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5 minutes | Mar 17, 2020
How We’re Setting Our Team Up with Reliable Internet Access for Remote Work
By Louise Bailey TaitAt OfferZen, we’ve been doing remote days once a week for about a year now. Now that remote is likely going to be the new norm, it’s becoming particularly important to help set us up to work productively from home. In the South African context, having reliable access to the internet during load shedding is particularly important. Here are a few things we’ve done to help our team stay online.Read the blog post here! (http://bit.ly/2TU9srT)
7 minutes | Mar 17, 2020
How We’re Briefing Our Team to Be Fully Remote
By Louise Bailey TaitAs of Tuesday, 17 March 2020, the OfferZen team is going fully remote. Whilst we have tested optional remote days once a week for about a year now, full-time remote work will now indefinitely become the new norm. Because we don’t know how long the situation is going to last, we are making sure our team is well set up.Here’s what that looks like.Read the blog post here! (http://bit.ly/33mt772)------------------------------------------Resources and links mentioned the episode:Slack: Team communication and visibility toolMiro: Screen-share alternative and project management toolFocusMate: Accountability and productivity toolBambooHR: Team organisation and contact detailsZoom: Video conferencing tool with cool interactive featuresHelpful articles on our blog about remote workArticle by Andreas Klinger about setting yourself up to win in 'the new normal'Article by Hot Jar about productivity while working remotely
6 minutes | Mar 15, 2020
How We're Preparing Our Team and Office for COVID-19
By Philip JoubertThe outbreak of COVID-19 and its global economic effects have reached South Africa. Only a few patients have been diagnosed so far, but it’s likely only a matter of time before we see significantly more cases.While the impact of COVID-19 may be limited at the moment, we’ve decided to get ahead of the virus and take precautionary steps before they’re required. Our priority is to keep our team safe and ensure that OfferZen doesn’t contribute to the spread of the virus.Here’s what we’ve put in place so far.Read the blog post here! (http://bit.ly/2W6M8J6)
15 minutes | Oct 31, 2019
Common Problems During Scrum Adoption And How to Overcome Them
By Ridewaan HansloScrum and Scrum variants make up for about 70% of today’s Agile methods and practices globally. At the same time, there are still many problems and failures during its adoption and implementation. In this article, I will discuss how to identify and categorise the different problems arising during Scrum adoption according to who they affect and how to overcome them.----------ResourcesHere are resources Ridewaan suggests to help teams, individuals and organisations overcome these problems:Scrum guide: This is the go-to guide for Scrum introduction as it is a vital resource for entry-level Scrum certifications. This document is written by the “founding fathers” of the Scrum Agile Methodology, namely; Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland.Scrum - A pocket guide: A good short book to read for anyone who wants to get a basic understanding of Scrum. It’s written as concise and complete as possible.The state of Agile annual report: The largest and longest running survey on Agile, in the world! View the latest 12th annual report, which discusses the benefits of Agile adoption, Agile methods and practices, Top 5 Agile techniques, Agile project management tools, to name just a few.Other sources that you can take advantage of include joining local communities like SUGSA (Scrum User Group South Africa), and keeping up-to-date with the annual Agile Africa Conference proceedings which attract industry experts to speak about their experiences.Read the blog post here!
10 minutes | Oct 31, 2019
Using Cloud Native to Reduce Complexity
DigsConnect is a small tech startup that helps students find affordable student accommodation with minimum mindshare. This means they work with sensitive personal data, from students to institutions, and need quick experimentation to accommodate each customer’s specific issues and needs as they arise. Brendan Ardagh, DigsConnect’s CTO and co-founder, says that rapid-prototyping on cloud native gave his team the ability to handle data securely, and run experimentation quickly and safely.Read the blog post here!
