10 Questions We know You Have About Remote Software Development?

Hugo Hemmen, CEO Gapstars answers frequently asked questions about the remote development model.

I am often asked what it is like working with our remote software engineers. Whether they can help to scale up, how we offer the quality required and where the whole process begins.

I understand where these questions are coming from. Remote software teams are notorious for being no more than a few extra hands, offering a lack of quality and difficult communication.

At Gapstars however, we do things differently. Our model is aimed at smart and sustainable growth, by integrating remote teams into our partner’s organizations as strategic units, rather than just some extra manpower.

In this blog, I answer questions I am asked most frequently about setting up, working with and managing a remote software team with Gapstars. So I can show you what sets Gapstars apart from the archetypical remote software outsourcing company.

1. What does Gapstars do?

At Gapstars, we recruit, build, and support dedicated remote software development teams for ambitious scale-ups looking to accelerate their growth.

You will join us in every step while creating a dedicated team of tech talent that fits you. This way, your team will be a true extension of your company and its DNA. You will personally interview the software engineers to guarantee the desired fit. The teams we build follow the scrum format. We offer agile coaching and additional training to maximize efficiency and performance.

We have developed a campus-like set-up in Sri Lanka, where companies can ‘plugin’ and build their offshore development center within our walls. Our membership model means you employ your developers through us and work with them directly, while they become a member of the Gapstars community.

This allows your team to enjoy all the benefits of working within our environment, which is regarded (and awarded) one of Sri Lanka’s best places to work. Gapstars received the Great Place to Work Award two years in a row.

2. How do I get started?

By now, you have probably encountered the difficulty of finding tech talent in the Netherlands. So, the first step is deciding you want a new solution to hire talent that can help you grow in the long run. Once you have committed to this idea, we can set you up with a winning team of developers that will help you reach your business goals.

We start with a recruitment kick-off meeting, where we discuss your company and its scaling plans and gather the requirements based on these plans.

Our Growth Team is specialized in finding people within our 4000+ talent pool that fit your company and its DNA. Next, we pre-screen a list of potential candidates. After that, you can personally interview and assess the best candidates.

The final personal interviews take place in our office in Sri Lanka. You will travel to Sri Lanka with us to experience its culture and its people, which is essential for creating a long and lasting relationship between employer and employee.

3. How long does it take for my team to get to work?

Time to market is one of our priorities. That is why we aim at a 3-month time slot from recruitment kick-off to a fully assembled team. This may vary depending on the number and type of developers you are looking for.

In the end, we always prioritize quality over quantity and want to make sure there is a strong fit between you and your new team members. During the recruitment kick-off, we will together determine a detailed timeline.

4. What kind of support do you provide?

Our mission is to provide your team with everything they need to work smoothly and efficiently, so you don’t have any hassle.

  • Your team will work from a dedicated, fully equipped office space.
  • A dedicated Support Team takes care of all IT or administrative issues, including payroll, travel arrangements and managing leave. You will be kept up-to-date by periodical reporting and you get viewing access to our software tools
  • Our Support Team works in the same office as your team and is available for any queries, updates, and requests from your team
  • We provide your team with the flexibility to build and grow. Our Growth Team is ready when you are to start recruiting new team members, or replacements if necessary.
  • We organize regular meetups and other events for developers, such as knowledge sharing initiatives every month to keep everyone on par.

But maybe the most important part: culture is at the heart of everything we do. We invest in our people and stand for our values. We organize monthly fun sessions, sports events, fitness programs, wellness days for stress relief (we have a masseuse in the office), family trips, parties and more.

We help employees with paperwork, for instance, their mortgage or lease contract. We support employees far beyond their office duties to grow as a human being and a professional, so together we can help your company grow.

5. Which programming languages/technologies do you offer?

In the past ten years, the Sri Lankan tech industry has expanded by 300% and employs more than 80,000 professionals. Gapstars’ influence in Sri Lanka can be traced back to the founding of Sri Lanka’s PHP Meetup — the largest in the country today.

We are still the number 1 place to work for PHP developers in Sri Lanka, but nowadays we have teams working in many languages, such as NodeJS, .NET, Java, C#, C++, JavaScript, and Python.

6. What kind of software development methodology do you recommend?

We firmly believe in the Agile philosophy when it comes to building dedicated scrum teams and SaaS platforms. Within the Agile framework, teams have the freedom to organize themselves and manage their own work.

On a daily basis, we enable teams to deliver products with the best time-to-market and the highest possible quality. As a result, our partners gain a competitive business advantage, which in turn enhances their customer’s satisfaction.

We also offer Agile Coaching and training as an additional service.

Read more about how Agile is helping Conxillium build an engaging team.

