Category: Social

Freelance vs Remote Development Team: Why You Want the Team on Your Side

You surely have heard the expression that there is “no I in the word team,” and it is frequently used in sports to get everyone to think collectively, as well as act in a coordinated way that ensures success. It is unfortunate that the expression is thought of as a cliché because it is appropriate in other settings outside of sports. In fact, in the world of software development, it is far more likely that you’ll see a winning effort when it is a team at work.

In the current business world, we know that a lot of professionals operate in the “gig economy,” or as freelancing entities. Sure, they may align themselves to groups and teams, but for the most part, they operate (and think) in that “I” mindset.

The Trouble with Freelance

If you are on the lookout for a remote software development option, you’ll likely be curious about freelancers. Here’s the problem, while they might be a bit more flexible and less costly, you’ll find they are:

  • Less available because they need to keep many projects rolling at once. This means difficulties in communication, deadlines, and more. It also puts you at risk for being dumped if that freelancer is overwhelmed.
  • Less controllable because a freelancer works entirely on their own and has no accountability to other team members. Shortcuts can be taken, progress reports can be skimpy or flawed, and any last-minute issues will be far more difficult to troubleshoot.
  • Likely to pose more risks around the issue of confidentiality. While it may seem that a group is more difficult when it comes to confidentiality, it is often the case that a freelancer may not sign an NDA or may be prone to discussing other projects with potential clients, jeopardizing your confidentiality.

So, if you are going to hire a remote solution for software development, it just makes sense to lean into a team of developers to help.

Advantages of a Remote Development Team

Regardless of the complexity or simplicity of your needs, working with a remote development team comes with significant advantages, including:

 

Cost efficiency –

With in-house solutions, there are payroll fees, insurances, taxes, and so on. The remote team enables cost benefits to the company and the development professionals who won’t have to relocate to a high-cost area.

 

Talent recruitment –

Opting for remote development teams means the option to recruit the best talent. Your firm is not simply offering a work-from-home scenario but is looking all over the globe for the ideal candidates to work with! This means the world is an employer’s proverbial oyster, and it is far more likely that the team will be populated by experts already adept at remote work. When you hire a company, the remote team has most likely been part of a carefully curating process of talent selection. Also, a report in Entrepreneur noted, high performers given a remote working opportunity may find it fuels “creativity and spurs productivity by working remotely,” and this can benefit your project or goals immensely.

 

Happier workers –

While you may be working with a remote development team, you still want to consider their worker satisfaction because it will be reflected in their overall performance and output. Remote workers report themselves as far happier than more traditional workers, and this leads to a greater sense of well-being, which results in higher work outcomes. Additionally, productivity soars because the majority of remote teams report feeling more valued by the companies partnered with them.

 

It’s the way of the future –

A majority of global tech firms already use remote development teams. For many, it is “about creating a sustainable and long-term strategy through a cohesive, high-performance culture,” as Jerry Porras explained. As a Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford, he found that exceptional long term business performance resulted from values-driven teams, especially remote workforces with members who understand the value of each player.

 

In addition to those advantages, another key benefit is that you work with an interim CTO or another leadership figure who is part of a team and belongs to a company with a culture and more resources, especially knowledge from other team members.

Companies like Celerik, for example, provide startups and transitional companies with a team of development professionals. They offer the benefits of a well-honed team and provide the same organized, effective results that come when experts work collaboratively and communicate clearly throughout the chain of command.

Not only will they bring the advantages of a development team but help address the struggle of “nearshoring”. Even in today’s economy,  the U.S. has an exceptionally low unemployment rate for domestic development teams, making it very hard to find them available. Nearshoring, however, is the recruitment of remote development teams from neighboring countries such as Mexico, Canada, and South America. Located within the same time zone, operating at a better cost per hour, and working around the lack of native development professionals, it is a huge reason to think remote development.

Whether you are a pre-existing firm or starting with a clean slate as a startup, the benefits of remote development teams cannot be ignored. They offer long-term business improvements as well as top talent and autonomy to a self-organizing team of experts.

