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Remote Software Development. How To Make It Work For You image

Remote Software Development. How To Make It Work For You

The remote development process is different from the conventional office cooperation, and the most significant difference is communication. While the majority of development teams have zero challenges in communicating face-to-face, remote cooperation tends to disrupt the established processes.

remote work image

Here at TekkSoft, we've conducted research on the remote cooperation effectiveness and are excited to share the results with you. With that said, let's discover the core components of cooperation effectiveness. We'll also cover the most favorable team setups for efficient remote development processes.

Remote Cooperation: Why It Is Different

We are used to expressing our attitude, putting on accents, and establishing contact via gestures in our face-to-face communication. There is more to it: we are quite used to reading people's reactions by their facial expressions and gestures as well. This is called a comprehensive communication. Remote development rarely provides that.

Here are the primary reasons why remote format handicaps the cooperation:

On the whole, remote cooperation reduces your communication effectiveness, one way or another. It is up to you to build the plainest processes to make your remote communication more transparent. With that said, let's figure out the best communication channels for your remote work management and find out what are the optimal project requirements for remote development.

Communication Channels: What Are Your Options

First things first, let's have a look at the following chart:

Communication channels chart

 This data represents the communication effectiveness by channels. Here's what it means for you:

These are the ones you can use in your remote cooperation. Compare those to the Face-to-Face and F2F Whiteboard meeting performance, and you'll have a grasp of how drastically the communication may suffer from the remote format, depending on the selected approach.

Development Team Setup: Which Team Setups Perform Better

As for team efficiency, some developer groups may show excellent or poor performance regardless of communication channels. Let's have a look at the following table for better understanding:


Ability for communication
  Younger than 6 months Team has newcomers Older than 6 months
2 - 4 members      
4 - 8 members      
More than a single team      


Single-word chat  Long negotiations


As you can see, 2 parameters impact team communication, namely:

On balance, small teams with established team members will perform the best in the remote development format, while large teams with newcomers(less than 6-month experience in the current team) will feel the real struggle in finding common ground.

Remote Projects: Best Project Types For Remote

There are several project aspects you should consider when deciding on remote cooperation. These include but are not limited to the following:

Let's consider both of them in detail.

Project Size

This aspect doesn’t have a linear dependency that you may have noticed in the previous ones. Have a look:


Communication Intensiveness
   Startup 1 - 2 yrs Young 2 - 5 yrs  Mature 5 - 10 yrs  Legacy 10+ yrs 
Bugfix / UI         
 Business logic changes        
 Core development        


 One sentence   Intensive brainstorm


As you can see, small and medium enterprises tend to require the least communication that exceeds 5-minute calls. The reason why new businesses and startups are not the best options for remote is that early development stages require a lot of decision-making. This creates risks for making a mistake, which will become harder and harder to fix with every next iteration.

As for large enterprises and legacy projects, those often have an enormous codebase and a lot of dependencies. This makes large products somewhat incompatible with remote cooperation, because it may take a considerable time to come up with a solution, even for a small change.

Type Of Work

This table also displays the dependency of cooperation intensity from the type of works needed on a project, namely:

To sum up, remote cooperation is not suitable for complex tasks. The less business logic and solution core activities you transfer to the remote format, the better.

The Bottom Line

Remote cooperation is not an equal alternative to conventional office cooperation. As you can see, there are some lossless combinations of team setups and project types. These may work almost as effectively as the traditional development processes. Nevertheless, remote cooperation negatively affects the better part of the development activities.

Selecting the most suitable communication channels for your teams and splitting development departments into functional groups can level the limiting effect of remote cooperation. 

Concentrate on a bigger picture of your internal cooperation and don't skimp on efficient cooperation approaches, even if those are resource-consuming. It always pays off, especially on the remote.


18 Mar 2020
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