How to Build a Software Development Team

Did you know that the most important factor for hiring or building a software development team is the willingness to learn and fit in culturally? Getting talented developers to join your software development roles can be challenging. Since hiring highly skilled coders remains a top consideration, you have to be keen on working with people that can quickly adapt to the rapidly changing digital landscape. In addition to technical skills, software developers reveal that close to 60% of recruiters are more focused on hiring people with robust soft skills.

Getting highly skilled tech employees with strong, soft skills in software development team building should be your goal. Creating a robust software development team structure takes more than technical skills. Team members need other capabilities, like management and collaborative intelligence, to deliver great results and move the team forward. There are two ways to execute a software development project: outsourcing and recruiting an in-house team.  

Outsourcing means hiring an external, autonomous software development team to work on your project. On the flip side, having in-house developers involves recruiting talents to work for you on-premise. Both approaches come with pros and cons; consequently, you have to choose the one that suits your goals. This article will teach you everything you need to hire the best talents and build a strong software development team.

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Why Should you Build a Software Development Team? 

Building an application development team is one of the fundamental things to do when getting ready for a tech project. If you want a successful software project, you need to create a team of developers which comprises all the necessary capabilities to build the product. Once you are down with the basics of detailing your goals and the features you want in the product, the next logical step is to put together a team of experts to bring your dream to reality. 

Software development is vast. As a result, it is not a one-man thing. Even though there are generalists, one person hardly has what it takes to take a project through all the necessary development lifecycles. You need skill sets across various areas of software development to create a complete, highly-performant solution. Hence the need to build your development team.

Having a well-structured team plays a vital role in ensuring consistency and an organized workflow. The wealth of experience and collaborative intelligence that accompany building a team is necessary for the successful execution of projects. In addition, to having developers from different areas of competencies work on your project, software development team building enables faster and more efficient delivery.

What Do You Need to Build a Software Development Team Structure?

A good understanding of the product you want to build is the starting point. Before setting up a team of developers, you must have an end in mind,  the solution you want to develop. This is what determines the tools and human resources needed. If this is your first time embarking on a tech project, you will likely have difficulty figuring out your needs alone. 

You need the help of a software agency to set goals and understand the technologies and talents required for your project. From having the basic information you need to build a team, with the help of a professional, you can proceed to set up a team structure. When you have developers from various areas of competencies on the discussion table, the details of the product will be discussed, as well the recommendations made regarding project requirements.

Everything revolves around money. A ‘healthy’ budget is a must-have for software development team building. It is challenging to know the financial requirements of a project from the beginning. However, you need a substantial sum of money to recruit a standard team of coders. You can take a look at our slideshow about the best tips to create an IT team.

 

What do you need to build a software development team

Is Building a Software Development Team Expensive?

Generally, having an organized group of developers work on your project is expensive. That said, the actual amount you need to manage a team is dependent on a range of factors, including size and type of project, people on your team, and your negotiation skills. They play leading roles in determining the cost of the project.

The size and type of product you want determine the tools, skillset, and the number of developers you will need. If you plan to work with specialists and high-end developers, the cost will be higher when compared with the cost of recruiting generalists and low-level engineers. A small project requires a small group of engineers. The opposite is true. Consequently, you will spend more money to build a product that needs an extensive number of developers.

Development time frame is a leading cost determinant. Logically, a project that takes six months to conclude is expected to cost more than a similar product developed within three months. More time translates to more money, in most cases. Having your product delivered as fast as possible is an effective money-saving strategy. Finally, you can significantly reduce costs by putting forward good negotiation skills.

Software Development Teams Roles

You need key roles in your Software development team. The software development roles represent areas where you need skilled and experienced engineers. Every role is crucial and necessary for the effective development of your product. These software development team roles include.

  • Product Owner
  • Project Manager
  • Software Architect
  • Software Engineers (Backend and Frontend)
  • DevOps Engineer
  • QA Specialist
  • UI/UX Engineer
  • Business Analyst

Product Owner

The product owner represents the customer’s voice and acts as the middle person between stakeholders and the development team. The goal is to ensure the product vision is maintained and provide the developers’ guidance or input for product success. Product owners serve the customer’s interest (the actual owner of the project), ensuring there is order and enforcing deadlines and product quality. 

An ideal person for this role should understand the project’s goals (from the end user’s perspective), have technical knowledge, and be business-inclined. These capabilities are necessary to enable a product owner to understand technical concepts and sustain the ability to communicate ideas to other stakeholders. A product owner engages the customer and stakeholders to ensure the right product is being built.

