With the evolution of the Internet over the last 10 years, new and very advanced applications have emerged and this trend continues to accelerate. Developing complex software requires deep expertise in several areas. Very often it is challenging, if not impossible to find employees with the right skill set within a 50-mile radius of company HQ. Today, Unified Communications and Visual Collaboration tools remove geographic limitations freeing companies to hire developers from any location. Distributed agile development teams now span continents and employers can tap into global talent pools and expand well beyond their physical office locations.
With collaboration suites like Viewme, developers meet face to face in persistent virtual spaces. They engage in daily scrum meetings, discuss technical issues, ask for help, and resolve problems together in their “development meeting room”. Integrated voice, video, and chat provide distributed development teams with one unified collaboration tool that allows them to take a more agile approach to development. Collaborative efforts enable team members to quickly respond and adapt to what’s going on in real time. Our distributed development team builds software virtually and our team collaboration room provides increased transparency, continuous feedback while encouraging flexibility, adaptability and a team approach to resolving conflicts. This agile approach also leads to faster project development and deployment without sacrificing innovation.
The best way to highlight how collaboration tools are crucial to developers is to ask them directly. Below are some testimonies from our own eZuce developers (they even collaborate on blogs) that help illustrate how and why they find virtual collaboration technology so useful:
- “As a software developer team collaboration is critical. I work for an international company which has two branches located in the USA (Boston, L.A) and two branches located in Europe (Slovakia, Romania). Our developers participate in many brainstorming meetings where we discuss and solve a variety of issues and problems as a team or in a closer, smaller group. Visual communications and desktop sharing allows all team members to simultaneously share any part of our desktop without limitations to the number displayed, managed video streams. A typical scenario of our technical, brainstorming meeting consists of sharing numerous desktops from multiple colleagues. This application allows us to immediately discuss and compare problematic or critical pieces of code as a team. The ability to see the presence and availability of all our team members is also very important. In real-time, I can spot any ongoing meetings running within the company and can quickly jump into any of them if needed. In addition, all controls and features are integrated into one application window with a user-friendly GUI which makes the application very easy to operate.” [VM]
- “Using persistent virtual spaces, we created the illusion that we are in the same room all the time. Sort of like cubicles, but with an “On / Off” switch. My work computer is connected all the time so when I get to work I see who is already there and can start interactive discussions right away. Because of the permanent video feed, I don’t need to look for some small status icon. I can see if someone is busy, on the phone or if they are talking to someone in their physical location, or if they stepped away from the desk to grab a coffee. The video shares more information about the person while I am talking to them. I can see them smile when they like my ideas and frown when they don’t understand what I am talking about. We never have to “go to a meeting” because we are in “agile” meetings all day, every day. And Aparté (side bar audio discussion between two participants in the same meeting) even allows us to do water-cooler chats or intense one-on-one discussions without leaving our desk.” [DA]
- “Our virtual meeting room helps me to communicate with my colleagues located across the globe. It's much more productive to share ideas face to face on camera than writing an email or via a phone call. It's very easy to start my camera, show my screen with a source code and debug it as a team or discuss with others about the next steps in the development process.” [MP]
- “I usually work from home and this collaboration tool gives me the ability to effectively communicate with all our team members. Also, access to visual collaboration gives us more options for finding the right developers for our team. Our company is a good example as we have employees dispersed around the world. Not only are we not limited by the local job market while choosing new employees, but we also have the opportunity to work with world class developers without having to relocate or travel.” [SZ]
- “Viewme is a great platform that enhances our ability to work together as team. We reap the benefits of working in the same virtual room from any location. The capability to call for a meeting and discuss technical matters even when workmates are located 3,000 miles away is crucial for the progress of our project. Sharing desktops allows us to view multiple resources at once, it gives us a better understanding of the complex issues we might face, and we can all add input and work through things together.” [LL]
- “I really appreciate being able to see everybody who is involved in our project in our “virtual office”. I get more work done than I would if I had to commute to the “real office” every day. With time saved fighting traffic, I start work earlier and I am more productive throughout the day. In our virtual team room, I can still talk privately with one person in a side conversation when working on one item. This convenience lets me resolve an issue without disturbing the rest of the team members in our room. The ability to compare source code or configuration without logging into the machine is a huge time saver. We can easily share what we are working on and compare with what our other collaborators have on their screens. Lastly, I find it most helpful in our technical discussions. We solve problems and make decisions much quicker in a collaborative environment. No more time wasted on lengthy email exchanges, trying to replicate all the relevant information needed to address a point - as issues or questions pop up we simply show what is happening in the moment using the desktop sharing capability. I find Viewme to be a huge time saver and I still feel like I really know and am really connected to my team members because I literally see and work with them every day. [VL]
First-hand experience from our developers show how visual and unified collaboration tools help them to be much more productive, solve issues and make group decisions quickly all while enabling them to increase their own technical knowledge by working with experts from all over the world. Most importantly, the visual communication element that enables face to face interaction every day keeps remote and distributed workers connected to a wider development team and project.
Click here to get a free trial of our Viewme collaboration tool and test it with your development team!