search

The software you need to lead a distributed engineering team

Cathy Reisenwitz

by Cathy Reisenwitz on February 20, 2020

We're excited to be featured in Within Range, team success software company Range's blog. A snippet of the post is below. Read the whole thing here: The software you need to lead a distributed engineering team

More and more software engineering teams are moving to a distributed model, where teammates work from different locations, sometimes across the world. The data shows companies benefit from this flexibility, with a 10% to 43% increase in productivity on average. Moving to a distributed model also saves 390 million gallons of gas and keeps 3.6 million tons of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere every year.

But distributed engineering isn’t without its challenges. These include differences in:

  • Time zones
  • Languages
  • Cultures
  • Religious holidays
  • Acceptable wages
  • Workers’ rights and expectations
  • Internet speed and coverage
  • Access to websites

Luckily, faster internet speeds, greater broadband availability, and advances in cloud computing have created a plethora of business software solutions to help facilitate distributed collaboration. This article will walk you through the categories of software most distributed engineering teams will find helpful as well as note which features to look for and questions to keep in mind as you consider your options.

Chat software

Distributed team members lose the ability to stroll over to a colleague’s desk to chat. That means real-time collaboration requires that everyone use the same instant messaging app.

As a baseline, the chat platform needs to be able to send and thread instant messages. In addition, distributed teams can get a lot of value out of a chat app with timezone awareness so you know what time it is before messaging someone. You can also set statuses showing when you’re on vacation, busy/free, meetings, out of office, and outside work hours. You’ll also want a solution that allows you to search chats and snooze notifications.

Major players include Slack, Google Hangouts, Glip by RingCentral, and Twist. Here’s a good comparison of popular business chat apps.

  • Nice-to-have features Depending on your software stack, you might not need to share files or conduct audio and video calls in your chat application. But it’s nice to have the option.
  • Considerations The big question here is whether you can make do with whatever comes free with your other tech stack to save some money. For instance, Hangouts comes free with G Suite.

Read the rest: The software you need to lead a distributed engineering team

If you'd like to partner with us, reach out at cathy at getclockwise.com.

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz

Cathy Reisenwitz is Head of Content at Clockwise where she oversees the Clockwise Blog and The Minutes Newsletter. She has covered business software for six years and has been published in Newsweek, Forbes, the Daily Beast, VICE Motherboard, Reason magazine, Talking Points Memo and other publications.

Sign up for our newsletter

Ready to try Clockwise?

Get started for free