13 minutes | Sep 26, 2019
How I Maximised Efficiency to Avoid Working Overtime
By Shalina NaickerIt has become common practice for IT professionals to work long hours in order to meet demanding deadlines. As my own workload increased, I found that 8 hours was just not enough time to complete all of my tasks and soon working overtime became the norm for me. In an effort to avoid this, and to work more efficiently, I started to reflect on my days to figure out what I could improve. In this article, I will share some of the challenges that reduced my efficiency and the methods that I applied to overcome them.Read the blog post here!___________________________________Resources mentioned in the podcast:Trello helped me organize my goals and create checklists for each of them.Reddit offers plenty of funny cat/dog memes to aid with your daily dopamine release.I tried out a few of these techniques from Aubrey Marcus to overcome fatigue.Dr Matthew Walker talks about the impact of sleep on human health and disease in this podcast.Dr Rhonda Patrick and Chris Kresser are my go-to resources for nutrition and health.Music Shalina recommends to help with focus:Super Intelligence: Memory Music, Improve Memory and Concentration, Binaural Beats Focus MusicAssassin’s Creed Origins (Full Soundtrack) - Sarah SchachnerMan of Steel Soundtrack Deluxe Edition
9 minutes | Sep 26, 2019
There’s More to a ‘Good’ Job Than Just Money – Here’s What I’ve Learnt
By René ChunilallWhen I was still at university, I had no idea what a ‘good’ job looked like. People around me spoke a lot about big paychecks and impressive company names, so when I set out to find a job, these were the things I was chasing. However, I soon realised that these things were not enough to make me feel fulfilled so I set out to change how I approached finding the right job for me.Read the blog post here!
7 minutes | Sep 26, 2019
What I Learnt When Applying for a South African Critical Skills Visa
By Heena ManglaniApplying for a critical skills visa to work as a developer in South Africa can be quite confusing and stressful. Here’s what I’ve personally found to be most useful at each stage of the process.I had been in a good job working as a software developer in India when I married a South African man and decided to make the move to Johannesburg. Applying for a critical skills permit, however, took a long time. My application was denied the first time around and all in all, the process proved to be a lot more difficult than I thought it would be.That’s why I’d like to share some of the key things that I’ve found important when applying for a critical skills work visa, as well as some tips for overcoming the hurdles along the way.Read the blog post here!_________________________________Links mentioned in the audioblog:What is VFS?Do my skills count as critical skills in South Africa?Verify my education/qualifications with SAQATemplate for submitting company's registration documentChecking what other documents you need for VFSWhat is the status of my visa application?Facebook community
15 minutes | Sep 13, 2019
Debunking Hiring Myths: What You're (Probably) Doing Wrong
By Philip BothaRecruitment can be a major hurdle for companies - and they’re often their own worst enemy. As an organisational health consultant with years of hiring experience, I’ve seen the impact that a new mindset around hiring can have. In this article, I will debunk some myths around hiring, and provide a practical checklist to not only improve your hiring process, but also enable you to shift gear from just “recruiting” to building a high-performing team that creates awesome software.Read the blog post here.
7 minutes | Aug 22, 2019
Things You Can Do to Keep Tech Teams Happier and More Motivated
Having a team of individuals that feels supported by its company means people are more likely to have higher morale, better motivation at work, and be more resilient to things like burnout and stress. Emily Smith, Agile Coach at Naked Insurance, ensures the above by fostering personal connections with her team, encouraging regular engagement between team members and complete transparency, and deliberately steering away from traditional models of hierarchy.Read the blog post here!
9 minutes | Aug 22, 2019
How to Successfully Start a Business With Your Best Friend
Working closely with your best friend - let alone starting a business together - is often seen as risky. But Future Fragment’s founders, Deon Taljaard and Stuart Jacobs, didn’t let their 23-year friendship stop them from successfully co-founding Future Fragment. As best friends and business partners, they’ve learned a lot about how to beat the myth and confidently walk the tightrope of “professional versus personal.”Read the blog post here!
