Apliteni Front End team internal productivity practices

Vladimir Grigoryev, who steers the Front End Development team, has generously revealed some of his team’s key methods. Let’s explore the intricate dynamics of his team together:

– I know you have a unique way of managing your team at Apliteni. What’s so special about your method?

– Drawing from my personal journey and experience, I shaped our team’s operations. My career in IT began with a conventional office role, but after working for a couple of companies, I transitioned to remote work. Therefore, I am well-versed in the advantages and challenges of office and remote environments.

Office work facilitates effective communication, immediate assistance from colleagues, and swift knowledge sharing as there are no geographical constraints. On the downside, commuting consumes substantial time and could be more practical for a distributed team.

The perks of remote work include the flexibility of waking up and sleeping in. On the other hand, communication requires pre-planned meetings, articulating your queries and thoughts in writing consumes more time, and there needs to be more clarity about who’s available at a given moment. There are also synchronization issues.

This led me to ponder how to integrate the best aspects of remote and office work while avoiding the downsides. Thus, I introduced a daylong workspace meetings strategy. Whenever a team member begins work (we have flexible hours, so we all start at various times), they join the workday-long meeting. For private and one-on-one conversations, we utilize Google Meet’s private rooms.

This approach has helped us overcome the challenges of remote work I’ve outlined earlier. We can immediately see who’s online and who’s available, pose questions as soon as they arise, share knowledge and discoveries, and ask for assistance. What we get are immediate responses. The chance that everyone is too busy to reply is minimal.

This strategy aids in maintaining a consistent coding style, architecture, and structure. We discuss and vote on matters on the go. We can brainstorm online in real time without scheduling meetings and making decisions promptly. Written questions are more prone to misinterpretation by colleagues, so screen sharing when asking a question is a quicker and more straightforward option.

– Are those meetings mandatory? Is it easy for new hires to adapt to this type of workflow?

– Our team members willingly join the calls each working day, though it’s not compulsory. The process begins with hiring the right person. To gain access to our daily workspace, a recent hire must demonstrate competence, leave a positive impression, and have a friendly demeanor. Only some new hires can join our virtual office right away. We have an ecosystem that can be easily disrupted. We cultivate a familial atmosphere and work hard to create an environment that people are eager to join and contribute to. 

– Are there any other practices that you utilize regularly?

– Regular code reviews. Every merge request made should contribute positively to our code base or at least not make the code worse, and consistent code reviews ensure this.

– What do you look for in candidates for your team?

– When recruiting developers, I prioritize those with solid soft skills who can communicate well and ask for help over silent geniuses who prefer working in isolation. These individuals may not have all the answers, but the team’s collective intelligence can address that. This way, we grow together, achieving more and faster than one genius could. The development process becomes a continuous journey of learning.

A good developer isn’t necessarily someone who has all the answers, but is fearless in seeking help when faced with unyielding challenges. This approach elevates code quality and can lead to faster and better problem-solving. 

– What are your motivational techniques? How do you avoid burnout?

– The role of developers can be stressful, and burnout is expected due to heavy workloads and significant responsibilities. Therefore, motivation and support are essential for preventing burnout. Financial incentives are short-term motivators, whereas the assurance of unwavering support from colleagues can be a long-term motivator, especially during tough times. Personal relationships are vital; when I worked alone, I noticed a decline in motivation, self-assessment, and an increase in stress. As a team, we consistently share experiences and evolve as a single entity.

In sum, the management strategy at Apliteni, specifically within the Front End Development team, successfully merges the best aspects of office and remote work through unique daily workspace meetings. Emphasis is placed on technical and soft skills when recruiting, creating a team environment prioritizing collaboration, continuous learning, and efficient problem-solving. The team also fosters personal relationships and a supportive environment to prevent burnout. This innovative approach offers insightful takeaways for organizations seeking to optimize their remote team dynamics.

Would you like to join the Front End team at Apliteni? Send your resume and cover letter to HR at jobs@apliteni.com!

Keitaro Team

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