Today’s guest is Felipe Alves the owner of the Utah based CleverMage, a software company that provides development help for companies who have in-house developers, but may need additional assistance. They are an on-demand outsourced development team that uses the Agile approach.
Felipe has two offices, one in Utah with 5 people, and one in India with 10 people. His rationale is that some clients may not wish to work with offshore developers, so he takes the hybrid approach.
Hiring is always an issue, especially for non-technical people, when it comes to hiring a developer. Felipe feels that everyone should have an in-house developer to assist with the development process. This person can be a liaison with the company you are outsourcing too.
Instead of using Upwork or Freelancer.com, Felipe recommends searching LinkedIn for a qualified developer. After contacting qualified people, Felipe sets up a Skype call and asks about past projects and then requests a video walkthrough of a project they have done.
This not only lets him know what they have done, it’s a great chance to learn about their communication style. Step two is having someone else read the code and make sure it is up to par. Besides having the ability to communicate, a developer who knows modern technology and uses modern version control software like Git is a good choice.
Felipe is from Brazil, so he is partial to Brazilian developers. He thinks Indian developers are very good, but English can an issue. He also thinks developers from China have very solid logic. He has a team in India, and to overcome the issues with English he actually has English classes twice a week at his office.
He also encourages teamwork and collaboration at his offices. He uses quality equipment and offers incentives like food and insurance. When he is onboarding new hires, he will set them up with a GitHub password and have them review a current project. He also looks for communication and speed. He doesn’t like to pressure his developers, instead he likes to give them the opportunity to make their own time commitments.
He still expects projects done on a timely basis. They use an Agile development environment and work in two week sprints. He doesn’t keep developers who can’t meet time commitments or who aren’t team players. To create a culture with a remote team, he makes sure the existing employees like the new candidate before hiring that person.
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