Industry insights



In our latest newsletter, we explore the intricate web of connections that define the global landscape of software development.

Global cooperation in shaping the future of technology

We recognise the immense value that diverse perspectives bring to the table. From the bustling tech scene in India to the dynamic landscapes of South Africa and the innovation hubs of Europe, our people hail from a myriad of backgrounds, each contributing unique insights and approaches to our projects. By embracing this diversity, we enrich our own understanding and foster a more inclusive and innovative environment for all. Our integration into the industry is not just a presence; it’s a statement of our impact. Through our collaborative efforts and ground-breaking solutions, we’re leaving a lasting mark on the tech landscape, demonstrating that BBD is not just a participant but a driving force in shaping the future of technology. One such project that emphasises this global nature of software development is the collaboration of BBD and Metfriendly. Let’s take a look:

Transforming policing: Metfriendly’s digital evolution

Metfriendly, the trusted financial partner for UK police service members, embarked on a digital transformation journey in early 2021. Partnering with us, they sought to revamp their Policy Management system and enhance member servicing processes to drive cost savings and deliver superior value to their members. Through a comprehensive assessment of their IT environment and ongoing collaboration, we are guiding Metfriendly towards aligning their legacy platforms with strategic business objectives, paving the way for a more efficient and effective future.

Hendrik Hamman, BBD executive, has seen first-hand the impact of collaboration and diversity in driving the success of BBD’s projects, especially in a global context. Our recent experience with the Metfriendly project exemplified this perfectly.

Cultural dynamics in project teams

In our view, culture didn’t significantly impact the success or challenges of the Metfriendly project. While there were minor differences, they didn’t lead to any major issues or conflicts. Miscommunication did occur, largely due to some team members having English as their second or third language. In fact, the diversity of the team put everyone is the same boat in terms of proactively finding new ways to work together. This paved the way not only for a stronger end result, but stronger relationships within the team as well. Noteworthy cultural differences included some team members being highly deferential to authority, which made them reliable team players but required extra effort to encourage participation. Others were less deferential but still respectful, comfortable asking questions and potentially influential within the team.

South African team members tended to be more outspoken and direct, which was generally beneficial but ran the risk of offending those less familiar with this communication style. Some team members were excessively polite, which at points hindered the ability to address issues directly.

What these differences did end up doing though, is creating space for the team members to grow individually – something always worthwhile.

Strategies for effective collaboration

Ensuring collaboration across remote teams scattered across continents is no easy feat. Our approach revolves around putting the client’s needs front and centre and using universal tools like workflow diagrams, Agile ceremonies, specification documents and the code itself. An inclusive mindset, the ability to embrace objectivity and open communication also play a significant role in fostering collaboration, alongside team sessions designed to help the team get to know one another better and an asynchronous working style that helps bridge time zone differences.

Ensuring collaboration across remote teams scattered across continents is no easy feat. Our approach revolves around putting the client’s needs front and centre and using universal tools like workflow diagrams, Agile ceremonies, specification documents and the code itself. An inclusive mindset, the ability to embrace objectivity and open communication also play a significant role in fostering collaboration, alongside team sessions designed to help the team get to know one another better and an asynchronous working style that helps bridge time zone differences.

Value of diversity in driving innovation

We firmly believe that diversity breeds innovation, particularly in software development. By incorporating diverse perspectives and experiences, we’re better equipped to tackle a wide range of challenges and come up with innovative solutions that work for the people they serve. Cultural nuances have also proven to be significant; understanding and adapting to them have positively impacted our project outcomes, requiring us to ensure every team member feels valued and heard, no matter where in the world they are or how many in that region.

Building trust and rapport in a virtual work environment

Below we’ve dived into some of the techniques and tools we use to help build rapport and effective collaboration in a dispersed team – have a look!

  • Utilising visual tools: Workflow and UI wireframes workflow diagrams provide a foundational understanding of business processes, serving as a reference point for discussions and simplifying complex procedures. UI wireframes also facilitate expectation alignment and stakeholder involvement in solution development.
  • Comprehensive documentation: Detailed specification documents complemented by visual aids ensure clear work distribution and minimise dependencies. This enabled seamless collaboration across time zones and reduces idle time.
  • Effective Agile ceremonies: Daily stand-ups, retrospectives and reviews serve as vital communication channels; maintaining team cohesion, transparency and accountability. They also help encourage active participation and continuous improvement across the entire team.
  • Embracing transparency and objectivity: By adapting working styles to prioritise transparency and objectivity, our teams can better focus on project goals and solutions, ultimately minimising misunderstandings and enhancing collaboration.

BBD’s approach to global software development

“We firmly believe that collaboration, diversity and inclusivity are not just buzzwords, but the cornerstones of our approach to global software development. These principles have not only propelled our projects to success but have also fostered a culture of innovation and excellence within our organisation,” concludes Hamman.

