Do Your Developers Care?

November 1, 2019
Paavo Pauklin

After interviewing hundreds of CTOs over the past few years, I’ve discovered they all have one big concern in common.

The founders and leaders of fast-growing startups, challenger banks, and SaaS companies all say the same thing.

They all want — need — their software developers to truly care about their company and their product, and to ‘take ownership’ of their work.

But while it’s essential to have a common culture that supports the company’s ambitions, what really predicts dedication and loyalty? Is it the contract type — or something else?

In-house is better, right?

When startups set out to change the world, everyone needs to be on board with their mission.

CTOs long for team members who’ll stay indefinitely, and not leave (taking their valuable know-how with them).

Employing people looks like a great way to achieve that. Consultants won’t care as much as internal people. And they can be expensive. It all seems pretty obvious.

Outsiders can walk away from our projects almost on a whim. But — reality check — so can internal staff. The average software employee stays put for less than two years.

Location, location, location

Maybe it’s the location that tips the balance. If we’re all in the same place and get to know each other, that fosters the sense that ‘we’re all in this together’.

Another nice idea. But how do you create that sense of belonging if – like so many modern companies – you have key people working remotely?

So what’s the answer

Netcorp offers nearshored software development services from Estonia and Poland to clients from Scandinavia and Northern Europe. But I believe our insights are true for any type of outsourcing.

Our analysis of the outsourced development sector has convinced me it’s not the location that creates that elusive sense of ownership. And it’s not the type of contract either. The real key is company culture and leadership.

Get connected

When we look closely at companies that don’t achieve commitment and loyalty, we see outsourced teams treated as outsiders. Over and over again we hear that client-side product owners have been demanding, inflexible, or inconsiderate. The developers feel they’re just figures on a spreadsheet and not valued members of the team.

Our Clients, who treat outsourced teams like their very own, get the very best results. Regular meet-ups, summer parties, pizza Fridays, and friendly and inclusive communication, all help developers feel connected and motivate them to help build something great. And these benefits and initiatives can be provided for outsourced teams just as easily as for onsite staff.

It’s a people business

In any business, great results begin with how you treat your team. And that’s especially true for software development, which is predominantly a people business. Most company founders understand the benefits of employee engagement, but fewer extend that philosophy to contractors, consultants, and outsourced staff.

If you want to get the real inside track on onboarding outsourced teams and preparing internal processes to support them, then contact me for a free 30-minute consultation.

I’ll be happy to share my insights from dozens of successful co-operations.

If you consider outsourcing then you must read this article: 10 top ways to find a great development partner

Software Development Services

Meet the authors

Paavo Pauklin
Executive Board Member
+372 6 555 022
Joseph Carson
Ethical Hacker, Cybersecurity Advisor
+372 6 555 022

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