Project Manager

As the name implies, a project manager (PM) is a software development team role that has the fundamental responsibility of ensuring your project is delivered efficiently, on time, and within budget. A project manager achieves this by leveraging available resources to prevent anything that can negatively impact the project. Keeping the product development process on track can be challenging due to unpredictable factors that can cause chaos. However, a project manager takes proactive measures to prevent or minimize the effects of problems.

The responsibilities of project managers include keeping the team motivated and productive, risk identification and remediation, and supervision to ensure adherence to development and communication standards. They keep tabs on every little detail to ensure problems are fixed as soon as they occur, and policies are instituted to prevent them in the future. Good project management keeps your project on track while focusing on your business.

Software Architect

This is the team member responsible for planning and organizing the software system. When it comes to creating high-end design and framework specifications, software architects are in charge. They play a leading role in choosing the tools, platforms, and coding technologies suitable for your project. 

Therefore, it involves making choices of frameworks and tools with the future in mind. In other words, they ensure the components of a program’s architecture are scalable and future-fit. Other key responsibilities of software architects include creating development design, creating design principles and guides, fragmenting projects into parts, and ensuring the development process follows the architecture.

Software Engineers

Software engineers can either be frontend developers or backend developers. Both software development team roles are required for your project.

Frontend Developer

The engineers who build part of your application that end-users see and directly interact with are called frontend developers. They ensure application interfaces are responsive and user-friendly, offering users an exciting experience. Given the wide range of different devices and browsers available, giving every user a great experience no matter the type of device or browser they use is highly demanding. 

Without a smooth user experience, your audience will abandon your application. To maintain a happy user base, you have to hire talented and experienced frontend engineers to do some ‘magic’ for you. Everything from the texts, buttons, navigation bars and animations should be designed with the end-user.

Backend Developer

On the other hand, the engineers that build the behind-the-scenes part of your application are known as backend (BE) developers. The backend is part of the software that performs the task the program is developed to do. In a development team, BE engineers are the problem solvers. They are responsible for coding sophisticated algorithms and program logic on which the application runs – all from the background.

Their responsibilities go beyond writing codes to include making choices that determine the performance and efficiency of your product. These decisions include choosing databases, external integrations, security features, etc. Experienced BE engineers will help you adopt more labor-efficient and less time-consuming solutions.

DevOps Engineer

A DevOps engineer’s software development team role is to ensure 24/7 uptime and prevent downtime. After launching an application, in most cases, how the program responds to traffic during the testing phase is different from what happens when many users start placing demands on the software. Typically, load time increases, and the application slows down with increased traffic. 

In extreme cases, crashes happen due to poor architecture, insufficient infrastructure, and poor optimization. This is where DevOps specialists come in. They are responsible for solving the challenges above and ensuring 24/7 uptime, optimal speed, scalability, security, and accessibility for users worldwide. Our blog, the ultimate guide to hiring a DevOps engineer, can help you choose an adequate DevOps engineer.

Quality Assurance (QA) Specialist

Making your software bug-free and compliant with requirements, like specifications of devices and browsers, is the responsibility of QA engineers. Due to the complexity of software development, avoiding errors entirely is not feasible. Even experts in various areas cannot implement bug-free solutions. Hence the need for an area of competency focused on ensuring high-quality codes and adherence to relevant standards.

They identify bugs and institute the remediation process to avoid disruption or problems from the end-user perspective. QA engineers are responsible for testing your application to ensure performance, security, usability, scalability, and other standard qualities. Quality assurance spans the entire product development life cycle in contemporary development methodologies like scaled agile, from design to the final product. QA specialists enforce high standards, smooth user experience, and compliance with project requirements.

UI/UX Engineer

Developers under this category are responsible for creating your software’s user interface, visual design, and user experience. They do this having the end-user in mind. The primary goal of user interface and user experience design is to build elements that are easy to access, use and interact with. UI/UX engineers are an essential part of a software development team; your end-users will not find your product appealing without their creative work. And this could lead to severe revenue consequences.  

User interface (UI) design focuses on the visuals and aesthetic appeal of the application, while user experience (UX) design is responsible for improving user-friendliness, ease of navigation, and customer-product interaction. In a nutshell, UI/UX engineers ensure that consumers have a great user experience and satisfaction. 

Business Analyst

Most products fail not because of technical problems but due to unprofitable business approaches. Having a solid and verified, viable business model behind your project is as important, if not more, as developing a high-quality product. The role of a business analyst is to analyze and verify your business idea to ensure you embark on a potentially profitable project. 

