Joining the Pack as the Lone Wolf

Despite the fact that there is an abundance of evidence to demonstrate that remote workers are more productive than those who work in an office, there remains a misconception that they are mostly just watching Netflix all day. Unfortunately, these misconceptions are neither true nor helpful. In fact, it has been found that people who work from home tend to work longer hours than those who go to a physical place of work each day.

However, not all generalizations should be disregarded. Numerous businesses are looking to recruit that one developer who can code all day and all night like a pro. The guy who takes control of the whole project, can make your design dreams a reality and just always hits the deadlines.

When individuals consider this generalization, they imagine about characters like Matthew Broderick’s David from War Games. Or maybe Sandra Bullock as Angela Bennet in The Net. A savant with zero people skills but the drive and ability to code like a demon.

The propagation of this stereotype is to a significant degree attributed to the reality that it accurately reflects certain individuals. Some programmers prefer to work independently and are comfortable taking full control of the code base. These individuals have great capability, yet their lack of interpersonal skills makes them a disadvantage in a collaborative environment.

Problems Associated with Lone Wolves

Finding a developer who is also ready and able to handle the code, especially if you’re not from a technical background yourself. But the problem with devs who work in isolation is just that. When you don’t have other people to consider, then bad habits can slip in are a detriment to the whole codebase.

You receive code that resembles spaghetti and has few, if any, comments to guide you. other developers navigate their way through it. Obsessive coders also tend to repeat code rather than working in a modular way; they like to code, so why not just write it again? But that ends up with a bloated code base full of redundancy.

It is absolutely essential for remote teams to ensure that there is effective communication between all team members. If one of your developers is not collaborating adequately with the rest of the team, this can present some significant issues. While it may be possible to produce a great quantity of code, it is important to consider the quality of this code and to assess whether all of it is truly useful. This can sometimes be a difficult judgement to make.

Under the most difficult circumstances, it can be very challenging to collaborate with a Lone Wolf. They may become highly protective of the code repository, rejecting any and all changes or suggestions made by other people. Additionally, if they become emotionally attached to the idea of being the sole owner of the code, they may become overly sensitive to any criticism of it.

It’s best, therefore, to strive to rein in your untamed developer to bring the lone wolf into the pack. But how can you do that?

Convey Hopes

It is essential that both the company’s remote-work policy and the job position’s description clearly articulate the required standards of conduct and productivity. It is paramount that distributed teams adhere to a greater number of rules, rather than less, to ensure a successful working environment. Furthermore, a programming style document should be formulated, stating the criteria you expect your code to meet. Whilst such documents may already exist, it is important to ensure that they are up-to-date and accessible to all members of staff. Consequently, if any documents are not yet in place, now is the optimum time to create them and distribute them accordingly.

If you possess the relevant documentation, it is essential that you make use of it. While it is a general assumption that those interested in remote work are typically self-reliant and capable of working without much guidance, it is still necessary to ensure that all employees remain loyal to the company’s ultimate objectives. Therefore, it is advisable to have a conversation with an individual who may have strayed from the group’s expectations.

Keep in Close Contact with One Another

At Works, we have found that adopting the Agile Development Method in combination with a distributed team is the most effective approach. This is likely due to the fact that Agile promotes frequent communication between team members. Utilising tools such as Slack, virtual daily stand-up meetings can be held even when members of the team are not in the same physical location.

Through the implementation of daily check-ins, the team has been able to form a stronger bond. This has allowed for greater collaboration and understanding of one another’s skillsets, as well as a sharing of information about current projects, any issues that have been encountered, and what the plans are for the future. Even the most introverted members of the team will be more willing to participate if they feel that they are included in the group.

This thing is heading straight for us!!

Code Management

It is essential that none of your developers are given the authority to assert ownership over the code. To avoid the occurrence of bottlenecks and to ensure that all of your developers have access to the code, it is recommended that you store it in a single, centralized location. Utilizing a Version Control System (VCS) will guarantee that all members of the team have the ability to access and work with the same set of documents, as well as enabling them to collaborate on and review the code for any new modules or updates prior to testing.

If you are concerned that your organization is overly reliant on one developer being the sole expert in a particular code base, it may be prudent to invest in training and mentoring so that more members of your team feel confident and competent in working with it. Having a back-up plan in case of an unexpected emergency – such as the hypothetical of ‘Angela Bennett being struck by a bus’ – is highly recommended. A good way to achieve this is to encourage your team members to engage in pair programming, which not only can help to spread knowledge and experience but also provides a useful safeguard against potential dependencies.

Consistency in Scope Is Essential

In order for your development team to be successful, they need to be provided with a clear vision of where they are going both in the short and long-term. Although their enthusiasm and commitment to excellence should be applauded, it is important to ensure that Lone Wolves do not go beyond the scope of their work and attempt to rewrite code that is already capable of delivering the results required. Such behavior could result in wasted time and resources.

Next objective may be broken down with the use of project management tools into actionable tasks. Keep your lone wolf’s task list topped up, so if they are on an all-night coding jag, they are at least working on what you want them to do.

Recruit Competent Individuals

If you are prepared to invest the necessary effort and energy to accommodate the individual requirements of a Lone Wolf, you will be rewarded with a highly valuable addition to your team. However, making the right recruitment choices is the most straightforward way to build a remote team that will fulfil your requirements.

As a result, we can assure you that each prospect we bring your way has undergone extensive screening vetted them. Not just to make sure they are technically brilliant, but also for the ability to work remotely effectively. Every CV we send will be someone who knows how to deliver great code as part of a distributed team.

If you are seeking to add a highly skilled programmer to your team, we can provide assistance. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us so that we can discuss your requirements and introduce you to the newest member of your staff.

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