Alex Iskold lists software for virtual teams. A team with geographically distributed members needs more assistance from software for collaboration. There has been a growing trend in distributed teams and being a part of one I have experienced some of its pros and cons. Internet and the tools mentioned by Alex form the backbone of the team. They are just as important as the core members. Some more that I can think of are:
- Central Build server, to allow practices like Continuous Integration or the plain old nightly build processes.
- Online office suites (like Zoho, Google Docs), for collaboration on documents.
- Bug tracking software (like hosted Bugzilla), there is no bug-free software.
- Online CRM (like hosted SugarCRM).
- Last but not the least – a blogging tool (like WordPress.com), that can be used for internal as well as external communication.
By experience, the communication tool should be flexible to allow multiple client devices – one can be one a phone device, the other on the chat software and one more possibly giving a presentation somewhere. These tools today have made it possible to have a virtual team.
But what will really make a breakthrough, according to me, is Collaborative Development Environment. It specifically targets improving performance of developers who do not sit together.