With the surge of IT bootcamps and online courses, developers have found themselves needing to learn new skills and update their existing ones. While there is still a global developer shortage, the competition in the IT world is strong. Development teams should continually take steps to improve internally. Doing this can mean better jobs, higher-paying clients, and the ability to take on new projects.
For development teams that want to remain competitive in the growing market, here are five steps to take.
1. Review any skills gaps
An interview of 500 top executives found that 92% believe there is a skill gap in the US workforce today. Most likely your team is missing some sort of skill, whether it be technical or a soft skill. In fact, 44% of executives believe that the gap is in soft skills such as communication, creativity, and cooperation, skills that a company should never neglect. It’s important to find and address those skills gaps internally and give employees proper training in necessary areas. Alternatively, companies can hire developers with additional skills to fill in these gaps.
2. Foster an open work environment that encourages collaboration
Companies struggle to create an open work environment, especially when managing remote teams. However, an open work environment where all ideas are welcome can result in new, creative innovations. Use technology to encourage collaboration. Tools such as Slack, video conferencing, file sharing, and even time tracking can all help team members collaborate successfully. If employees are allowed to express new ideas, then this can increase internal productivity and help a company stay competitive. Agile methodologies, such as the ones employed in every BairesDev team, have a lot of resources and practices to maintain high levels of collaboration within teams.
3. Create opportunities to learn new skills
Many developers want to improve their skills constantly, so businesses should make this easy for them. And especially because it costs less to train an employee on a new skill than to hire a new person, companies should always offer professional development to staff members. The numbers prove this point:
- Companies that provide professional development have a 34% higher retention rate.
- 54% of people say career development is more important than salary.
- 70% of people say professional development affects the decision to stay at companies.
- Employees with professional development are 15% more engaged.
To stay competitive, it’s important to retain high-performing employees, and professional development is a way to keep these employees on the team.
4. Have coding challenges
Most organizations hold a coding challenge for new employees, but current employees can partake as well. Companies can offer coding challenges during downtime to test employees on new skills or provide a fun way to interact with the entire IT team. Furthermore, coding challenges might highlight a skill an employee has that management did not fully see. Team leaders can then shift around teams to make everyone more productive based on the coding challenge results.
5. Review team priorities
It’s crucial that all team members are on the same page, especially when it comes to priorities internally and for clients. To be competitive in this market, companies must perform high-quality work in the specified amount of time. If the team does not know which clients and which projects are a priority, then this can cause poor performance and annoyed clients.
Team priorities also go beyond client work. Managers should conduct regular reviews to understand individual priorities in terms of professional development and experience. Regular reviews of how a team works together are also important to make sure there are no internal problem areas.
A combination of professional development and regular check-ins can help development teams stay competitive. With advancing technologies and new client demands, teams should always strive to fill skills gaps and develop internally. Following these five steps can help development teams remain competitive in today’s market.