If you want to keep your own development team competitive there are some steps you will need to take:

1. Close skills gaps – there is rarely a team that is not lacking in skills in some area. Things like soft skills are as important as the technical skills and should be included when looking at the skill gap. If it isn’t possible to train in-house staff immediately outsourcing can help temporarily fill the need.

2. Develop a collaborative work environment – open work environments are great for collaborative discussions which can really move things forward. However, open sourcing globally means it has become necessary to use new technologies such as video conferencing, file sharing, time tracking and so on, so that team members can collaborate together successfully. Making sure that both internal and outside workers can share ideas quickly and easily increases productivity and keeps the organization competitive.

3. Give training opportunities – most developers are constantly seeking to improve their skills and build new ones and making this easy for them is a good way of increasing your staff retention. The figures speak for themselves: There is a 24% higher retention rate in companies that provide good professional development opportunities and high numbers of employees say that the ability to develop their career is more important than salary. A massive 70% of people say that the ability to develop their career affects their decision not to leave the company and employees that feel able to develop tend to be more engaged. If you want to make sure you keep your highly skilled professionals, then make sure they have plenty of chances to learn new skills.

4. Use coding challenges – open these up to existing as well as new employees; it can be a great way for the entire IT team to interact and can also help highlight skill gaps or skills that an employee already has that may have been missed. Looking at how well people do can mean being able to relocate people into more effective positions based on the collective results of the challenge.

5. Regularly review the team's priorities – ensure everyone is away of the priorities both internally for your business and for the customer. In such a competitive environment companies need to make sure work is provided on time and to a high quality. Making sure the team knows who and what the priorities are keeps the clients happy.

Managers should also make sure they are aware of what the team members have as their own personal priorities in terms of professional skill development. Making sure that teams are reviewed, opportunities given appropriately and any shortfall areas addressed should be integrated into management routines.

By combining professional development opportunities with managers who check in with their staff the development team can be kept competitive. New technologies and increasing client demands mean it is essential that skill gaps are addressed and filled in order to stay on top of today's market.

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