Tips for technologists: Innovation through collaboration

As a technologist, collaboration and teamwork are essential parts of daily work life. For Software Developers and Engineers, in particular, collaboration unlocks creativity, inspires innovation, minimizes error, and offers room for growth and experimentation. 

A key part of a technologist’s role is to research, understand and gather data to innovate and meet the demands of their projects. Research and investigation often require several meetings with groups of stakeholders, and the ability to implement the results of multiple opinions and demands within a project, while avoiding any conflict, is essential.

From brainstorming to presenting, utilizing communication tools and collaboration techniques ensures a smooth process, benefiting timely and seamless communication during software development. 

Why should technologists collaborate?

For technologists, juggling multiple tasks proposed by multiple stakeholders – all at the same time – can be a daily challenge.

But by prioritizing tasks, to ensure the most critical updates get primary focus and attention, and sharing work across a team or community, collaboration can ensure that everyone can keep track of the changes they’re making in different parts of the project or application, and ensure that they don’t conflict with each other (or with the work of other technologists).

Whether you’re collaborating via a remote work environment, or within an open-source project, Hackathon, Hacktoberfest or a community event, having access to like-minded colleagues, from different educational and work experience backgrounds, offers the opportunity to discover new things, and test out ideas.

But having a team full of great individuals won’t bring the desired results if there isn’t effective collaboration.

Collaboration:

  • drives effective brainstorming, fuelling creative thinking. It enables you to consider problems from multiple angles and points of view;
  • accelerates project/application/product development and allows you address difficulties together as a team, so you can get the project completed faster;
  • ensures you and your collaborators have a shared and clear vision of the direction you’re going for your project;
  • guarantees that all collaborators understand the full scope of the project and what they’re responsible for, increasing efficiency, as well as saving on costs, time and effort. 

What happens when technologists don’t collaborate successfully?

A lack of communication and poor collaboration impedes creativity and prevents your project from flourishing. 

If there’s a lack of communication between team members… you can run the risk of not developing a project properly, not doing the correct research, and creating the wrong application or product.

If collaborators miss essential meetings or aren’t interested… the team can’t discuss important issues, make decisions or resolve any mistakes or errors with the project, and ultimately, it delays the project.

If team members don’t share valuable knowledge… it can create a negative work environment. Some collaborators may have more experience with programming languages or elements of the project than other team members, and if they don’t share essential information, it can create bad feeling, delay the project or even cause errors.

Innovation through collaboration

So, how can you ensure successful collaboration that inspires innovation?

  1. Build a community: A good team should act like a community, where each collaborator is as important as the next. Finding people with a a mixture of skills and work experience, willing to offer their expertise, helps inspire innovation. The Andela Talent Network is brimming with talented technologists just waiting to collaborate on projects.
  2. Equality: There should be no limitations when it comes to equality. By working with team members from across the world, of different ages, genders, and race, and with expertise in many different areas, you can generate unique ideas, consider problems from different perspectives and find the best solution.
  3. Honest communication: The strongest collaboration is derived from open and honest conversation. Holding regular brainstorming sessions that utilize available communication tools, such as organizing Slack chat groups, WhatsApp groups and Microsoft Teams chats, encourages communication and creates a trustworthy environment, where you can easily share ideas and stories.
  4. Don’t just talk about work: Get to know the people you’re working with. Have you found each other online, through the Andela Community, or through work? Reach out and check in with each other via Slack or WhatsApp. Encourage virtual meet ups or online coffee chats as a team, and individually. Do you share a passion for gaming? Try a virtual gaming night! As trust – and even friendship – builds, communication and collaboration will soar.
  5. Utilize communication tools: As mentioned above, Slack, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, Zoom and Skype are great ways to stay connected, share knowledge and collaborate. Google Docs are also an excellent method of collaboration, where you can share project plans and allow collaborators to edit and offer their thoughts.

Do you enjoy collaborating and being part of a community? Then join the Andela Talent Network!

With more than 175,000 technologists in our community, in over 90 countries, we’re committed to creating diverse remote engineering teams with the world’s top talent. And our network members enjoy being part of a talented community, collaborating, and engaging in virtual and in-person meetups.

All you need to do to join the Andela Talent Network is to follow our simple sign-up process. 

Submit your details via our online application then…

Complete an English fluency test – 15 minutes.

Complete a technical assessment on your chosen skill (Python, Golang, etc.) – 1 hour.

Meet with one of our Senior Developers for a technical interview – 1 hour.
Visit the Andela Talent Network sign-up page to find out more.

If you found this blog useful, check out our other blog posts for more essential insights!

Are you a developer interested in growing your software engineering career? Apply to join the Andela Talent Network today.

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