software development team

Dev Team Roles and Responsibilities

Estimated read time: 10 minutes

Building a software development team? Focus on the important dev team roles and responsibilities. These are as follows:

1. Project manager

A project manager (PM) leads a project in any industry, and that’s true for the software development industry too. Project managers work on initiating, defining, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing projects.

A PM has the following key responsibilities:

  • Project kick-off;
  • Decision-making about the project’s methodology;
  • Leading a team to gather business requirements;
  • Overseeing the documentation, review, approval, and change management of business requirements;
  • Overseeing the effort to gather non-functional requirements (NFRs);
  • Defining the project scope;
  • Planning the project including tasks, dependencies, schedule, and quality aspects;
  • Creating plans for managing the technical environment, human resources, project risks, project budgets, issues, communications, software quality, etc.;
  • Leading the development teams to execute the project;
  • Coaching the team members;
  • Monitoring the software development process and the project progress;
  • Course correction if software projects deviate from the goals;
  • Communicating with the relevant stakeholders;
  • Resolving roadblocks with the support of senior management;
  • Status reporting;
  • Rewarding the key contributors to the project’s success;
  • Carrying out project closure activities like conducting lessons-learned activities and releasing the project team;
  • Leading innovation and continuous improvement efforts.

2. Product owner

An important role in agile software development projects, the product owner communicates how the end product should be. They are the representatives of clients or end-users. Product owners need business domain skills, furthermore, they should know how agile/scrum teams work.

Product owners have the following responsibilities:

  • Communicating the business needs and the product vision;
  • Acting as the bridge between the software development team and clients/users;
  • Creating user stories;
  • Updating and maintaining the product backlog;
  • Prioritizing features by working with the development team;
  • Facilitating product demonstrations and reviews;
  • Making and communicating product scope-related decisions.

3. Business analyst

Business analysts develop and document business requirements. They need industry domain skills. They also need familiarity with analytics, software development, and project management.

The key responsibilities of business analysts are as follows:


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  • Carrying out market research;
  • Analyzing the market trends;
  • Gathering business needs from clients or product owners;
  • Translating business needs into requirements;
  • Providing clarifications to the client regarding the software development processes;
  • Helping the PM and architect in defining the project scope;
  • Documenting business requirements;
  • Assisting the PM with processes like requirements approval and requirements management;
  • Communicating and collaborating with the relevant stakeholders.

4. Software architect

The software architect is the person responsible for creating a comprehensive software solution. Software architects use their knowledge of architecture. They also utilize skills in software engineering and project management.

Architects ensure that the software solution meets the business requirements. They need considerable leadership qualities.

Software architects have the following responsibilities:

  • Working with business analysts, product owners, etc. to understand the functional requirements;
  • Studying industry benchmarks to formulate non-functional requirements like scalability, performance, etc.;
  • Providing inputs to the PM regarding the software development lifecycle and development processes;
  • Designing the software architecture;
  • Creating technical solutions;
  • Explaining the technical solutions to software development teams including testers, DevOps engineers, UI designers, etc.;
  • Coaching the team members;
  • Helping the PM to ensure that the project meets the business needs;
  • Conceptualizing and leading innovative initiatives like automating processes;
  • Collaborating and communicating with the key stakeholders.

5. Development team leader

The development team leader role is also known as the technical team leader. Development team leaders are very experienced developers with extensive subject matter expertise. You need tech leads with skills relevant to your project.

Development team leaders have the following responsibilities:

  • Analyzing the project requirements;
  • Offering inputs to architects on the technical solutions;
  • Explaining the business and technical requirements to other team members;
  • Guiding other developers and providing technical support to them;
  • Coding;
  • Reviewing;
  • Unit testing;
  • Collaborating with UI designers, quality assurance engineers, and DevOps engineers;
  • Troubleshooting technical and other issues that impact the team;
  • Helping the PM and architect to mitigate and reduce project risks;
  • Providing the project status to the PM;
  • Communicating with the key stakeholders;
  • Leading continuous improvement efforts in the development team.

Note: You don’t need to confine code review responsibilities to the tech lead. Peer developers can verify software quality too.

6. Scrum Master

The scrum master role is crucial in agile projects that use the scrum framework. You can have a project manager perform the scrum master role. Scrum masters need to have project management skills and experience, furthermore, they need in-depth expertise in the scrum framework.

The responsibilities of scrum masters are as follows:

  • Project management responsibilities of PMs;
  • Mentor the team about the key concepts, processes, methods, tools, and practices of agile and scrum;
  • Facilitate the use of the agile methodology and scrum framework in the project;
  • Lead the team in different scrum processes like sprint planning, daily stand-up meeting, sprint review, sprint retrospective, etc.;
  • Foster a climate that helps to build empowered teams;
  • Create a team environment where the focus is on client value and collaboration;
  • Facilitate the communication between product owners and scrum teams;
  • Implement agile and scrum processes while avoiding process overheads.