9 minutes | Aug 22, 2019
5 Ways You Can ‘Future-Proof’ Your Company
The world of tech is moving exceptionally fast. If you aren’t training your developers and your company to be ‘future-proof’, then you may be falling behind quickly. This is something that MMI Holdings’ Eugene Brockman has realised is critical to understand. In this article, he shares 5 ways in which his company strategically tries to future-proof his team.Read the blog post here!
13 minutes | Aug 15, 2019
How to Negotiate a Job Offer That's More Than Just the Money
By Adriaan VenterNegotiating in an interview can be hard, not to mention potentially awkward, for both parties – but this doesn’t have to be the case. When hiring, the challenge lies in striking a balance between attracting top talent for your team, and not breaking the bank. At OfferZen, we care a lot about helping companies successfully navigate these kinds of tough discussions. Here are some of the tips we think will make you feel more confident when having these conversations.Read the blog post here!
10 minutes | Aug 15, 2019
How To Win at Working in a Distributed Team
By Sander VoorwindenAs business goes global, operating across territories and time zones, teams have become scattered by necessity; you may often find yourself in situations where developers are not physically in one location. This can be a challenge when it comes to using development frameworks that emphasise face-to-face communication, team collaboration, and planning. I’ve been working in this kind of environment for a number of years, and in this article I share some of the things I’ve learned about making distributed teams really effective.Read the blog post here!
10 minutes | Aug 15, 2019
How to Mould the Way You Hire to Your Context
When it comes to hiring, there is no “one size fits all” approach, and trying to use the same approach across different contexts will risk turning a great candidate into a bad hire. Benny Ou has hired for different contexts, and has developed a set of useful questions to ask himself before he hires, in order to mould his hiring process to the specific context he’s in.Read the blog post here!
13 minutes | Aug 15, 2019
Underpaid? Here's How to Make the Most Of Your Next Salary Conversation
Figuring out how to approach a conversation about a salary increase with employers can be scary, especially when you know you’ve been underpaid, because it’s hard to know where to find reliable data and how to present your case with confidence. As a Talent Advisor at OfferZen, I have seen a lot of people struggle with this, and would like to share some tips and tricks to help make this something you can handle with confidence.Read the blog post here!
10 minutes | Aug 15, 2019
A Tech Team’s Lessons in Moving From Digital to Analogue Tooling
Working in the tech industry makes it easy to default to digital solutions for the systems and processes that are used on a day-to-day basis. However, these digital solutions are not always the best options to use when you are looking to promote engagement within your team. Operations Manager, Alyssa Lohmaier at WeAreMonsters shares how swapping out certain digital processes for analogue ones got her team to work better together. Read the blog post here!
6 minutes | Aug 15, 2019
How You Can Boost Morale and Motivation in Your Tech Team
Having a team of motivated individuals with high morale will not only make working at your company more enjoyable, but also keeps everyone more resilient to burnout and stress. Jaco Prinsloo, Vice President of Custom Development at EPI-USE Labs, shares how he fosters and elevates team morale and individual purpose on a daily basis.Read the blog post here!
15 minutes | Aug 15, 2019
6 Tips to Improve the Things You Can Control in an Interview
No matter how many interviews you’ve been to, you probably still get nervous, and you probably still feel under-prepared. They never seem to get easier, but we also only tend to do them once in a while, which makes it hard to practice being good at them. As someone that’s been on both sides of the table, I’ve developed some useful tips over the years to help you prepare better for interviews, by focusing on what you _do_ control, making them less stressful.Read the blog post here!
12 minutes | Aug 15, 2019
3 Daily Questions to Evaluate Your Job Satisfaction
Feeling a sense of job satisfaction is incredibly important, especially for developers: If you’re happy, you’re more motivated at work, and at a lower risk of burning out. Even though a salary might contribute to your happiness, it doesn’t always help you push through grindwork, or through solving hard problems. In this article, I’ll take you through some _questions that helped me evaluate my job satisfaction_, and some tips I used to answer them.Read the blog post here!
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