7. How do I effectively communicate with a remote team?

Smooth and frequent communication is essential when working with a remote team. Our in-house Agile Coach helps you and your team with setting up a seamless line of communication. We recommend the following:

  • Hold daily 15-minute scrum meetings to plan the day’s work
  • Set up clear overall goals
  • Get everyone to contribute
  • Break down tasks
  • Pre-schedule meetings

Simple practices like these will optimize team collaboration. They also help you keep track of the work completed since the last meeting while forecasting upcoming sprint work.

Also read how Fixico is benefiting from remote cooperation.

8. How does the remote team integrate into my team and company?

For a remote team to be a successful strategic extension, it is essential to build a bond of trust between The Netherlands and Sri Lanka. This is why I always stress the importance of personal interaction. We include a team visit to The Netherlands as part of the onboarding process and highly encourage our partners to visit their teams in Sri Lanka, and to bring them over to The Netherlands multiple times per year.

To make this easy, Gapstars will arrange everything for you. Whether you want your developers to visit your HQ or you prefer visiting Sri Lanka, our Support Team will take care of all travel needs including visa arrangements, transportation, and accommodation.

9. What are the best practices in building and managing remote teams?

Going remote is easier than ever before. However, remote benefits such as flexibility and continuous connectivity bring new challenges. Learn all about it from our 3 best practices and read the points below to get started:

  • Define the scope & key milestones — From day one, be clear about your expectations from your developers.
  • Work in an Agile way — This way your team members are aligned to have the same understanding and expectations when developing a product.
  • Never underestimate the importance of culture — Encourage teamwork and engagement.
  • Invest in facetime — Get to know your developers and meet them in person. It’s a great way to start your cooperation.

Also check out CTO of Temper, Jeroen Jochems sharing his experience on managing remote developers.

10. What are the costs associated with setting up a team?

You will save an average of 40% in costs compared to setting up a team in The Netherlands. This includes all extra costs such as travelling and other factors to be taken into account. However, more importantly, you will save a lot of time. We will have your key positions filled, and up and running within three months so you and your team can focus on delivering on your roadmap, create happy customers and shareholders.

If you have any further questions, just contact me: hugo@gapstars.net. I’ll be happy to provide more info.

Originally published at https://www.gapstars.net on December 18, 2019.


10 Questions We know You Have About Remote Software Development? was originally published in Gapstars on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

FAQ

If you have had COVID-19, your plasma contains antibodies that can help people currently sick with COVID-19.

You can donate convalescent plasma if you

  • Are 18 or over (you may be able to donate at 16 with parental consent – check with your local center)
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds
  • Have had COVID-19 in the past 6 months (as documented by a laboratory test, antibody test, or clinical diagnosis).
  • Have been symptom-free for at least 28 days

If you’ve received the vaccine, you can still donate. However check with your local blood center regarding the time between receiving your vaccine and eligibility to donate.

Generally, you can donate blood if you are at least 18 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and are in good health. You can also still donate if you..

  • Have tattoos, unless you were recently tattooed in DC, GA, ID, MD, MA, NH, NY, PA, UT, or WY. In this case, wait 3 months.
  • If you have diabetes, as long as you are well controlled on insulin or oral medications.
  • Recently got pierced, if it was done using single-use, disposable equipment. Otherwise, wait 3 months.

You, unfortunately, cannot donate if you..

  • Are pregnant
  • Have had a blood transfusion within the past 3 months
  • Have HIV (or Hepatitis B or C)

If you are part of the LGBTQ+ community, eligibility, as determined by the FDA guidelines, will depend on your identified sex and sexual activity. Please find the separate FAQ below for more details.

Every blood center has a different booking system. It can be tricky to navigate. Just send us an email at ccpcampaign@bca.coop with subject line ‘Help me book my appointment’ and we’ll help you out asap!

Yes you can. Thousands of people safely donate plasma every day. The collection process uses sterile tubing and supplies for each donation, which are discarded after each collection and are never reused. Blood does not come in contact with the collection machine. Blood centers take safety seriously and have taken the necessary precautions to allow safe donations during the pandemic. Appointments are encouraged, and masks are required. If you are still unsure or have more questions, please feel free to contact us at ccpcampaign@bca.coop .

This depends on multiple factors. Blood donation in the US is regulated by the FDA and we have to abide by their standards for this campaign also. This mainly has an impact on MSM.

 

  • The FDA states that men who have sex with men can donate 3 months after their most recent sexual contact.
  • There is no deferral for women who have sex with women.
  • Transgender and intersex donors can register as the sex in which they identify, and eligibility will be based upon the criteria associated with the sex the donor has reported.
  • The FDA requires donors to select either male or female as their biological sex. If you identify as non-conforming, genderqueer, gender fluid, agender, or non-binary, we ask you to select the sex you feel most comfortable with. Eligibility will be then be based upon the criteria associated with the sex you have reported.

