Tips for Integrating a Distributed Java Development Team

As one of the most extensively employed programming languages, Java has escalated the need for top Java developers who are now in high demand.

To entice and retain the top IT professionals, it is crucial to have an exceptional onboarding process.

In this article, we will explore the key components of a robust onboarding process for Java developers working remotely, along with some potential pitfalls to keep in mind.

What Is Involved in Working as a Java Developer?

Java was designed specifically for use in the decentralized environment of the internet, and it can run on numerous platforms.

With the ability to work on various technological projects, ranging from big data and supercomputing to web and Android application development, Java developers are in high demand, highlighting the language’s flexibility.

Before Hiring a Remote Java Developer, Consider These Key Factors:

1. Ensure that they have everything required prior to their first day.

It is essential that developers have access to all the necessary technologies on their first day itself to ensure smooth functioning.

This becomes even more crucial when they are starting out remotely.

Prior to their start date, ensure that the employee has the necessary business laptop. To make them feel appreciated and included in the team, providing them with branded merchandise such as stickers and socks can be a good idea, which is usually well-received.

In a similar way, ensure that your developer can access all the necessary tools and resources.

This encompasses the usual range of business applications (such as email and Slack) as well as any necessary IT infrastructure (e.g., an Amazon Web Services account and related tools).

If the developer will be accessing any highly secure systems, inform your security team ahead of time.

2. Ensure complete inclusion of the developer in the team and company

It is crucial to introduce your new remote developer to the rest of the team and the organization as the next essential step.

Therefore, it is essential to establish a sense of belonging in their team. This may require some creativity when working remotely:

  • Team lunches:

    Organize virtual team lunches, and let each member pay for their meal over Zoom.
  • Coffee or Beer breaks:

    Establish a regular or constant Zoom room where team members can connect, share stories, and enjoy coffee or beer together in an informal setting.
  • Virtual conferences for job-related meetings:

    Schedule weekly or monthly meetings to update employees and provide them with a sense of the company’s direction.

The subsequent step is to facilitate crucial connections throughout the organization. Although these meetings may have had a more informal approach in an office environment, they must be scheduled well in advance when working remotely.

Arrange meetings between the developer and relevant collaborators to enable them to become familiar with whom to contact for any inquiries or issues.

3. Encourage a supportive peer group around them

Empowering remote employees with the assistance of an experienced colleague can offer them the necessary support, primarily in the intricate field of software development.

By doing so, it will foster a culture of acceptance where they feel they belong and can be their authentic selves.

In this context, mentorship programs are typically prevalent.

If you encounter any doubts regarding company protocols or technical issues, feel free to reach out to your mentor for guidance. They can assist you in setting goals and ensuring that you have the resources necessary to accomplish them.

Therefore, it is a customary approach to match new recruitments with seasoned veterans.

In essence, this is a less structured interpretation of a mentor-mentee dynamic. Instead of solely prioritizing the comprehension of technical expertise, the emphasis is on promoting camaraderie and boosting the individual’s confidence, thereby fostering a sense of belonging in the team.

4. Be clear about your expectations and priorities.

Transparently conveying the company’s aims and objectives is a pivotal yet frequently disregarded measure in ensuring that a new developer receives the requisite backing to achieve them.

This is especially significant while working remotely when it can be arduous to perceive these subtle office nuances.

Assigning onboarding tasks to new employees can aid in orienting them with your company’s policies and any software tools or frameworks they may not be well-versed in. This will ensure that they make headway and deliver satisfactory output levels.

As their experience and confidence grows, you can widen the purview of their undertakings.

It is crucial to highlight that mistakes are an inevitable facet of the learning process and should be considered normal. Encourage employees to take chances and trial-and-error methods and communicate to them that with the assistance of an experienced colleague, any faults can be remedied promptly.

5. Offer continuous training and internal resources.

A candidate who is hired from a different location cannot simply join your team and automatically assimilate into its culture, values, and protocols.

Educate them; they require it!

The following resources could be exceedingly beneficial:

  • Intranet/Wiki:

    a central hub where information on various departments, employees, and company-wide resources can be accessed and exchanged.
  • Seminars and weblogs:

    By examining the material produced by the company’s founders and senior technical staff, such as seminars and weblogs, you can gain an understanding of the company’s fundamental principles as well as their technological approach and methodology.
  • Please Enjoy This Free eBook:

    A manual for new employees detailing the company’s fundamental principles and resources they will need.

6. Maintain a Record-Keeping System

An indispensable aspect of an effective onboarding procedure for Java developers.

The objective is to simplify their understanding of your company’s software development process and lifecycle, as well as your tech stack.

Having well-written, organized, and current documentation, combined with suitable mentoring from colleagues, is crucial in quickly integrating new team members into the software development process. It’s also necessary to conduct regular documentation reviews.

Several important factors include:

Technology & Systems

Don’t expect novice employees to sift through the code to understand how things function. Offer them comprehensive guidance on the following essential matters:

  • Development

    • Applications:

      The team’s approach to managing and maintaining the apps they’ve elected to keep
    • Tools:

      Techniques for dealing with version control, configuration management, testing, continuous integration, continuous deployment, and monitoring tools.
    • Coding:

      The functionality of the codebase, its structure, key principles, coding policies, and more.
    • Frameworks:

      The methods and frameworks that you utilize for development.
  • Operations

    • Architecture:

      Offer a summary of the company’s IT framework and architecture, with particular emphasis on secure deployment.
    • Connectivity and Dependability:

      Define the various systems in place, as well as their interconnections and dependencies.

Approaches and Procedures

It is advisable to support your new Java developer in becoming familiar with your company’s standard operating procedures and the processes necessary for product development and launch.

For instance:

  • Access/authorization:

    Arrange for the creation of required accounts and access for your new hire before their arrival.
  • Structured Workflow:

    Quickly train your new developer on workflow tools, such as GitFlow, that your team employs.
  • Management of Incidents, Issues, and Transitions:

    Document their methods for making changes and resolving issues in a risk-free manner.
  • Versioning System Management:

    Ensure that your Git history is well-maintained and that your version control and branching protocol is well-documented.
  • Checklists:

    Utilize checklists to monitor your critical procedures.
  • Policies:

    Publicize your approach to addressing various concerns (such as managing spikes in traffic) to ensure consistency in problem solving.
  • Stand-ups:

    Elucidate your approach and methodology for stand-ups and retrospectives, since each organization has a unique approach to these activities.


If things do not go according to schedule during the onboarding process, there may be consequences.

  • High Turnover:

    Failure to create a supportive and welcoming environment for new hires may result in them seeking alternative employment.
  • Decreased Efficiency:

    Early investment in the development of your personnel will yield long-term benefits. This will equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to increase their efficiency.
  • Retaining Control:

    Instead of overwhelming new employees with piles of documentation and meetings, ensure a smooth transition through gradual and manageable steps.
  • Lack of Sustained Commitment:

    Keep communication and support in place for new hires as they progress beyond the initial onboarding phase.

Tips from The Finish Line

The demand for proficient Java engineers is intense, so it is critical to deliver a seamless onboarding experience.

Our team has a selection of qualified, global engineers ready to join your team and bring their proficiency in Java to the table.

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