Managing software developers is no different from managing other professionals. Like any other profession, software developers crave a manager who will help them solve problems, shield them from unnecessary office debates, and help them realize their personal career goals. Nonetheless, developers also need extra unique management strategies to boost their productivity.
To effectively manage software developers/teams, here are tips that you need to master:
Enable them to do their job
Avoid dictating to developers about the programming language, method, or framework they should follow. Assign them a task and leave them to code using their preferred language or method. So if you want a website, allow them to do their job, providing they are adhering to the set guidelines.
Depending on their specialization, developers can arrive on the same solution using different programming languages, methods, and even frameworks. As a manager, you’re mandated to specify the task’s objective, but you should allow the developers to make the ultimate technological decisions. Otherwise, you can do it without a developer.
Take Your Time to Prepare the Task
Developers are wizards and not magicians. They can’t foretell what is in your mind. They need precise instructions about the project that needs to be completed. By taking the time to write down the project specifications, not only will you save time in the long run, but also avoid needless discussions. This will also help developers have a clear understanding of the project, minimizing errors’ prospects.
Another upside of having a written project is that you can refer to it later to determine if everything is done correctly. Due to our ever-busy lifestyles, it is easy to forget the task details in a week or a month, but with a reference, you’ll be able to recall the project details effortlessly. Another advantage of writing down project specifications and any other information is that it doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare.
Take Care of Non-Development Work
Any work that doesn’t involve writing code is of little importance to developers. As a manager, you should exempt your developers from nonsensical office meetings and any other tasks that eat up their time.
Developers envy for a manager who avails them a list of prioritized activities with worthwhile priorities. No developer is comfortable with an unfeasible deadline, and one of the tips to stem this to outline the requirements in advance. Instead of being confrontational, focus on reasonable needs. By doing so, developers will have a clear understanding of the scope, which will help them get the job done within the stipulated time. Through this, developers will meet the set deadlines without feeling that they’re being pressurized.
Identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Software development is a complicated task. There are dozens of programming worlds such as mobile, web, and many others. Each of them is categorized into front-back-end, operating systems, and not forgetting languages and technologies. No developer can be an expert in all of them. Try to find out the developer’s strengths and weaknesses.
It’s worthwhile to divide a task into sub-tasks and assign various parts to different developers. The objective of doing is to better the overall results and make exclusive use of your resources.
Note that even if a developer isn’t familiar with a particular concept, it doesn’t mean he is unskilled or unprofessional. Instead, it means he doesn’t have experience with something. However, it’s worth noting that he has experience in other fields. A good developer should be willing to learn new concepts because the technological world is ever-changing.
Some managers tend to test every step made by the developers, which doesn’t go well with many of them. If you take part in every decision or frequently monitor every step they make, then there is a prospect that you’ll annoy them. This is highly discouraged because it makes them less productive.
There is a massive difference between being actively helpful and micro-managing. Besides developers, other professionals are against the idea of being micro-managed all the time. As a micro-manager, you’re likely to cause discomfort and an unconducive environment for your team, and this, in return, will kill productivity.
Avoid being too Bossy
As a manager, you shouldn’t be too demanding for your developers. Be courteous when addressing your team, as this is the only way to them ready for the task. Most developers don’t tolerate intimidations or threats as most of them opt to handover resignation letters to their bosses. Developers shouldn’t be enslaved as this will demotivate them and make them less productive.
Desired results can only be realized through a friendly conversation and not through threats. If it works, it will be only for the short-term and ruin the existing relationship in the long-run.
Act as a link between developers and other professionals
Besides developers, other professionals play a crucial role in the realization of the desired results. Other team members include managers, designers, copywriters, and many other people.
As a team manager, you should act as a link between all of them. Note that these people don’t speak the same language, and in such an instance, you should act as an interpreter.
Apart from translating and delivering messages, endeavor to obtain the necessary information. A delay in file submission or clarifications from a manager can be a source of developers’ problems in their quest to get the job done.
Listen and Respond
Regardless of how well you might think you have communicated the project specifications, developers will still ask a few questions. Development is a systematic process.
Beforehand efforts pay dividends in software developments. Once you gather essential requirements, engage the developers before commencing work. Developers should have the opportunity to access, evaluate, and approve or reject the totality requirements if they’re nonsensical.
Software development is a critical aspect that involves developers, managers, copywriters, and many other professionals. This team has a leader who monitors all the other members of the team. As a manager, you should employ the tips mentioned above to manage the developers effectively.