11 Oct 2019

As part of our overarching goal to create a company culture where our employees have the opportunity and support necessary to do their best work, we are creating a place where we can centrally house all the content, tools and training materials that they may need. We are creating Unosquare University with the goal of preparing our employees, and our company, for their next assignments and our next clients because we believe that by continually learning and growing, we will all succeed.

01 Oct 2019

Starting a new job is stressful. There are so many new people to meet, names to remember, procedures to learn, routines to follow, and policies to understand which can make those first few days and weeks feel pretty overwhelming. At Unosquare, we know that the three-hour new employee orientation from HR isn't enough to cover everything a team member needs to know. Furthermore, when we follow a traditional format of delivering a large amount of information all at once, valuable, but nuanced information is sometimes overlooked. We need our team members to consider different aspects of our company culture, workplace procedures, and all the activities that take place during and after work.

19 Sep 2019

The last twelve months have been integral in our continuous effort to refine and improve our delivery process both for our engineers and our customers. In June 2018, we started a pilot program creating the role of Engineering Manager on our Delivery Services teams. The pilot proved to be successful in the first 25 teams, so starting in 2019, we’ve expanded to roughly 120 teams and plan to add more in the future.

11 Sep 2019

I love living in the digital age. We're in the midst of an era where entire companies can- and do- run with a workforce fully distributed across the globe. At Unosquare, we support remote work for large numbers of our employees, and we've seen the positive results time and again since we started business 10 years ago. As a company we believe in using the best tools for effective communication and I’m here to advocate for bringing back an oldie but a goodie - the webcam.

05 Sep 2019

I’m incredibly proud that Unosquare made the 2019 Inc. 5000 - the list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S. But even more significant is that it’s our fifth year in a row to achieve this status. Since it started in 1982, only four percent of companies have made the list five times. Additionally, this year, Unosquare celebrated its 10th birthday, which adds another layer of context to this honor: our first five years set the foundation for us to grow at an astonishing rate.

22 Aug 2019

Imagine this: after months or years of hard work, you’ve been recognized by your boss and you’re being promoted to take the leading role on your team. You made it! That big effort is finally paying off! Now you can sit back and relax. All you will have to do is give orders, see the work flowing and see the results coming, right? Wrong! Let me tell you, my dear reader, that the hardest part is coming your way. I mean, yes, it’s cool you got the promotion and it’s great for your career. You probably deserve it, but it does have some down sides that come within the package that people don’t usually tell you. But don’t worry, I’m here to help you!

16 Aug 2019
07 Aug 2019

When it came time to decide on which communication hub to use for Unosquare, the decision was pretty simple. I chose Microsoft Teams over Slack and it’s a decision I’m still happy with today. We were already Office 365 and Skype for Business users, so it was a natural progression for use to implement Teams for our globally distributed employees. We expected some resistance from those that were (and still are) loyal to Slack when we made the official decision to use Teams, but the reason behind our decision makes sense for Unosquare.

31 Jul 2019

In a series of posts we are going to review different variances of platforms, frameworks, and libraries under the umbrella of Java. For this post, we are going to cover a basic view of Apache Kafka and why I feel that it is a better optimized platform than Apache Tomcat. 

26 Jul 2019

Last week we hosted Moe Carrick, an industry recognized leadership consultant, facilitator, speaker and author at our Guadalajara offices to engage with our team leads and leadership from Delivery Management, Client Success, Recruiting and HR. This event is part of an overarching goal we share at Unosquare - to help our employees to be and do their best every day. We believe that by focusing on people first and enabling them to succeed by providing them with the tools, processes and training opportunities they need, they will do their best for our customers. It’s simple really, as our mission states: “at our core, weare no more than a group of people pushing our personal boundaries to do the best work we have ever done.”

12 Jul 2019

In a previous post, I talked about a couple of examples of bad leadership and what we can learn from them. To close the circle, I want to elaborate on the same topic but from the other side of the court: some examples of harmful individual contributors I’ve encountered in my professional experience. As a disclaimer, I’m not going to talk about the typical case of a low performer on a team. That is a widespread situation for which, applying some specific strategies, you can manage and handle. I want to focus this more on a personality perspective.

