Remote IT teams – overcoming the distance

20.08.20 4 min to read
vladyslav sokol, ceo at academy smart
Vlad Sokol CEO of the Academy Smart
oleg rudenko, partner
Oleg Rudenko CEO, Volidar KG (Austria)

Many business owners have concerns when starting to work with remote IT teams: how to build productive and comfortable communication, what kind of relationships will be, how to create a successful project and how to provide strong authentication for teamworks at home.

Two Chief Executive Officers and Founders of IT companies discussed an important topic in relation to IT project development:  “How to overcome the distance with remote IT teams and what are the life hacks behind successful software development”. Oleg Rudenko – Chief Executive Officer of Volidar KG, lived in Austria for many years. He is an expert in IoT solutions development with nearly 13 years of experience. Vlad Sokol – Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Academy Smart, lives in Ukraine. He has more than 14 years of experience in collaboration with Austrian and other DACH region SMEs.

Vlad Sokol: We have known each other for many years and since 2017 we have had a successful business partnership in software development services. You are originally from Ukraine and got your Computer Science education at the Kharkiv Polytechnical University. So how did you end up in Austria and what is the story behind the Volidar company?

Oleg Rudenko: “ Yes, you’re right. At the end of my studies, I was offered the opportunity to gain practice and experience in Klagenfurt, which I accepted. I started in software development but was mainly into software architecture. After some time, I decided to switch to doing freelance work. It was a critical change. I came to my boss and said that I would like to have my own company. He agreed. 🙂 The people that I have worked helped me build my network, interface, new contracts and opportunities. There’re my secrets of leadership success .“

Vlad Sokol: Could you briefly describe the situation with the Software Development services market in the DACH region, primarily on Industrial Automation demand (Germany, Austria, Switzerland)?

Oleg Rudenko: “ These countries, in my opinion, are very different. I have mostly worked with Austrian companies and see that they have the strength to have mid-size corporations with up to 200 developers in the company.  In Germany, conversely, there are large corporations with more than 1000 developers. In Austria, it’s easy to speak with the Director or the CEO. In Germany, you have to speak with people who are not in charge of controlling the complete company. It’s a different relationship, when you speak with the owner and when you speak with the manager. In Switzerland, from to my experience, companies like to remain small, they are open to direct communication and like to keep their resources local.

Vlad Sokol: The DACH market is seen as highly traditional in terms of employment, and even though the demand for IT services is high, employers are not flexible with Remote Software Specialists. How did COVID-19 quarantine influence the situation and what are the secrets of work from home?

Oleg Rudenko: “ We are developers, who can work at home, who can protect really good by working at home or working in small groups, it didn’t influence the services which high provide to Austrian and Germany companies. From another side, at the beginning of quarantine, some companies have tried to put some projects on hold or reduce the speed of these projects just too see how the economy will react on the quarantine. I see now that it going slowly away, we are recovering these projects, we’re starting to work again. So, I think, we haven’t any negative effects”

Vlad Sokol: What kind of software projects does your company work on right now? (briefly describe the projects and what problems they will solve for your clients)

Oleg Rudenko: “ Mostly, my company concentrates on IoT projects. We have worked with different customers, but mostly software customers, who work with the inverse step, production lines, with companies who need to observe and control something. One of our clients hates smartphones but would like to get information on anything going wrong within their building, so our system has been improved to use voice generation services, just call them by phone line and tell him that something is wrong. It was fun and rewarding to solve this problem. “

Vlad Sokol: Which types of IT team augmentation do you practice and how to make team jobs successful?
Oleg Rudenko: “ In 2008 when I became the owner of the company, I saw that some projects needed more resources, not just me alone. The first logical option was to find a person nearby in Austria and agree to a salary, which was really high. For me, as a freelancer, this option was not possible because I didn’t have the money to support it. Another possibility was to find people who can help me in Ukraine. And it worked, I found energetic and experienced individuals. The next problem was growth. Growth requires more and more resources, and I need more engagement from these people. So this is how we came to cooperation, thank you for this 🙂 What we solved in this area is the following: Vlad has a company with a hundred developers, and I’m able to use the work with these developers for several months. So, although it was the last possible option, it was really successful. “

Vlad Sokol: Based on your experiences, please name the TOP 5 life hacks on how to overcome the distance when developing software with remote IT teams.

Vlad Sokol “ So when you start a project, it is very very important to meet the customer personally and to bring them to your office or send your developer to the customer’s office. It’s from my point to you. “

Watch full interview