First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
David Hemmat: Thankfully, we are doing well. My wife and I are lucky that we’ve been able to be somewhat flexible, so we’ve both continued to work from home (along with our cats and dog!).
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Blue Coding
David Hemmat: Back in 2014, I realized there were many great software developers in Latin America, and lots of North American companies looking for good software development talent, but there wasn’t an easy way to connect these two parties. I knew there was an opportunity to provide high-quality development talent to companies in the US and Canada, and also provide competitive wages for developers in Latin America, so I founded Blue Coding. Since then, we’ve provided top software development to a variety of interesting companies in North America and established great relationships with our clients.
How does Blue Coding innovate?
David Hemmat: We are constantly looking to improve the software development outsourcing/nearshoring model by adapting our recruitment and vetting methods and asking clients the right questions to achieve their goals. Sometimes, we feel that the best software may not be what the client initially had in mind, so we constantly push the envelope and ask questions to better understand clients’ business logic to provide them the best solution for their needs.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
David Hemmat: Prior to the pandemic, we were a mixed on-site and remote company, with some team members in our offices in Miami and the Dominican Republic, and others distributed around the world. Since the pandemic and the ensuing restrictions, we’ve moved all our team members fully remote, and we think it’s been for the best! There, of course, was a learning curve, and we’ve identified some best practices for making the transition from on-site to remote work (if you’d like to learn more, you can check out our resources page, where we have remote onboarding guidelines, a webinar on transitioning to remote work, and more).
We’ve found that it’s very important to maintain both good work communication and social communication to keep employees on-task and motivated, so we’ve shared best practices for internal and client-facing communication for our collaborators to follow. We’ve also done fun things, like setting up coffee chats for coworkers and Netflix parties, so our employees still feel like part of a team even as they’re working from home.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
David Hemmat: We did have to make some difficult choices at the beginning of the pandemic, but everything has been for the better. Mainly we’ve learned that it’s important to have a clear understanding of the type of employees will help you advance your business goals and make sure that you are vetting for those qualities as you are hiring. For example, if clear communication and meeting deadlines are of high importance for your business, it’s critical to structure interviews and your evaluation process in such a way that you can identify whether candidates meet your needs.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Blue Coding in the future?
David Hemmat: I deal with stress and anxiety both by relaxing at home and watching TV or movies and also by taking my motorcycle out on the weekends to enjoy the mountains near where I live. I’m lucky to be in an area with lots of beautiful nature nearby, so I really like to spend time there when I feel anxious. We try to encourage a culture in which our employees have a healthy work-life balance, and we provide resources for anyone who is feeling stressed or anxious.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
David Hemmat: Our competitors are other companies that offer software development services, but there is a niche for everyone. We know that our recruitment and vetting services are absolutely top-tier and that our work speaks for itself. We are always doing market research to understand prospective clients’ pain points and continue to do so in order to stay on top of the pack.
Your final thoughts?
David Hemmat: Overall, this has been a time of learning, reflection, and developing new strategies at Blue Coding. We have made some changes, but our strong team culture and everyone’s commitment to the company and their work has remained strong. We feel we’ve become more efficient as a company during this time where we’ve taken a step back to reflect on the way we do things, and our continued strong relationships with our clients is proof of this.