01 Jul 2019

My first post in this series compared IT Staff Augmentation and Software Outsourcing to set the table for a conversation about the pros and cons of both models. Then, we looked at the pros and cons of IT Staff Augmentation model. In this post, I will do the same exercise for Software Outsourcing projects. It’s important to remember the distinction between the two options in order to make the right decision for your firm and your software development needs.

21 Jun 2019

As Unosquare expands its presence from our Mexico and Northern Ireland delivery centers, we continue to learn valuable lessons on the key drivers for successful software development with distributed teams. One of the more important lessons we’ve learned is to set clear expectations early in the client relationship in order to prevent problems down the line.

11 Jun 2019

My last post comparing IT Staff Augmentation and Software Outsourcing sets the table for a conversation about the pros and cons of both models. Remember that being able to make a distinction between your options is important to make the right decision for what will work for your firm and for the work that is to be done. For this post, we will be focusing on IT Staff Augmentation and do a quick review before dissecting the benefits and the potential drawbacks.

29 May 2019

 

Strong collaboration and communication with your development partners is very important to the Agile process. But, remember that in your role there are some important quality assurance questions that you should ask yourself to keep your processes consistent.

WHY ARE YOU ONLY TESTING WHAT THE USER STORY TELLS YOU?

User stories should have acceptance criteria added by a product owner or business analyst. These are usually helpful for QA to know when they can consider a story as “Passed QA.” However, it’s important not to just stick to the AC and test only the “Happy Path” for a feature. The AC usually tells us what we want to happen, but it’s our job as testers to think about what could happen. Remember to use your QA skills to think outside the box and run validation and negative tests to improve your test coverage on a story.

16 May 2019

Often IT professionals don’t see much of a difference between staff augmentation and software outsourcing when they are putting together development teams. Before I worked at Unosquare, I wasn’t really aware of the distinction and thought of them basically as synonyms. But now that I’m a Tech Lead, I’ve learned that there is a clear and important distinction between staff augmentation vs outsourcing and have come to understand why it’s vital that companies choose the right solution when getting started with remote team services.

09 May 2019

Improving your "soft skills" will support a development team in effectively meeting project goals. When it comes to QA, these are some some of the more contemporary communication skills that have served to be effective in communicating with our Agile teams at Unosquare.

1. BE TACTFUL

03 May 2019

As a reminder, last week we covered: Starting with Why, Defining Roles, Breaking Things Down, Drawing Pictures and Writing Words and Not Starting with the Small Stuff. These steps should provide a pretty solid foundation for a team to build on. So without further ado, mute your notifications for 10 minutes and let’s dive in to the remaining “Do’s and Don’ts” of our software development guideline.

25 Apr 2019

Since I joined Unosquare, my co-worker Tom DiGati has been hounding me to write up a post for our blog. I suck at writing, so it takes me a while to do these things. I politely deferred (aka, blew him off) until his promises of eternal gratitude, friendship and agreeing to ride bikes whenever I wanted (you owe me, Tom) changed my mind. So, I sat down to labor over words that had been rattling around my brain for a while. This post is representative of the experiences I’ve had over the years creating products, services, and apps.

16 Apr 2019

1. SELL YOUR SERVICES

02 Apr 2019

1. QA IS NOT INVOLVED IN EACH DEVELOPMENT STAGE

15 Mar 2019

1. ALWAYS BEING BEHIND SCHEDULE

11 Mar 2019

This is our final installment in the "Rightsourcing" series. At this point you have done your due diligence in research. You have a timeline, a roadmap, and a budget. With a solid endorsement from management secured, it's time to Rightsource a partner.

01 Mar 2019

At some point during your professional life, you’ll probably encounter an exceptionally poor leader, boss or manager – someone you’ve worked for, or you’ve seen in a close team. I have, and it’s stressful and exhausting. I’ve seen some toxic leaders in other teams and watched that team reach a crisis point sooner or later. These bad leaders can make you feel like you hate your job, but the truth is you only hate them. As ridiculous as it may sound, bad leaders can be good for you. You might suffer under their command, but the experience will make you stronger. You can learn from what they are doing wrong. Like my mom says: “you are not useless, at least you are a bad example.”