The best remote teams also provide businesses and support services capable of overcoming any challenges together. Today’s optimal communication methods, video chat options, and customizable digital solutions that make success easier than ever before.

Though it may seem easier to hire a single developer, the long-term success of any company comes from a team of experts adept at remote work and with enough collective and team’s breadth of knowledge.

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Remote Ready: Top 5 Benefits of Hiring an Interim CTO Team During COVID-19

What does the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) do for your firm? It is likely that he or she plays an executive role and supports ongoing technological needs as well as any R&D role that is required. A CTO may review the long or short-term needs of your company, and use whatever capital is budgeted to him or her to support your business in striking goals or objectives.

The CTO emerged within the past decade as a branch of the CIO and is likely to play a strong role in strategic planning. According to Investopedia, the CTO is also the “highest technology executive position within a company. He or she develops policies and procedures and uses technology to enhance products and services that focus on external customers. The CTO also develops strategies to increase revenue and performs a cost-benefit analysis and return-on-investment analysis.”

That is quite a plate-full, and if you read through this and realize that it may be better to use the collective skill set of a team rather than heaping so many responsibilities on a single individual, you are not alone. Today, and especially during the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, many firms are leaning into a different solution – the interim CTO team.

Before you argue against this, let’s reconsider the evolution of remote working. The world has been going towards a remote work model for a while now, and technology as well as infrastructure exist to such a degree that it is easier than ever to visualize a permanent shift to this approach. Consider what an article from Forbes said of this: “Technologies like Slack, Zoom or Google Hangouts, Dropbox, etc. are making it easy to be productive as a team while remote.”

Enter the Interim CTO Team

The average salary for a CTO is $159,419 (according to PayScale.com), but may soar as high as $241k, or more. Add in bonuses, profit sharing, commissions, and benefits and the numbers grow substantially larger. Most startups face that significant figure along with the rest of the cost of staffing the company. 

As a hiring priority, though, finding the ideal CTO is important, and yet it is also a major struggle. The CTO happens to be one of the most competitive positions in the job market, and particularly in major urban areas and specific industries. Therefore, the choice to work with an interim CTO makes more sense now than ever before.

Sadly, the interim CTO can be just as difficult to find as the more permanent candidates. And in the current COVID-19 crisis, the ability to interview and screen candidates in the traditional way is limited, at best. The opportunity for face to face meetings has been reduced to screen to screen meetings, and even if a company is adapted to remote workers and remote hiring, the process remains daunting. Fraught with pitfalls, it can start to feel as if progress during the COVID-19 crisis is an untenable goal.

And this is where technology and an interim CTO team can save the day.

5 Benefits of Working with an Interim CTO Team

You know the costs of that single CTO, and even when recruitment is flawless, it is almost impossible to find a single person who can offer the expansive skillset of a group. The interim CTO team is going to offer many benefits, including:

  1. A collection of individuals with many skills and experiences that instantly override the tech talent gap for workers in the technology field
  2. The ability to meet all product development demands 
  3. Avoiding the usual pitfalls of unsustainability in deliverables by utilizing a team of people  
  4. Enjoying scalability to a degree impossible with a single CTO or interim CTO
  5. Management becomes nimbler and more adept at handling remote or distributed teams, i.e. remote ready (which is in line with emerging trends and sure to become a beneficial capability)

Let’s consider that final point, since it is incredibly relevant during this current COVID-19 crisis. Without the ability to enjoy traditional face time with employees at all levels, it can feel as if there is a lack of defined company culture.

However, when management (whether in a startup or existing firm) has to adapt to managing distributed teams, they begin to also build a culture oriented towards remote success. There will be an emphasis on clear, fast and concise communication. Trust is essential as teams will need the ability to act autonomously in order to hasten growth – an essential during startup.