The primary goal is to help you decide if your idea is worth investing in. A study has shown that spending 8 to 10% of the time and money on business analysis increases the chances of project success. A business analyst helps you build the right product at the right time, meet client needs, and create a consistent solution with your business model and long-term interests.

Software development team roles

What Makes a Good Software Development Team

There are unique characteristics that make a software development team stand out: communication, collaboration, defined responsibilities, and strong culture. When setting up an application development team, take a step further to ensure these values are established.

Communication

The structure of communication is one of the heartbeats of every software development team. The team and stakeholders should be clear on passing information across and within the sub-teams from the onset. The project owner plays a vital role when it comes to communication. Stakeholders need to stay informed on the progress of the project, and there should be a robust communication network to ensure no developer strays from the goals of the project. It takes good communication to organize a team and keep it on course throughout the product development lifecycle.

Collaboration

Even though there are various software development team roles, none exist in isolation. Areas of competencies are interwoven and interdependent. Consequently, collaboration is required to harness the full potential of your team. With modern collaboration tools, developers can efficiently work together and share files in real-time. The project manager ensures good collaborative workflow among and within sub-teams. You can visit our blog Remote Collaboration for 2022 to learn more about working efficiently with your remote team.

Defined Responsibilities

Every team member should be assigned responsibilities with proper documentation. Being clear on who does what is necessary for efficient, fast delivery and accountability. Where there are no defined responsibilities, delays are inevitable, and things are bound to go wrong.

Strong Culture

There is a need for a solid corporate culture that determines the organizational principles of the team. The ability of developers to adopt team culture is an important skill you need to build a successful project group.

Characteristics of a Software development team

Software Development Tools for Your Team

Your team needs some tools to enable them to stay organized and get things done faster and more efficiently. Here are the top tools for your team:

1. GitHub

This is a platform used in managing and storing code. It is a code hosting ecosystem that helps with version control and collaboration. Team members can work on projects together from anywhere worldwide on the platform. GitHub is a popular tool that developers worldwide use to streamline and accelerate development workflow.

2. Trello

Trello helps in the management of your team’s tasks. It is an ideal tool for managing projects, tracking workflow, and automation. With the trello, your software development team can easily customize some features to suit how they work. Over a million teams are using Trello to get more done.

3. Figma

This cutting-edge design tool enables you to create anything, from websites to creative logo designs. Figma is a crucial tool UI/UX designers leverage to create amazing user interface and user experience designs. It stands out because it helps team members to collaborate and work on a single project in real-time.

4. Docker, AWS & CircleCI

These are software development infrastructures your team needs at strategic stages of the product development lifecycle. Your DevOps engineers need these platforms for their DevOps processes.

5. Slack

For easy and efficient communication, slack is a popular tool with state-of-the-art communication and collaboration features. It is a messaging app that brings people together to work as a team, transforming how they communicate. It helps developers save time by presenting discussions and files about a project in one place – a channel.

Conclusion

You need a good software development team to build a high-quality product. Given the complexity of software development, a team comprises developers proficient in different areas of application development. The size of your software development team structure is determined by some key factors, like the type of software you want to build, features, and user base. 

The software development team roles outlined above are exhaustive. Depending on the demands of your project, there are other areas of competencies that can be created. For instance, there are security specialists, performance testers, and more distinguishable specialists. We recommend talking with a development agency so your needs can be analyzed, and the ideal team composition will be proposed based on your goals and budget.

Are you thinking of working with a software development company? Look no further than ClickIT, the best DevOps Nearshore team. We stand out because we help businesses to build robust, secure, and high-quality software-based applications designed to increase productivity and efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Make a Software Development Team?

Consult a software development agency to help you build a development team. A professional will analyze your needs and recommend the best team composition based on your goals and budget.

What Does a Software Development Team Consist of?

Generally, a software development team consists of a product owner, project manager, software architect, frontend developer, backend developer, DevOps specialist, QA engineer, and UI/UX designer. However, a team can include other specialists not mentioned here.

What Makes a Good Developer Team?

Great communication, collaboration, defined responsibilities, and strong culture make a good development team. In addition, team members should have the skills and experience to deliver a high-quality product on time and within budget.

How Do You Build a Strong Development Team?

To build a strong team, you must institute a robust corporate culture. And hire a well-trained and experienced project manager to organize the team and ensure everyone continually grinds towards the common goals.

How Do You Organize a Large Development Team?

Define responsibilities and fragment the team into sub-teams. Assign a general project manager and sub-team project managers. Use project management and collaboration tools to streamline every process and enable team members to be accountable and committed.

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