26 Feb 2019

In the second phase of our "Rightsourcing" approach we focus on the importance of finding internal support and aligning requirements after you have decided to find an external partner for your software development.

15 Feb 2019

Our first article in our series on “Rightsourcing”, focuses on the reasons for exploring the possibility of working with distributed teams from an outsources firm. Why might you entertain the possibility of outsourcing software development projects?

05 Feb 2019

Maybe it's time to review it with your team....

We're currently experiencing significant pain with one of our software development projects. The effort of the project was to improve an e-commerce platform which Unosquare had previously built and has been maintaining for a few years now. Currently, the delivery of the promised features is past its estimated date of completion. The testing of the bug fixes have become contentious because of their effect on the client's budget which is now overrun. The client is obviously upset about this and so are we.

21 Jan 2019

In a recent article, Gartner shared insights on how companies can fight digital transformation fatigue. For many enterprise leaders, transforming their organization has been an experience that has left teams, from the top down, hesitant to pursue the rest of the journey.

04 Jan 2019

This post is the first in a series intended to provide my guide to “Right-Sourcing.” This term is what I use to describe finding the best fit for distributed agile augmentation of your software development team. Over a series of posts, we will discuss how aligning your software staffing needs with available options – whether offshore, onshore, local contractors, or FTEs – is critical to the success of your digital transformation projects. Although a variety of best practices keep projects on track, choosing the right approach in the first place is a huge advantage that continues to pay dividends.

18 Dec 2018

Being promoted from within to assume a leadership role on a team where you were once a member has a set of inherent challenges — many of the issues that you would encounter come from assumptions and not taking the opportunity to set expectations. If it is an outside hire, they will likely be more descriptive in their approach to taking charge as they need to assess several team characteristics of which you are already aware. Because things like communication, ways of working, culture, etc., need to be understood, there will be a need to define them and therefore setting the expectations of the new leader. I suggest you set your expectations early and assume nothing.

14 Dec 2018

Having teammates spread across wide geographies and different time zones has its challenges, and there are strong opinions, both pro, and con. With the speed of the highly competitive software development market and the need for continuous improvement in application development, trends are pointing towards companies trying to find and retain the best talent, wherever they may be.

03 Dec 2018

Many communication pitfalls can derail an otherwise productive conversation with a geographically distributed, Agile team. In my experience, an accusatory tone, even though unintentional, can turn an otherwise productive conversation into a defensive situation, and you are then reliant on an intermediary to recognize and diffuse the situation.

21 Nov 2018

In my last post, I laid out my impressions of the philosophical differences between "recruitment" and "talent acquisition." The conclusion was that the convenience of having a formal talent acquisition strategy is vital to those enterprises looking to grow and compete in a very competitive industry for finding and retaining talent. Now, let's consider how this applies when an organization's growth exposes operations and talent acquisition to different countries and cultures.

12 Nov 2018

The title may come off as a bit dramatic, so I’ll clarify what I mean. It’s impossible always to be professional. We have our personal lives and downtime. You shouldn’t keep up a business persona during all occasions. That sounds exhausting. What I am saying is to consider how you are perceived at three crucial points during your time with a company and the importance of being considered as consistently “professional.” Be mindful of the impression you make while interviewing for a company, while you are working for them, and when you leave. So, when we look at it this way, yes, always behave like a professional when dealing with potential, current, or former colleagues.

05 Nov 2018

According to the research of Martin Seligman, author of “Learned Optimism,” the answer is, yes. However, if you are a pessimist, you probably don't believe it.

29 Oct 2018

Saying that the software development industry is hyper-competitive is an understatement. And, in this volatile marketplace, employers are perpetually looking for professionals with skills that are adaptable across multiple technologies, implementation methodologies, and frameworks. So, if your technical skills are strong, you shouldn’t have to worry about your professional development. Right? If you agree, you are only partially correct. In our experience, technical proficiency is not the only thing that matters for employers.

26 Oct 2018

It is common to see an interchangeable use of the terms “Talent Acquisition” and “Recruitment." The reality is, that even though they are similar, there is a vast difference between them.