead to developer overload and stress. 

To make communication more accessible, modern software development teams use various tools for synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous (non-real-time) communication. For example, Slack, Zoom, Asana, or Jira are particularly popular, serving different communication and organization purposes.

Create guidelines for running effective meetings and make sure they are easily accessible to all. Define topics such as:

  • fixing and sharing the purpose of the meeting
  • inviting and briefing the right people
  • creating and sharing an agenda
  • setting time limits
  • making it remote-friendly

That said, it’s important not to go overboard with too many meetings that detract your team from getting actual work done. You may need to monitor the effectiveness of various methods of communication and get feedback from your teams. 

5. Create a culture of communication and feedback

Leading and growing healthy software development teams to prevent developer burnout isn’t just about your department. Ideally, everyone involved in your projects should be on board to create a communication and feedback culture that fosters growth and well-being for all.

Taking care of all the points covered in this blog post requires a lot of effort. And without a strategy and good processes, you’ll quickly lose sight of the big picture.

So ask your teams and colleagues from other areas for feedback and actively seek support from them as well. That way, you can respond more quickly to change and work together to improve your processes for hiring, onboarding, and managing your software development teams.

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Sarah Mischinger is a freelance technical content writer for Codility. She leverages her knowledge and experience in web development & writing to convey technical content in an understandable and engaging way.

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