If you’re interested in learning more about digital transformation projects. Click Here

To find out more about Metfriendly. Click here

Scaling your tech team with a limited salary budget

BBD Europe’s lead software engineer, Lourens Kotzé, and Project Y Founder, Felix Anthonj, recently delved into the strategies for scaling tech teams amidst budgetary constraints in a webinar with OfferZen. One solution they have experience with is tapping into emerging market talent pools, such as South Africa, where skilled engineers are abundant and eager to excel. These engineers often possess proficiency in English and operate within time zones conducive to seamless collaboration with European teams. While hiring from emerging markets presents opportunities, it also requires thoughtful approaches to hiring, onboarding, and remote work to ensure long-term retention.

To learn more about maximising global connections for local impact, read the full article here.

Upcoming tech events you won’t want to miss!

Tech conferences and events serve as vibrant hubs where innovation meets with inspiration. These gatherings facilitate the exchange of ideas, foster collaborations and provide a platform to stay abreast of the latest industry trends. Attending these events is about gaining knowledge, forging connections, discovering new technologies that can propel your business forward.

From Johannesburg to Lagos, Berlin to Paris, these events offer opportunities for engineers, technologists and industry professionals to immerse themselves in cutting-edge innovations, uncover emerging trends, and network with the best in the field.


  • 15-16 April 2024
  • London

For two days, IFGS shines a spotlight on the global fintech ecosystem, with an increased focus on the key areas that are enhancing, empowering and ensuring that fintech and financial services pave the way for economic growth, sustainability and a financial system that caters for all.


  • 7 & 9 May 2024
  • South Africa

DevConf is an annual one-day conference driven by the community and tailored for professional software engineers. It offers a diverse range of resources, methodologies and ideologies aimed at addressing present and future hurdles in South Africa’s software development sphere. Attendees can partake in learning, networking and drawing inspiration, irrespective of their favoured technology stack or programming language.

This year, BBD software engineer Tiané Erwee is a speaker at DevConf, where she’ll be discussing module federation and what micro front-ends can do for your front-end teams. If you’re interested, keep an eye out on our channels! DevConf is happening on 7 May 2024 in Johannesburg and 9 May in Cape Town.

Money 2020

  • 4-6 June 2024
  • Amsterdam

Money20/20 is the world’s leading, premium content, sales and networking platform for the global money ecosystem. From in-depth analytics to inspirational speakers, these world-class insight and networking opportunities help customers stay ahead – powering strategies and relationships and switching mindsets. Money20/20 promises the clearest and most distinctive focus on what’s next across the world of Payments, FinTech and Financial Services.

London Tech Week

  • 10-14 June 2024
  • London, United Kingdom

This week-long festival brings together a diverse range of tech enthusiasts, professionals, entrepreneurs and thought leaders from around the world. The event covers artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, digital transformation and more. With a focus on sustainable innovation and the impact of technology on the planet, the event provides awareness and knowledge needed for sustainable tech development.

European Women in Technology

  • 26-27 June 2024
  • Amsterdam

European Women in Technology (EWIT) unites a community of over 4 500 women, underrepresented technologists and allies. Sharing inspiring and uplifting stories, this event aims at driving change and amplifying the voices of those shaping the future. This year’s theme, “Digital X Human”, delves into the fusion of technology and people potential, to build a sustainable and inclusive path forward.

FinTech Summit Africa 2024

  • 26-27 June 2024
  • Johannesburg, South Africa

This event showcases the newest trends, solutions and ground-breaking innovations that are shaping the FinTech industry in Africa. Dive into AI and data analytics in financial services, generative AI, the future of FinTech and AI in Africa, and digital banking and payments.


  • 5 September 2024
  • Global, hybrid

By technologists, for technologists, Escape is an annual tech conference proudly powered by BBD. Here we delve into cutting-edge innovations, uncover emerging trends and network with the best in the industry. This epic gathering of brilliant minds is a single, hybrid event running simultaneously online and in four countries around the world.

Web Summit

  • 11-14 November 2024
  • Lisbon

Web Summit brings together 70 000+ people and the companies redefining the tech industry. This event gathers policymakers, heads of state, and the founders and CEOs of technology companies and fast-growing start-ups, to ask a simple question: Where to next?

Immersive Tech Week

  • 2-6 December
  • Rotterdam, Netherlands

This event focusses on virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, haptics, Web4, and more. It serves as a platform to connect with industry visionaries and explore opportunities in immersive technologies.

Don’t miss out on the chance to expand your knowledge, connect with industry leaders, and position yourself at the forefront of technological advancement. See you there!

Got something ground-breaking to share with the tech industry?

Escape is open to external speakers! Submit a talk for our exclusive tech conference and speak to a global audience about your chosen topic and connect with top industry experts. Share your insights, explore cutting-edge topics, test out the game jam submissions and of course, meet like-minded people. Let’s cultivate growth together! See what we got up to last year at Escape 2023!

For inspiration, check out our YouTube Channel

What’s next? We’re ready!