It's always better to anticipate problems than to deal with them as you go. So if you want to be prepared for the issues mentioned above, just ask yourself the following questions. 1. Do you feel you're getting the most value out of your engineering investment?
Odds are you may be overpaying. Unfortunately, that often happens when you can't estimate your team's exact value. Too bad, a non-technical founder mostly has to rely on the developer's word and hope that their qualifications correspond to their rates. 2. Is your talent pool global?
Today, due to the COVID-19 pandemic
, companies hire developers remotely. This trend will certainly stay even after the quarantine because there's not much point in seeking developers locally. The benefits of hiring a remote team are obvious:
3. Is your team overengineering or doing premature optimizations?
- Saved costs. The developers' rates are lower in some countries. Take Eastern Europe, for instance. Hiring a development team in Ukraine, Poland, or Belarus will help you save money.
- Wide talent pool. When you hire a remote team of developers, you can choose any professionals you want. In other words, you're not limited by the local talent pool.
- Reduced risks. Due to the recent events, having a remote development team instead of the traditional one has become a necessity. Moreover, the global pandemic has shown that it's better to work with developers from different countries. Because while some locations have turned into the heart of the pandemic, others remain relatively safe. Put simply, by hiring in several countries, you can minimize the risks of not getting things done.
Nu-uh, you better not be. Any premature optimizations significantly increase the development cost. Also, if you start optimizing your product early, you may overengineer it. When your business idea hasn't been validated, you can't be sure that you need optimization at all. No one guarantees you that those extra features you built won't become useless later. 4. Can your product handle scale and growth?
No, you don't need to optimize the product upfront, but you do have to think about its scalability. Choosing the wrong technology stack from the start can result in your service's inability to handle the growth. So if you want your product to be stable in the future, adopt the scalable architecture and technologies. 5. Does your team acknowledge the technical debt?
Unfortunately, the technical debt can't be avoided. It's a part of the software development process. Whenever you need to implement a new feature fast, your team will probably decide to take a shortcut. Instead of choosing the proper but time-consuming solution, they'll pick the easy and quick one.
All the shortcuts your team has ever taken will slowly pile up into the technical debt
. But the thing is, your technical debt should be addressed. All the loans you took to implement new features have to be repaid. If not, your team will run into a lot of troubles like the increasing number of bugs and daunting feature implementation. 6. Are you ahead of your competitors?
To create a successful product, you need to think two steps ahead of your market competitors. Yes, you need better resources and an excellent development team. This also includes cutting expenses where possible, which means that you have to find qualified developers for a reasonable price to save money. For that matter, try outsourcing software development to a remote team of professionals
. 7. Does your team have what it takes?
Are you sure you have strong players on your team? Did you check the developers' skills properly? Or did you hire these people because you needed to start the development immediately and didn't have any other options? The sad truth is, your current team may not be perfect. And you may need to recruit professional help to reinforce it. 8. Can your team deliver results on time?
The essential quality of a great engineering team is the ability to stick to the timelines. If your developers can't plan the releases and meet the deadlines, consider this a red flag for you: something has to be changed. Your team may lack the knowledge of how to establish the delivery process properly. In some cases, they may need a strong tech lead to guide them. Don't ever ignore the missed deadlines - they can cost you a lot. 9. Are you satisfied with engineering management?
Obviously, you shouldn't waste your time writing out sprints or planning feature releases in detail. But sometimes inexperienced founders end up doing all that. It's actually the job of an engineering team lead to manage the developers, and you have to pay attention to whether he copes with it smoothly, without stealing your precious time.