 

We understand this may mean you are unable to donate during this campaign – or at all. If you are able to donate after April 30th 2021, you can upload a screenshot of the confirmation email for your appointment, even if you have not donated yet.

 

If you know you will be deferred (because for example as a man you are sexually active with other men), you can still join the contest by encouraging someone else who isn’t interested in the incentive to donate. You can then use their proof of donation to claim a skin (or they can enter your LoL details in the form).

 

Our campaign policy does not reflect our stance on the FDA regulations. But we do have to abide by the rules in place. If you have any further questions or suggestions, you can contact us at ccpcampaign@bca.coop.

The whole process, including registration and your free post-donation snack, takes approximately an hour. The actual blood donation only takes about 12 minutes. For convalescent plasma donation, the process can take a little longer.

No, not at all. Although of course everyone has a unique experience, generally you will only feel a small pinch as the needle is inserted.

You most certainly can. Fill out the form on the ‘claim your skin’-page and upload a screenshot of the confirmation email you received upon booking your appointment. We’ll make sure K/DA ALL OUT Kai’Sa is sent to your account within a week. Thank you for making the effort to come out and donate!

You can find your blood unit number (BUN, also known as donation identification number, DIN) on the post-donation instructions you were given at the blood center. If you didn’t receive your BUN or lost your documentation, don’t worry. You can upload a photo of the email you received post-donation to claim your skin instead.

Plasma is a yellowish liquid that makes up about half your blood volume.  Convalescent plasma means plasma that comes from people who have recovered from an infection, like the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This plasma may contain antibodies against the virus. Antibodies are proteins that your immune system makes after you have had an infection, that can neutralize or kill the virus and help you to recover.

Convalescent plasma has been used as a treatment for decades. The use of convalescent plasma on patients recovering from Covid-19 is considered an investigational treatment under the FDA. The FDA authorized an emergency use authorization in August 2020 as it concluded on the basis of scientific evidence that convalescent plasma may be effective in treating Covid-19 and that its potential benefits outweigh the potential known risks.

According to recent literature, the use of convalescent plasma seems to be effective in lessening the severity or shortening the length of COVID-19 illness. Studies have seen a decrease in mortality in COVID-19 patients treated with convalescent plasma. The use of convalescent plasma seems especially promising when administered early on in the disease and for patients with an auto-immune disease whose bodies are unable to produce antibodies themselves.

Clinical trials are still running to gain a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of convalescent plasma in treating COVID-19 patients.

Anyone within the US who has donated blood or plasma, or has tried to donate blood or plasma (but was deferred). Unfortunately, non-US residents are not eligible for the K/DA ALL OUT Kai’Sa incentive offered as part of this campaign.

You can claim your free skin until April 30th 2021 8pm PDT (or when supplies run out). You will qualify for a skin if you..

  • Are a US resident.
  • Have donated (or tried to donate but were deferred) in the US between January 1st 2021 and April 30th 2021 (donations of all types of blood products qualify).
  • Have proof of donation from within that period in the form of a blood unit number or a screenshot of the email you received from your local blood center after you went in to donate.

If you already know you are not eligible to donate during the period of this campaign or at all, you can encourage someone you know who isn’t interested in the skin to donate and ask to use their proof of donation to claim K/DA ALL OUT Kai’Sa. Any proof of donation can only be used once.

No, during this campaign it’s only possible to receive K/DA ALL OUT Kai’Sa. If you know you can’t donate, see if someone you know who isn’t interested in the skin is willing to donate, and then enter your Riot details to claim the skin. If you don’t play League of Legends and do want to donate, you can do the reverse and gift the skin to someone else.

Riot Games and the LCS have an enormous amount of viewers, followers, and gamers that have or might have had COVID-19. Within this partnership, Riot Games uses its reach to encourage giving blood. As a token of appreciation, every donor received K/DA ALL OUT Kai’Sa for free to use in League of Legends.

The data entered to claim your skin will be used only to transfer K/DA ALLOUT Kai’Sa to your account and will be deleted within 30 days from the end of this campaign.

Please note it takes a week for your skin to be processed. So please do not contact us before 7 days have passed. If they have, and you have still not received your free skin, you can contact us at ccpcampaign@bca.coop using “CCP Campaign: skin not received” as your subject line and someone will be in touch with you soon.

For further questions regarding this campaign, please contact ccpcampaign@bca.coop. Please only contact us with regards to this campaign and not with general questions regarding convalescent plasma donation, unless your question is keeping you from making an appointment as part of this campaign.