Building a software development team that performs at its peak is not a walk in the park. But with the right strategy, any engineering manager can assemble a great team of developers that consistently produce high-quality products, both on schedule and within budget.

Let's explore the different ways you can harness the power of your software engineering team and elevate their potential.

Get the Right People On Board

To build a high-performing software developer team, you need to start with recruitment and hire the right developers. Seek out candidates who possess exceptional technical skills, a proven history of success, and a genuine love for what they do. Software developers donโ€™t work in isolation โ€” itโ€™s a creative, highly collaborative people process. So, it's also important to find out how well they will fit in with the team.

For example, at our studio, we have a 'group interview' as the final stage of hiring a developer. It's not your typical interview where we grill the developer with technical questions. We want to get to know the developer beyond their coding skills and ask about their travels, sports, hobbies, and other non-technical subjects to gauge how well they'll fit in with the rest of the software team.

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Set Clear Objectives

One of the most important things to consider when building a high-performing dev team is to make sure that all your developers are working towards a common goal. For any team striving to create the next big thing, this is an absolute must.

A good place to effectively communicate these goals is during a one-on-one meeting. During one-on-one meetings, you can also encourage your teammates to share their perspectives and ideas, which can help strengthen the team's vision and direction.

Work Together

Collaborating is key to building a strong software development team. Encouraging open communication, idea-sharing, and a willingness to help each other out can help team members develop a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose.

As an engineering manager, it's crucial to foster a โ€˜normal work environmentโ€™ โ€” we even have this as our company slogan written on our walls! In such a 'normal work environment,' your teammates will feel good about the work they do and be confident in sharing their thoughts about the project.

It's also important to ensure that your teammates feel heard and valued. This can be achieved by actively listening to team feedback, addressing their concerns, and recognizing their contributions. Taking the time to acknowledge individual developers' hard work and accomplishments can go a long way in building a positive and supportive company culture.

Another key aspect of collaboration is a willingness to help each other. At our small-but-cozy software company, we do this with code reviews, mentoring, and Investment Time on Fridays.

Provide Opportunities To Grow and Upskill

As an engineering manager, one of the most important responsibilities you have is to help your developers grow and develop. This not only benefits them personally and professionally, but it can also lead to increased productivity and better results for your organization as a whole.

One effective way to support your teammates in their journey as software engineers is to provide them with ongoing training and development opportunities. This can take many forms, including attending conferences, taking courses, participating in mentoring sessions with a principal engineer, or simply providing access to relevant resources.

Empower and Trust Your Team

Empowerment is synonymous with trust. When you trust your software developers, provide them with the necessary tools, and grant them autonomy, you're setting the stage for innovation and productivity. This environment catalyzes motivation, fostering a dev team that's passionate and result-driven.

Celebrate Every Achievement (No Matter How Big Or Small)

Like our prosecco Fridays! There are several ways to recognize and appreciate the hard work and achievements of your software development team.

Giving them a "kudos" on your communication platforms like Slack, Teams, or any other messaging tool is a great option. A โ€˜congratulations!โ€™ to a teammate on reaching a milestone also goes a long way. These are just a few gestures that can really boost team morale and create a positive work culture.

By focusing on these points, you turn a good team into a great one capable of delivering exceptional results.

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