The CTO who is a “jack of all trades,” is highly desirable but as rare as a unicorn, and as costly. A diverse talent pool is desirable, and possible with the implementation of an interim CTO team. If you are eager to join the Future of Work, today, and during the current COVID-19 crisis, Celerik can help; becoming your digital partner, and helping you build your mobile or web application, enabled by cloud and data science technologies.

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How your startup might benefit from a remote interim CTO

These days, one of the top priorities for most startup founders is finding the right CTO. Early stage startups and non-technical founders struggle to find a suitable CTO given the highly competitive job market in startup hubs such as Silicon Valley, New York and other major cities, with salaries easily going well above the USD 200k mark according to PayScale.

 

Under this scenario, some founders opt to go to market and look for an interim CTO who can help them deliver their very first MVP until they are able to recruit the right candidate. Even though this figure seems ideal, it’s still very hard to find.

Fortunately, the interim CTO figure doesn’t really need to be embodied by an individual or a jack of all trades technologist. More and more, early stage startups rely on what we like to call an interim CTO team, made up of individuals who can use their collective skills to move the company forward.

Given the tech talent shortage, it’s unlikely that you can meet all of your product development demands by hiring internally, at least not very efficiently. You need to put down a lot of money, time, and considerable effort to source a high-caliber individual like a CTO. This is where the remote interim CTO team comes into play.

Why hiring an interim CTO team might be your best bet

Even though outsourcing and remote work used to face a negative stigma from VC’s, that vision seems to be losing ground as the “Future of Work” highlights the trend of remote work taking over the world labor market and it becomes the new norm.

If the “Future of Work” is already increasingly remote and flexible, why not hire the best you can even if that individual or team is located remotely?

Some may argue that when you are building a startup, you need to build a culture and you require constant face time with your first hires. Although that can help – on the flipside – learning to manage a distributed team early on will make you better on several key fronts, such as making communication a priority, trusting colleagues to act autonomously, and defining a strong culture. When your startup is on growth mode, these skills and experience will help you scale faster as described on a recent article by Venture Beat.

And to name a few examples, companies like Basecamp, Github, InVision, Zapier, and Alegra in Latin America, provide successful role models of companies relying on large distributed teams.

In conclusion

The “Future of Work” is here to stay and startups should embrace the opportunity to reach a global talent pool.  The benefits of accessing world-class talent clearly outweighs locality.

Our interim CTO team service can help your company scale faster while finding an optimal balance between skills and rates and leveraging a multi-disciplinary technical team with the broad set of skills you need to bring your product to life.

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Celerik Named Top B2B Company in Latin America 2019: Clutch Leadership Award

The team at Celerik is committed to thinking creatively and executing strategies that improve client’s businesses. We are constantly looking for ways to do things better and be the first one to find a better solution than the rest. It’s why we can say we are a leader in the web development industry.

Clutch, a B2B reviews platform that connects businesses to other businesses for projects, published their list for the “Top B2B Companies in Latin America 2019.” Clutch depends on verified client reviews to categorize businesses based on how great they are at the job, not just how popular they are. We are proud to say that we have been included as a leader in Latin America for the web development industry.


Without our clients, this wouldn’t have been possible. The work we do is for you and your business. It warms our teams hear that you appreciate what we have and will continue to do with your company.

We are very happy to receive this award for the first time. We are at a very important growth phase in our company, and we are convinced this is just the beginning for us. All of our customers are our friends, and there’s no doubt we’ll to continue to make many more friends.

– CEO, Celerik

 At Celerik, we refer to our clients as our friends and we love to show the work we’ve done with them any place we can. Clutch has two sister websites – The Manifest and Visual Objects. The Manifest features top firms and the best strategies to use in the web development industry, so our clients can stay up to date with how things work and can get insight into why our strategies are what they are. Visual Objects displays our portfolio, so you can skip all the reading and let the work speak for itself (it’s that good, trust us).

We look forward to more opportunities to make friends and create work that helps people in their respective ways. To our clients, thank you. We couldn’t have gotten anywhere without your support and trust with Celerik. And to our future friends, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. We are excited to hit the ground running with your proposal.

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