7. Developer

Software developers develop application systems based on functional and non-functional requirements. They take inputs from the technical solutions and technical requirements for this. Software engineers need the technical knowledge and experience relevant to a software development project.

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The key responsibilities of developers are as follows:

  • Studying and understanding the client’s requirements;
  • Providing relevant inputs to software architects and technical leads for creating the technical solutions;
  • Coding the application system based on the technical requirements;
  • Unit testing;
  • Collaborating with user interface (UI) designers, testers, and DevOps engineers;
  • Communicating with co-workers;
  • Providing status of project tasks;
  • Contributing to innovative and continuous improvement initiatives.

8. User interface (UI) designer

UI designers design the user interface of an application. They need skills in UI design processes, methods, tools, and practices. UI designers should have a sufficient understanding of the software development processes.

The key responsibilities of UI designers are as follows:

  • Understanding the target audience, objectives, and usage of the proposed application;
  • Utilizing UI design principles and methodologies to come up with design prototypes;
  • Reviewing UI design prototypes with the PM, architect, business analysts, developers, and testers;
  • Modifying prototypes based on reviews;
  • Designing the UI;
  • Communicating with other project team members.

9. User experience (UX) designer

UX designers work on providing an optimal experience to users. Their work goes beyond UI design, and it encompasses performance, usability, etc. UX designers need skills in UX design concepts, processes, methods, tools, and practices. They need an in-depth understanding of information architecture, software development, and project management too.

UX designers have the following responsibilities:

  • Studying the needs of the users;
  • Formulating the overall design parameters for the software application;
  • Overseeing the work of UI designers;
  • Reviewing the working of software products from the perspective of UX;
  • Coordinating with users and the software development teams to identify improvements;
  • Working with the software development team for the implementation of the improvement measures;
  • Communicating with the relevant stakeholders.

10. Testing team leader

The testing team leader or test lead is a technical leadership role in the project team. Test leads are responsible for planning, leading, monitoring, and controlling the testing effort.

Testing team leaders have the following responsibilities:

  • Understanding the business requirements;
  • Studying the non-functional requirements;
  • Providing inputs to the PM, architect, and development team leader for building the technical solutions;
  • Creating test strategies and test plans;
  • Leading the QA engineers to create comprehensive test cases;
  • Leading the QA team members to build an automated test environment using suitable tools;
  • Overseeing the testing effort and actively participating in it;
  • Providing guidance to quality assurance engineers;
  • Reviewing test reports and metrics;
  • Coordinating with the development team to ensure the closure of defects;
  • Leading the QA engineers in managing the test environment;
  • Communicating with the relevant stakeholders;
  • Collaborating with the DevOps engineers;
  • Planning and executing process improvement efforts.

11. Tester

Testers help in the quality assurance of software products. They need testing skills, furthermore, they need to know the important testing tools and frameworks.

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Testers have the following responsibilities:

  • Understanding the business and non-functional requirements;
  • Studying the test strategies and test plans;
  • Creating test cases;
  • Implementing test automation using suitable tools and frameworks;
  • Executing tests;
  • Coordinating with developers for defect resolution;
  • Maintaining the test environment;
  • Collaborating with the DevOps engineers;
  • Communicating with the relevant stakeholders, which includes reporting status.

12. DevOps engineer

The importance of DevOps engineers has grown with the increase in agile development projects. DevOps engineers develop, test, and manage IT infrastructure and tools that expedite the coding, testing, and deployment of application systems. They need coding, testing, and IT infrastructure skills.

The important responsibilities of DevOps engineers are as follows:

  • Understanding the organizational and project requirements for the development, testing, and deployment tools and infrastructure;
  • Providing inputs to the PM and architect for planning the DevOps activities;
  • Creating and/or implementing new infrastructure and tools for coding, testing, and deployment;
  • Coordinating with various stakeholders like developers and testers to set up continuous integration (CI)/continuous delivery (CD) environments;
  • Managing CI/CD environments;
  • Automating and improving DevOps processes;
  • Implementing and upgrading cybersecurity measures to secure the project’s technical environments;
  • Resolving issues with the CI/CD environments;
  • Communicating with the relevant stakeholders;
  • Providing the status of DevOps tasks.

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1. Should I look for developers with testing and DevOps expertise?

Developers should have a sufficient understanding of software testing and DevOps. They can then work effectively by collaborating with software testers and DevOps engineers. However, developers don’t need extensive expertise in these.

2. Do quality assurance engineers need in-depth coding skills?

QA team members need scripting skills to set up tests. They need enough understanding of coding to work effectively with developers. However, quality assurance engineers don’t need to be developers.

3. Should I hire a software architect with thorough knowledge of the complete architecture system?

You should hire an architect with extensive knowledge of software architecture. Architects need a sound knowledge of technical and functional architecture. They need to know the common architecture patterns well. A capable architect is important for the project’s success.


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